Nils BerkemeyerRobin JunkerWilfried BosKathrin Müthing

Organizational cultures in education: Theory-based use of an instrument for identifying school culture


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To date, educational research has not provided a sufficiently consistent theoretical foundation for the term 'school culture'. This study takes a first step to address this research gap by outlining a theoretical underpinning for empirically examining characteristics of school culture over time. Based on Cameron and Quinn's (2006) Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), a questionnaire was designed to describe different types of school culture (OCAI-SK; Müthing, 2013). This questionnaire was given to 40 German schools and filled out by 1,058 teachers at the first point of measurement and by 773 teachers at the second point of measurement. The findings show that the OCAI-SK is a reliable instrument which can be used to investigate school culture. The use of chi-square tests revealed that school cultures were quite stable over time, whereas a Latent Class Analysis (LCA) revealed four main cultural profiles of schools. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Assessment; OCAI-SK; OCAI; Organizational culture; School culture