24 Organizational Culture and Climate

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


  1. Cheri Ostroff PhD1,
  2. Angelo J. Kinicki PhD2,
  3. Rabiah S. Muhammad PhD1

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop212024

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Ostroff, C., Kinicki, A. J. and Muhammad, R. S. 2012. Organizational Culture and Climate. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 12:IV:24.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Maryland, Department of Psychology, College Park, Maryland, USA

  2. 2

    Arizona State University, Department of Management, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


Our focus is on organizational culture and climate and the role these constructs play in understanding individual as well as collective attitudes, behavior, and performance. We begin with the assumption that both constructs rest upon the notion of shared meanings or a shared understanding of aspects of the organizational context. Climate is defined as a perceptually based description of what the organization is like in terms of practices, policies, procedures and routines while culture helps define the underlying reasons and mechanisms for why these things occur in an organization based on fundamental ideologies, assumptions, values, and artifacts. In the first half of the chapter, the culture and climate literatures are reviewed. The second half is framed around a multi-level model that integrates culture and climate through the linking mechanism of organizational structure, practices, and policies. This discussion elucidates a set of mechanisms that foster the emergence of organizational culture and climate, delineates different types of strength, and highlights the impact of weak emergent processes on outcomes. We then discuss the topic of culture and climate change and conclude by reviewing directions for future research.


  • organizational culture;
  • organizational climate;
  • levels of analysis;
  • emergent processes;
  • leadership