A Galileo Analysis of Organizational Climate



    1. Edward L. Fink (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1975) is professor of speech communication, affiliate professor of sociology, and affiliate professor of psychology at the University of Maryland at College Park.
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    1. Shih-Shin Chen (Ph.D., University of Maryland at College Park, 1993) is director of information and research at United Pacific Public Relations Inc., of Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
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  • The authors wish to thank George A. Barnett, Robert N. McPhee, Joseph Woelfel, and an anonymous reviewer for comments on an earlier draft of this article, and Naomi M. Stevens for research assistance. A version of this article was presented at the 1993 convention of the International Communication Association, in Washington, DC.


This article attempts to (a) establish a conceptual framework for climate research, (b) develop a research scheme based on this conceptual ground, and (c) examine the relationship between communication and the convergence of views regarding organizational climate. University faculty members comprise the sample for this study (N = 105). Using the Galileo multidimensional scaling model, a description of the faculty climate at a university is presented, as well as comparisons between the climates of groups of faculty. There is a substantial correlation between a person's attitude and his or her perception of the relation of others toward those same concepts. Faculty members who communicate more with their colleagues report less psychological distance between themselves and the university. In addition, an individual's climate space becomes more similar to the space of the group with whom he or she maintains denser communication ties as compared with the space of the group with whom he or she maintains less dense ties.