• Organizational culture;
  • organizational climate;
  • work environment;
  • organizational theory

PROBLEM.  Using theories from several disciplines, the concept of organizational culture remains controversial. Conflicting definitions, lack of semantic clarity, and debate over the most appropriate methods for assessing organizational culture have led to disagreement over the value and validity of such inquiry.

METHODS.  This paper reviews development of the concept of organizational culture and methods for assessing organizational culture, focusing on the healthcare environment.

FINDINGS.  Most work on organizational culture concerns the traditional corporation. Therefore, some adaptation to the central goals and focus of a human services organization are necessary before application to healthcare settings.