Examining the impact of organizational culture on social capital in a research based organizations

Publication Date08 August 2016
AuthorMajid Ramezan
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Knowledge management,Knowledge management systems
Examining the impact of
organizational culture on social
capital in a research
based organizations
Majid Ramezan
Malik Ashtar University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of organizational culture (OC) on
social capital (SC) between experts of research-based industrial organizations who were aware of the
subject of research.
Design/methodology/approach – The tools in this study were the native and modied questionnaire of
Denison OC model with 33 items and Abili’s developed questionnaire based on Nahapiet and Ghoshal model
for SC with 24 items. Validity of questionnaire well approved based on face validity method by experts,
specialists and professors of management. Using the results of pre-test, Cronbach’s alpha was showed the
very high reliability. Because of the low number of experts, we did not sampling and decided to distribute
questionnaires among all of them. In all, 120 completely lled questionnaires were returned out of the 134
distributed. For examining the main hypothesis and sub-hypothesis of this study simple linear regression
and multiple regression analysis were used.
Findings The results of regression analysis showed that regression line ascribes changes in
dependent variable (SC) to independent variable (OC). It means that in research-based industrial
organizations, OC has a signicant positive impact on SC and cultural traits with internal focus have
more impact on SC than those with external focus. Then, with the use of parametric tests, the
relationship between OC and SC and between components of OC and SC was investigated. Finally,
Pearson correlation tests results conrmed the signicant relationships. Overall, the results of this
study show the signicant, positive, strong relationship between OC and SC.
Originality/value – As there are not many studies about the impact of OC on SC, this paper’s ndings
will be useful to assess and improve the cultural situation for increasing the SC in organization.
Keywords Culture, Social knowledge
Paper type Research paper
In recent years, Iranian economy has experienced undesired conditions so that based in
reports by such organizations as International Monetary Fund and Iranian Statistical
Center, domestic economic growth has been negative in 2013. It indicates improper
economic and nancial conditions for most organizations and companies. Under such
circumstances, organizations are facing with numerous difculties in retaining and
recruiting expert human resources and in increasing their human capitals. A guideline
for organizations to improve their performance and efciency and to overcome nancial
bottlenecks is attend to organizational social capital and improve it. Nahapiet and
Ghoshal (1998) dene social capital as total potential and de facto resources in the
network of individual relations or social unit emanated from it and its accessibility is
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Culture on
social capital
Received 7 December 2014
Revised 7 December 2014
7 April 2015
25 January 2016
16 April 2016
6 June 2016
Accepted 6 June 2016
VINEJournal of Information and
KnowledgeManagement Systems
Vol.46 No. 3, 2016
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/VJIKMS-12-2014-0065
possible through it. If one organization can increase its social capital, in addition to more
income (Behtoui and Neergaard, 2012), it will achieve many other advantages (Chen and
Lovvorn, 2011;Clopton, 2011;Monnavarian and Ashena, 2009;Nahapiet and Ghoshal,
1998;Petrou and Daskalopoulou, 2013;Simpson, 2002;Truss and Gill, 2009). The basic
question is that how organizations can manage their social capital? Social capital is
certainly affected by other organizational factors. One of the most important factors is
organizational culture which can be dened as a set of common perceptions and ideas
among organizational members that shape their behaviors toward each other and
toward external individuals (Robbins and Judge, 2011). It is rational to assume that
people’s behavior affect the quality and the network of relations among them. In this
study, we use the scientic methodology to study the impact of organizational culture
(that shapes the behavior of its members) on social capital (emanated from individuals’
relations network). To this end, we initially review the literature related to culture and
social capital. Then, by using statistical analysis of collected data, research hypotheses
are examined, discussed and concluded.
Conceptual framework
Organizational culture
According to some authors, the concept of organizational culture was coined in 1980s by
Ochi and Waterman (Grifn and Moorhead, 2009). However, Trice and Beyer (1993)
assert that organized efforts to understand organizations culturally were begun in
1930s, but organizational culture did not become popular until end of 1960s. Within past
40 years, numerous studies are conducted on organizational culture and different
denition and typologies are provided. Rezvani and Saham Khodam (2011) studied
types of organizational culture as seen in Table I.
In this study, we use Denison organizational culture model, as Denison model is
newer than other models and because of the basis of its behaviorism, its capability to be
used in all organizational levels and its comprehensiveness in terms of indicators and
aspects of organizational culture (Saeeda Ardekani et al., 2010). Denison (Denison, 2001)
believes that organizational culture includes ethical beliefs and principles which play a
vital role in organizational management system. Final conceptual framework of
Denison organizational culture model was developed between 1990 through 2000
(Denison and Mishra, 1995;Denison and Neale, 1996;Denison et al. 2000;Denison, 1997)
as seen in Figure 1. In his studies, Denison concluded that the proper relation between
strategy, environment and culture is so that one can study four types of organizational
culture (Denison, 1997). These four categories depend on two factors:
(1) organizational emphasis on stability or exibility; and
(2) organizational attention internal or external affairs.
Considering these differences, the attributes of organizational culture include
involvement, adaptability, mission and consistency.
In his joint article with several instructors (Gillespie et al., 2007), Denison denes
these four attributes and their indicators as below:
(1) Involvement: employees are committed and feel ownership to their job. It has
three traits:
Developing the capabilities: to meet the needs and to remain competitive,
organizations develop their employees’ skills constantly;

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