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Arch Hellen Med, 28(1), January-February 2011, 70-78


Evaluation of the organizational culture profile in public hospitals

C. Kastanioti,1 E. Siourouni,1 G. Mavridoglou,1 N. Polyzos2
1Department of Health Care Management, Technological Educational Institute of Kalamata, Kalamata,
2Department of Social Administration, Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, Greece

OBJECTIVE The organizational culture is considered to constitute a critical factor for effective health management in public hospitals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the dimensions of organizational culture which characterize various hospitals in Greece.

METHOD This study took place in 10 hospitals of the sixth Health Region in Greece. A questionnaire was distributed to 500 front-line hospital employees, of whom 332 (66%) responded (44% physicians, 34% nurses and 22% administrative staff ). Statistical analyses of their responses were made using descriptive statistics, x2 and analysis of variance.

RESULTS Front-line employees considered attention to detail, respect of human rights, fairness, accuracy, individual responsibility, a highly structured organization, emphasis on quality, team orientation and flexibility to be the most prominent cultural characteristics in the hospital, and workload occupation and aggressiveness the least prominent. According to the responses of the front-line employees, development of justice, expectation of a high performance, emphasis on quality, innovation, risk taking and initiative do not appear to be encouraged by the hospital administration. The least prominent characteristics of the culture within the Greek public hospitals were perceived to be aggressiveness and long-hour occupation. Significant differences in the perceptions of hospital culture were revealed, based on age, job position and tenure in position, but gender and occupation did not appear to affect the employee perceptions of culture.

CONCLUSIONS Based on evidence from this study, the organizational culture in Greek public hospitals does not appear to be very strong. According to the front-line employees there is a gap between the expected and the actual culture in their hospital working experience.

Key words: Organizational behaviour, Organizational climate, Organizational culture.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine