There are many divergent opinions on the nature of organisational culture and organisational climate and the relationship between these two constructs. This study was conducted to assess the level of change in organisational culture as measured by an externally administered survey, the organisational climate as measured by an internal survey, and the development in financial performance over the same period. The subject was Comair Ltd, a successful airline operating out of South Africa.
The research was conducted in three sections; firstly the organisational culture was examined using the Denison Organisational Culture Survey as administered by Denison Consulting in the USA. The author compared a pre-existing survey from 2011 which contained 53 responses, and a newly commissioned survey in 2014 for which there were 24 responses. Secondly, the author compared the internally administered Comair Think Vision Climate Survey over a period of three years – 2012 to 2014. The response rate for the latest survey was 96% of all Comair employees. Lastly an analysis was conducted of the company’s key financial ratios over an extended period.
Notwithstanding concerns regarding the practical significance of the Think Vision data, all three areas showed marked improvements. The financial performance of the company improved dramatically since 2012 and both the culture and the climate survey demonstrated increases. Of interest was the fact that both surveys independently indicated a move towards a more structured, mission oriented company. This development can be traced back to specific developments taking place in the company over the same period.