Organizational Culture and Sustained Competitive Dissertation

Pages: 80 (26051 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 40  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management


This study will survey a number of organizations in a variety of industries in an attempt to find consensus in the strategic application of organizational cultural concepts.

This study will not result in a unified definition of culture, competition, or competitive advantage that will apply uniformly to all organizations in every situation. However, it will serve in the development of criteria that organizations can utilize to help determine the characteristics of their own organization and how they can be used to an improve the sustainability of their organization. This research will play an important role in the development of processes for analyzing and developing an organizational culture that maximizes the organization strengths and minimizes its weaknesses. It will examine the state of knowledge in organizations regarding organizational culture and its connection to competitive advantage among study participants.

Dissertation Overview

This dissertation will be divided into six distinct chapters. Chapter 1 is the Introduction. It will explain the purpose of the research and how it fits into the context of research already in existence in this area. It discusses the aim and purpose of the research, as well as provides background that is relevant to understanding the place of the current research study within the context of theory regarding the topic.

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Chapter 2 is the literature review. This chapter will explore this state of existing research on both organizational culture and on competitive advantage. It will explore the intersection of these two separate research areas in how they can be combined in the context of improving organizational competitive advantage. It explores the difficulties that are being experienced by companies and will offer possible solutions based on current research available in the area. Chapter 2 will more clearly define where the research study fits in the context of research already in existence in this area.

TOPIC: Dissertation on Organizational Culture and Sustained Competitive Assignment

Chapter 3 examines the methodology that will be utilized in the conduct of this research study. It examines the design of the study, the instrumentation and methodology that will be utilized, the population and data collection techniques to be used. It will explore the limitations of the study as well as any issues that may affect the ability to collect meaningful data in the subject area.

Chapter 4 will present the results of the surveys and interviews. The data analysis will utilize charts and graphs to present the findings of the research in a manner which can be easily interpreted by other researchers in the organizations themselves.

Chapter 5 will provide an exploration of the results of the research in the context of the research found in the literature review. It will explore ways that the research can be utilized to devise programs within organization to help them utilize the organizational cultural traits to achieve the greatest sustainable competitive advantage.

Chapter 6 will present the conclusions of the research. It will examine the implications of the results obtained and will explore the future of research in the subject area. Chapter 6 will summarize the contents of the previous chapters in a manner that brings the research together as a whole.

Chapter 2: Literature Review


This literature review found that culture and organizational culture are key components o a successful formula for building a competitive advantage that will help to win marketshare. Yet, this resources is being underutilized by many companies. In a survey by Bain Company, it was found that more than one-third of executives on a worldwide basis do not feel that corporate culture leads to a competitive advantage. However, they fail to realize that their answers reflect a lack of commitment to the company that translates into company culture (Meehan, Gadlesh & Hori, 2006). The inability to utilize culture to bolster competitive advantage was found to be a missing component in both academic literature and the real world setting.

In discussions about organizational culture, the element of national culture is often forgotten. However, national culture has a direct impact on the development and sustenance of corporate culture. The company first exists within the community and is beholden to community values as well as national values. National cultural values and their impact on organizational culture is often an element that is not considered regarding its affect on the company to build sustainable advantages utilizing corporate culture to leverage their position. When analyzing corporate culture, one need to consider national culture and its affect on company culture (Van Den Bosch and Prooijen, 1992). The same principles that can be applied to companies can also be applied to cities, as they attempt to utilize their unique culture to leverage tourism and to boost business (Landry & Wood, 2003). The impact of national culture on corporate culture was also found to be a gap in both the literature review and the application of knowledge about corporate culture in the real world.

Competition is also an important force in shaping companies. It forces them to continuously evaluate their business processes and strive for greater efficiency. They must continually make adjustments to reduce inefficiencies, restructure outdated operations, and introduce new products. Competition improves companies by making them continually evaluate their operations. Competition can be a motivating force for companies (Gandotra, 2010).

No product or concept is truly safe in the business world. Given enough time, money, and experimentation, any product or serve can be duplicated (Bradt, 2012). Bradt feels that culture is made up of five basic components. These are behaviors, relationships, attitudes, values and environment. In efficient cultures that result in a competitive advantage, companies must do things that are linked to both internal and external relationships, shaped byattitudes, and built on a solid base of values, along with an appropriate environment (Bradt, 2012). A company must have all of these traits in order to gain a competitive advantage. Of all of these traits, Bradt feels that attitude is the most important, because with the right attitude, all portions of the business can work together for a common goal. Products are often the focus of techniques and strategies designed to build a competitive advantage.

Culture is often referred to as a "soft" trait, but it is being taken more recently to be an integral part of business operations (Tharris, 2012). This was reflected in the survey results. Many managers felt that culture was not as important as products and price. This reflects a poor attitude towards the importance of corporate culture on the business. Culture is only one item on a long list of factors that influence the ability of a company to achieve a competitive advantage. Culture is listed along with design of the business and overall strategy. If any one of these elements is missing, the company will not achieve the maximum possible competitive advantage (Martzall, n.d.). Leadership plays a key role in the development of corporate culture. When leadership is ineffective, they will not be able to inspire the type of culture that drives competitive advantage. Rewarding employees was also found to be a key factor in business success for achieving competitive advantage (Riley, 2012).

The importance of culture in building competitive advantage is the principle element that will be addressed in this research study. It is expected that, as the literature indicates, many of the survey respondents will fail to see the importance of corporate culture as a key to business success. It is expected that many will not understand the importance of culture and will fail to be able to respond to the survey questions fully. The factors found in this literature review can be expected to have an impact on the results of the survey study. This research will address the gap in research that exists concerning the importance of culture on achieving a sustainable competitive advantage.

Chapter 3: Methodology

The purpose of this study was to examine the connection between organizational culture and the competitive advantage of the organization. Previous studies have attempted to quantify the results of sustainable advantage through profitability and corporate growth. However, this methodology is considered flawed because there are many factors that can influence profitability aside from competitive advantage. Many of these factors cannot be controlled, nor accounted for in a manner that would result in the ability to isolate the dependent variable. Many of the research studies utilized qualitative methods to assess the effect of culture on competitive advantage.

This study will utilize a hybrid research design to explore the hypotheses and research questions. The study will consist of a survey, administered to a sample of 40 participants. The survey is based on Mishra's four traits of organizational culture. In addition to the survey results, the study will also involve the conduct of three interviews to help obtain further information to support the results of the survey. This method will result in the identification of factors that can be used to consciously increase the sustainable competitive advantage of an organization through manipulation of organizational culture. The remainder of this chapter will provide details of the study methodology.


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