Author's School

Brown School

Author's Department

Social Work

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Originally Published In

Patterson Silver Wolf (Adelv unegv Waya), D. A., Dulmus, C., Maguin, E., Keesler. J., & Powell, B. (2014). Organizational leaders’ and staff members’ appraisals of their work environment within a children’s social service system. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 38(3), 215-227. DOI:10.1080/23303131.2014.884032


Several studies have demonstrated the effect of an organization’s culture and climate on the delivery of services to clients and the success of clinical outcomes. Workers’ perceptions are integral components of organizational social context, and in order to create a positive organizational culture and climate, managers and frontline staff need to have a shared understanding of the social context. The existing literature does not adequately address that discrepancies in perceptions of culture and climate between frontline staff and managers impact the implementation of policies and services. The purpose of this study is to compare the workgroup-level culture and climate of a single, large child and family social services organization, based on the reported experiences of front-line workers and senior managers. The results showed that, as a group, senior managers rated the organization as having a culture that was much more proficient and much less rigid and a climate that was more engaged and more functional than the average frontline workgroup. The discrepancies between the perceptions of upper management and workgroup-level staff indicate the need for interventions that can improve communication and cohesiveness between these two groups.

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