Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The purpose of this study was to examine shared understandings of corporate values and corporate norms as a reflection of the strength of corporate culture. Data for this study were gathered from 10 corporations with at least 100 employees located in Iowa and Nebraska. The sample included service, insurance, seed production, and grain storage corporations. From each, 40 employees were randomly selected, plus the Chief Executive Officer;Corporate culture was defined as a set of shared understandings of corporate values and corporate norms that provides employees with rules for behavior. A review of research revealed that corporate culture has impact on corporate performance, and that corporate culture and corporate strategy must be compatible. Corporate executives must, therefore, be continually aware of, assess, and manage their corporate cultures;The assessment of corporate culture has included in-depth interviewing of employees, observations of physical plants and day-to-day happenings, and reading annual reports and press releases. These assessment techniques are very time-consuming, costly, and often subjective. There have been very few attempts to assess the strength of a corporate culture with a brief and useful paper and pencil instrument. This study assessed corporate culture strength by examining differences in corporate values and norms due to respondent's job level and corporation. The three job levels used were management, supervisory, and non-supervisory. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by all subjects. This brief questionnaire included four subscales from the Survey of Organizations to assess values, and four subscales from the Kilmann-Saxton Culture-Gap Survey to assess norms. Data were analyzed by an analysis of variance;Results of this study revealed that there were differences in mean scores on corporate values and norms due to respondent's job level. Management level employees responded differently with higher means on all but one of the norm subscales than did employees in supervisory and non-supervisory levels. Differences due to corporation were also revealed on all but one norm subscale.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Suzanne Beisel Mulder



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

110 pages