Date of Award

2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Communications Honours

School

School of Communications & Media Studies

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Lelia Green

Abstract

A major finding of the Grunig Excellence Study was that various dimensions of organisational culture play an important role in determining an organisations ability to practice excellent communication. This research has tested the dimensions of organisational culture as found in the Excellence Study in a new setting -the West Australian government through the Education Department of Western Australia. This will begin to determine their existence and relevance of the original findings outside the original study setting. The study has a sample size of 450 employees of the Department Level 8 and below and 9 employees Level 9 and above in their Central Office. One questionnaire was distributed to all employees 'The Employee Questionnaire" and a separate questionnaire was distributed to top management of Level 9 and above "Top Management Questionnaire". The focus of these instruments was primarily to examine organisational culture. This study has tested the original findings, and provided evidence that many of the original findings surrounding organisational culture are present in this setting. This is exciting news for the original Excellence Study authors as it leaves room for the expansion of the relevance of the theory from its original setting to Australia, and potential for future testing. Evidence has also been found that the 'mixed motive' model of public relations may be present in this study setting. This is also an interesting finding as this model has not been well tested or researched in any setting. A review of the literature found that the Australian Public Service in general, and the Education Department of Western Australia more specifically, do not have entirely positive perceptions within the wider publics. Through analysing the internal organisational culture, it was found that several reasons for these potentially negative perceptions could be due to minimal levels of two-way symmetrical communication, participative management and collective decision making. A positive finding for the Education Department of Western Australia was that the organisational culture was highly receptive to both culture and gender diversity.

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