Comparison between the organizational culture of public organization and private companies

Þórhallur Örn Guðlaugsson, Gylfi Dalmann Aðalsteinsson, Svala Guðmundsdóttir


Organizational culture has been much debated in recent years. Organizational culture can be based on various factors such as values, beliefs, attitudes of employees, their perception, symbol in the workplace, communication patterns and behaviour. This paper discusses the comparison between the organizational culture of public organizations and private companies by using Denison’s method of measuring Organizational culture. The questionnaire is based on 66 questions where 60 questions are used to assess the Organizational culture. Denison model of Organizational culture consists of four main cultural dimensions and 12 subdimension. This research is based on 44 existing surveys of corporate and public sector Organizational culture. The total number of answers is 4.071. Of these, 1,095 are from eight public sector organizations and 2,976 from 36 private companies. 13 measurements took place in 2010 or earlier, 13 in 2011 to 2014 and 18 in 2015 or later. The results of this study show that public sector organizations have what is categorized as weaker culture than private companies. The biggest difference is between the subdimensions, Goals and Objectives, Vision, Team Orientation and Creating Change, and less difference was found for Core Values.


Organizational culture; cultural dimension; public organisation; private companies.

Full Text:

PDF (Islenska)



  • There are currently no refbacks.


Published by the Institute of Public Administration and Politics of the Faculty of Political Science, University of Iceland.

Hosted by the Computing Services of the University of Iceland.