Building organisational culture that encourages innovation in Higher Institutions in the UK
The motive for researching this topic is to examine how the way of doing things in an organisation influences innovation from the perception of education. Organisational culture is a very essential determinant of the employees’ behaviour in an organisation and encompasses what the core strengths of an organisation are and what has worked well in the past. It influences how innovative individuals or groups of people are in an organisation.
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Every organisation that exists has their own culture of doing things. Organisational culture in the higher institutions influences the quality of students produced by a school and the level of knowledge sharing determines how innovative the students are in their learning.
The reason why I am looking into the education sector is that the kind of student produced by a school will determine the kind of employees in the working environment. Graduates are the products being produced by higher institutions. These students are the determinants of the culture existing in an organisation whether strong or weak, and quality of employees we could find in organisations in the future. The stakeholders in the academics have a great impact of change to make on their economy through whichever organisation they find themselves. The culture in every organisation influences the products or services they offer. Innovation is not only restricted to manufacturing firms, service industries and so many other industries but also education sector is there with lot of ideas to consider innovatively. Any organisation where learning and knowledge sharing occurs, there is tendency for them to be innovative.
The school should ensure maintaining a strong organisational culture to keep the students and tutors informed and build them to be innovative , creative based on the learning given to them and knowledge sharing they have gained during their experience as a student. They are able to represent a good image of the school wherever they go and employers can see those quality students who are qualified, being able to perform and deliver value to any organisation they find themselves. Is it all about a strong organisational culture or quality organisational cultureIt appears organisational culture has a great influence on the quality of graduates produces by University of Wales, Newport. It is imperative that the culture of an organisation should not only be strong but also be of a good quality that has great values to add to individuals in the organisation. There should be connection between the culture of the organisation and its values. Blanchard, K et al (2008) argued that, ‘anytime there is cessation between specified values and the way an organisation function, the ethics displayed are ignored. He also said the genuine culture and values always speak louder than the specified ones.’
In the process of ensuring effective culture in an organisation to achieve success, there is tendency for an organisation to make changes at some point in time, which needs to be managed effectively to make sure it does not affect the individuals in the organisation. It is in the process of these changes that learning and knowledge sharing still continues. It is therefore based on this learning and knowledge that innovative and creative ideas comes up and every organisation try to work towards building good corporate values in order to accelerate innovation, learning, knowledge, and creativity in their organisation. Creativity and innovation is not only for organisation but can also be related to individual people. The tutors and the school top management must try to be innovative and creative in the way they function in University of Wales, Newport in order to materialise the mission of the university.
Students are the major stakeholders in the university, therefore, they should be able to deliver good work innovatively, and creatively more than what the tutor has taught them. This can also be linked to the way organisational culture may be stimulated in an organisation through learning, knowledge, creativity, and innovation. Various authors have talked on these and I will build on it by making sure I add to the existing knowledge which is from the perspective of educations and I will be giving some authors’ works and thought from articles and textbooks to defend my explanation.
LITERATURE REVIEW: ON MAIN THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The organisational culture of an organisation is a picture of what and how things are done in the organisation. I have found some major frameworks developed by other authors in the process of my research. The literature review will consider different definitions about organisational culture and its role in the organisation. However, the popular definition of organisational culture is, ‘the way we do things around here.’ Terblanche, F et al (2003) defined organisational culture as, ‘mutual beliefs, and values genuinely placed in an organisation.’ Campeanu-Sonea, E et al (2010) cites the work of Armstrong (2006) that, ‘organisational culture is the form of beliefs, customs, and attitudes that are unlikely to be expressed but structures the mode of people’s behaviour and getting things.’ These standards and assumptions are preserved as people continue to relate with one another in the organisation.
Terblanche, F et al (2003) discussed some roles of organisational culture by citing the work of Furnham and Gunter (1993) that, ‘it helps in internal integration such as socialising and commitment of employees’ to the organisation. It also helps create a competitive advantage, understanding the environment and enhance communication and mutual understanding.’ Johnson, G et al (2010 p.168) conferred that, ‘organisational culture contributes to how groups of people respond and behave in relation to what they face.it has an influence on the development and change of organisational strategy.’ I will consider more of these definitions and roles of organisational culture by analysing in details in my literature review.
More so, the concept of innovation is very crucial for the success of an organisation. Huczynski and Buchannan(2010) inferred that, ‘innovation is unrestricted to new products and most organisations wants to construct an inventive style to organise, develop new and better working practices, and deliver customers and clients with novel service.’ This definition is limited by not considering why they develop ideas and commit to creative process. Brychan, T et al (2011) strongly argues by citing the work of Baregheh et al (2009 p. 10) that innovation is, ‘the multi-stage process whereby organisations transform ideas into new/improved products, services or process in order to advance, compete and differentiate themselves magnificently in their marketplace.’
It appears most organisations makes attempt to be innovative and creative in their activities. When an organisation comes up with ideas, there is need to implement it because without implementation, there cannot be innovation and the innovation will bring about changes to the organisation. Rogers (2003) argued that, ‘innovations is perceived by individuals as one with numerous fundamental benefit, consistent, apparent and less intricate can be easily acknowledged than others.’(Haggman, K.S 2009) To manage innovation effectively, knowledge is very essential. Henry, J (2001 p.64) conferred that, ‘the moment organisations becomes innovative, they construct fresh knowledge and information, from the inside out, in order to express again both the problems and solutions and reform their environment in the process.’
Furthermore, organisational culture and innovation tends to relate in some ways. Martins and Terblanche (2003) described some key determinants of organisational culture, ‘which are strategy, structure, communication, supporting mechanism, and behaviours that encourage creativity. These determinants rely on and interact with one another.’ There is a strong link between organisation culture and employee’s attitude. Gregory, B et al (2009) argued that, ‘individuals in an organisation use the culture as a determinants for their expected behaviour to decide the kind of behaviour that fits a particular situation.’ Valencia, N et al (2010) argued that, ‘organisational culture is one of the aspects that encourage innovative behaviour among individuals in the organisation.’ Terblanche et al (2003) concluded that, ‘organisational culture affects the degree to which inventive clarifications are stimulated, sustained and realised through socialisation process of organisations, individuals learn what behaviour is acceptable and how activities should function.’ It shows it is very vital for an organisation to ensure innovative ideas in whatever type of business they are in and maintain a quality and strong culture.
Valencia, N et al(2010) conferred that, ‘to ensure a competitive edge that is sustainable and succeed in the market, innovation is very crucial because firms that are innovative can sustain themselves when the environment is unstable, respond quickly to changes , create novel opportunities and take advantage of existing market to a greater extent than the competition.’ Organisational culture is a facilitating factor for learning to take place in an organisation and every organisation needs to imbibe a learning culture as a basis for openness for innovative ideas. Rebelo and Gomez (2009) concluded that, ‘learning culture concerned with elevation and facilitating of employees learning, sharing, and spreading in order to contribute to the growth and performance of the organisation.’(Rebelo and Gomez, 2011)
Different definitions were even given for a learning organisation. King, W (2001)argued that, ‘ a learning organisation is one that focuses on developing and using its information and knowledge capabilities in creating highly valued information and knowledge, to change behaviours and improve final outcome.’ Senge, P (1990) defines a learning organisation to be, ‘an organisation that is escalating its capabilities unceasingly to build its future.’(Graham and Nafukho, 2007) This literature review will be critically assessed comprehensively by the start of my dissertation.
LITERATURE ON THE CHOSEN SECTOR
The education sector is one of the important sectors in the entire sector in the UK. It is very challenging and has a very significant influence in the career of individuals because people continue to learn and add to their knowledge every day. My sector will be narrowed down to University of Wales, Newport and the Newport Business school and School of art will be coming together in the next session, the reason for this will be researched later. Recently, there has been increase in school fees of home students, which has caused protests from students. Jamila, M et al(2008) argued that, ‘it is imperative for higher institutions to have customer focus in pursuing excellence in education and top management must ensure quality of undergraduates and graduates students by developing professional abilities of individuals involved in the delivery of teaching and learning. More so, cultivate fresh and flexible ways of learning, teaching and assessing, and exploiting new technologies whenever necessary.’ The school fees remains the same in Wales except for Aberystwyth University that has given it consideration and concluded that only students from other places are going to be paying the ?9000 by September 2012.
According to Eddie, B et al in their paper research, there is a vision 2035 with the aim of reducing foreign students and globalise as they realise the students do not get adequate work experience to complement their learning. The students need to study in their home country to be able to benefit their economy and society as a whole. The Higher Education Funding Council in England is also planning for a 10 years vision to increase merged Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) institution as Joint Corporation.
5.1. Research Paradigms: In order to achieve my aims and objectives, the research paradigms that will be used is positivism because it will test hypothesis and it will help me to show I have achieved validity and reliability. More so, this research will focus on facts from the respondents. It would give me the chance to consult different students from different departments and backgrounds. This will also help me to develop ideas through induction from data collected.
5.2. Research Approach: The approach taken to this research is a quantitative research, as it will help analyses of measurement within data. The research approach will be carried out by conducting a primary research that involves collecting original data from management that makes decision and plan for the running of the university. The secondary data will be gathered from information that will be useful for critical arguments in the literature review and help to explore different authors’ opinion and arguments. Secondary data would be collected from proper journals, refereed articles, textbooks, and official reports from departments/international organisation.
5.3. Research method: The Research Methods to be used in carrying out this research is a questionnaire and observation. With my experience in the University, I have observed a lot but more will still need to be done to carry out a successful work. Bryman and Bell (2011) concluded that, ‘it is possible to record incidents, observe, and record for a short period of time at some intervals or for a long period of time.’ However, the questionnaires will be administered to students in order to test hypothesis because it allows anonymity and can be much clarified but it takes long to analyse. The questionnaire will be self-administered after considering necessary ethical issues.
5.4. The sampling criteria are targeted towards students from different background, age group, course, and discipline. The reason for choosing student is to gather their opinions about how the culture of the university influences their performance and if in any way makes them to be innovative in their learning or keep to the same mode of doing things. It will also enable me to know whether the culture of this university influences them positively or someway negatively. The sample size will be 50 students to ensure my research will be realistic, as it will give me better opportunity to know the extent to which students will agree with some issues in the university, as they are the key determinants for the existence of this university. This would help draw on the existing data to get information from respondents to justify the literature review.
METHODS OF ANALYSISNG PRIMARY DATA
Since a quantitative method would be used to carry out my research, the data collected will be analysed using a SPSS. The relationship in my questions will determine whether to use univariate, bivariate or multivariate analysis. I intend to undertake more readings to ensure a well-presented analysis is carried out. I will research more to know the better options to do a quality and effective analysis.
The identity of my respondents will be kept confidential as they would want to be sincere about their opinions and might not want their names to be disclosed. I will ensure I protect their privacy as I know the research will give people the chance to give their honest opinions about the school whether the university is really building organisational culture that stimulates innovation through their students or not. I will ensure I get the consent of people before giving the questionnaire out to them and ensure I do not disclose the name of the respondents. I will ensure I use people’s data to support my dissertation with their consent. I will also ensure good behaviour even when some people failed to accept to fill the questionnaire or fail to turn up for the appointed time. The location to be chosen for filling questionnaires will be a suitable and comfortable place with adequate safety because without them, there cannot be a successful dissertation.
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