The significance of organisational subculture for organisational commitment

Document Type


Publication details

Lok, P, Westwood, RI & Crawford, J 2005, 'The significance of organisational subculture for organisational commitment', Applied Psychology, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 490-514.

Published version available from:


Peer Reviewed



This paper investigates the relationship between perceptions of organisational culture, organisational subculture, leadership style, and commitment. The impact of culture and leadership style on commitment has been previously noted, but there is a lack of detail regarding how different types of culture and leadership styles relate to commitment. The paper particularly addresses the notion of organisational subcultures and how the perception of those cultures relates to commitment, subculture being a neglected variable in the commitment literature. These issues were addressed in a survey of 258 nurses drawn from a range of hospital settings and wards within the Sydney metropolitan region. Results indicate that perceived organisational subculture has a strong relationship with commitment. Furthermore, the results identify the relative strength of specific types of leadership style and specific types of subculture with commitment. Both innovative and supportive subcultures have a clear positive relationship, while bureaucratic subcultures have a negative relationship. In terms of leadership style, a consideration style had a stronger relationship with commitment than a structuring style. Regression analysis was used to investigate the possible role of subculture as a mediator for the influence of leadership on commitment. Both direct and indirect effects of leadership on commitment were found. Implications for practice and for further research are discussed.