2018, Cilt 8, Sayı 1, Sayfa(lar) 117-126
The Influence of Academicians Individual Professional Role in Formation of Academic Culture
Aksaray University, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Aksaray, Turkey
Keywords: Academic culture, Professional well-being, Model
Cultural theory suggests subtle and complex interactions between individual and the culture. We tested the academicians individual role to
understand the nature of this interaction so that we intended to make a new contribution into a body of existing knowledge from a different
cultural context. We used academic culture scale and academicians professional well-being scale as data gathering instruments, which were
implemented in 2016 spring term. By using multiple regression analysis and path analysis, we analysed data belonged to 303 academicians
selected by cluster and random technique. We found a reciprocal impact between culture and individual, and we also identified much more
powerful effect of perceptions of academicians professional well-being representing the individual characteristics on the academic culture.
Thus, we had a result supporting individualistic views in ongoing historical debate. Based on the findings, designing incentive mechanisms
and introducing rules and responsibilities appeared as two administrative tools in forming academic culture. In addition, we suggested that
if academicians have better collaboration and their accomplishments are recognised, academic culture would be more positive.
The relationship between individual and culture is a controversial
issue going back to the past (Kogan, 1999). Culture is defined
as a social control mechanism that manipulates members
into perceiving, thinking and feeling in certain ways (Schein, 2010; Smith, 2001). Whereas, individuals are proposed as the
agents of culture (Dill, 1982; Maassen, 1996). Individualist
views emphasized the importance of individual actors rather
than institutional aggregates in terms of constructing culture
(Kogan, 1999). As the levels of interaction, sharing and compliancy among group members increase, enculturation
process becomes faster and it then supports the cultural power
on the individual (Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov, 2010). Even if
individuals behave and practice independently, which creates a
culture anyway, but it has a limited potential of affecting members
behaviours. As the interaction between group members
diminishes, thus the cultivation process becomes weaker. The
level of interaction among members as a group is a key role in
establishing norms and rules that organize social life in a particular
place. However, the density of interaction among group
members is not the same under all circumstances. In higher
education context, differently from others, it is anticipated that
interaction between individual and culture may work differently.
For instance, Valimaa and Ylijoki (2008) suggested that
lack of interaction between academicians in higher education
institutions negatively affects the spread of academic norms
and behaviours. If we enlighten this phenomenon in higher education
institution located in a different cultural context, we
would have a new contribution in understanding the nature
of phenomenon. This study primarily examined the interaction
between individual and organizational culture and depending
on individualist argument, we hypothesized that academicians
individually have much more powerful effects on the academic
culture. Although some studies supported this hypothesis (Lai
& Lee, 2007; Maassen, 1996; Tan, 2016), literature review indicated
the need of testing this hypothesis in different cultural
context (Kogan, 1999; Valimaa & Ylijoki, 2008). In the study,
individual professional efforts and organizational culture were
represented by academicians professional well-being and academic
According to Bourdieu (1988), many different elements
integrating each other constitute the culture of a social unit.
In an academic unit, members interact with each other and
share common things. Therefore, academic culture (AC) can be
defined as sharing core norms, values and goals in an academic
unit (Zilwa, 2007). AC refers to the norms, values, beliefs, and
practices associated with the working lives of faculty members
at higher education institutions (Maassen 1996; Szelenyi &
Rhoads, 2013; Valimaa & Ylijoki, 2008; Yung, 2015).
According to Szelenyi and Rhoads (2013), the culture of higher
education institutions today has significantly been shaped by
the interaction of profit oriented goals and public good-oriented
goals. Furthermore, problematic complexities of interactions
among different dimensions such as expectations of society,
roles of academicians, changing functions of universities should
be considered in the context of academic culture (Valimaa &
Ylijoki, 2008). Since the university is an open social system
(Parsons, 1991) it is susceptible to external developments.
Each university, as global institution embedded in local
context (Leibowitz et al., 2015), adjusts global imperatives for
its own conditions. Because of different goals and missions,
universities experience global imperatives differently. Global
tendencies in higher education drive universities to innovate,
cooperate with industry and market and compete (OECD, 2009;
Wissema, 2009). Policy makers and administrative bodies exert globally driven changes on higher education institutions
(HEIs) (Çetinsaya, 2014). These changes affect researching and
teaching activities, which mainly shape academic life (Deem
& Lucas, 2007). Performance based incentives, competition
and marketization have caused pressure on academicians to
work harder (Fredman & Doughney, 2012; Anderson, 2008).
While they have been competing to be more productive,
positive environment in academic units and cooperation
among academicians have been weakening. Shared things
have become fewer and along with it, individuality is more
prominent. This tendency is in line with the individualistic views
in explaining interaction between individual and culture (Dill,
1982; Maassen, 1996). At the same time, academic profession
has been tended to be more stressful that, in turn, affects their
professional well-being (Bentley et al., 2013; Locke, Cummings
& Fisher, 2011; Lyons & Ingersoll, 2010; Shin & Jung 2013).
Professional well-being (PWb) refers positive emotions and
it is perception about possessing the qualities needed for a
particular profession (Aelterman et al., 2007). Professional
achievements are strong indicators of PWb. If people
have feelings such as confidence to take on new roles,
encouragement to initiate new things and desire to take
challenges in professional development, their perceptions of
PWb would be positive (Aelterman et al., 2007; Horn et al.,
2004; Yıldırım, 2015). Job satisfaction, self-efficacy, aspiration,
recognition, trust and autonomy are constitutive components
(Aelterman et al., 2007; Butt & Retallick, 2002; Horn et al.,
2004; Soini, Pyhaltö, & Pietarinen 2010; Yıldırım, 2015).
Cooperation among staff, fair-helpful assessment, positive
climate, useful professional development activities and being
more productive, hardworking and successfulness supports
someones perceptions of PWb (Aelterman et al., 2007; Wan
et al., 2015; Yıldırım, 2015).
While impositions by global challenges have forced
academicians to be more productive and more competitive
that, in turn, result in decreasing cooperation among
academicians. Naturally, it is possible that the weaker AC, but a
much stronger professional well-being will happen. Therefore,
we supposed that academicians individual professional
activities shape academic culture. Hence, we put forward two
hypotheses to test: (i) AC and APWb has a reciprocal positive
effect; (ii) APWb, as a representative of individual professional
characteristics, better predicts AC than AC does. We assumed
that if we make some fairly accurate predictions, we might
practically be able to suggest some improving measures so that
we would have more positive AC and more academicians with
better professional well-being.
This research was carried out along with the correlational
research design in the case study pattern. In correlational
research, the relationships among two or more variables are
studied without any attempt to influence them. It indicates causes for later search (Fraenkel, Wallen, & Hyun, 2012). The
current study was also a case study in which researcher can
study a particular problem in a single instance (Creswell, 2005).
Population and Sampling
Population of this study consisted of academicians working in
a young state university. We deliberately chose as it has the
vibrant cultural process, sensitive to external developments,
and easily accessible and manageable. History of Aksaray
University, which is located in Cappadocia region of Anatolia
Turkey, goes back 1970s as subsidiary institution. It became
an independent university in 2006 and it has currently offered
74 undergraduate programs in eleven colleges and nine
faculties. The university has also 12 doctorate programs and
35 masters programs. While it has had international students,
it is also overwhelmingly a nation-wide university. The student
population has included some 14600 undergraduates and
about 1900 postgraduate students. ASU has employed 21
professors, 72 associate professors, 232 assistant professors,
161 lecturers and 198 researchers and there are only four
contractual foreigner academicians (http://www.X.edu.tr/tr/
Participants of the current study were selected using cluster
and random sampling design (Creswell, 2005; Fraenkel et al.
2012). First, each institution was considered as an individual
layer, and we selected academicians from the list of faculties
and colleges by a simple random sampling. Considering
the total number of academicians (688) we have got nearly
half of the academicians (320). After eliminating improper
forms (blank, same coded), we took the data belonged to
totally 303 of them into analyse. Table 1 shows demographic
characteristics of volunteer participants who came from
seven faculties and two colleges. Slightly more than half of
the participants were assistant professor, 16% of them were
researchers, nearly 18% were associate professor and only
six percent of the participants were professor. One fourth of
the participants were female (f=76), and more than half of
them were between 30-39 years old. Only 15% of them were younger than 30. Nearly one fourth of participants had at least
five-year experience. Nearly 40% of the participants have been
working at the same department for five or less than five years.
The proportion of very experienced (more than 16 years)
academicians was 26%.
Data Gathering Processes and Instrumentation
According to Valimaa and Ylijoki (2008) only very few
quantitative instruments have been developed to assess
culture in higher education field. Data of this study were
collected by a questionnaire including AC scale and APWb
scale. AC scale was adapted from the scale developed by
Güçlü, Yıldırım and Daşcı (2016). Original instrument consists
of 28 items under five dimensions namely positive relations,
professional development, student oriented, adhesiveness to
rules and symbols-heroes. Items were designed in Likert type
questions with five scale (1: never; 2: rarely; 3: sometimes; 4:
often and 5: always). The reliability score (Cronbachs Alpha) for
the original study was α=.95. For the current study, we found
four dimensions namely climate, development, responsibility
and symbol. Item-total correlation coefficients were between
.45 and .85 and reliability analysis was α=.97.
The instrument of academicians professional well-being was
adapted from the scale developed by Yıldırım (2015). The
original scale consisted of 28 items under five dimensions
namely self-efficacy, job satisfaction, authority, recognition
and aspiration. Items were designed as Likert type questions
with seven scale (1 refers never represents me and 7
refers completely represents me). The internal consistency
coefficient for original scale was .91. For the current study,
exploratory factor analysis produced four dimensions including
21 items. Based on its content, dimensions were named as
self-efficacy, innovation, cooperation and recognition. Itemtotal
correlation coefficients varied between .45 and .74 and
reliability score (α) is .93.
Since the either original instruments were designed for
teachers working in compulsory formal education, so we
needed to adapt them for academicians. As it was in the study by Li and Tu (2016), we replaced school by institution and
preferred profession instead of teaching profession.
Items of AC propose statements involving academicians as a
group in their institution (e.g. academicians in this institution
produce original things using their creativeness; academicians
in this institution share knowledge, experience, material etc.;
new and original things are welcomed and stimulated in this
institution). Items of professional well-being demands individual
responses (e.g. I have been performing my professional
objectives in this institution; I receive appreciations because of
my professional success; I always have an enthusiasm for doing
professionally new things).
For both scale, higher scores indicated strong academic culture
and better professional well-being. A strong culture has been
explained by Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov (2010: 355) as
homogeneous culture in which all respondents gave about
same answers regardless of the questions content.
When we interpreted continuous scores of AC, we considered
those of 1.00-1.80: Weak culture; 1.81-2.60: Slightly weak
culture; 2.61-3.40: Moderate culture; 3.41-4.20: Slightly strong
culture; and 4.21-5.00: Strong culture. And for APWb score, we
attributed the following descriptors: 1.00-1.80: Very bad; 1.81-
2.60: Bad; 2.61-3.40: Fair; 3.41-4.20: Good; and 4.21-5.00:
Data were collected between April and May in 2016 in real
environment of academicians. We visited academicians in their
office, then gave short information about the study. Following
their acceptance, we delivered the paper questionnaire. Each
questionnaire took nearly 40 minutes to complete.
Before starting analysis, we encoded all questionnaires filled
properly. Then, we entered the data into SPSS 22.0 package
programme. Based on checking data considering missing,
outliers and duplication, we cleaned data of three participants
because of duplication. The proportion of missing for each
variable is not exceeded five percent. Missing were replaced
with the mean score. Statistical analysis was performed on
data belonged to totally 303 academicians. In data analysing,
we employed descriptive statistics (f, x, SD), exploratory
factor analysis, multiple regression analysis and path analysis.
Significance was evaluated on error margin of .05.
We performed exploratory factor analysis for data reduction.
In factor analysis, we preferred principal component technique
with varimax rotation and we shaded scores under .30.
We moved the item out of analysis if its loads in different
dimension less than .10. We carried out standard multiple
regression analysis (enter method) to detect the significant
predictors. To be able to test possible theoretical models based
on the significant predictors, we performed structural equation
modelling (LISREL 8.7 with moment matrix, covariance,
normal scores). We considered goodness of fit indices (χ2/
df≤5, p=0.000, .05≤RMSEA≤.10, .95≤CFI≤.97, .95≤NFI≤.97,
.90≤GFI≤.95) in making decision about which model is better
(Kline 2011). In order to evaluate the magnitude of predictors effect on criterion variable we examined the path coefficients,
which are in fact standardised regression coefficients.
|AC in the Case University (ASU)
Descriptive scores indicated that the case university has a
moderate AC (x=3.27, SD=1.06). There was no statement
happening always or never. 17 statements took place
above average and 12 were below. Academicians often
involved in their main responsibilities and student related
issues. They often involved in students problems, response
help demands (mentoring, guiding, studying etc.), spontaneous
communication, study on their specific field (researching,
testing, publication etc.), carrying out scheduled events
(lecturing, meeting, visiting etc.), working on institutional
goals (writing reports, filling the forms, marking etc.). The
less frequently experiencing statements were belonged to
symbolic elements of AC such as reminiscent of noteworthy
people or places of universitys past (x=2.31, SD=1.09).
Academicians perceived neither supportive nor threatening
environment. An individualist culture seemed to be dominant
that nearly ¾th of academicians sometimes or less frequently
experience supportive and protective behaviours. Most of the
academicians (.70) sometimes or less frequently came to the
institution in enthusiasm and excitement. Their one-fourth
rarely experience honesty and solidarity and 66% of them
sometimes or less frequently encountered joyful, compassion
and courtesy. Many of academicians (63%) perceived that
their happiness, achievement and professional enrichment are
sometimes or less frequently considered. 67% of them perceived
that they are sometimes or less frequently treated in fair and
objective way. According to 45% of the academicians, the new
and original things were often or always welcomed in the
university but less number of them (31%) perceived that they
often or always produce original things. 42% of academicians
thought that knowledge, experience and material with
other academicians are often or always shared. Competition
among academicians was not so clear but academicians
individually tried to develop their knowledge and skills. Many
academicians often or always spent effort for institutional
goals and they easily expressed their demands to managerial
bodies. Academicians emphasized on responsibilities and rules
that indicate a relative strong bureaucratic structure. However,
hierarchical structure and control in institutions were weak.
We used exploratory factor analysis (EFA) as dimension
reduction technique. EFA (KMO=.95, Bartlett sphericity
test=.000, explained total variance=69.0) produced four
dimensions. When we compared these dimensions with those
of original scale, we noticed a great deal of similarity between
them but the items of student oriented in the current study
went under the dimension of responsibility. Table 2 shows
descriptive information about dimensions of AC, which consists
of climate, development, responsibility and symbol. The most
prominent and relatively strong dimension was responsibility
(x=3.53, SD=.79). It encapsulates items related with teachers
professional responsibilities such as concerning for students problems, considering students well-being, regarding help
demands, caring for ceremonies, obeying the rules, and
putting emphasis on responsibilities. Development (x=3.39,
SD=.84) is the second most frequently occurring dimension
that consists of creativeness, using technology effectively,
sharing knowledge and material, specialization, using new
methods and techniques, welcoming new and original things,
sustainable development and making effort for institutional
goals. The third dimension, climate (x=3.19, SD=.86) includes
trust and friendly environment, honest behaviour, open
spontaneous communication, fair and objective treatment,
joyful, compassion and courtesy, solidarity, warmer behaviour,
and enthusiasm. The last dimension is symbol (x=2.72, SD=.89)
which consists of using symbols, having common symbols,
reminiscent, and reminders of noteworthy people worked for
university in the past.
Academicians Perception of Professional Well-Being
Academicians perceived themselves at the very good
level (x=4.25; SD=.91) in terms of professional well-being.
Mean scores varied between 3.25 and 4.69 across the scale
items. Academicians asserted that they have very adequate
knowledge and skills required by their profession. They
believed that they could perform the profession successfully
anywhere even with the most difficult conditions. In addition,
they had an enthusiasm to do new things, they had exciting
plans and they could put the theoretical knowledge into
practice. Lower mean scores (3.25≤x≤3.54) belonged to work
conditions and recognition. Academicians perceived that
neither administrators nor someone else does not appreciate
them for their accomplishments. According to them, work
conditions did not meet their expectation in terms of their
professional goals. They needed technical infrastructure. They
also stated a dissatisfaction about making decision with and
asking help from colleagues. Academicians also perceived that
environment, which indicates inhabitants of Aksaray province,
evaluate their professional statute lower.
EFA, as dimension reduction technique, produced four
dimensions (KMO=.92, Bartlett Sphericity Test=.000,
Explained total variance=61.6). Table 3 shows descriptors
of the dimensions of APWb, which consists of self-efficacy,
innovation, cooperation and recognition. The highest mean
score (x=4.51) belonged to innovation, which taps trying new
things in job, having ongoing enthusiasm to do professionally
new things, seeking new ways to do job more effectively,
following latest innovations in profession etc. Academicians
perception of self-efficacy was at the very good level, too
(x=4.49). It consisted of having technical knowledge, skills
and rules required for performing the profession successfully.
Cooperation among academicians was at good level (x=4.16). It
covered making decisions together with colleagues, exchanging
views with them and sharing knowledge, perspective etc. The
last dimension of APWb is recognition, which has the lowest
average score (x=3.58). It consisted of appreciation by others
because of professional accomplishments. Its relatively lower
score indicates their unsatisfied expectations.
Correlations Between AC and APWb
In order to check how AC and APWb predict each other we
employed multiple regression analysis. Table 4 shows the
results of the multiple regression analysis for both sides (AC and
APWb as dependent variable). According to the results, both
model was significant (Fmodel1=40.118, p<.05; Fmodel2=56.691,
p<.05). According to Table 4, AC together with sub-components
accounts .34 (R2) of the variance in APWb score. The significant
predictors were AC1 (climate), AC2 (development), AC3
(responsibility) at .05 significant level. However, AC4 (symbol)
was not a significant predictor of APWb. β values referred the
amount of effect size of explanatory variables on criterion
variable. AC3 (responsibility) made the strongest positive effect
on APWb (β=.26, p<.05). The second strongest positive effect
was made by AC2 (development) (β=.22, p<.05). AC1 (climate)
had a positive effect on PWb, too (β=.20, p<.05).
When we looked at the second part of the Table 4, we notice
that APWb with two predictor variables significantly explain
.43 of the variance in AC score (criterion). The strongest
predictor, APWb4 (Recognition), was responsible for 51% of
one unit change in AC (β=.505, p=.000). The second strongest
effect was made by APWb3 (cooperation) (β=.305, p=.000). The
other predictors had no meaningful effect on AC.
Multiple regression analysis indicated that responsibility,
development and climate, as cultural characteristics, are
significant predictors of APWb. In addition, recognition and
cooperation, as features of professional well-being, were
meaningful predictors of AC. Results of multiple regression
analysis lead us to consider a model in which APWB predict AC.
Following the results of regression analysis, we needed path
analysis to test a theoretical model about the correlation
between AC and APWb. We tested the below suggestions:
i) When academicians have better cooperation and if
their accomplishments are recognised, climate in their
institution would be better, academicians give much more
importance on fulfilment of their responsibilities and much
more development in the institution would be satisfied.
ii) When academicians perceive better professional wellbeing,
culture in their institution would be more positive.
In order to test the above suggestions, we carried out path
analysis. We took significant variables into analyse as observed
variables. Latent variables were AC1, AC2, AC3, APWB3, APWB4,
AC and APWB. In the theoretical model APWB3, APWB4 via
APWB predicted AC (AC1, AC2, and AC3). First trial produced
a good fit model (χ2=1509.23, df=458, χ2/df=3.30, p=0.000,
RMSEA=.08, CFI=.97, NFI=.96, GFI=.76) but modification
developed the goodness of the model. After making two
modifications, we had a better model.
Figure 1 shows the causal structures, the standardised
coefficients and fit indices. Results informed that the theoretical model has good fit indices (χ2=1325.72, df=455,
χ2/df=2.91, p=0.000, RMSEA=.08, CFI=.97, NFI=.96, GFI=.76).
Since t values were significant, we did not have to omit any
variable from analysis. Path coefficient indicated that APWB
had a big positive direct effect on AC.
This research basically aimed at testing a theoretical model
suggesting that individual professional characteristics of
academicians better predict academic culture in higher
education context. Along with this aim we first described
the academicians perceptions about academic culture and
professional well-being. We performed regression analysis
to detect the possible predictor variables. Then, using path
analysis, we finally tested the theoretical model confirming
In this study, we found a moderate academic culture (x=3.27,
SD=1.06) that is harmonious with the results of prior studies
(Ira, 2011; Oran, 2016; Sckerl, 2002). We outlined four
dimensions: Responsibility, development, climate and symbol.
This structure is in line with those of prior studies focused on
organizational culture. They were: innovativeness (creativity,
adaptability, entrepreneurship, dynamism), effectiveness (goal
achievement, production, competition, rewarding, benefitoriented
measures), contingency (order, rules, regulations,
uniformity, ceremonies, symbols) and cooperativeness
(teamwork, information sharing, empowerment) (Cameron
& Quinn, 2011; Chang & Lin, 2007; Deal & Kennedy, 2000;
Harrison, 1972; Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov, 2010; Schein,
2010). It can be said that there is not a strong academic
culture in the case university. Among the main reasons of
this situation, flexible nature of academic world and effects
of global imperatives can be mentioned. Global imperatives
such as performance based incentives and competition were
proposed to weaken the cooperation among academicians and
positive climate (Bentley et al., 2013; Locke et al. 2011; Lyons & Ingersoll, 2010; Shin & Jung 2013). In the current study, we
detected the weak positive climate and symbolic culture as
the power reducers. We found a moderate level collaborative
culture; frequency of interaction among academicians as a
group is low and their behaviours are not warm. In addition,
academicians do not have strong enthusiasm when they
come to the institution and they do not often experience
joyfulness, courtesy and compassionate. Moreover, they also
have expectation for fair and objective treatment that refers
academic cronyism. These results are largely consistent with
the results of previous studies. It was specified lack of solidarity,
common norms, teamwork and inadequate communication
among academicians in previous researches (Bakan et al.,
2004; Fredman & Doughney, 2012; Higher Education Board,
2007; Ira, 2014; MacFarlane, 2017; Tan, 2016).
Despite the weak climate, collaboration and solidarity,
academicians put emphasis on following the rules and
carrying out official responsibilities, which encompasses the
duties mainly related with teaching, relations with students
and responding students demands. Academicians care about implementing the teaching oriented official duties and
development activities individually. These features overlap
with the characteristics of hierarchy culture, which refers
internal and mechanistic process. This type of organizational
culture is matched with low effectiveness (Valimaa & Ylijoki,
2008). The result of current study supports the result of Bakan
et al. (2004) that academicians work along with organizational
norms, rules and targets. Although we found teaching
oriented culture, incentive mechanisms drive academicians to
emphasize publication. Lo (2014), verified this situation arguing
that academicians in Taiwan put more emphasis on academic
publication, rather than teaching because of academic ranking
In this study, we found that academicians perceived a
very good level of professional well-being. It means that
they perceive to possess all the necessary professional
characteristics and perform them very well. Professional
well-being, as a super concept, consists self-efficacy, job
satisfaction, aspiration, authority, professional development
and recognition. In this study, we revealed a four-factorial structure including self-efficacy, innovation, cooperation and
recognition. These results are harmonious with the results of
previous studies. Although most of them focused on teachers,
their results are compatible with those of current results (Butt
& Retallick, 2002; Munn, Clifton, & Janet, 1996; Aelterman
et al. 2007; Yıldırım, Arastaman, & Daşcı, 2016). Although
global imperatives on academic life, academicians, in case
university, perceive themselves at very good level in terms of
professional characteristics. It seems that performance based
incentives, competition and marketization did not affect them
negatively. One of the reasons of this situation might be that
the requirements of the global imperatives have not been fully
put into practice in the case university. Another reason can be
attributed to high control over the job. According to Fredman
and Doughney (2012), increasing work demand may result in
high control over work that in turn develops employees selfefficacy.
For academic profession, workload is a fact and this may
feed their perception of PWb. In addition, lack of challenging
tasks and unrealistic but sentimental perceptions might lead to
employees perceptions of very good level of professional wellbeing
(TED, 2009; Yıldırım, Arastaman, & Daşcı, 2016). Among
the sub-dimensions, the power carrier is self-efficacy, which also
contains items of authority. Academicians may perceive that if
they are professionally competent, it helps them to make their
own decision. This interpretation is in line with the academic
autonomous. Relatively independent nature of academic
profession feed their authority, however in market driven
universities, external stakeholders have empowerment, so that
academics lose their power of authority (Shin & Jung, 2014).
Authority, in western studies, appears as a sub-dimension of
PWb that refers a subject of cultural phenomenon (Soini et al.
2010). Academicians in case university perceived themselves
as innovative. They asserted trying new things, seeking new
and effective ways and following latest innovations in their
professional area. Wan et al. (2015) found that researching is
a source of academicians satisfaction in Malaysian context.
Research also helps productivity of academicians (Kwiek,
2016). Recognition is one of the motivator factors and they
are primary cause of satisfaction (Herzberg, 1968) and it also
influences sharing knowledge among academicians (Tan, 2016)
and helps professional developments (Leibowitz et al. 2015).
However, we found that recognition has the lowest average
score that can be interpreted as academicians unsatisfied
expectation of appreciation. This result is also harmonious
with the prior results (Bakan et al. 2004; Yıldırım, 2015). The
other power reducer is collaboration, by which academicians
claimed that they individually share knowledge, experience,
and views with colleagues at good level. However, they also
expressed the inadequate cooperation activities at institutional
level. Quimbo and Sulabo (2014) suggested an enhanced
collaboration among academicians in order to promote
the research culture. According to Tan (2016) collaboration
of academicians feeds trust, and their self-efficacy. Thus,
collaboration appears as key concept for adopting habitus of
academic culture and professional well-being. But previous
studies indicated inadequate collaborative culture among
Turkish academicians, too (Bakan et al. 2004; Ira, 2007). Similar result is also stated by Tan (2016) for Malaysian academicians.
At different perspective, Macfarlane (2017) discussed a
paradox related with collaboration amongst academicians.
In terms of academic performance, individuals and collective
goals can contradict each other. So incentive mechanisms
should be designed to encourage collaborative performances.
We found a statistically significant positive and modest
relationship between AC and APWb. As AC becomes more
positive, academicians feel themselves professionally better.
Moreover, good level of APWb indicates positive AC. This result
is in line with suggestions of Fullan (2001) and Turner, Barling
and Zacharatos (2002) that positive organization culture is
related with members well-being. But Engels et al. (2008) and
Wong and Zhang (2014) found no or weak relationship between
members well-being and organization culture. The current
study confirmed the positive relationship between AC and
APWb. Based on the correlation coefficient scores, we argue
that positive environment of organization feed employees
well-being, and then it supports positive organizational culture.
This result also supports the widespread agreement on this
relationship (Hakanen, Bakker, & Schaufeli 2006; Kardos et al.
2001; Pablos Pons et al. 2013; Sadeghi, Amani, & Mahmudi,
2013). Multiple regression analysis indicated that responsibility,
development and climate are significant predictors of APWb.
On the other side, recognition and cooperation are meaningful
predictors of AC. In terms of the amount of effect size (β),
APWB makes better prediction of AC. Therefore, we can say
that individual professional features are more effective in
shaping AC. The main pillars of this argument are as follows: (i)
academicians are tend to behave individually; (ii) lack of group
activities and (iii) stronger individual goals instead of common
institutional goals. Likewise, Li and Tu (2016) and Kwiek
(2016), indicated the role of individual features rather than
institutional. Finally, path analysis confirmed the theoretical
model suggesting that when academicians have better
cooperation and if their accomplishments are recognised,
culture in their institution would be more positive.
At the end of the study we concluded that AC and academicians
well-being are positively correlated with each other. In addition,
APWb was comparatively better predictor. The study verified
research hypothesis that (i) AC and APWb have reciprocal
effects on each other; (ii) APWb better predicts AC than AC
does. The bigger effect of APWb on AC leads us to say that
in interaction between individual and culture, individual side
is more formative in case university context. Thus, the result
supports the individualist views in explaining the relationship
between individual and culture (Dill, 1982; Maassen, 1996).
This study indicated two managerial tools in forming academic
culture: Incentive mechanisms and rules. Using incentive
mechanisms and rules, administrators can shape the academic
culture via affecting academicians professional practices.
Because we learned academicians are very susceptible for
these tools. Therefore, initiatives should focus on enhancing
incentive mechanisms and introducing rules and responsibilities
that encourage academicians to collaborate. If academicians
have better collaboration and if their accomplishments are recognised, culture in their institution would be more positive.
In addition, leaders and administrators must consider how to
satisfy academicians individual expectations of recognition.
On the other side, administrators and policy makers can use
the size of cultural effect as an indicator of organizational
We have limitations in generalizing the results because we
studied a very particular case (ASU), which can represent
teaching oriented, young small size national universities and
Turkish cultural context differs from Western and East-Asia
Further researchers who want to use these results can prefer
the action research design by observing and interviewing
academicians regarding criteria. In addition, by controlling
personal characteristics, the influence of professional
qualifications can be examined. Thus, it makes a contribution
to understand the nature of interaction between the individual
and academic culture.
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