(2007) who viewed culture based on two continuums — the strength of bonds between people on one 
axis and the degree of similarity between people, from which a grid of four types can be derived 
(Douglas, 2007). 
Table 2 - Grid Group Cultural Model — adapted from Douglas (2007) 
Weak bonds Strong bonds 
Multiple differences Fatalism Collectivism 
High Degree of Similarity Individualism Egalitarianism 
Organisational cultures are also not established in isolation from the broader cultural context, that is 
to say, they are also influenced by national cultures (Wallace, Hunt, & Richards, 1999, p. 549). Given 
the context of this paper which seeks to compare organisational cultures across two differing nations, 
the linkage between organisational culture and national culture is particularly relevant. Citing the 
work of Hofstede (1980), Wallace et al (1999) contend that there are four distinctive (and discrete) 
dimensions of culture which are individualism (considered on a spectrum between interest in self vs 
interest in the collective, uncertainty avoidance (ability to manage change), power distance (formality 
of relationships) and masculinity (considered on a spectrum between a focus on ambition vs focus on 
empathy for others (Wallace, Hunt, & Richards, 1999, p. 549). 
For the purposes of this paper, the definition of organisational culture is defined as the shared values, 
attitudes and goals that determine the behaviours and actions of an organisations members (derived 
from O'Reilly & Chatman, 1996) p 160. 
Organisational culture in Australia 
Australia can be characterised by its large land mass, rich natural resources and multicultural society 
(Central Intelligence Agency, 2017). Given this diversity and scale, defining culture at the national 
level or for organisations within Australia can be challenging however based on a review of the 
literature, a picture emerges of the cultures that exist in different organisations within Australia 
including the public sector, small and medium companies as well as large organisations. 
For small and medium organisations in Australia, Gray et al (2003) identified through their research 
the cultural elements that were most prevalent, based on a nationwide survey of 5000 organisations 
and correlative analysis of responses. Their findings showed that in smaller Australian organisations 
there was a stronger culture based around attributes including supportive, stable, innovative and high 
performing, particularly when compared against larger Australian organisations. Gray et al (2003) also 
contend that the organisational attribute of being innovative was not just beneficial in and of itself 
but also correlated favourably with the attribute of competitiveness — perhaps leading to the 
conclusion that a culture of innovation can translate into a real (and profitable) competitive 
advantage (Gray, Denste, & Sarros, 2003, p. 35). 
Within public sector organisations in Australia, Parker and Bradley (2000) assessed the organisational 
culture within six public sector organisations as well as assessing their ability to manage change 
(Parker & Bradley, 2000). Using a survey methodology, they observed cultural attributes including a 
shift from rules based organisations to a more modern culture based on flexibility, efficiency, 
productivity and even an entrepreneurial spirit (Parker & Bradley, 2000, p. 126). 
Sarros et al (2005) investigated the dimensions of organisational culture in Australia using 
Organisational Culture Profile (OCP) methodology based on a sample of nearly 5000 organisations 
Organisational Culture — a contrast between Australia and Liechtenstein Page 4 


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