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Building company spirit in multidivisional organizations

Susan Jane Goldsmith Herman, University of Massachusetts Amherst


"Company spirit," meaning pride in one's company, a common sense of purpose, pleasure and positive challenge in the work of the organization, security in the work environment, and the feeling of reciprocal support between members and the management of the organization, requires specific conditions to flourish. This study identifies and compares two parallel organizations, one a high spirit, the other a low spirit company, in order to learn what management practices contribute to company spirit.^ The basis of the comparison is a 6-point model which identifies the following factors as instrumental in developing company spirit: (1) The presense of an inspiring organizational vision. (2) The design of structural variables such as the way the organization uses time, boundaries of the organization, relaxation from structured work, size and structure of the organization, the degree to which the organization is hierarchical, and the design and layout of the facilities. (3) The methods of selection and acculturation of organizational members. (4) The design of the work. (5) The way organizational members relate to each other. (6) The design and implementation of reward systems.^ Using the Commitment Diagnostic Indicator (CDI) to identify a high and a low commitment company, the researcher surveyed all the employees in each organization to determine how they felt about their company's spirit, and what factors contributed to or detracted from this spirit. In addition, the CEO of each company plus 16 employees selected randomly across hierarchical, divisional, gender, and longevity lines were interviewed in depth on the question of company spirit.^ The survey and interview data were analyzed thematically, and compared to the model. It was clear that the model could be a predictor of high and low spirit in the two organizations studied, and could serve as a diagnostic tool for managers interested in building company spirit within their organizations. It will be necessary to investigate the validity of the model through its use in other, and different kinds of organizations. ^

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Herman, Susan Jane Goldsmith, "Building company spirit in multidivisional organizations" (1991). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9132865.