The impact of culture in constructing organizational behaviour: Factors affecting middle managers behaviour toward top managers: A case of a developing country (Iraq).

  • Lamya Abdul-Jabbar Al-Zubaidi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Two integrated themes are the concern of this thesis, which are of great theoretical and practical importance. The major and broader theme is to explore the impact of culture in constructing organizational behaviour, particularly in non-Western countries. The second theme, which was the initial concern of this research, is to provide deep, significant insights and understandings of middle managers' compliance in relation to top managers in work organizations, and to investigate the affecting factors, particularly in the public sector in a developing country (viz Iraq). The research was carried out based on a model which was developed through an elaberation between the researcher's previous work experience and observation, and the material found in the literature. The fieldwork study was launched in (11) companies within the 'Ministry of Trade' in Iraq. The main contributions of this research are the following: 1) It explores and evidences the foundational impact of culture in constructing organizational behaviour. 2) It demonstrates the usefulness of adapting the "organization within society" approach in understanding organizational behaviour and the contributions that a socio-historical study of the evolution of society and its institutional development can make toward such an understanding. 3) It invalidates the notion of a single type of modern bureaucracy governed by universalistic standards, as it provides an example of a different type of bureaucracy that exists in a non-Western country. 4) It supports the notion that dysfunctional patterns of 'bureaupathology' take forms that are related to the culture where the sick bureaucracy is found. 5) It challenges the one-sided picture of the impact of formal organizations on individuals' characteristics and behaviour, as it shows the impact of individuals' characteristics and conceptual structure, brought with them from their socialization in wider society, on formal organizations. 6) It shows that organizational behaviour is a function of both individual and organization characteristics, and that middle manager's compliance in relation to organizational authority is not a simple subservience in response to a stimulus or a reflection of a personality disorder, but rather that their 'socialization' and 'powerlessness' both stand behind their compliance. 7) It supports the universal or 'dominant but variable' thesis of culture and, moreover, singles out this thesis of culture at the level of middle managers across different organizations in one country; furthermore this research distinguishes the affecting factors that could stand behind the middle managers' variations at the dominant level of their organizational behaviour. In very general terns, the findings led us to conclude that there seems to be no universal or typical model which could explain human behaviour in all societies or in specific ones, but rather human behaviour "mirrors at all times an intricate blend of the universal and the variable" (Kluckhohn 1964; p. 345).
Date of Award1985
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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