Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Their learning, your culture : understanding the impact of organizational culture on the learning of… Langlois, Barbara Gwen 2004

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_2004-0523.pdf [ 4.51MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0091640.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0091640-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0091640-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0091640-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0091640-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0091640-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0091640-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0091640-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0091640.ris

Full Text

THEIR LEARNING, YOUR CULTURE: UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE ON THE LEARNING OF NURSING STUDENTS WITHIN A SCHOOL OF NURSING  by BARBARA GWEN LANGLOIS B.S.N., The University of British Columbia, 1993  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES The School of Nursing  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 2004  © Barbara Langlois, 2004  UB'CL THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES  Library Authorization  0  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  aro~  P e s : / ' o | Z^csea^  Name of Author (please print)  Date (dd/mm/yyyy)  Title of Thesis:  Degree:  3  Year  Department of |Jt^<rSv.w The University of British Columbi Vancouver, BC Canada  grad.ubc.ca/forms/?formlD=THS  page 1 of 1  last updated: 3-Oct-04  11  ABSTRACT Understanding the actions and behaviours of members who are part of an organizational culture allows us to gain insight into what organizational culture is and how it may impact those who interact within that organizational culture. In a School of Nursing, students enter into the educational institution expecting to learn how to become a nurse while the nursing faculty employed within the educational institution are expected to provide students with this learning. This qualitative descriptive study was conducted to gain an understanding of how the organizational culture of a basic nursing education program impacts student learning. The study was conducted using semi structured interviews with ten nursing faculty members employed at three nursing degree granting educational institutions located within the Lower Mainland. The findings of this study revealed nursing faculty may have impacted student learning directly through classroom and teaching methods, clinical experiences, journalling, and through evaluation techniques. On the basis of the findings to this study, two aspects seemed particularly relevant and warranted further discussion. The first aspect was being part of an organization the participants believed in and that fit with their personal and professional values. The second aspect was the tension that seemed to exist for many of these nursing faculty members in relation to ways of dealing with power issues in student-faculty relationships, particularly where the organizational philosophy was perceived to be contradictory to what was enacted in actual educational practice.  iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iii  Acknowledgements  v  CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION  1  1.1 Overview  1  1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8  Group Formation What is Organizational Culture? Problem Statement Research Question Definition of Terms Theoretical Framework Organization of the Thesis  2 5 8 9 10 10 12  CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW  14  2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6  Structure and Characteristics Research and Organizational Culture Faculty and Culture Student Learning Learning Cultures Conclusion of the Literature Review  CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHOD 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8  Design Sample Setting The Interview as the Data Collection Strategy Ethical Considerations Data Analysis Limitations Conclusion of the Research Method  CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION OF THE RESEACH FINDINGS 4.1 Background Context 4.1.1 Influence of Organizational Culture 4.1.1.1 Philosophical Fit 4.1.1.2 Larger Academic Culture 4.1.1.3 Subcultures  15 18 24 27 30 32 35 35 36 38 39 41 42 44 44 46 47 47 47 49 49  iv 4.1.1.4 Students 4.1.1.5 Curriculum and Evaluation Methods 4.1.2 How the Culture is Learned 4.1.2.1 Formal Communication 4.1.2.1.1 Explicit Tools 4.1.2.1.2 Formal Meetings 4.1.2.1.3 Previous Teaching Experience 4.1.2.2 Informal Communication 4.1.2.2.1 Casual Conversations 4.1.2.2.2 Experimentation 4.2 Summary of the Background Context 4.3 Research Findings 4.3.1 Student Learning Directly Impacted 4.3.1.1 Classroom Activities and Method of Teaching... 4.3.1.2 Length and Breadth of Clinical Experience 4.3.1.3 Journalling 4.3.1.4 Evaluation Methods 4.3.2 Student Learning Indirectly Impacted 4.4 Conclusion of the Research Findings CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6  Summary Discussion Believing in the Organization Tension with Power Issues Implications for Educational Practice and Future Research Conclusion  50 52 54 54 54 55 56 57 57 59 60 61 62 62 63 64 65 70 73 74 74 76 77 80 84 85  References  87  Appendix A: Systems Theory  93  Appendix B: Systems Theory Applied to Educational Institution  94  Appendix C: Faculty Cultural System  95  Appendix D: Letter of Invitation to Participate in Research  96  Appendix E: Consent Form  97  Acknowledgements  I would like to take this opportunity to thank those individuals who have provided support and encouragement to me throughout my research. First of all, I would like to thank my thesis committee members Dr. Carol Jillings and Dr. Sally Thorne for their willingness to be committee members and a special thank-you to my thesis supervisor, Dr. Barbara Paterson for her mentoring, support (you were always there when I needed you) and her belief in my abilities. I would like to thank those individuals who volunteered to be participants in this study because without you, I would not have a study. I would also like to thank the deans and directors of the Schools of Nursing who granted me permission to conduct my research at their educational institutions. Finally, I would like to say thank-you to my family members who have demonstrated unending support, understanding and love to me throughout this process. First, to my three children, Kory, Jaimie and Sheldon for the patience they demonstrated when I had work that required completion. Second, to my mom and sister who provided babysitting when I needed time to write, and finally to Candy, who provided me with support, encouragement, humour, and love and who's continuous belief in me inspires me in ways that I cannot express.  1 CHAPTER ONE Overview Anyone who has travelled knows how powerful a culture can be. Unfamiliar language, dress, customs, rituals, sights, sounds and smells have great impact. Although perhaps less intense, the same is true when we enter an unfamiliar organization. The organization may feel different, look different and we may be treated differently than we are accustomed to. We sense there is meaning and purpose in what people are doing though we cannot understand it. If the language, customs and rituals are consistently observed as a pattern of behaviour with a large number of members, we may make generalizations about the culture of the organization: how friendly or unfriendly it is, how open or closed it appears to be, how autocratic or participative it is (Schein, 1985). We learn a culture by belonging to an organization. We notice immediately how members interact. In some organizations member behaviour may be confrontational, tense and disrespectful, whereas, in other organizations, member behaviour may be open, communicative and respectful. We learn acceptable and unacceptable behaviour by observing, talking and listening. We observe our environment for clues about the culture: where are offices located, are doors open or shut, is the mission statement posted, are historical photos mounted on the walls? We observe colleagues' habits, routines and work for more clues to the culture. We listen to stories about the organization and its members, and consciously or unconsciously filter the stories for the messages they contain about the rules of the organization. We learn where and whom to go to for assistance and we learn acceptable interactions.  2 Understanding what culture is and how it impacts those who interact within that culture is important because it assists us to understand actions, behaviours and decisions of members within that culture. In the profession of nursing, culture exists at the global level, unit level, within community agencies and within educational institutions. There is some literature regarding hospital culture and its impact on nurses (Ingersoll, Kirsch, Merk & Ligftfoot, 2000; Manojlovich & Ketefian, 2002; McDaniel & Stumpf, 1993; Thomas, Ward, Chorba & Kumiega, 1990). There is, however, a scarcity of literature about the impact of organizational culture within education. As of 2002, the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) recommended there would be 12,000 Canadian nursing graduates annually. Students enter into an educational institution expecting to learn about the profession, and nursing educational institutions are expected to provide students with learning. Because the organizational culture of an educational institution will influence the environment that is provided to students for their learning and ultimately what and how they learn, it is imperative to understanding the impact of faculty culture within a nursing educational institution. In schools of nursing, the organizational culture is primarily created and sustained by nursing faculty. According to the dated but classic Group Dynamics theory, the success of faculty forming a group and having individual needs met will determine the nature of the organizational culture created with the school (Schein, 1985). Group Formation In order to thoroughly understand organizational culture, it is important to have an appreciation of how and why individuals form groups and thus create a culture. Group Dynamics theory provides a perspective on how groups form, the purpose of groups, and  3 how groups work to complete their task. Every group is made up of individuals. Individuals are employed by organizations to fulfill a role; however, that role is only a part of the individual. Because human beings are complex, and have had many prior experiences and roles, the individual brings many needs to the organization (Schein, 1985). In a classic article on the topic, McGrath (1984) suggests the individual has three primary needs in a social context: The first need is of inclusion and identity. Upon entering a new group, each individual needs to know whether they are in or out of the group. Until the person experiences congruity between what he believes is expected of him and what he believes he can deliver, he will be preoccupied, anxious, and not entirely able to pay attention to the group's external tasks. Instead, his emotional energy will be channelled into a personal problem of survival in the new social situation. (Schein, 1985, p.150) The second need is for control, power and influence. Upon entering a new group, each individual has primitive needs to master the environment and therefore requires a certain amount of control, power and influence (Schein, 1985). The third need is for acceptance and intimacy. Beyond the need for inclusion, each individual, upon entering a new group, needs to belong to the group in a deeper sense, to be engulfed by the group and feel the basic needs of security that comes with the feeling of inclusion (Schein, 1985). These primary human needs can be a source of anxiety and preoccupation if they are not met and, on the other hand, can prove to be a dynamic source of positive energy when they are being fulfilled. No group member is excluded from struggling to have these  needs met, and in fact the group cannot function on any other task until the group members feel their individual needs are met by belonging to the group. Only then can they shift their attention to the group as psychological object with its own identity and needs. The first and most powerful experience of 'sharing' thus comes with the discovery that every member has similar feelings of anxiety and alienation. (Schein, 1985, p. 51) As the group proceeds in their development, they will experience events that become markers in the group's history. These markers are incidents that arouse strong emotions or new insight in the group members. How the group responds to these events becomes critical in setting out norms and standards for the group. The group may often forget about these events and even wonder how things came to be, however these events often evolve into stories about the group or its members. It then becomes a legitimate piece of the group's culture and is used to pass lessons on to new group members. In an effort to make the group safe for all members, the response to these events becomes the group's norms and standards. These norms and standards usually focus on inclusion, authority, intimacy and roles and are consensually accepted and enforced by the group. They form a building block of what begins to develop into group culture (Schein, 1985). In applying group dynamic theory to an educational institution, group formation of individual faculty members has impact on how faculty will interact with one another and with students. For example, it is possible that faculty may use power and control over students to assist with their need for mastering the environment. Currently, we know little about how the success of the organizational group's formation influences facultys' interaction with students.  5 What is Organizational Culture? "Every business - in fact every organization - has a culture" (Deal & Kennedy, 1982, p. 4). In the examination of organizational culture, two approaches have generally been utilized. In one approach culture can be viewed as something an organization has; that is, an independent or dependent variable. In the other approach, culture can be viewed as something the organization is (Smircich, 1983). In this paper, I will view culture as something the organizations has. When culture is described as something an organization has, it is seen as an internal variable. It is "usually defined as the 'glue' that holds the organization together or as the values of organization members, expressed in a variety of symbolic devices such as myths, stories, rituals, heroes, and legends" (Mark, 1996, p. 147). In searching the literature, a universal definition of culture was not found, although a consistent theme describing culture as a variable that is inherent to the institution was evident. Pettigrew (1979) has been acknowledged as the first author to use the concepts of organizational culture in the literature (Mark, 1996). He used the concepts to understand "how purpose, commitment, and order are created in the early life of an organization" (Pettigrew, 1979, p. 572). His definition of organizational culture is a system of accepted meanings that operate for a certain group at a certain time (Pettigrew, 1979). Pettigrew later suggested culture should be embraced as a family of concepts: "symbol, language, ideology, belief, ritual, and myth" (p. 574) with symbol being the most inclusive category. Other authors refined Pettigrew's family of concepts to include a combination of assumptions, beliefs, symbols, language and behaviours (del Bueno & Vincent, 1986;  6 Pratt, 1998; Schein, 1985; Suominen, Kovasin, & Ketola, 1997). Schein (1985), one of the more prominent authors in the field of organizational culture, defined organizational culture as "basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organization, that operate unconsciously, and that define in a basic 'taken-for-granted' fashion an organization's view of itself and its environment" (p. 6). Del Bueno and Vincent believed that an organizational culture thrives if these assumptions and behaviours have been successful in the organization and are perceived as the correct way to think, feel and to act; consequently, they are taught and shared with members new to the organization. Organizational culture is thus described as assumptions, beliefs, symbols and shared values that govern the members' behaviour (del Bueno & Vincent, 1986; Pratt, 1998; Schein, 1985; Suominen et al., 1997). Understanding the function of the various concepts within the definition of organizational culture assists with understanding how culture becomes formed. Pettigrew (1979) suggests symbol is the most inclusive category because it includes the concepts of language, ritual and myth and because symbolic analysis is a frame of reference. The symbolic construction serves as a vehicle for group and organizational conception. . . . the organization's vocabulary, the design of the organization's buildings, the beliefs about the use and distribution of power and privilege, the rituals and myths which legitimate those distributions - have significant functional consequences for the organization (p. 574-575). The function of stories, myths, rituals and ceremonies are symbolic of the shared values and beliefs of the organization. For example in nursing, del Bueno and Vincent (1986)  7 suggest stories are used to describe conflicts between professional nursing and personal needs and are used to promote heroes within the organizations' history. "These people personify the culture's values and as such provide tangible role models for employees to follow" (Deal & Kennedy, 1982, p. 14). In Pettigrew's view, myths play a central role in determining what is acceptable and unacceptable with the organizational culture. Myths anchor the present with the past through narratives that contain a sacred quality and provide explanations and legitimacy for social behaviours (1979). The myths may not reflect reality but are still passed on and outwardly believed by those passing them on (del Bueno & Vincent, 1986). Rituals are time-honoured customs that have symbolic value within an organizational culture. They are continued because they have been proven successful because the routine may be comforting or because they stand for an underlying value of what is perceived to be correct (del Bueno & Vincent, 1986). For example in nursing, a ritual may be how each nursing unit assigns patients to staff nurses. Pettigrew believes the importance of ritual as a concept within culture is in the message it contains. It determines the central or peripheral values, dominant or marginal people, and the greater or less important goals of the organization (1979). Deals and Kennedy (1982) suggest the day-to-day routines in their mundane manifestations are called rituals and demonstrate to employees what is expected of them. The extravaganzas of the rituals, which, we call ceremonies, provide the "visible and potent examples of what the company stands for" (p. 15). Suominen et al. (1997) determined that ritual is the formal pattern of organizational cultural behaviour that has no immediate benefit to the individual.  8  It is worthy of note that Suominen et al. (1997) determined that gender and power are concepts contained within their definition of nursing organizational culture. They believe these elements protect the cultural world of nursing and are deeply respected within the profession. Suominen et al. believe culture must take in stereotypical conceptions, myths and models that affect the way nursing culture has evolved. Gender is acknowledged as a central concept because nursing is a female dominated profession. In the "study of nursing culture, the power issue cannot be omitted because at the micro level the central shape is seen in the invisible power relationship between patient and nurse" (p. 188). Power is present in every nursing encounter in places of work, schools, hierarchies, and between the different professional groups. With the exception of Suominen et al., several authors integrate Pettigrew's initial concepts to describe organizational culture. Organizational culture is thus typically viewed by researchers as an internal variable, something an organization has, a set of assumptions, beliefs, symbols and shared values held by group members within the organization and passed on to new members. Problem Statement Most organizations work towards improving their product or bottom line. In the field of business, organizational culture is studied so that it can be changed to improve the bottom line or to create a better product (Mark, 1996). In a school of nursing the product being improved is student learning. If factors affecting student learning are understood, changes may be made to improve student learning. The culture of a school of nursing may be a factor affecting, positively or negatively, student learning. According to Group Dynamics theory, faculty must have their individual needs of inclusion, identity, control,  9 power and influence met before they can proceed with the development of the group. If these needs are not met the group may be less able to function on any other task. In a school of nursing, how the group formation occurs with the nursing faculty may affect the culture of the school thereby impacting student learning. If the group members have not met their individual needs the assumptions, values, beliefs, stories, and rituals of the faculty group become focused on the faculty's struggle for individual acceptance. In forming an organizational culture, the success or failure of this faculty group formation may impact the ability of the group to focus on improving student learning. It is therefore important to understand nursing faculty perspectives' on how they may impact the culture of a school of nursing. Research Question The research question that will direct the proposed research is: How does the organizational culture of a basic nursing education program impact student learning? This umbrella question will be answered in response to the following exploratory subquestions: 1.  What are faculty's perceptions of how the organizational culture of a basic nursing education program influences the selection of curricular content for nursing students?  2. What are faculty's perceptions of how the organizational culture of a basic nursing education program influences the provision of learning opportunities for nursing students?  10 3. What are faculty's perceptions of how the organizational culture of a basic nursing education program influences the methods and processes of evaluation of nursing students? 4. In what ways does the organizational culture of a basic nursing education program affect what and how nursing students learn within that program? Definition of Terms For the purposes of this study the following terms are defined as: Student: one who is enrolled, full-time or part-time, in a bachelor of nursing program. Nursing Faculty: a registered nurse employed by the university either part time or full time, who holds at least a baccalaureate degree in nursing (Knox & Mogan, 1985) and has taught in the baccalaureate nursing program for a minimum of one year. School of Nursing: a four year nursing degree granting educational institution. Learning: acquiring knowledge of or skill in (Guralnik, 1977). Organizational Culture: assumptions, beliefs, symbols and shared values that govern members' behaviour. Theoretical Framework General systems theory (Heylighen & Joslyn, 1992) provided the theoretical framework for the basis of this study. In the 1940's, Ludwig von Bertalanffy proposed systems theory (Von Bertalanffy, 1968) that was furthered into cybernetics by Ross Ashby (Ashby, 1956). Systems theory examines the relationships between parts that connect to the whole rather than reducing each part to its fundamental elements (Heylighen & Joslyn, 1992). Senge (1990) provides a practical example of this theory in nature:  11 A cloud masses, the sky darkens, leaves twist upward, and we know that it will rain. We also know that after the storm, the runoff will feed into groundwater miles away, and the sky will grow clear by tomorrow. All these events are distant in time and space, and yet they are all connected within the same pattern. Each has an influence on the rest, an influence that is usually hidden from view. You can only understand the system of a rainstorm by contemplating the whole, not any individual part of the pattern (p. 6-7). From a biological viewpoint, organisms are open systems and cannot survive without exchanging matter and energy with their environment, therefore they interact with other systems outside of themselves. For the interaction between two systems to occur, two components are necessary: input (what enters the system from the outside) and output (what exits the system to enter the environment). The output of the system is generally quite different from the input. The transformation of input, through the system, into output is called throughput. A boundary exists between the system and the environment (Heylighen & Joslyn, 1992). For an illustration, please see Appendix A. When we apply General systems theory to understanding the organizational culture of an educational institution, the input and output represent the students entering and exiting the learning environment within the organization. The system becomes the nursing faculty. The boundary is the physical building of the educational institution and the throughput is the student learning that occurs. For an illustration, please see Appendix B. If we magnify the make up of a system, it consists of other systems interacting with their environment. For example, in a school of nursing, a group of interacting educators form the nursing faculty. The interaction of these component systems seals them  12 together to become a whole. If these components did not interact, the whole would be nothing more than the sum of its parts, but because they do interact, the whole becomes something more. In General systems theory, the whole thus becomes the supersystem and the parts the subsystems. In applying this theory to an educational institution, the faculty and their interactions with one another become the supersystem and the students become the subsystems (Heylighen & Joslyn, 1992). For an illustration, please see Appendix C. According to General systems theory, understanding an educational organizational culture is reflective of comprehending how the interactions occur within the organization. Thus, the interview questions for this research study are designed to understand the interactions occurring within the supersystem (nursing faculty) and how the interactions impact the throughput (student learning). Literature was reviewed that was reflective of the components of an organizational system: how organizational culture is created and what it consists of; research on organizational culture; the system (faculty) of the educational organizational culture; the throughput (student learning); and the relationship of the learning environment. Organization of the Thesis This thesis is comprised of five chapters. In this chapter, I have included an introduction to the study, including its purpose and theoretical framework. In Chapter Two, I will review the relevant literature that pertains to organizational culture. I will also include research within health care agencies and research related to nursing faculty, nursing students and learning environments. In Chapter Three, I will describe the research design, including the setting in which the study occurs, the sample population  13 and ethical considerations. In Chapter Four, I will present the background context of the study participants along with the research findings. In the final chapter, I will present a summary of the study along with a discussion of the research finding and implications for educational practice and future research.  14  CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW The purpose of this literature review is to review and critically analyze the literature regarding the culture of an educational institution and its impact on student learning. I will begin by describing the structure and characteristics of an organizational culture. I will then present the research findings concerning nursing organizational culture, both at the global level and unit level of a clinical agency, along with tools used to assess that culture. In the educational setting, I will examine literature on nursing faculty and culture, and then I will explore research on nursing students' learning, followed by a description of learning cultures. Finally, I will present a conclusion of the literature review. The literature was selected according to its relevance to culture or its impact on students' learning and was drawn from nursing, education, and to a lesser extent, business administration indexes. Some of this literature may appear dated; however, several classic studies or articles are included in this review and many of these were written in the early 1980s. It is important to differentiate between the inter-related concepts of culture and climate, as clarification between the two concepts will assist in keeping this literature review focused. Climate is referred to as the atmosphere or personality of an organization. It describes the practices and procedures of the organization and influences the members' attitudes and behaviours (Sleutel, 2000). Both climate and culture examine how members of an organization come to terms with their environment and establish shared meanings that form the foundation of their actions and behaviours. Culture researchers, however, believe culture is deeper than climate, revealing underlying values  15 and assumptions, although both culture and climate can be viewed as shared meanings and perceptions (Sleutal, 2000). Literature pertaining to climate was generally excluded from this review except to enhance an area where literature related to culture was unavailable. Structure and Characteristics A great deal of the literature is focussed on identifying the structure and characteristics of organizational culture. Understanding these attributes of organizational culture reveals how such a culture is passed on to new members. Schneider (1987) describes how culture influences members' behaviours. He noted how people's attributes determine the kind of human environment in which they choose to work For example, people in a setting "behave the way they do because they were attracted to that environment, selected by it and stayed with it" (p. 440). If people do not fit the environment, they leave. Sleutel (2000) suggests "people in a work environment are similar in behaviour, experiences, orientation, feelings and reactions and have the same job attributes" (p. 55). These authors suggest fitting into a culture is important for individuals. Every group that unites for a purpose creates a culture. Beals, Hoyer and Beals (as cited in Holland, 1993) identified five components of a cultural system: 1) a group or society consisting of a set of members 2) an environment within which the membership carries out its characteristic activities  16 3) a material culture consisting of equipment and artifacts used by the membership, and including the permanent and tangible effects that past and present memberships have had upon the environment 4) a cultural tradition, representing the historically accumulated decisions of the membership or its representatives 5) human activities and behaviours emerging out of complex interactions among the membership, the environment, the material culture and the cultural tradition, (p. 1462). These components form consciously or unconsciously by members of the organization and serve as a foundation for the activities of the group. Once the group has been formed and the cultural structure is in place, there are three levels of culture (Schein, 1985) that exist and are referred to throughout the literature. The first level is the visible level. It includes artifact, physical space and the environment of the organization. In a school of nursing, this level may be the layout of offices, the school entrance, mission statements or the way clerical staff greet strangers. The second level consists of espoused values. Espoused values are somewhat difficult to identify; however, they are what members claim guide their action (Gruenert, 2000). These claims generally reveal the values that organizational members espouse. For example, faculty in a school of nursing may believe students fail exams because of lack of studying. "An organization's culture is built on its foundation of the values that are important to it" (Pratt, 1998, p. 55). The third level is the underlying beliefs that arise from values. The beliefs may be held uncritically by the members of the organization. They involve beliefs about relationships between the organization and the community, about the nature of man (students) and  17 beliefs about human relationships. For example, in a school of nursing, organizational culture can reveal beliefs about students, such as that they are basically good , selfdetermining adults who can make intelligent decisions, or child-like, not to be trusted, and needing a strong parent figure (Schein, 1985). The beliefs are difficult to identify because they may be so deeply embedded to be generally unconscious to members who embrace them (Gruenert, 2000). Coding and Simms (1993a) suggest the characteristics of broadness, subtlety, power and pattern are contained within the description of culture. Broadness of culture is evidenced in the behaviour the members of the organization use to interact and communicate with one another. The activities of the members and how they work together are reflective of group behaviour. Hofstede (1980) places the broadness of group behaviour into four dimensions: power distance (who can tell whom to do what), uncertainty (how does the organization deal with change), individualism or collectivism (when is it permitted to work alone versus together), and masculinity (the division of labour linked to the division of sexes). Second, culture is subtle. As Gruenert (2000) suggests the values and assumptions of the group may be so deeply embedded they may be unconscious; however, they are the basis upon which the members perform their daily activities. The subtlety of culture is emphasized in how culture is consistently passed on to new members, though rarely communicated directly. Third, culture is powerful. It develops as a means of survival to problems encountered by the group (Schein, 1985). As a result, members cling to the behaviours  18 "in the same way a drowning person will cling to a life preserver when they are afloat in the middle of a raging sea" (Coeling & Sirnrhs, 1993a, p. 47). Finally, culture involves patterns of behaviour that, over time, combine to form a unique pattern distinctive to each organization. Because each group has its own history, encounters its own problems, and develops its own survival strategies, no two cultures are exactly alike. In summary, the structure and characteristics of a culture form the foundation for the activities of the group. They are created unconsciously through everyday activities, and over time, become a very powerful and subtle force that defines the uniqueness of each organizational culture. Research and Organizational Culture In the following studies, researchers examined organizational culture at either the global organizational level or at the nursing unit level of a hospital. These studies provide different perspectives on the large complex phenomenon of organizational culture. Attempting to measure an organizational culture can prove to be a monumental task, as the elements of an organizational culture and how they are enacted can prove to be elusive. Cooke and Lafferty (as cited in McDaniel & Stumpf, 1993) developed the Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI) tool. The tool is used to quantitatively assess members' thinking and behaviour in relation to their tasks and to other people. A circumplex is used to plot results in cultural descriptions of constructive styles, passivedefensive styles or aggressive-defensive styles. The constructive styles include descriptions of achievement, self-actualizing, humanism and affiliation. The passive-  19 defensive styles include approval, convention, dependent and avoidance. The aggressive-defensive styles include opposition, power, competition and perfectionism. The constructive cultures are expected to support employee involvement and selfactualization. Passive-defensive and aggressive-defensive cultures protect status and security. The ideal nursing culture was described by a small group of representative nurses (N=26) as constructive (Thomas et al., 1990). Demographics and background information for the representative nurses was not reported. Thomas et al. found that nurses (N=56) indicated their hospital culture to be weak when compared with the ideal profile. The nurses in Thomas et al's study consisted of staff nurses and administrators from one site. They scored the organizational culture as high for Aggressive-Defensive and Passive-Defensive behaviours and low for Constructive styles. As part of a larger study examining the effect of patient focused restructuring, Ingersoll et al. (2000) used the OCI to examine the global influence of organizational culture on employee commitment to work. They found a constructive culture was associated with a positive perception of the organization. This may indicate that an empowering environment, where employees feel they can make a difference and influence group work, may have a positive effect on retaining employees, as well as their commitment to their work and their response to change. Ingersoll et al.'s sample consisted of a random sample of respondents (N = 684) that represented all areas of the hospital and all positions within the organization, with most of the respondents coming from the department of nursing (n = 549). Due to the researchers' financial constraints, all available subjects within the organization did not receive the OCI questionnaire.  20 Manojlovich and Ketefian (2002) examined the relationship between organizational culture and one's personal sense of accomplishment in the nursing profession. A convenience sample representing a cross-section of registered nurses, nurse managers and clinical nurse specialists from 23 units were recruited (N = 423). They used the Nurse Assessment Survey (NAS) to measure both organizational culture and personal sense of accomplishment. The NAS consists of 91 items with 11 scales presented in a five-point Likert-design. Scales collect information on nurses' perceptions, attitudes, and culture within a hospital setting through the measures of 1) organization culture, 2) job satisfaction and 3) retention scales. Organizational culture consists of the subscales: accomplishment, affiliation, power, recognition, and strength of culture. These subscales focus on underlying values of the organization as perceived by the employees. The NAS does not assess group behaviour, the subtlety of culture, patterns of culture nor the human context of culture. The NAS was adapted from an organizational development tool called Spectrum that was designed as an assessment tool (Manojlovich & Ketefian, 2002). In this study, the measure of organizational culture was applied as an indicator for the presence or absence of five organizational culture variables. Using organizational culture as an indicator rather than the assessment tool, for which it was designed, may have affected the results of the study. The researchers did not find a relationship between Organizational culture and personal sense of accomplishment. Personal sense of accomplishment was measured through one subscale of job satisfaction; however, its validity was not recorded. In the same study, Manojlovich and Ketefian used the HallSnizek professionalism scale to measure nursing professionalism. The attitude scale consists of 25 items designed to measure professionalism across all disciplines. The five  21 attitudes used to assess professionalism were: use of professional organization as major referent, belief in public service, belief in self regulation, sense of calling to the field, and feeling of autonomy. The reliability across all five attitudes was reported as 0.78. The scale fails to account for aspects of professionalism that are specific to nursing such as responsibility, specialized body of knowledge, competence, and code of ethics. Despite these limitations, the researchers found organizational culture as a significant predictor of nursing professionalism. In contrast, Adams, Bond and Hale (1998) used two selfcompletion questionnaires (Ward Profile and Ward Organizational Features Scales) and found no difference between organizational structure and nurses' perceptions of professional nursing practice. The questionnaires were designed to be completed by a charge nurse so that only one profile per ward was completed (N = 107). The difference in the findings of these two studies may be related to the difference in sampling or the different instruments used to measure the constructs. McDaniel and Stumpf (1993) used the OCI to measure the relationship between organizational culture and certain features of nursing service. Nurses from all hospital sites within one geographic location volunteered to participate in the survey (N = 209). McDaniel and Stumpf found leadership, work satisfaction, retention, recommending the organization as a good place to work, job knowledge, work support and 'fitting in' to be positively related to culture. In their profiles of organizational culture, they showed nurses were modestly constructive. Coeling and Wilcox (1988) used ethnography to compare the day shift cultures of two medical-surgical nursing units. Participants on both units included the head nurses, staff nurses and unit clerks. The researchers found the two nursing units had different work  22  group rules for working together, telling others what to do, psychosocial perspectivetaking and change. Group A generally worked together, followed rules and avoided competitiveness. The nurses in Group A did not usually attend educational events. In contrast, Group B worked individually, had leniency for rules depending on patient care, and the nurses competed to be the best nurse. The nurses who were part of Group B valued education. Both were considered by the researchers to be excellent nursing units through consistently high patient and employee satisfaction measures. Coeling and Wilcox suggest understanding the work group culture can assist the nursing administrator in hiring personnel who fit the culture, orientating newcomers, and promoting learning within the culture. In their second study, Coeling and Wilcox (1990) used participant observation and interviews to study and compare two different nursing unit cultures. The researchers studied only the day shift of both nursing units because both units reported a different night shift culture. They then used the understanding of the nursing units' culture to implement a nursing care delivery system. They found the culture of a nursing unit was organized around four anthropological dimensions of cultural rules: individualismcollectivism, physical-psychological aspects, power relationships, and uncertaintyavoidance. Coeling and Wilcox believe understanding a nursing unit culture assists in determining the impact of proposed change. Later, Coeling and Simms (1993a) developed a tool to assess the work group culture of a nursing unit. The Nursing Unit Cultural Assessment Tool (NUCAT) uses a six-point Likert scale to differentiate 50 different cultural behaviours and their associated norms (Coeling & Simms, 1993a). NUCAT ". . . gives a comprehensive description of nursing unit culture by providing a  23 unit score (mean) for each of the 50 different behaviours" (Coeling & Simms, 1993b, p. 15). The validity of the NUCAT was established through qualitative and quantitative studies over a six year period to identify the relevant cultural variables. Twenty-six graduate nursing management students fine tuned the list of variables, although the perspective of these students may be different than nurses not involved in management studies. The initial survey tool was completed by 62 staff nurses to validate the cultural variables. The researchers stated the tool was pretested " . . . for retaining qualitative validity while gaining quantitative reliability and validity . . . " (Coeling & Simms, 1993a, p. 52) although the results were not reported. The NUCAT reduces culture to numerical scores thereby omitting important dimensions such as complexity, subtlety and distinctiveness of culture. In research on other aspects of culture, Nystrom (1993) looked at the impact of culture on organizationally desired outcomes of organizational commitment, job satisfaction and performance. Nystrom found those with a strong culture, defined as a widely-held set of norms and values, typically achieved desired outcomes. Nystrom's work emphasizes the importance of two concepts of culture, norms and values, as possible predictors of organizational outcomes. In summary, the overall culture of an organization seems most empowering to the employee if it is congruent with a constructive style. Although the relationship between organizational culture and nursing professionalism is inconclusive on the basis of the empirical evidence to date, a positive organizational culture tends to be related to support, inclusion, work satisfaction and retention experienced by the organizational members. At the unit level, understanding nursing unit culture may be helpful in hiring  24 staff nurses who fit into the culture and for determining the impact of change. If these findings are extrapolated to an educational institution, it would appear that a constructive educational culture may enhance student learning, whereas a passive-defensive or aggressive defensive culture may hinder student learning. It must be noted, the research that has been conducted on organizational culture has focused primarily on quantitative methods. While this approach is valuable in measuring certain variables of organizational culture, the characteristics of broadness, subtlety, power and patterns that define a culture are largely omitted. Faculty and Culture In an educational institution, faculty come together for teaching and research and thus create a culture. According to Coeling and Simms (1993a) group members have considerable impact on an organization's culture. The members bring their own values, personalities and behaviours to the organization thus over time incorporating them into the culture. Different work groups develop different survival strategies that ultimately create a unique culture (Coeling & Simms, 1993a; del Bueno & Vincent, 1986; Schein, 1985). How faculty come together and incorporate their individual values, personalities, and behaviours within the educational program will impact the organizational culture. Culture has been discussed in relation to nursing faculty's use of empowering behaviours. Hawks (1992), for example, describes transformative organizational cultures as demanding that teachers use a variety of methods such as active student participation and reflection-in-action to promote students' active participation in learning. Later, this author identified the elements of a successful organizational culture within a school of nursing, such as shared vision, openness, trust, respect for others, mutual goal setting and  25 decision making; these correspond to the elements necessary for student empowerment (Hawks, 1999). Hawks used the Survey of Organizational Culture (SOC) instrument to study nursing faculty perceptions of organizational culture in selected schools of nursing. The instrument consists of 55 items that measure organizational culture as 13 subscale scores. The scores are rated on afive-pointscale. The reliability for the subscale scores ranged from 0.62 to 0.90. The validity for the instrument ranged from 0.60 to 0.88. To measure self-reported faculty use of empowering teaching behaviours, Hawks used the Status and Promotion of Professional Nursing Practice Questionnaire (SPPNPQ). Forty teaching behaviours are identified that are believed to empower nursing students and one point was assigned to each activity that was marked "I do this often" (p. 69). Reliability of the questionnaire was 0.76 and content validity was 0.89. In studying organizational culture, and nursing facultys' use of empowering teaching behaviours, she found no relationship between organizational culture and empowering teaching behaviours (N = 281). Hawks suggests the lack of relationship may be related to the lack of necessary elements for a successful organizational culture in nursing educational institutions. The impact of organizational culture on nursing facultys' job satisfaction has been a focus of other research. Donohue (1986) found increased job satisfaction among nursing faculty who perceived their dean as humanistic and providing direct supervision and taskoriented leadership. Fain (1987) found a negative relationship between role conflict and role ambiguity and job satisfaction of nursing educators. Snarr and Krochalk (1996) examined job satisfaction and organizational characteristics, and found a weak to negligible relationship between job satisfaction and the organizational characteristics of  26 pay, opportunities for promotion, and the quality of supervision, coworkers and job in general. Organizational climate has also been studied in regard to the perceptions of nursing faculty. Lubbert (1995) used a descriptive correlational design to examine faculty perception of organizational climate in schools of nursing. The scale used to measure climate consisted of nine subscales: involvement, peer cohesion, administrative support, autonomy, task orientation, work pressure, clarity, control and innovation. The overall reliability of the climate scale was 0.92. With a 61.7% (N = 111) response rate from full time faculty representing 21 schools of nursing, Lubbert found a favourable climate was associated with dispersion of influence throughout the school. Piscopo (1994) used three questionnaires: Organizational Climate Questionnaire (reliability 0.74), the Communication within Organizations Questionnaire (reliability 0.70) and the Role Strain Questionnaire (reliability 0.90) to examine organizational climate, communication and role strain in nursing faculty. She found a positive correlation between organizational climate, communication and reported role strain in nursing faculty (N = 31). The research concerning organizational culture in schools of nursing is not extensive; however, it provides a hint of how organizational culture may impact facultys' use of certain teaching behaviours. In addition, some research results suggest organizational climate may affect facultys' perceptions of their job and their workplace. The studies on nursing faculty and culture have primarily used quantitative methods. The rich descriptive nature provided by qualitative research methods has not been utilized to explore school of nursing culture from the emic perspective, that is, the perspective of the nursing faculty.  27 Student Learning The organizational impact of student learning has been studied largely within the clinical learning environment (CLE). Windsor (1987), Dunn and Hansford (1997) and Lofmark and Wikblad (2001) examined students' perspectives of their clinical environment and their findings reveal the organizational cultural characteristics that impact student learning. Through naturalistic inquiry, Windsor found student preparation, instructor characteristics, and a variety in the type of patient assignment, facilitated student learning in the clinical setting (N = 9). Windsor tested reliability by using an audit provided by a second competent judge, who verified the categories were appropriate and data were assigned logically. Dunn and Hansford (1997) used both quantitative and qualitative methods to describe factors influencing undergraduate nursing students' perceptions of their clinical learning environments (CLE). The Clinical Learning Environment Scale (CLES) quantitatively collected data on student perceptions of their CLE. The CLES consists of 23 instruments with five subscales: staff-student relationships, nurse manager commitment, patient relationships, student satisfaction and hierarchy and ritual. The tool was tested on 423 undergraduate students and shown to have strong substantive face validity and construct validity. The reliability of the subscales ranged from 0.70 to 0.85. The sample (N = 229) was drawn from second and third year nursing students who attended clinical one day per week. Qualitative data was collected from focus group interviews (N = 42) that consisted of students working on nursing units that had been identified, through a pilot study, as having extremely good or extremely poor CLE. Interpersonal relationships between the participants of the CLE were found to be crucial to the development of a positive learning environment. Lofmark  28 and Wikblad's (2001) randomly selected student nurses (N = 47) from two classes in two university colleges in Sweden. The respondents were asked once per week, to answer and comment on the following two statements: During the last week I think I have developed some components in my clinical competence. The following has happened during the last week that makes me think this . . . ; Things have also happened that I feel have obstructed the development of my clinical competence, namely the following . . . (p. 44-45). The respondents identified responsibility, independence, collaboration and control as the facilitating factors for learning in clinical practice, however, in the analysis, "data were excluded when the content consisted of only examples of what had happened" (p. 45). It is unclear whether the participants in the study understood how they were to answer the questions. The researchers used the term facilitating in their data analysis, however, the initial question asks the participants to reflect on components they had developed in their clinical competence not necessarily on facilitating behaviours for their clinical competence. The data was not verified with the participants. Other studies have focused on clinical teaching behaviours as manifestations of the organizational culture of a school of nursing (Brown, 1981; Knox & Mogan, 1985; O'Shea & Parsons, 1979; Wong, 1978) and their impact on students' learning. Feedback as an evaluative behaviour that facilitates learning was found in several studies (Brown, 1981; Knox & Mogan, 1985; O'Shea & Parsons, 1979) to be critical in establishing a positive learning environment. Wong (1978) found students perceived helpful teacher behaviours as a willingness to answer questions, being interested and respectful of students, and providing students with encouragement and due praise. Using  29 observational research to extensively study clinical teachers, Paterson (1991) determined that teachers' behaviours and expectations of students in the clinical setting were determined in part by the values, assumptions and beliefs that the teacher perceived as inherent in the organizational culture of the school. For example, although individual teachers wanted to delay evaluative judgments about graduating students' clinical competence, they most often determined their evaluation of these students early in the final clinical course, particularly if they were experiencing clinical difficulties. They perceived that the organizational culture demanded such early judgments because it was "wrong" to fail a student at the end of the program (i.e., the end of the clinical course). Paterson's research did not examine the impact of the organizational culture to student learning; however, this research provides insight into teaching behaviours that arise from the organizational culture that may impact student learning. Other researchers have examined interpersonal relationships that are fostered by the organizational culture of the school of nursing and their value to students in the clinical setting (Brown, 1981; Lee, Cholowski & Williams, 2002). Through interpretive description, Gillespie (2002) explored the student-teacher relationship and its impact on the students' clinical experience (N = 8). She found the teacher's connected way of being and teaching resulted in an environment where students felt supported and could grow to their potential. She suggests that such connectedness occurs most often when the organizational culture of the school of nursing supports this way of being among teachers and students. In summary, the research concerning organizational culture in schools of nursing and student learning is largely restricted to the clinical setting. However, the culture of the  30 clinical learning environment incorporates the culture of the clinical agency and it is difficult to determine how the specific culture of the school of nursing influences student learning (Paterson, 1991). In addition, there is a need for research that extends the study of the impact of organizational culture beyond clinical learning to the classroom, skills laboratory, and other learning that occurs in a basic education program. Learning Cultures Learning environments are part of an educational institution's culture. A learning culture is an environment that fosters risk taking, learns from its mistakes, and engages in a climate of trust and courage (Botcheva, White & Huffman, 2002). An anti-learning culture exists in an environment where there is resistance to change, fear of risk taking and a lack of trust (Botcheva et al., 2002). The learning culture concept has been discussed and studied extensively in the field of education. The use of this concept has been limited in nursing. Botcheva et al. used the Assessing Learning Culture Scale to determine if a cluster of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours exist that characterize the learning culture of community agencies. The Assessing Learning Culture Scale consists of ten items that describe different aspects of a learning culture that support evaluation inquiry. Respondents rated their organizational learning culture using a five-point scale. Reliability of the scale was reported at 0.80. Validity was not reported. The researchers found a set of underlying beliefs and attitudes exist in institutions that enable the organizations to learn from its own experiences; however, a small sample size (N = 25), from one geographic area of community agencies serving youth and children, was used, and the researchers were unable to determine inter-rater reliability of the learning culture  31 scale. The generalizability of the study is also limited, as the scale assessed learning cultures that support evaluation inquiry. Jones and Redman (2000) describe a culture that they view as adaptive. Employees in an adaptive organizational culture take risks, are proactive and trusting, have mutual support, are confident, and are receptive to change. In a non-adaptive culture, employees are frightened, insecure, oversensitive, self-protective, and cautious. They are averse to taking risks, they build protective barriers, and they undermine morale and performance. In describing learning cultures that can affect positive outcomes, Gruenert (2000) speaks of a collaborative school culture as being an effective context for student and teacher learning. He identifies six factors as contributing to the collaborative nature of a school: collaborative leadership, teacher collaboration, professional development, collegial support, unity of purpose and learning partnership. In a study by Goldring (2002), Schein's three levels of organizational culture were examined in high schools. The researcher investigated the organizational cultural traits that most affect student achievement. The traits were shared vision, communication, tradition, collaboration, shared decision-making, and innovation. The presence and use of shared vision were determined to enhance school culture and positively affect student achievement. The literature surrounding high school culture is significant, and caution must be used in extrapolating the findings to schools of nursing. Schools of nursing are distinctly different from high schools in the ages of the students attending, the differences in gender majority of students, the gender majority of the nursing school faculty, and the educational preparation of the school of nursing faculty and administration.  32 Some authors have discussed student learning in the context of learning communities. Learning communities are centers consisting of faculty and students working together toward shared academic goals through a non-competitive environment (Angelo, 1997 as cited in Amey, 1999). Amey (1999) describes learning communities where learning is collaborative, and faculty are designers of the learning environment and experiences, rather than transmitters of knowledge. She discusses the changes that such a concept means to the traditional role of faculty, including the painful shift from faculty as knowledge experts, to the focus on learning, not teaching. One study explored whether students attending institutions with different types of missions differ in terms of their college experiences and learning outcomes. Pike, Kuh and Gonyea (2003) found students attending different types of colleges reportedly had significantly different patterns of experiences in colleges; however, the differences were the result of student characteristics, not organizational mission. The institutional effects on the student experience tended to be minimal. In summary, a learning environment is part of an educational institution's culture. Although the research in this area is limited, and much of the literature is anecdotal, it appears that a learning culture that is vigorous, allows employees to safely take risks and emphasizes learning, has a positive impact on student learning. A learning culture that is created through the use of shared vision, collaboration, and risk taking may enhance student achievement. Conclusion of the Literature Review There is a fairly vast amount of literature within this subject demonstrating considerable interest in the field. The complexity of organizational culture makes it  33 difficult to study and thus various kinds of studies have attempted to provide us with distinct angles of vision about this phenomenon. In this literature review I have presented organizational culture as it has been described in a variety of settings and institutions. It is apparent that understanding the structure and levels of a cultural system assist in understanding how culture exists within an organization, how it is passed on to new members and how it operates through artifacts, espoused values and assumptions. Research on organizational culture finds a positive culture, which is most empowering to the employee, as affiliative, humanistic and promotes achievement and self-actualization. Research concerning nursing unit culture indicates that understanding the culture of a nursing unit assists administrators in determining how to support nurses in the workplace and in facilitating resources that will benefit nurses' work and satisfaction. The majority of the research on organizational culture has been measured through surveys, questionnaires, and other tools that are able to capture organizational culture in measurable variables. A qualitative lens, providing an emic perspective of organizational culture, might better help us to begin to understand some of the components of organizational culture. Nursing faculty set the standard for interactions with one another and with students. The literature suggests students' learning in the clinical environment is affected by nursing faculty teaching behaviours; however, the impact of nursing faculty culture on student learning is less clear. Several authors suggest that learning environment has impact on student learning. A positive learning environment, which is trusting and respectful, results in increased student achievement. It is possible to draw on this literature to propose that nursing  34  students' learning in an educational institution may be impacted by the learning environment and facultys' use of teaching behaviours. The organizational culture of a school of nursing and its impact on student learning is a vast and complicated issue. To date there is a dearth of literature examining this phenomenon. One component that may assist our understanding of organizational culture is to gather the perspectives of the nursing faculty. The nursing faculty perspectives will not answer the larger question of how the organizational culture of a school of nursing impacts student learning; it will, however, provide a perspective that may allow us to begin to understand one component of organizational culture.  35 CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHOD In this chapter I will discuss the research design for the proposed study. The research was conducted as a qualitative descriptive study and I will provide a brief overview of this type of study. I will describe the sample and the setting for the study, as well as the data collection and analysis procedures. I will outline the interview as the data collection strategy. The ethical considerations for this study will then be presented along with the limitations of this study. Finally, I will summarize and conclude the chapter. Design In this study, I intended to describe nursing faculty perspectives and experiences in relation to how institutional culture affected student learning. This research was conducted as a qualitative descriptive study. Qualitative descriptive studies are described as "basic" or "fundamental" qualitative descriptions to differentiate them from other kinds of qualitative description (Sandelowski, 2000). Qualitative description does not require a conceptual rendering of the data but rather a "presentation of the facts" (Sandelowski, 2000, p. 336). It allows the researcher to stay close to the data and to the participants' words (Sandelowski, 2000). In this qualitative descriptive study, I used semi-structured interviews with multiple individuals. The semi-structured interview is used when the researcher knows the questions to ask but is unable to predict the answers (Morse & Field, 1995). This allows the participant to elaborate on questions that are asked while also ensuring the researcher obtains the required information (Morse & Field, 1995). The semi-structured interview begins with a series of carefully prepared questions that cover each domain of the topic.  36 The questions are open-ended and address only one aspect of the topic. For example, an interview question was, "How would you describe the expected method for evaluating students in this program?" If the participant's response to the question required further clarification or expansion, I used gentle probes such as, "Could you tell me more about that" or "Could you give me an example" (Rubin & Rubin, 1995)? Probes are an important aspect of an interview and serve three main functions. First, they indicate to the participant that more detailed responses are encouraged; they "specify the level of depth the interviewer wants" (Rubin & Rubin, 1995, p. 148). Second, probes complete an answer or clarify an ambiguity that assists the interviewer to understand the participant's answer. Third, through probes, the interviewer signals to the participant that they are listening and paying attention (Rubin & Rubin, 1995). The length of each semi-structured interview was approximately 45-60 minutes. This time frame was selected to minimize the time commitment for the participants and to encourage a greater sampling response. The interviews were tape recorded. Sample The participants that volunteered for this research study were from a convenience sample. The participants invited to participate in this research study must have been willing and able to provide the information the research study was looking for, and must have been representative of the population of interest (Stewart & Shamdasani, 1990). In qualitative research, participants are primarily studied because they have "direct and personal knowledge of some event that they are able and willing to communicate to others" (Sandelowski, 1995, p. 180). The participants who were invited to participate in this study, were nursing faculty employed at three nursing educational institution located  37  within the Lower Mainland. They were registered nurses who were employed either part time or full time at a nursing educational institution as teachers of baccalaureate nursing students. They obtained a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing and have taught in the nursing education program in which they are currently employed for a minimum of one year. This somewhat homogenous sample was chosen to reduce variation and to promote a focused inquiry (Polit & Hungler, 1999). A recruitment letter describing the purpose of the research study, and requesting participants, was distributed in the mailboxes of the nursing faculty at the educational institution (See Appendix A for letter of invitation), following permission from the director of the program to access faculty in that institution. A follow-up recruitment email was sent to the nursing faculty within one week, asking them to reply back to the researcher if they were interested in participating in the study. A confirmation e-mail response was sent back to the participants volunteering to participate in the study, thanking them and organizing a date, time and location for the interview. The number of participants required for an understanding of the topic of interest varies considerably with semi-structured interviews. Qualitative sampling may be too small or too large for the intended research project (Sandelowski, 1995). A sample of 10 may be adequate for certain kinds of homogenous sampling (Sandelowski, 1995). The principles of appropriateness and adequacy guide qualitative sampling (Morse & Field, 1995). Appropriateness is achieved with the identification and the use of the participants who are able to best inform about the research (Morse & Field, 1995). In this study, I could not determine the most appropriate participants, as the participants were invited to volunteer and contact me if they wished to participate in the research.  38  Adequacy is also a principle that guides qualitative sampling and refers to gathering enough data to achieve a rich description of the topic of interest (Morse & Field, 1995). I attempted to choose at least three participants from each of the schools of nursing with an equal number of experienced (greater than three years) and novice nursing faculty (less than three years). Ten participants volunteered, and were interviewed, at the three schools of nursing. Three participants, from each of two schools of nursing, volunteered and four participants volunteered from the third school of nursing. Of the ten participants interviewed, six had greater than three years full time teaching experience and four had less than three years full time teaching experience. Setting The interviews for this research study occurred in a conference room or office within the educational institution of each of the participants, and allowed for privacy and as few interruptions as possible. To facilitate interruption free sessions, the participants were asked if they preferred a sign posted on the door stating "interview session in progress." One participant requested the sign be posted. We sat at a table with chairs and had the tape recorder placed on the table between us. I supplied a beverage for the interview. I began the interview by thanking the participant for responding to my letter of invitation. I explained the consent form, answered any questions and had the participant sign the form (See Appendix B for consent form). As the participant expected to be asked questions, I began with demographic information: how long have you taught here; have you had other teaching positions? These questions were asked to enable the participant  39 and myself to move gradually into the interview. I then proceeded with my first interview question. Throughout the interview, I worked to encourage the participant to be honest and open and to provide answers in depth. I asked follow-up questions that demonstrated my understanding of the content they provided for me. For example, "Could you explain what you meant when you said X?" I occasionally summarized or clarified what the participants had said to me. I demonstrated empathy by nodding, saying "um-hmm," posturing my body and facial expression to express understanding and empathy (Rubin & Rubin, 1995). I recorded field notes on participant observation immediately after each interview. The field notes represented my observational efforts to record data that were utilized to supplement the data gathering and to aid in synthesis and understanding of the data. The notes included such things as describing physical appearance, mannerisms, style of talking, gestures and facial expressions (Morse & Field, 1995). The Interview as the Data Collection Strategy As indicated earlier in this chapter, the primary data collection strategy was semistructured interviews. Prior to a semi-structured interview, the researcher prepares several main questions covering the topic of interest that will be used to direct the interview. In creating the interview questions, the researcher must ensure the main questions cover the overall subject. The researcher also ensures the questions flow from one to the next. For example, do the questions make logical sense to the interviewee and enable the interviewee to proceed in a natural way (Rubin & Rubin, 1995)? The  40  researcher also ensures the interview questions match the research design and that the questions asked will provide answers to the research question (Rubin & Rubin, 1995). As the interviewer, I listened carefully and thoughtfully to what the participant was saying. I was calm, organized and confident in asking the interview questions. I also gave the participant time to think and answer the questions I had asked. I did not rush their responses nor fill in the potential periods of silence (Morse & Field, 1995). The theoretical framework was used to inform the interview questions for this study. Krueger's (1998) method of beginning the interview with an introductory question, followed by the transition questions and finally the key questions was used to assist with the order of the interview questions. For example, the introductory question I used was: What persuaded you to join this organization? The transition questions provide the link between the introductory question and the key questions (Krueger, 1998). The following transition questions were used to encourage participants to address the research questions: When you were new faculty members in this organization, what sorts of things do you remember learning about the organization that you didn't know before you were employed here? When you were new to the organization, how did youfindout about things you thought you needed to know? Describe the types of students you see being admitted into the school of nursing. How are they different or the same as nursing students in other educational programs across the province? The key questions are the core questions to the study, and follow the transition questions (Krueger, 1998). The key questions I used were: How did you learn the rules of the organization? What types of consequences were there if you did not follow the rules of the organization? How would you describe the expected method for evaluating students in this program? Under what  41 circumstances do you deviate from this expected evaluation process or procedure? Tell me how you, as nursing faculty who is expected to follow the cultural norms of this institution, affect the students' learning? With the key questions, it is useful to use probes to prompt the discussion for more detail or further explanations (Brown, 2000). For example, "Can you give me an example or can you give more detail?" Throughout the interview I demonstrated understanding and empathy through responses such as "that must have been very hard for you" or "that sounds like a challenging situation." At the end of the interview I asked the interviewee "is there anything else I should have asked you" (Morse & Field, 1995)? This interview guide served as a map to guide the interview process and to ensure all questions were answered. Ethical Considerations This study was approved by the University of British Columbia Behavioural Research Ethics Board and by the Research and Ethics Boards from each of the schools of nursing. The statement of informed consent (see Appendix B for consent form) was explained and signed by all study participants. It was also explained that only my thesis supervisor and myself would have access to the research information the participants provided in the interviews. For the purposes of transcription, not only were individual names changed to ensure confidentiality, other information that could identify faculty/students/educational institutions was removed or modified (Morgan, 1998). The identification of the educational institutions was also be withheld from any written report or presentation of the findings.  42 Data Analysis In this qualitative descriptive study, I used qualitative content analysis as my analysis strategy. In qualitative content analysis, "codes are systematically applied, but they are generated from the data themselves in the course of the study" (Sandelowski, 2000, p. 338). It is a form of analysis that is geared toward summation of the informational content of the data (Morgan, 1993). After completion of myfirstinterview, I immediately listened to the tape to refresh the discussion in my mind, as well as to jog my memory forfieldnotes I may have missed. I re-listened to the tape and transcribed it to paper. I read the transcript several times before I began to look for key words or phrases that appeared in response to the interview questions. In analyzing the questions in search of key words and phrases, I considered the frequency of the comments, that is, the number of times something is said. Counting is not an end result but rather a means of the descriptions or themes that have emerged and been confirmed by counting (Sandelowski, 2000). I marked the key words/phrases in the page column and the number of times they appeared. I continued this process with each of my interviews. As my interviews continued, I continued to read and re-read each interview in search of commonalities of words and phrases used in response to the interview question and/or variations. After I had several interviews analyzed, I began to search the repeating and recurring key words and phrases for themes that were emerging in response to my research questions. During this process I checked with my thesis supervisor to ensure I had not missed relevant data. As I collected and analyzed data, new insights occurred thus causing me to continuously be reflexive and interactive with the data (Sandelowski, 2000). I  43 acknowledged my nursing perspective and how these perspectives may have shaped my questions, my probes, and the way I may have asked certain questions (Thorne, Reimer Kirkham & MacDonald-Emes, 1997). Being a novice researcher, I did not know how I would react to the interview process. "Novice researchers are frequently uncertain about the implications of their reflections on the research process" (Paterson, 1994, p. 302). I used Paterson's reactivity framework to identify my reactivity during the qualitative research process (Paterson, 1994). The framework consists of five themes. The first theme is emotional valence. Emotional valence is described as the tone or trust that exists between the researcher and the participant. The second theme is the distribution of power. It is described as one person, either the researcher or the participant, giving or withholding information depending on their ascribed or assumed role and the power or lack of power held within that role. The third theme consists of the importance of the interaction. A participant may choose to share or not to share depending on the participant's perspective of "important data" for the interview. Likewise, the researcher may be disinterested in the research topic and may portray boredom to the participant thus affecting what the participant will share. The fourth theme is the goal of the interaction. The goal of the interaction may be clear or unclear to either the researcher or participant. Outside factors such as politics, may influence or affect the belief about the goal of the interaction. The last theme is the effect of normative or cultural criteria. Cultural norms are generally influenced by personal values and may impact the data collection (Paterson, 1994). In using the framework, Paterson suggests researchers ask themselves "if and how each theme influenced data collection" (p. 308).  44  During analysis, if an answer was unclear to me, I attempted to clarify the response by going back to the participant and asking for clarification. Once emergent themes began to appear, I took the themes back to some of the individual research participants for their critical consideration. The themes were representative of the entire sample rather than individual interviewees. Important insights "can be formulated from people's perceptions of why it does not quite fit than why it does" (Thorne et al., 1997, p. 175). At the conclusion of the process, the emergent themes that I identified became the central themes of the interview questions. The themes were supported by quotes from the raw data (Brown, 2000). The end result was a description of the patterns that were found within the data that were confirmed by counting (Sandelowski, 2000). In using qualitative content analysis, an effort is then made not only to understand the frequencies and means but also the hidden content of data (Sandelowski, 2000). Limitations As with all research, there were some limitations to this research study. This research study occurred near the end of the school year, and thus the time available for teachers to participate was constrained as nursing faculty rushed to meet year-end deadlines. Another limitation was the volunteer nature of the participants in the study. It was anticipated that some faculty may not volunteer to participate in the study. Those that volunteered may differ in their perspectives and experiences of institutional culture from those that did not volunteer in the research.  Conclusion of the Research Method  In this chapter, I have discussed the qualitative descriptive approach using semistructured interviews as the data gathering strategy for this study. I have described the  45  sample, the setting of the research and the interview guide that I will use as interviewer. My approach to data analysis using qualitative content analysis has been outlined as well as the limitations of the study. In the following chapter, I will describe the research findings.  46  CHAPTER FOUR PRESENTATION OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS In this chapter I will begin by providing a background context of the participants and the schools of nursing from which they volunteered. This context will provide the foundation for research findings. It is necessary to provide a description of the context in which this study occurred, as the participants are diverse in their relationship to their work environment and thus express different perceptions of their organizational culture. I will begin by outlining the participants' discussion of the influence the organizational culture has on the participants' perception of the organizational culture of their school of nursing, including the philosophical fit some participants perceive with their school of nursing. I will describe the participants' views about the impact the larger academic organization has on the school of nursing culture and the subcultures that may exist within each school of nursing. I will then describe the aggregate of students that are attracted to each of the schools of nursing and identify participants' views about how the nature of the student population impacts the organizational culture of the school of nursing in which they are employed. In a similar vein, I will make reference to the school's curriculum and the evaluation methods used for students within the selected schools. I will also outline how the participants described learning the organizational culture within their school of nursing through the formal and informal techniques and strategies. In the final section of this chapter prior to the conclusion, I will present the research findings of how the organizational culture of a school of nursing impacts student learning, both directly and indirectly.  47 This study was conducted at three schools of nursing within British Columbia. The study received ethical approval from all the schools of nursing involved. Ten participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview approach. The data was collected, transcribed and analyzed using content analysis. The analysis was presented back to all but one of the participants for validation. One participant had retired and was unavailable for validation. In order to ensure the confidentiality of the participants and the organizations in which they worked, names and locations have not been used in the findings. Background Context Influence of Organizational Culture The participants who volunteered for this study experienced diverse perspectives on the organizational cultures in which they were employed. This diversity created multiple stories and answers to the interview questions, and therefore the participants' responses have been contextualized within the selected schools in which the participants were employed. Philosophical Fit When participants spoke about the organizational culture of their school of nursing, many began by referring to the philosophical fit they felt between themselves and the school of nursing they had chosen. Some participants concurred that their perception of the organizational culture began to evolve before they were employed by the educational institution, and this perception was a significant determiner of their decision to apply for employment in the institution. A participant from one organization described her philosophical fit with the school as: "I recognized that philosophically I fit here very  well. When you have the freedom to work within a place you match philosophically, it gives you a lot of support." Another participant from the same organization spoke about how she felt "at home" teaching within that school of nursing. When asked to expand on what it meant to experience a personal fit with the organizational culture, all of the participants from this school of nursing referred to the importance of having the freedom to teach as they wished to teach and the freedom to speak openly. Participants at another school of nursing were attracted to that particular school because the curriculum and philosophy statement of the school matched their views on how nursing should be taught and learned. As one participant said, "The curriculum here suited me the way I think nursing should be taught. It is totally focused on practicebased teaching. . . . If you don't have that belief, you're not gonna fit well here." Another participant from the same faculty observed the organizational culture when she participated in a graduate course practicum at the school. She was drawn to apply at the school because of her experience. "I went with an instructor to the wards. I did classes, some of the classes for them and it worked ok." Another participant who was new to the organization said, "I feel like I've landed in the right place at the right time for me and my career." Not all participants cited philosophical fit as something they considered in their decision to apply at the school. Participants from one school of nursing did not mention the school's philosophy or their own personal philosophy when choosing to work at that particular school. These participants commented that the school of nursing they chose was selected for its geographical location and the congruence of the work demands with the participant's lifestyle.  49 Larger Academic Culture Some participants spoke about the greater culture of the institution and the impact that greater culture had on the school of nursing. One participant, who was employed at the school of nursing where she believed she had the freedom to teach and speak openly, spoke about the conflicting pressures of being in academia. On one hand, nursing faculty have to focus on students and the students' needs but on the other hand, they are required to meet the academic expectations of the larger academic institution in research and publishing. She spoke of responding to the pressures of academia as "dancing on the head of a pin" in a larger academic culture where "so much was expected" from the faculty. The other participants in the study referred to the larger organizational culture as influencing the school of nursing through university or community college-wide committee recommendations or policies and procedures. Participants referred to university or community college policies and procedures most often in describing situations in which a nursing student was failing or when an appeal process was activated. One participant described the school of nursing culture as being quite isolated from the larger organization. The participant thought prior to her employment that there would have been a greater connection between the two cultures. She stated that it was her anticipation of the fit with the larger organizational culture that had in part attracted her to the school of nursing. Subcultures Some of the participants from different schools of nursing spoke of subcultures that existed within their school culture and influenced how the organizational culture was experienced by faculty and students. They indicated that these cultures were usually  50 formed around commonalities of teaching, such as specific years of the educational program. Participants who worked between different years noticed the difference between the two environments in which they found themselves working and identified the difference in meeting style, team work, group dynamics and philosophy about teaching and learning between the different subcultures. One participant, who chose her school of nursing for its curriculum and philosophy statement, worked with students in different years of the nursing program said, When we walked into our meeting to get things done, we attended to the need because we were a growing team. We stayed on track and we were respectful of time and ground rules for meetings. Going into my other meeting, they perform in a different way. People came in as they were ready. It felt disorganized, it felt less focused and it was different dynamics. A participant who selected her school of nursing for its location said, It might be a little different than someone who doesn't work with such a functional team. We happen to have very like values on our team. We happen to work very effectively together. I happen to work in a very functional team that is very pro student. Three participants who expressed the freedom to teach and speak openly at their school of nursing did not refer to the existence of subcultures within their school of nursing and spoke only of working together as a unit. Students The participants described the diverse aggregate of students that were attracted to each of their schools of nursing. Participants who described their culture as one where they  51 had freedom to teach and speak openly described the majority of their nursing students as "young and just out of high school." They perceived that students were attracted to the school of nursing for various reasons, including the organizational culture and its fit with the values and philosophy of students. As one participant said "They've chosen X as a place where philosophically they fit." Another participant from the same school stated she believed these students applied to their school of nursing because the organizational culture of the school was such that faculty provided considerable guidance and support to them during their first years away from home. At the school of nursing that some participants selected for location and fit with lifestyle, participants described the culture of the people living in the'surrounding area as influencing the students who chose to apply to their school. They described students as young, service oriented, traditional and passive, I think that the students here have an expectation of the teacher in a more traditional expectation of how a teacher should be with them. I don't get as much challenge from students, in terms of grades or marks which sort of surprised me . . . so it's kind of refreshing actually. Another participant from the school commented, "It's just painful watching them having to grow, you know. Very traditional. You know, many of them, see their role as getting married and having children. Benefits are it makes it wonderful to teach. You know, they listen, they absorb." Participants who chose their school of nursing for its curriculum and philosophy statement described students as self selecting their school of nursing according to the reputation of the school and its graduates. As one nursing faculty member said when  52  asked about the school's reputation, "X grads are sought after." The nursing faculty described such students as mature students with previous work and/or post secondary education. The students were also described as challenging, "They've got very good skills at communication, at challenging, they're very articulate. They challenge the norm so you're pushed a bit. You don't just have sponges sitting there that would believe everything you say." Most of the participants stated their school of nursing selected students who had the highest academic record from the pool of applicants for admission to the school. One participant, who described her school culture as the freedom to teach and speak openly and whose students were described as young and just out of high school, said, "We have been able to choose well-qualified applicants so our applicants then are academically able, for the most part, to handle the material." One participant, from the school of nursing she selected for location and lifestyle and that attracted young, traditional and passive students, thought that perhaps the students who chose to apply to enter into the school of nursing where she worked, had chosen nursing often because they were unable to meet the requirements for other professions and "struggled harder as learners to be successful." Curriculum and Evaluation Methods The school of nursing curriculum and evaluation methods are presented together because each component is integral to the other. The curriculum and evaluation methods influence and are influenced by the organizational culture of the school of nursing. The curriculum and evaluation methods may attract certain nursing faculty and students to the  53 school of nursing and nursing faculty and students may also influence the curriculum and evaluation methods that are chosen within the nursing program. The participants spoke of the curriculum and evaluation methods as major manifestations and components of organizational culture that they could readily identify. Each of the nursing faculty, with the exception of one, spoke about their curriculum as having specific qualities that made it unique to its organization. For example, some were able to identify specific courses and content that was unique to their school, whereas others spoke in detail about the length or breadth or both, of clinical experience that was unique to their institution. Participants spoke about the curriculum as "the piece that guided" them in their teaching. In general, the participants spoke of the curriculum as formed by links to the professional association, employer input, student evaluations, faculty input and advisory councils made up of members from hospitals, community, schools and consumers from the community. They stated the curriculum shaped the way the content was delivered in each of the schools where different method approaches were apparent. A participant, who had chosen the nursing school for its curriculum and philosophy statement, spoke of the curriculum as fitting with the school's philosophy. The participants also indicated the curriculum guided the way in which students were evaluated in the program. Each school had a similar extensive evaluation process but used different evaluation strategies both in the classroom and clinical setting. The evaluation of students was found to be an integral component of the organizational culture and all faculty spoke in great detail about it during the interviews. As one participant, who selected the nursing school for its curriculum and philosophy statement, commented, "Oh brother, I don't think we really could (not evaluate). It would be really  54 hard to not do a mid-term or not do finals. Those are the rules." All participants outlined similar process for evaluating students and the steps which were taken if a student was deemed to be not meeting the outcomes of the evaluation process. How the Culture is Learned The participants spoke about how they learned the organizational culture of the school of nursing where they were employed. Several strategies were used in learning the culture and involved both formal and informal ways. Formal strategies included explicit tools, meetings with colleagues and/or bosses and previous teaching experience, whereas informal strategies focused on casual conversations and experimentation within the organizational culture of the school of nursing. Formal Communication Explicit tools. All the participants used explicit tools such as manuals, guide books, course outlines and policies and procedures to aid in their learning of the organizational culture. According to participants, all of the schools of nursing had a nursing faculty orientation, although the orientation was designed to benefit only novice participants. Participants who were senior nursing faculty or those with greater than three years teaching experience, stated they gathered explicit tools that conveyed the organizational culture throughout their first months of employment. They perceived the information within the tools as general guidelines to follow, not firm dictates. A novice faculty member who had selected the nursing school for its curriculum and philosophy statement, said, "There is actually a policy and procedure in X but even when I look at it now, it's very general and it doesn't provide too much guidance."  55 Formal Meetings. Participants stated they learned a great deal about their organizational culture through formal meetings with their colleagues. Department heads, coordinators, leaders, peer evaluation, review days and written communication processes were formal ways the participants used to learn the culture of the organization. Some participants spoke about learning the organizational culture by spending time with department heads or department coordinators. In one school of nursing, described as openly embracing the freedom to teach and speak openly, interactions between new faculty and administrators to learn the organizational culture was a deliberate strategy. A participants from this school commented, "My boss at the time was terrific. She met with me once a week for the first term." Another formal means of learning the organizational culture in the nursing school some participants had chosen for its curriculum and philosophy statement was meetings with peers who had conducted peer evaluation of participants' teaching. "We have to have peer evaluation each term for a number of terms. And so somebody would come into my classroom and somebody would come to the clinical area and I got feedback . . . and that was done well." Participants found their attendance at school-based meetings as a place in which they could learn the organizational culture of the school of nursing. Meetings were a place where some participants could observe others in roles and monitor the enactment of those roles within the school of nursing. A participant who had chosen the nursing school for its curriculum and philosophy statement stated, "I would just watch the team at those meetings and look at the roles that people played within the group." A nursing faculty member from the school of nursing where she felt the freedom to teach and speak openly,  stated she used committee meetings as a place where she could learn the history and culture of the committee and its members and how to be effective within the organizational culture: And in being quietly learning the culture you realize how you can be effective. You often cut off your learning the culture by speaking prematurely, so you hear how all the different players around the different committees present themselves, you hear what's important to them, you hear their history, and then in learning that culture, when you need to accomplish something, you learn how to position yourself. Other participants spoke of faculty meetings as a place where they would be exposed to different information about the organizational culture. A participant who selected the school for its location, commented, "A topic will get brought up at faculty meeting or something will get said at an X meeting and you'll inquire as to what does that mean, how do we interpret that?" Previous Teaching Experience. Some of the nursing faculty who chose the school for its geographical location commented that their previous teaching experience assisted them in learning the school of nursing culture more efficiently that if they had no previous experience: "Having moved as many times as I have in the past, I guess I sort of had some sense of what I needed to figure out right away and what didn't mater for awhile," "Having worked in a lot of different places, I had a sense of how schools of nursing or nursing programs are organized and so I had some sense about how do you do this here, how do you do that  57  here." Another replied, "Having taught in the past, I knew there had to be rules about a lot of things." Informal Communication Casual Conversations. The participants spoke about learning the organizational culture through informal communication with colleagues during casual conversations. One participant who chose the school of nursing where she believed the freedom to teach and speak openly was paramount referred to the role that informal communication through colleagues who did not have administrative positions in the school played in learning the organizational culture of a school of nursing, "She really made sure that she was there for me, she was available and so she was the underground." Participants learned the culture informally through asking questions, receiving feedback and being hired or connected with another new employee and learning the culture together. Participants who selected the school of nursing for location commented they learned a lot about the school culture by asking questions of peers. One participant said, "When I have questions, I just go out and ask them." Another responded that peers provided direction about organization culture by, "Answering my questions, giving me directions, almost taking me by the hand sometimes." Support staff were also used by the nursing faculty to learn the organizational culture. One participant from the school of nursing where she experienced the freedom to teach and speak openly said, "The secretaries, they are very, very informative." At the nursing school some participants chose for its curriculum and philosophy statement, one participant felt unsure at times as to whom she could ask in the organization to help her learn the culture. She spoke about having  58  received a conflicting message from colleagues as to what would be appropriate in learning the organizational culture. "I was uncertain I guess about how much to go to other people. I was getting very mixed messages of 'Come see me but actually don't bother me'." Several participants commented that the feedback they received from colleagues allowed them to become more familiar with the organizational culture. One participant who selected the nursing school for its curriculum and philosophy statement commented, "I would do it my way the first term and then the next term I might go to a meeting or work with other instructors and they'd say something." A participant who chose the school for its location said, "Sometimes I found out by chance, by doing things that people would give me feedback about, that (it) could be done differently." Another participant, from the same school, commented that she had received feedback from her peers such as, "This is one of the ways you might want to try this next time." Such feedback provided cues as to what was acceptable and desirable within the organizational culture. Some nursing faculty spoke about being hired with another employee or being connected to a relatively new employee and how the two of them learned the school of nursing culture together. A participant who chose the nursing school for its curriculum and philosophy statement said, I had an orientation guideline from the instructor who was hired the term before me. She was able to give me things I needed to think about and a timeline I needed to consider and the types of people in the unit that I might want to engage to assist with the students' orientation.  5 9  A participant from the school of nursing she selected for its location stated, I started with another employee on the same day so often times I would say to her, T don't know what this means' and she would say, 'Well I just found that out yesterday.' Or I'd say to her, 'Oh I discovered that this is what that means.' Interestingly, the two new people supported one another a whole lot in the first four or five months. Another from the same school responded, "Two of us started at the same time. We were both in the same office and so we probably helped one another in some respects." Experimentation. The participants from two schools of nursing relied on a variety of experimentation techniques to help them learn the organizational culture of their school of nursing. In trying to learn the culture, participants that chose the nursing school for its curriculum and philosophy statement, used trial and error and risk taking to learn the cultural rules. "I guess I took a risk because I didn't know who's who and what the politics were." "So who enacts the rules? Who doesn't? Who agree with it? Who doesn't? So it was more by trial and error than anything else." Another participant from the same school commented on the incongruence she experienced between the written and unwritten rules within the school. "So there's the written one, where you have to do all of them (rules) and then there's the unwritten rule of more experienced instructors telling me, 'You know, X, just focus on one thing and do that well.'" One nursing faculty member described her learning of that organizational culture as "fast and furious." She described the time allotted for learning the culture to her teaching as minimal. "I was dying on the spot because I knew I had two weeks."  60  Some participants spoke about trying to identify "the keepers of the information" within the school in order to determine the cultural rules. One participant who selected the school of nursing for its geographical location stated, "You get a sense, I guess, after a while too, of who to ask. Sometimes in the beginning, you don't really know who the keeper of the information is." Others, from the same school, tried to discover the cultural rules through trial and error. "Sometimes by accident or by breaking them, finding out after the fact, that's not what you should've done." The participants from the school of nursing where they experience the freedom to teach and speak openly did not speak of using experimentation to learn the culture of the school of nursing. Summary of the Background Context The participants from the selected schools of nursing have been contextualized to their place of employment from their descriptions and answers. Participants from one school of nursing described their school as one where they philosophically fit, where they experienced the freedom to teach and the freedom to speak openly, and viewed their students as a young and protected cohort. For the remainder of this study, this school of nursing will be characterized as the school with educational approaches based on freedom. At another school of nursing the participants described their school's curriculum and philosophy statement as congruent with their own views, as being focused on practice-based teaching, and as having a mature student population. This school of nursing will be referred to as the school with a practice-based curriculum. At the third school of nursing, the participants described the location of the school as fitting to their personal lifestyle and drawing a relatively young, passive and traditional student group. This school will now be described as the school with traditional educational  61 values. The characterizations given to each school of nursing are derived from the participants' descriptions of each of their organizational cultures. The characterizations will be used to facilitate the presentation of the research findings and are not intended to be exclusive to each school of nursing. Organizational culture is a very complex issue and manifests itself differently in each school of nursing, thus each individual nursing faculty member may interpret it differently. The findings of this study will be categorized according to themes that these nursing faculty members described about how various organizational cultural aspects may influence student learning. Research Findings This research study was undertaken to gain an understanding of how the organizational culture of a basic nursing education program impacted student learning. According to participants, the organizational culture of a school of nursing impacted student learning both directly and indirectly. In a direct fashion, the organizational culture determined what is appropriate and valued in terms of nursing faculty behaviours and activities; these in turn impacted students' views, opinions and reflexivity, either positively or negatively, through the actual learning experience. The classroom experience, including classroom activities and methods of learning was a direct means in which student learning was impacted by organizational culture. In the clinical setting, the length and breadth of the clinical experience directly impacted student learning. The student activity of journalling had a direct impact on student learning, as did student evaluation methods with an emphasis on learning contracts. Indirectly, organizational  62  culture impacted student learning through nursing faculty interrelationships, faculty response to change, novice instructor survival, and prioritization of nursing faculty time. The findings will be presented as areas where student learning is impacted from the nursing faculty's perspective and will not be categorized per school of nursing. The participants' perspective is considered the unit of analysis and must be considered within the context of the organizational culture in which the participants are employed. Student Learning Directly Impacted The impact organizational culture had on the type of student learning experience within the classroom setting centered on classroom exercises and method of content delivery. Most of the schools of nursing had specific method approaches that nursing faculty used to deliver the content to nursing students. Classroom Activities and Method of Teaching Participants spoke about individual classroom activities and teaching methods that became part of the student's learning. A participant from the school of nursing where she felt the freedom to speak and teach openly commented, "It was really interesting . . . to hear how they had interpreted the teaching they received and how they had incorporated it into their own lives." The faculty expected the students to participate in activities, in learning methods and styles and often graded the student on their level of participation. Participants from the school of nursing selected for location commented on their classroom teaching strategies, "Students find it quite threatening, they don't like it at first until they get used to it." "I think they also find it stressful, though because they are forced to participate because we mark it," and "We want them to have a voice in the clinical setting and part of that journey is having a voice in the seminar setting." A  63  participant from the school chosen for its curriculum and philosophy statement spoke about a teaching method used at her school and said, "Students either love it or hate it (the method)." Length and Breadth of Clinical Experience The length of clinical experience students received varied between schools with each school emphasizing the amount of clinical time they provided for their students. A participant from the school selected for its location said, "Certainly we have a longer preceptorship than any other program in the province." A participant from the school selected for its curriculum and philosophy statement was speaking about the amount of clinical time their students received compared to other schools of nursing commented, "I think it would be, it's close. Some of them have moved up closer to us (in terms of clinical time for students)." She commented that students chose their school of nursing based on the amount of clinical they receive, "I think they select themselves to come here because of the amount of clinical we have." The participants also spoke of the breadth of the clinical or community experience that was available to their nursing students. The participants at the school of nursing chosen for its curriculum and philosophy statement all commented on the breadth and uniqueness of their clinical experience, "We have good community and public health experiences." "Whereas our teaching and I think it's unique to X, we put them on a supervised practicum to learn the role" and "So clinical is probably the most unique in the way we do it." One participant from the school where freedom to teach and speak openly was experienced spoke about the varied clinical experience their students receive: community nursing involving a wide range of hospitals, corrections facilities and forensic  64 facilities. A participant from the school of nursing selected for location commented on the breadth of community experience their students received for the mental health and public health components of the school's curriculum. Journalling Journalling was an activity used in the clinical setting that assisted nursing faculty to understand their students' thinking. It was generally not used as an evaluative measure but rather a tool to facilitate critical reflection. The participants referred to the curriculum expectation of student journalling in response to their clinical experiences. "I think they journal to death, really I think they journal too much," was a comment made by a participant from the school where freedom to teach and speak is experienced. The participants commented that it was difficult to observe all aspects of the student's care and journalling was seen as a way to understand the student's thinking processes and an avenue in which to provide feedback to assist the students with their critical thinking and reflection. A nursing faculty member from the same school responded: Let's talk about respect for a client... it's very difficult to observe that. You can see that they treat them kindly, that they care, so you can see it to some extent but it's when students reflect on that encounter, that their world view really becomes apparent. And so in there, you kinda get a view into the student's thinking as they engage with practice that we can kind of massage. Still another from the institution said, "Throughout the journal we get to know them well and then have a wonderful opportunity to give feedback." Participants from the school selected for its curriculum made the comments, "Reflective journaling is part of the method. It's to help take a look at and to . . . facilitate critical thinking." "And so  65  through journalling and through discussion, we manipulate that." The participants from the school selected for its location also referred to the critical reflection journalling students are expected to complete: It's a very valuable tool because it gets at their reflection on their student examples and their practice and it gives the faculty a chance to get a fairly good handle on thinking process and if you can't see everything the students are doing, you sure learn a lot from the X (journals). "Self reflection is a significant component of clinical practice," and "We use critical reflection as a method of clinical evaluation." Evaluation Methods Evaluation methods were heavily emphasized in the interviews for this study and directly impacted student learning. Student evaluation began at the beginning of each program and occurred continuously throughout each of the programs. The evaluation methods that were dictated by the school of nursing curriculum and that nursing faculty used to evaluate students may impact students' learning. One participant from the school selected for its curriculum commented, "We evaluate to death. We're very strong evaluators." Another from the same school of nursing responded, "It's quite a comprehensive evaluation." The participants all spoke of the evaluation outcomes of their curriculum being linked to the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia standards for nursing practice. Among the evaluation tools used in the classroom, the participants referred to the use of exams, scholarly papers, presentations and projects, either individually or within a group, to test students' knowledge. In the clinical setting, where a greater emphasis on  66 evaluation processes was referred to, the participants listed self evaluations and performance evaluations as methods used to evaluate student progress. All participants spoke of completing the performance evaluation in partnership with the students. The participants spoke in detail regarding the evaluation of students who were perceived by the nursing faculty as having difficulty with their clinical practice. Some participants, from each of the schools, said they initially gave increased attention to students if they noticed a student having difficulty with clinical practice or judgements. The participants used different terms when referring to the strategy used when a student was having sustained difficulty within the clinical setting and for the purpose of this study, the strategy will be called a learning contract. The learning contract, which was instructor initiated and "imposed on the student" details the specific learning need, the strategy(s) the student could use to meet the learning need, how the learning need would be evaluated and a timeline for completion of the learning need. The participants spoke of learning contracts as a tool to focus students on the clinical learning need. Most of the participants stated this strategy needed to be met before the student could pass into the next clinical rotation although in some cases a conditional pass may be given. The schools differed in their policies of whether the contract terminated at the end of the clinical term or whether the learning contract remained active on the student's file for the remainder of the program. When asked about using learning contracts with students, one participant from the school selected for its curriculum responded, "It's heavy handed." The participants all viewed their college or university policies and procedures and their individual techniques as being transparent with the student and therefore alerting the student that a learning challenge may be evident. Participants from all the schools of  67  nursing said students in their program would not be surprised when a learning contract was initiated. "In this program there are no surprises." "It would not be a surprise." "Nothing like that should be a surprise." One participant from the school selected for its curriculum said to students, "If you fail it will be really clear to you, all the way through. It won't be a surprise to you by the end. I'll keep you guys up to date." Some of the participants acknowledged a hesitation they had as to when they should initiate a learning contract with a student. Some of the participants referred to "waiting an extra week" and whether that helped or hindered the student. Participants from the school selected for its curriculum pondered: That's what I'm trying to learn is, do I sit on it for a couple of weeks and not go after it the first time but in the shortness of the term, I learned I guess the hard way, that I gave the student the benefit of having a little bit of time to settle it. "So, if anything, we error on the side of not getting contracts, the learning contracts, in place quick enough. We always think, 'Oh they'll be ok', or 'It was just this week . . . we'll wait.'" Another nursing faculty member spoke of her internal struggle with the strategy: It's stressful in the sense that you have to write it, so thinking it through, being thoughtful about i t . . . ensuring that you're developing strategies . . . that they can accomplish . . . that you're still doing it, hoping that . . . it'll help them pass. I'm constantly questioning myself whether it's a fair thing, it's a right thing, it's a safe thing, it's the best thing for the student so whether my expectations are too high or my expectations too low, so it's just a constant struggle.  68  Others from the school of nursing selected for location spoke of their hesitation, "I suppose that would be the biggest problem. . . . I know that I go along thinking, 'Well I'm just gonna give one more week and not give a learning contract,' although one more week is not a favour to the student." Another participant, from the same school of nursing, referred to a colleague saying, "She agonized, she didn't want to put this student on a learning contract." Some of the participants referred to the power imbalance that existed within the evaluative process. One participant from the nursing school chosen for its curriculum spoke about being able to choose student consequences, "So those are the consequences, if the X (learning contract) isn't met. They could fail the course, they could fail the program. You decide what you want the consequence to be." Another participant from the same school of nursing spoke about students who refuse to sign the learning contract: I've had students that refused to, that don't want to sign the contract because they don't agree with it but at that stage, by the time they're put on a contract, there really is no choice. . . . You have no option to sign or not to sign. If you don't sign, it's still enacted. One nursing faculty member from the school of nursing where participants experienced freedom to teach and speak openly spoke of nursing instructors having all the power within the clinical setting. At the school where she was employed, several pages of policies and procedures related to clinical challenges must be followed to offset that power and "to give power to the student to some extent." From a nursing faculty perspective, student response varied in reaction to being put on a learning contract. "They're very stressed, they're very concerned" was a comment  69  made by a participant from the school selected for its curriculum. Another from the same school said, "I think the bottom line is their nervous because they know that there is an issue that could cost them." One participant from the school of nursing selected for its location said, "Student response varies incredibly. While they may not like the process of getting it, usually in hindsight, those that are successful are thrilled because they've strengthened." Participants from all the schools of nursing spoke of an exception to bypassing the use of learning contracts with a student who was perceived to be "unsafe" or had "difficulty making clinical judgements." At the school selected for its location, one participant commented, "Generally we would really wait until almost the end of the clinical experience . . . before we would share with the student that they had been unsuccessful, however I have in a X week experience . . .at the end of X week, indicated that a student wouldn't be able to come back to complete the experience." Another from the same school said, "When a student is unsafe to practice, we can pull them at any time from the unit, for the day or for the course depending." A participant from the school where freedom to teach and speak openly is experienced commented: If there was any question of violation of patient rights, you know whether that be any sort of abuse, coercion, they would be off clinical right away, you know, a gross violation of patient safety, out of clinical right away. That would over-ride the rights of the student. Another faculty member from that school responded, "The moment you see this student does not have a clue . . . then I think I would pull her." Only one participant commented on the process of bypassing learning contracts at the school selected for its curriculum.  70  "There were certain behaviours of hers that were getting in the way, causing her troubles . . . so that had to change immediately or the preceptor would toss her out. As simple as that." Student Leaning Indirectly Impacted The organizational culture of a school of nursing indirectly impacted student learning through a variety of nursing faculty behaviours that were permitted within the organizational culture of their school of nursing. The participants spoke about their relationship with one another and how those relationships may have become altered through interpersonal conflict or differences in response to anticipated changes occurring at the school of nursing. According to Group dynamics theory, if the relationships between and amongst nursing faculty is not one of inclusion, nursing faculty will become preoccupied and are not able to pay attention to the tasks of the nursing faculty group. The novice instructors spoke about trying to survive the beginning years of their teaching and learning to function within their organization culture. Some nursing faculty, depending on the nature of their faculty position, acknowledged the difficulty they had in prioritizing their time. Some nursing faculty faced a constant battle of trying to balance student needs with other faculty expectations and some of the choices they made related to this battle may have indirectly affected student learning. In general, participants spoke about working together in teams and the positive effect that had on faculty relationships. "She really took a lot of time, maybe 45 minutes some days. 'How is everybody?' And we would check in," was a comment made by a faculty member from the school of nursing chosen for its curriculum. A couple of participants spoke about the challenge, either past or present, of interpersonal conflict between faculty  71 members. One participant from the school of nursing where the freedom to teach and speak openly was experienced, commented on a past experience: You can push through all kinds of difficulties but when your team doesn't work well... when it deteriorates into this kind of interpersonal, I don't even know how to describe it. It's when you can no loner engage the people in a healthy manner to get the job done. It just makes all of your work, really a challenge. Another faculty member from the school of nursing selected for its location commented on a past experience: "but the price the two of us, who were very strong proponents of this, paid, was verbal abuse at X meetings." Another participant from the same school of nursing felt the interpersonal relationship she had with other nursing faculty members occasionally affected her teaching: There's times when it doesn't have an impact at all and there's times when it may be a bit restrictive because my style may be different than someone else's style and . . . that can be an issue where there's pressure to conform. One nursing faculty member from the school of nursing chosen for its curriculum commented, "It's trying to find that balance of how do you work with these people and also speak up when it's not right?" Participants from the school of nursing selected for its location referred to the nursing faculty relationships in terms of anticipated organizational change in their school of nursing. One nursing faculty member spoke about her thoughts when initially meeting some of the nursing faculty, "My take on this was that seeing the world through new eyes wasn't something that was quite as easy for some of the folks who had been here for a period of time." Others from the same school commented, "Change was not well  72  received" and "Change is always hard for some people." One faculty member commented on the growth she had seen by the nursing faculty, "I've seen a shift in people's openness to feedback from the new folks so I'm seeing less and less ownership each year of 'what was' into 'well then what could we try?'" One participant from the school of nursing chosen for its curriculum commented on the change some of the nursing faculty at that school of nursing had experienced and said, "Faculty had just a heck of a time with it. . . . It was a painful move and some people refused to do it. Just hated it." Some of the novice nursing faculty spoke of their focus on survival as a nursing faculty member at the school of nursing and the support they may or may not have received. One participant from the school of nursing selected for its location said, "I was given a whole month of orientation before I started into clinical." Novice participants from the school of nursing chosen for its curriculum commented, "I'm sure my face was ashen because I said, 'I have two weeks.'" "This is how I did my job. I was one week ahead of the students." "I learned that I could reach out to faculty and I would find some that would and some that wouldn't," and "But I knew that in order to be fair to the students, I needed to name what I didn't have." One experienced nursing faculty member from the same school of nursing commented on her beginning days as a nursing instructor, "You're survival at f i r s t . . . hope that you cover things and that they (students) pass the exam." She also made reference as to how she viewed novice nursing faculty. "They're so caught up; you're so caught up in just trying to get through the day . . . seen as doing as good a job as the other instructors."  73 Some nursing faculty members may indirectly have impacted student learning by having to prioritize their time. As one novice instructor from the school of nursing chosen for its curriculum commented about the students she was teaching: "As I get less focused on myself as a teacher role, I can look out and see 'who are they?'" Another from the school of nursing where freedom to teach and speak openly was experienced, spoke about trying to balance the pressures of academia, "How to do those different roles . . . recognizing that you were never gonna feel like you were doing any of them well. . . that required a radical refraining." Conclusion of the Research Findings The nursing faculty participants expressed diverse perspectives on the organizational culture of their schools of nursing. The stories and examples they chose to share for this study provided a view, although limited, of the organizational culture within each school of nursing. The participants expressed similarities as to how they believed they may have impacted student learning within the cultural context of each of their specific schools of nursing. All of the nursing faculty participants appeared compelled to follow the curriculum of the school of nursing and the directions it provided to student teaching and evaluation to determine their impact on student learning. Nursing faculty spoke strongly of their behaviours particularly within the clinical setting as being conducive to student learning regardless of the students' response. In the following chapter, I will discuss the implications of the findings of this study and areas where future research is required.  74 CHAPTER FIVE DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS In this chapter, I will begin by providing a summary of the overall study that includes how organizational culture was defined, the theoretical framework used, and the findings of this research study. I will then present a discussion about two aspects of organizational culture that seemed relevant to the participants in this study: believing in the organization and tensions with power issues. Following the discussion and prior to the conclusion of the paper, implications for educational practice and future research are presented. Summary This study was based upon the premise that nursing faculty within the organizational culture of a school of nursing impacted student learning. Organizational culture was defined within the study as assumptions, beliefs, symbols and shared values that govern faculty members' behaviour (del Bueno & Vincent, 1986; Pratt, 1998; Schein, 1985; Suominen et al., 1997). General systems theory (Heylighen & Joslyn, 1992) was the theoretical framework chosen for this study. This theoretical framework identified nursing faculty and their interactions with one another as the supersystem within the educational institution and the students as the subsystems (Heylighen & Joslyn, 1992). This framework served as an entry point for a beginning understanding of the large and complex phenomenon that encompasses organizational culture. This current qualitative descriptive study was conducted with a convenience sample of nursing faculty members who were registered nurses employed either part time or full  75  time at three nursing educational institutions as teachers of baccalaureate nursing students. Of the ten participants who volunteered for the study, six had greater than three years full time teaching experience and four had less than three years full time teaching experience. The data collection strategy used was semi-structured interviews and the data was analyzed using content analysis. Participants from each of the selected schools of nursing described and contextualized the organizational cultures of these schools of nursing as unique and distinct, particularly in the students they attracted and in the attitudes and values regarding teaching and learning held by many faculty members within that school. Many participants described the philosophical fit they felt between their own values and beliefs and the values and beliefs of the organization. The findings of this study suggested the organizational cultures of the selected schools of nursing impacted student learning directly through teaching strategies and evaluation methods. The teaching strategies included classroom activities and methods of teaching, length and breadth of the clinical experience, and journalling. Participants indicated the three schools had differing values that supported the teaching strategies used within each teaching environment and that the organizational values were supported by the faculty members. A l l participants indicated that the organizational cultures valued student participation; however, the way in which student participation was determined and manifested was varied among the schools of nursing. A common value in each of the organizational cultures of the selected schools of nursing was nursing students' and graduates' critical thinking and reflection ability. Clinical evaluation methods and the role they played within the school's culture were heavily emphasized by the participants  76  as manifestations of the organizational culture. Student-faculty partnerships and clinical competence were two components that were viewed as integral to the clinical evaluation of students. The student-faculty partnerships seemed to create a tension with some participants, as they struggled between the partnership philosophy and enacting the organization's evaluation tools and strategies, required for student evaluation. In facilitating clinical competence with nursing students, nursing faculty indicated they retained the power to impose a learning strategy on nursing students who were perceived as having difficulty achieving clinical competence. Discussion Organizational culture is a very large phenomenon and encompasses many aspects of an educational institution. The participants in this study described a number of ways in which organizational culture may have a direct or indirect impact on student learning. Although participants were asked general questions about their organizational culture, they tended to focus on specific aspects of their culture with which they were particularly concerned. For example, most of these participants made reference to explicit teaching methods and evaluation strategies as examples of their organizational culture. On the basis of the findings to this study, I have identified two aspects that seem particularly relevant and may warrant further discussion. The first aspect is the conviction expressed by many of these participants of the importance of being part of an organization they believed in and that fit with their personal and professional values. They relayed this in relation to their choice of employer and their descriptions of the diverse organizational cultures that they believed were represented across the spectrum of nursing education. This phenomenon also became evident in participants' accounts of their opinions of how  nursing students should be taught and evaluated within the schools of nursing. The second aspect that will be discussed in this chapter is the tension that seemed to exist for many of these nursing faculty members in relation to ways of dealing with power issues in student-faculty relationships, particularly where the organizational philosophy was perceived to be contradictory to what was enacted in actual educational practice. Participants often referred to student-faculty partnerships and the benefit these had to student learning; however, they also recognized that such theoretical partnerships operated in direct contrast to some of the tools and strategies they used to evaluate their students. For some, this disjuncture associated with power represented a significant point of tension within the organizational culture. Believing in the Organization Being part of an organization that the faculty member believed in was important for participants. From their accounts, it seemed that many chose schools of nursing where they believed they fit and where they perceived congruence with how nursing students were taught and evaluated. It is possible that faculty members may have greater commitment to the process of teaching and learning when they believe in the values of the organization, and in turn, feel supported by the organization to enact their values through agreed upon teaching and learning strategies. For example, fostering the ability of nursing students to advocate for patients was a cherished value held by some of the organizational cultures and for many of these nursing faculty members. In order to teach and foster patient advocacy, participants from one organizational culture embraced a specific teaching method, although students may have expressed anxiety with this teaching strategy. These nursing faculty members were able to pursue this teaching  method because they felt supported by their organizational culture and believed in what the organizational culture valued in its nursing graduates. Similarly, other participants discussed a teaching method that was valued within their organizational culture and that faculty members believed produced nursing graduates who were "well-rounded" decision makers. The outcome of using this teaching method was perceived to be of great value within this particular organizational culture, and its value superseded students' negative response to the strategy. The fit of participants with organizational cultures has been described within various theoretical frames. For example, according to the Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) framework, different individuals are attracted to different organizations, selected by the organization and choose to stay within that organization (Schneider, 1987). Accordingly, people will be attracted to organizations that have similar values and characteristics to their own and organizations will select individuals who possess abilities and attributes that fit with the organizations'. Although individuals may be attracted to and selected by an organization, people may make errors in their perception of organizational fit. Schneider suggests that when people find out that they do not fit with the organizational culture, they will leave the organization voluntarily or will be asked to leave by the organization. He suggests this attrition leads to a greater degree of fit with those individuals who remain with the organization. Thefitof individuals with organizations that share similar values has support from other authors (Judge & Bretz, 1992; Lindholm, 2003). In terms of value congruence, some suggest that individuals will choose organizations that match their own values and perceive an organizational fit when organizational attributes meet individual needs (Judge & Bretz, 1992; Lindholm, 2003).  79 Others have found that organizational culture is enriched by employees who believe in the culture, internalize the goals of the organization, and have contributed to a streamlined consensus building among employees (Knapp & Yu, 2000). Participants suggested that being part of an organization that is "a good fit" may foster in faculty a certain amount of freedom, expression and perhaps commitment to the organization that may enhance student learning. Several authors suggest that organizational fit can be fostered by creating a shared vision among members within the organization by having all members participate to craft an organizational vision that they believe in and that they feel committed to (Eigeles, 2003; Pratt, 1998; Senge,1990). They also recommend that new members be assisted to feel part of and committed to the shared vision (Senge, 1990). In order to become committed to a shared vision, new members need to know the vision, as well as to hear and see the vision, and to understand the relationship between what the vision states and how the members are permitted to behave (Haynes, 2002). Some participants discussed their experiences in dealing with change within the organizational culture of their chosen organizations. Although change in of itself is a complex phenomenon, the findings of this research suggest when organizational change occurs within the organization, it may cause some faculty members to perceive that they no longer have the same fit within the organization. This may be a factor to consider in developing interventions to assist nursing faculty to respond effectively to organizational change.  80  Tension with Power Issues Many participants expressed a conflict between what they believe were expected teaching behaviours to uphold organizational values and those that were required to enact student evaluation. These elements of expected behaviour (i.e., teaching and evaluation) were often contradictory and caused participants considerable anxiety within their nursing faculty role. In some instances, this tension compromised participants' ability to be as effective as they might otherwise be in supporting student learning. One of the foremost examples of the tension between the behaviours required to enact teaching and evaluation within the organization was the use of student journalling: a method to understand student thinking and to promote and facilitate critical reflection. The participants described journalling as a student-faculty partnership relationship with both parties involved in a mutual dialogue. Students are required to make the initial journal entry, thereby exposing themselves to the faculty member's scrutiny. The faculty member, however, has the choice as to how he or she will respond. Students are expected to reflect on their clinical performance and decision making in their journal entries, potentially revealing personal vulnerabilities. Faculty, however, are required merely to respond to the student's entries. They do not have to discuss their own limitations or errors. The student-faculty dialogue is therefore unbalanced in terms of vulnerability and power. Although all schools of nursing were reported to value equality within student-faculty relationships, the structure of the journalling process was a significant source of internal tension for participants because the organizational value relating to teaching and evaluation was difficult to reconcile. Many participants in this  81 study indicated their student journals were not graded; however, one faculty member stated the journals were used for evaluative purposes. The teaching-evaluation tension within student journalling has been addressed by many authors (Bilinski, 2002; Landeen, Byrne, & Brown, 1992; Pinkava & Haviland, 1984). The benefits of clinical journalling as a teaching strategy have also been detailed by several authors (Callister, 1993; Fonteyn & Cahill, 1998; Paterson, 1995; Richardson & Maltby, 1995). Student journalling allows faculty to gain insight into students' thinking, learning needs, and personality, and is reported to foster trust within the student-faculty relationship (Bilinski, 2002). It also actively involves students in analyzing and evaluating their clinical experiences (Bilinski, 2002). Journalling is viewed as a learning strategy where students disclose their feelings and grow and learn from their mistakes; therefore, faculty responses to student entries need to be non-critical and facilitative to the students' need for continued growth and learning (Bilinski, 2002). Nursing authors have adopted different positions with respect to grading student journals, noting that grading may diminish a student's freedom to express his or her thoughts (Ruthman et al., 2004), while not grading journals is purported to result in a poor student effort (Bilinski, 2002). Suggestions to improve student effort and diminish the power dynamic between the nursing faculty member and the students include assigning a satisfactory or unsatisfactory mark to the journal entry or assigning a percentage (i.e. 10%) of the overall grade to the journalling component. There is a need for nursing educators to dialogue about the seeming contradictions between teaching and evaluation in order to effectively address such tension. The issues pertaining to student journals may be an effective forum for such a discussion.  82 Participants described student-faculty partnerships as something they valued and were proud to acknowledge as part of their organizational culture. However, they identified a dichotomy between teaching and evaluation within the organizational culture when a student experienced clinical problems and required additional assistance in the form of a learning contract. Participants described learning contracts as a partnership where the student agrees to the learning contract and has input into learning strategies they will use in order to meet the learning need. The contract is "instructor initiated" and "imposed on the student" even if the student does not agree with the decision of initiating a learning contract or the faculty's assessment of his or her clinical ability. Some of the nursing faculty members commented on the internal struggle they felt when imposing a learning contract on a student because of the students' anxiety and undue attention on students' performance it promoted. They questioned how they justified the power inequity in an organization that promoted student-faculty partnerships but also required specific facultydominant evaluative tools and strategies. According to these nursing faculty members, this power dynamic only occurred with borderline or unsuccessful students and was not an issue with successful students. Although unintended, this use of power belies the concept of true student-faculty partnerships, and may cause the faculty member and students to become disillusioned with the organization because the expectations of the student-faculty partnership relationship are not realized. Several authors have commented on aspects of clinical evaluation that pose difficulty for nursing faculty members (Benner, 1982; Chambers, 1998; Novak, 1988; Wood, 1982). One such issue is the dual role of teacher and evaluator that clinical instructors perform and is particularly significant in organizations that have adopted student-faculty  83 partnerships (Mahara, 1998). Clinical evaluation can be viewed as having two separate but related functions: one is to provide ongoing evaluation of the teaching and learning, referred to as the formative purpose; the second, the summative purpose, is to judge whether a student's practice meets professional standards and to decide if the student has successfully met the clinical course requirements (Mahara, 1998). Within the notion of student-faculty partnerships, students are encouraged to be involved in the formative evaluation processes, while the faculty member is the only one viewed as eligible to make the summative evaluation (Arthur, 1995). Some of the assumptions underlying this belief are that summative evaluations require professional expertise and objectivity which only the faculty member has, and that students are incapable of being objective about their own practice (Mahra, 1998). Paterson (1998) suggests that student-faculty partnerships based on equality between nursing faculty members and nursing students may not be achievable because the nursing facultys' role of assessor and evaluator of students' knowledge and clinical performance misrepresents a true partnership. Some scholars argue for the dissolution of power differences between students and nursing faculty in schools of nursing because they are viewed as a potential source of injustice and inequality (Tabak, Adi, & Eherenfeld, 2003). Others argue that there are problems associated with equality and the elimination of power differences (Thorne, 1999). Tanner (1999) suggests that educators who share their knowledge and power with students in an appropriate and responsible way do not eliminate the power differential that exists, but rather use the teaching and learning process to strengthen and empower both educator and students. According to Paterson (1998), three assumptions underlie partnerships in nursing education: a) equality protects students from oppression  84  and abuse arising from faculty's use of power, b) all nursing students and nursing faculty are prepared to enter into equal partnerships, and c) equal partnerships should be the standard in all schools of nursing. Within the context of the research findings of the current study, the notion of a true student-faculty partnership may not exist within schools of nursing. Nursing faculty members must enact practice standards and ensure their nursing graduates are competent and responsible to practice nursing; therefore, espousing to student-faculty equal partnerships may not be attainable and may continue to be a source of conflict for nursing faculty trying to achieve these ideals. Implications for Educational Practice and Future Research As previously mentioned, organizational culture is a very complex phenomenon and therefore from the limited findings of this small qualitative study, two strategies will be suggested that may benefit nursing faculty members working within an educational institution. First, it is suggested that educational leaders understand the importance that nursing faculty members place in having their personal and professional values fit with the organization's values. Assisting new faculty members to find a fit with the organizational culture may be a valuable strategy in helping them to be effective in their role as educator. Second, educational institutions that adopt philosophies of studentfaculty partnerships based on equality should engage in a critical analysis of the assumptions underlying such partnerships to ensure that they do not compromise the faculty members' ability to provide professional and effective learning to the students. Within nursing education organizations, it appears that the professional requirements of student evaluation can conflict with educational partnership theories if the power dynamic is not acknowledged and understood as a challenge that exists within the  85 organizational culture. Therefore, there needs to be ongoing and regular dialogue between faculty and students in schools of nursing about how such a conflict is manifested within the organization and how it can be effectively mediated. The complexity and enormity of organizational culture does not allow small qualitative studies to adequately address the larger concepts that organizational culture encompasses. On the basis of this study's findings, I suspect there are diverse kinds of organizational cultures within nursing education and a larger comparative study, across several programs, might be useful to identify common types of organizational cultures, and to compare the ways the organizational cultures influence faculty members. Conclusion This study was a descriptive study examining how nursing faculty members may impact student learning within their distinctive organizational culture. With organizational culture being such a large complex phenomenon and encompassing many diverse cultures within nursing education, it is difficult to understand how organizational culture impacts student learning within such a small and narrowly limited study. It appears that some nursing faculty members place a significant amount of importance on working in an organization where they perceive congruence with the organization's value system. Some faculty members also experience a power tension that results from attempting to enact an organizational philosophy of student-faculty partnership, while simultaneously upholding professional responsibilities for evaluating nursing students. Organizational cultures that adopt philosophies of equality and partnership need to ensure that the tensions these philosophies create do not compromise the ability of these faculty members to deliver professional and effective education. Acknowledging and assisting  86  nursing faculty members with these two often contradictory aspects of organizational culture may enhance the effect they have on student learning.  87 References Adams, A., Bond, S., & Hale, C A . (1998). Nursing organizational practice and its relationship with other features of ward organization and job satisfaction. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 27, 1212-1222. Amey, M.J. (1999). Faculty culture and college life: Reshaping incentives toward student outcomes. New Directions for Higher Education, 105, 59-70. Arthur, H. (1995). Student self evaluation: How useful: How valid? International Journal of Nursing Studies, 32(3), 271-276. Ashby, R. (1956). An introduction to cybernetics. London: Chapman and Hall. Benner, P. (1982). Issues in competency-based nursing. Nursing Outlook, 30, 303309. Bilinski, H., (2002). The mentored journal. Nurse Educator, 27(1), 37-41. Botcheva, L., White, C.R., & Huffman, L.C. (2002). Learning culture and outcomes measurement practices in community agencies. The American Journal of Evaluation, 23(4), 421-434. Brown, B. (2000). The use of focus groups in clinical research. In B. F. Crabtree & W. L. Miller (Eds.), Doing qualitative research (2 Ed., pp. 109-124). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. nd  Brown, S.T. (1981). Faculty and student perceptions of effective clinical teachers. Journal of Nursing Education, 20, 4-15. Callister, L.C. (1993). The use of student journals in nursing education: Making meaning out of clinical experience. Journal of Nursing Education, 32(4), 185-186. Chambers, M.A. (1998). Some issues in the assessment of clinical practice: A review of the literature. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 7, 201-208. Coeling, H.V., & Simms, L.M. (1993a). Facilitating innovation at the nursing unit level through cultural assessment, Part 1: How to keep management ideas from falling on deaf ears. Journal of Nursing Administration, 23(4), 46-53. Coeling, H.V., & Simms, L.M. (1993b). Facilitating innovation at the unit level through cultural assessment, Part 2: Adapting managerial ideas to the unit work group. Journal of Nursing Administration, 23(5), 13-20. Coeling, H.V., & Wilcox, J.R. (1988). Understanding organizational culture: A key to management decision-making. Journal of Nursing Administration ,18(11), 16-22.  88  Coeling, H.V., & Wilcox, J.R. (1990). Using organizational culture to facilitate the change process. American Nurses Nephrology Association, 17(3), 231-236. Deal, T.E., & Kennedy, A.A. (1982). Corporate cultures: The rites and rituals of corporate life. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Del Bueno, D.J., & Vincent, P.M. (1986). Organizational culture: How important is it? Journal of Nursing Administration, 16(10), 15-20. Dunn, S.V., & Hansford, B. (1997). Undergraduate nursing students' perceptions of their clinical learning environment. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25, 1299-1306. Donohue, J.D. (1986). Faculty perceptions of organizational climate and expressed job satisfaction in selected baccalaureate schools of nursing. Journal of Professional Nursing. 2(6). 373-379. Eigeles, D. (2003). Facilitating shared vision in the organization. Journal of European Industrial Training, 27(5), 208-219. Fain, J.A. (1987). Perceived role conflict, role ambiguity, and job satisfaction among nurse educators. Journal of Nursing Education, 26, 233-238. Fonteyn, M.E., & Cahill, M. (1998). The use of clinical logs to improve nursing students' metacognition: A pilot study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 28(1), 149-154. Gillespie, M. (2002). Student-teacher connection in clinical nursing education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 37(6), 566-576. Goldring, L. (2002). The power of school culture. Leadership, 32(2), 32-36. Gruenert, S. (2000). Shaping a new school culture. Contemporary Education, 71(2), 14-18. Guralnik, D.B. (1977). Webster's new world dictionary. USA: Collins World. Hawks, J.H. (1992). Empowerment in nursing education: Concept analysis and application to philosophy, learning and instruction. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 17, 609-618. Hawk, J.H. (1999). Organizational culture and faculty use of empowering teaching behaviours in selected schools of nursing. Nursing Outlook, 47, 67-73. Haynes, J.K. (2002). Linking departmental and institutional mission. New Directions for Higher Education, 119. 65-68.  89 Heylighen, F., & Joslyn, C. (1992). What is systems theory? Retreived on July 27, 2003, http://pespmcl.vub.ac.be/SYSTHEOR.html. Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Holland, C.K. (1993). An ethnographic study of nursing culture as an exploration for determining the existence of a system of ritual. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 18, 14611470. Ingersoll, G.L., Kirsch, J.C., Merk, S.E., & Lightfoot, J. (2000). Relationship of organizational culture and readiness for change to employee commitment to the organization. Journal of Nursing Administration, 30(1), 11-20. Jones, K.R., & Redman, R.W. (2000). Organizational culture and work redesign: Experiences in three organizations. Journal of Nursing Administration, 30(12), 604-610. Judge, T.A., & Bretz, R.D. (1992). Effects of work values on job choice decisions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77. 261-271. Knapp, E., & Yu, D. (2000). Understanding organizational culture: How culture helps or hinders the flow of knowledge. Knowledge Management Review, 7, 16-21. Knox, J.E., & Mogan, J. (1985). Important clinical teacher behaviours as perceived by university nursing faculty, students, and graduates. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 10, 2530. Krueger, R.A. (1998). Developing questions for focus groups. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Landeen, J., Byrne, C , & Brown, B. (1992). Journal keeping as an educational strategy in teaching psychiatric nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 17, 347-355. Lee, W.S., Cholowski, K., & Williams, A.K. (2002). Nursing students' and clinical educators' perceptions of characteristics of effective clinical educators in an Australian university school of nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 39(5), 412-420. Lindholm, J.A. (2003). Perceived organizational fit: Nurturing the minds, hearts, and personal ambitions of university faculty. The Review of Higher Education, 27(1), 125149. Lofmark, A., & Wikblad, K. (2001). Facilitating and obstructing factors for development of learning in clinical practice: A student perspective. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 34(1) 43-50.  90 Lubbert, V.M. (1995). Structure and faculty perception of climate in schools of nursing. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 17(31 317-327. Mahara, M.S. (1998). A perspective on clinical evaluation in nursing education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 28(6), 1339-1346. Manojlovich, M., & Ketefian, S. (2002). The effects of organizational culture on nursing professionalism: Implications for health resource planning. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 33(4), 15-34. Mark, B.A. (1996). Organizational culture. Annual Review of Nursing Research, 14, 145-163. McDaniel, C , & Stumpf, L. (1993). The organizational culture: Implications for nursing service. Journal of Nursing Administration, 23(4), 54-60. McGrath, J.E. (1984). Groups: Interaction and Performance. Engle-wood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Morgan, D.L. (1993). Qualitative content analysis: A guide to paths not taken. Qualitative Health Research, 3, 112-121. Morgan, D.L. (1998). The focus group guidebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Morse, J. M., & Field, P. A. (1995). Qualitative research methods for health professionals (2 Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. nd  Novak, S. (1988). An effective clinical evaluation tool. Journal of Nursing Education, 27(2), 83-84. Nugent, K.E., Barger, S.E., & Bridges, W.C. (1993). Facilitators and inhibitors of practice: A faculty perspective. Journal of Nursing Education, 32(7), 293-300. Nystrom, P.C. (1993). Organizational cultures, strategies, and commitments in health care organizations. Health Care Management Review, 18(1), 43-52. O'Shea, H.S., & Parsons, M.K. (June, 1979). Clinical instruction: Effective and ineffective teacher behaviours. Nursing Outlook, 411-415. Paterson, B.L. (1991). The juggling act: An ethnographic analysis of clinical teaching in nursing education. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Manitoba. Paterson, B.L. (1994). A framework to identify reactivity in qualitative research. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 16(3), 301-316.  91  Paterson, B, (1995). Developing and maintaining reflection in clinical journals. Nurse Education Today, 15(3). 211-220. Paterson, B. (1998). Partnership in nursing education: A vision or a fantasy? Nursing Outlook, 46(61 284-289. Pettigrew, A.M. (1979). On studying organizational cultures. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24, 570-580. Pike, G.R., Kuh, G.D., & Gonyea, R.M. (2003). The relationship between institutional mission and students' involvement and educational outcomes. Research in Higher Education, 44(2), 241-261. Pinkava, B., & Haviland, C. (1984). Teaching writing and thinking skills. Nursing Outlook, 32, 270-272. Piscopo, B. (1994). Organizational climate, communication, and role strain in clinical nursing faculty. Journal of Professional Nursing, 10(2), 113-119. Polit, D.L., & Hungler, B.P. (1999). Nursing research: Principles and methods (6 Ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott.  th  Pratt, J.R. (1998). Organizational culture and you. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 10(5), 55-57. Richardson, G., & Maltby, H. (1995). Reflection-on-practice: Enhancing student learning. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 22(2), 235-242. Rubin, H.J., & Rubin, I.S. (1995). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data. Thousand Oaks, Sage. Ruthman, J., Jackson, J., Cluskey, M., Flannigan, P., Folse, V.N., & Bunten, J. (2004). Using clinical journaling to capture critical thinking across the curriculum. Nursing Education Perspectives, 25(30). 120-123. Sandelowski, M. (1995). Focus on qualitative methods: Sample size in qualitative research. Research in Nursing and Health, 18, 179-183. Sandelowski, M. (2000). Focus on research methods: Whatever happened to qualitative description? Research in Nursing and Health, 23, 334-340. Schein, E.H. (1985). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Schneider, B. (1987). The people make the place. Personnnel Psychology, 40(3), 437453.  92  Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art & practice of the learning organization. NewYork: Currency Doubleday. Sleutel, M.R. (2000). Climate, culture, context, or work environment?: Organizational factors that influence nursing practice. Journal of Nursing Administration. 30(2). 53-58. Smircich, L. (1983). Concepts of culture and organizational analysis. Administrative Science Quarterly. 28. 339-358. Snarr, C.E., & Krochalk, P.C. (1996). Job satisfaction and organizational characteristics: Results of a nationwide survey of baccalaureate nursing faculty in the United States. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 24, 405-412. Stewart, D.W., & Shamdasani, P.N. (1990). Focus groups: Theory and practice. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Suominen, T., Kovasin, M., & Ketola, O. (1997). Nursing culture - some viewpoints. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 25, 186-190. Tabak, N., Adi, L., & Eherenfeld, M. (2003). A philosophy underlying excellence in teaching. Nursing Philosophy, 4, 249-254. Tanner, C A . (1999). Teaching: Beyond technique. Journal of Nursing Education, 38(8), 339. Thomas, C , Ward, M., Chorba, C , & Kumiega, A. (1990). Measuring and interpreting organizational culture. Journal of Nursing Administration, 20(6), 17-24. Thorne, S., Reimer Kirkham, S., &MacDonald-Emes, J. (1997). Interpretive description: A noncategorical qualitative alternative for developing nursing knowledge. Research in Nursing and Health, 20, 169-177. Thorne, S.E. (1999). Are egalitarian relationships a desirable ideal in nursing? Western Journal of Nursing Research, 21(1), 16-34. Von Bertalanffy, L. (1968). General systems theory. New York: Braziller. Windsor, A. (1987). Nursing students' perceptions of clinical experience. Journal of Nursing Education, 26(4). 150-154. Wong, S. (1978). Nurse-teacher behaviours in the clinical field: Apparent effect on nursing students' learning. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 3, 369-372. Wood, V. (1982). Evaluation of student nurse clinical performance: A continuing problem. International Nursing Review, 29(1), 11-17.  93  APPENDIX A Systems Theory  output^  _throuflt3B.ijJ.  boundary  environment  http://pespmc1 .vub.ac. be/SYSTH EOR.html  94 APPENDIX B Systems Theory Applied to Educational Institutions  Students entering into nursing program  environment  Adapted from Systems Theory.  Adapted from Systems Theory  

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0091640/manifest

Comment

Related Items