Organizational climate and culture

Annu Rev Psychol. 2013:64:361-88. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143809. Epub 2012 Jul 30.


Organizational climate and organizational culture theory and research are reviewed. The article is first framed with definitions of the constructs, and preliminary thoughts on their interrelationships are noted. Organizational climate is briefly defined as the meanings people attach to interrelated bundles of experiences they have at work. Organizational culture is briefly defined as the basic assumptions about the world and the values that guide life in organizations. A brief history of climate research is presented, followed by the major accomplishments in research on the topic with regard to levels issues, the foci of climate research, and studies of climate strength. A brief overview of the more recent study of organizational culture is then introduced, followed by samples of important thinking and research on the roles of leadership and national culture in understanding organizational culture and performance and culture as a moderator variable in research in organizational behavior. The final section of the article proposes an integration of climate and culture thinking and research and concludes with practical implications for the management of effective contemporary organizations. Throughout, recommendations are made for additional thinking and research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Social Behavior*