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EDUC 8117 Module 3 Discussion: Module 3 Discussion

Discussion: Organizational Culture

For the Module 3 discussion post, you need to include one recent article about assessing organizational culture. This guide covers:

  • Suggested databases
  • Suggested search terms
  • Refining your search

Suggested databases for organizational culture

When searching for articles, you should use a database that best matches your topic's main subject. For education, this usually means using ERIC and Education Source.

Organizational culture, however, is in the field of industrial psychology, which overlaps psychology and management. See the the full lists of psychology databases and business and management databases, or choose one below. The top education databases are also listed.

NOTE: You will find articles most germaine to the topic of organizational culture in the psychology and management databases, while the education databases are more likely to produce results that relate organizational culture to specific educational settings (K-12, higher education, etc.).

Search terms for organizational culture

Organizational culture can be expressed in different ways, depending on the main focus of the research study or the database in which it is found. 

Terms to consider:

  • organizational culture
  • business culture
  • corporate culture
  • business climate
  • organizational climate


Search for multiple terms at once using the Boolean operator or between words or phrases. It won't matter how the concept is expressed, as long as one of the terms appears in the article record (its title, abstract, subject terms, etc.). Learn more about using Boolean (AND, OR, NOT).

PsycINFO search box. The first box has the text, "organizational culture or business culture or corporate culture or business climate or organizational climate"

This will find many results. However, the articles may only mention a term and not be significantly about it.


Alternatively, you can start by searching for one term:

PsycINFO search with the first box containing: organizational culture. Note: Searching for organizational culture in PsycINFO finds 805 results.


After your initial search, look at the Subjects in the article results to determine the likely subject term for a concept in a particular database (they often vary from database to database):

Subjects appear below the article information. A sample result shows that "organizational climate" is a subject term in PsycINFO. 


If you search for that Subject Term instead, you will capture the most relevant results: 

PsycINFO search with "organizational climate" in the first search box and the drop-down menu to the right of it changed to "SU Subject." 4551 results are found with this search.


When using subject terms, sometimes you find more results. Other times you find less. Either way, searching by subject terms increases the relevancy of results—the articles will be significantly about a concept, not just happen to mention it.

Learn more about subject terms.

Refine your search

Using the strategies above, you may find hundreds to thousands of results. Refine your search by adding terms in the additional search boxes. What about organizational culture are you interested in? 

Brainstorm terms that pinpoint specific aspects. Use the Corporate Culture Template (linked in your course) for ideas. Similar terms can be combined with or and entered into the boxes, for example:

  • values or ethics
  • mission or identity
  • attitudes or perspectives
  • management style or leadership style
  • motivation
  • morale

After a search, look for terms of interest in the Subjects, listed in the article results. These terms will vary depending on the database. Here are some examples of what you might see and add:

  • organizational behavior
  • organizational change
  • organizational effectiveness
  • employee characteristics 

Include terms that target your organization:
  • higher education or college or university
  • elementary school
  • middle school or junior high
  • community college

NOTE: You are asked to find articles that "assess" organizational culture. In this context, "assessment" can be described countless ways. While you can try to generate multiple keywords in an elaborate search...

assess* or evaluat* or investigat* or analyz* or explor* or determin* or describ*

...we recommend that you exclude this. In this case, it's easier to scan article titles and abstracts to see what's being discussed than to guess the exact words the author is using. 

(Using the * after a word will find multiple endings: assess, assessing, assessment.)

Limit your results to full text

Check the box for Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals and specify years to find only recent results:

Box to the left of Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals is checked.

The date range of the most recent five years is entered into the boxes next to Year.

Learn more about database limiters (they may vary).

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