Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership - Higher Education

Committee Member

Dr. Tony Cawthon

Committee Member

Dr. Michael Godfrey

Committee Member

Dr. Kyle Young

Committee Member

Dr. David Fleming


Using a mixed methods research design, this study compared the athletic director’s perceptions of the present and preferred organizational cultures with the perceptions of the athletic department employees at Big State University. As the pace of change has accelerated in athletic departments, it has become more important for members of these organizations to develop a shared understanding of their present culture as well as the type of cultural attributes that they believe will help them become more successful in the future. This study used the Competing Values Framework as a theoretical construct and the OCAI survey to gather quantitative data. To supplement the quantitative findings, a series of focus group interviews were conducted in order to develop a richer understanding of the athletic department culture. Although data showed statistically significant differences in the athletic director’s perception of culture when compared to department employees, the differences were most pronounced in the present state, where they differed on both major scales of the CVF. Both the athletic director and employees agreed that inclusive people practices, as represented by the clan archetype, are important to their future success. By identifying the perceptual differences that exist, this study provides a potential methodology that can be utilized to help organizations better understand the present cultural pressures that guide decision making and help align future efforts. This unfreezing can be a critical first step in engaging the team in the management of the cultural forces that can inhibit needed future changes.



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