Relationship between Organizational Culture and Innovation Management: An Exploratory Investigation


Léo Fernando Castelhano Bruno, PhD

Fundação Dom Cabral,

Minas Gerais, Brazil


The study sought to investigate the impact of the Organizational Culture, personal values profile (micro-culture) of the involved executives and organizations’ culture (mezzo-culture) of the analyzed organizations, on the management of innovation. A sample of 400 executives of 48 organizations was selected, involving large and medium size ones of several segments having product and service development activities. Four closed instruments were applied, being two of them Likert type (opinion) – personal values and organization cultural traits inventories, and the other two of diagnosis type – innovation essential internal conditions (enablers) and customer-oriented processes. In the case of the last two instruments the Delphi technique was used for data gathering, leading to the value innovation index of each researched organizations.

The results have shown an unbalance on the personal values profile of the involved executives, showing a typical managers´ profile, rather than a leader’s one, as well as an inadequate average organization cultural index, both results negative as far as innovation activities are concerned. On the other hand the study showed a moderate to high positive relation between personal values balance and the organization cultural adequacy index, being these two variables positively related with the value innovation index of the involved organizations as depicted by the findings.

Keywords: Innovation, personal values, organizational culture, leadership and value innovation index.

Introduction and Literature Review

  1. 1.    Values

Many personal aspects will interact to determine the actions of a person in a leadership role. Perceptions, attitudes, motivations, personality, skills, knowledge, experience, confidence, and commitment are a few of the variables which are important for understanding the behavior of people. They are no less important for understanding the behavior of people at work, whether they are leaders or not. However, this study will highlight what may well be the crucial and underlying determinant of leaders’ behavior – values.

According to Spranger (1928), an early and influential writer, values are defined as the constellation of likes, dislikes, viewpoints, shoulds, inner inclinations, rational and irrational judgments, prejudices, and association patterns that determine a person’s view of the world. The importance of a value system is that once internalized it becomes, consciously or subconsciously, a standard or criterion for guiding one’s action. Thus the study of leaders’ values is extremely important to the study of leadership.


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About the Author 

pmwj15-oct2013-bruno-AUTHOR IMAGE 120x176flag-brazilLéo Fernando Castelhano Bruno

Associate Professor and Researcher

Fundação Dom Cabral

Minas Gerais, Brazil

Léo Fernando Castelhano Bruno is an Associate Professor and Researcher at Fundação Dom Cabral in the fields of People, Organizational Behavior and Innovation, since 2004. He is a member of the FDC Leadership Development Center and of the FDC Innovation Center. He is also an Assistant Professor in the field of Science and Technology at VolkswagenAutoUnion, Wolfsburg/Germany; Professor in the Master’s courses at UNICAMP – Campinas State University, and UFAM – Amazonas Federal University, in the disciplines Strategic Planning, Organizational Change Management, Leadership, Organizational Culture, Research in Organizations, and Organizational Behavior; Technical Coordinator of the Fundação Dom Cabral PAEX – Partners for Excellence program; and President of the Council at CLSB – Center for Leadership Studies do Brasil, São Paulo/Brazil.

Prof Bruno is a member of the Executive Committee at the UNESCO Global Leadership Forum; member of the Executive Committee at CASA – Chinese-American Scholars Association, New York/USA; and international lecturer in the fields of Leadership, Organizational Change, Organizational Culture and Science & Technology (Innovation). He has worked as an executive for several companies such as: Ford, Embraer, Philips, Whirlpool/Brastemp, Samsung, Gradiente, Genius Institute of Technology and Flextronics. Some of his lectures abroad include: “Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations” at the 10th Global Leadership Forum/UNESCO in Novosibirsk/Russia, 2008, and “Impact of Leadership on Organizations” at the E-Leader Conference in Krakow/Poland, 2008.  He is the author of several books and numerous articles and book chapters.

He has a Doctorate in Applied Behavioral Sciences, specialization in Organizational Behavior, California American University (1982); Master in Administration, California American University (1978); Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo (1977); Specialist in Quality Management, University of California at Los Angeles – UCLA (1979); and Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Escola de Engenharia Mauá do Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia, (1970).  Prof Bruno can be contacted at [email protected] .