Organizatonal Life Cycle and Culture

  This research applied the theory of organizational life cycle to public organizations as opposed to private; specifically the study examines the relationship between culture and life cycle in municipal organizations in Southern California.  The practical significance of this study is to help city managers gain better insight into a continuous process of adaptation and unique set of characteristics in each developmental stage of the organizational life cycle of cities.

       The research was designed to analyze the population, and revenue, patterns of municipal organizations in Southern California and their relationship to the age of the city to determine whether a life cycle of growth was related to age.  Forty-five cities were selected and divided into three groups based upon their age, one to ten, eleven to twenty and over twenty.  The statistical procedure of ANOVA was utilized to test the difference in the rate of growth of revenue and population of municipal organizations in these three stages. Twelve cities were randomly selected from two groups of cities based on their age and growth rates of revenue and population.  The first group was under twenty years of age and had growth rates in excess of fifteen percent.  The second group was over twenty years in age and had growth rates less than fifteen percent. Sixty-three administrative, technical and professional staffs from the community development departments of these cities were surveyed using the Kilmann-Saxton Culture Gap Survey.  The t Test for independent samples was used to test the difference in culture gaps scores (desired norms verses actual norms) between these two staff groups. In addition, the mean scores of cultural gap scores of these twelve cities were analyzed to determine if they were wide enough to warrant concern by the management of the cities and departments involved in the study.

* This study is a partial of dissertation submitted to the dissertation committee of University of La Verne.