Professional Doctorate - Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Against a landscape of rapidly emerging higher education systems in Confucian countries, the small special administrative region of China, Macau, provides the context for a case study of organisational climate in a higher education institution prior to changing status from a polytechnic to a university. The purpose of the research is to investigate the organisational climate within this institution, referred to as the Sino-Portuguese Institute (SPI), and to compare its climate with that of Australian universities. Employing a climate measurement instrument developed in Australia and applied to 17 universities regularly over the past decade, a survey of all permanent staff at SPI was undertaken in September 2010. The results demonstrate an institutional climate that excels in work/life balance, role clarity and job satisfaction. Conversely, the climate reveals weaknesses related to the areas of participation, safety, and change and innovation. Furthermore, results reveal two distinct climates at SPI: one very positive climate among administrative staff; and one more negative climate among academics. The climate difference between the two groups is not unusual in higher education institutions; however, compared to their respective colleagues in Australia, the SPI administrative staff was more satisfied while the SPI academic staff was less satisfied. The outstanding difference between the climates at SPI and Australian universities was the significantly more positive work/life balance, workload and wellness factors at SPI. As this was the first time organisational climate research had been done in Macau and possibly in other Confucian based nations, the contribution of the research lies in providing benchmarks for SPI and other Eastern institutions, to monitor change in climates as they enter into the competitive arena of global higher education. Several avenues for further research are suggested which mainly focus on replication of the study in other institutions in Macau and the East, and longitudinally at SPI.