22 SES 12 C, Guidance and Support of (Graduate) Students
People spend most of their lives in the educational process. Higher education, a significant part of this process, shapes the lives of the individual academically, socially, and economically. Not only individuals but also organizations and communities get opportunities via higher education. According to dataset of OECD (2015), people with higher education gain more income and pay more tax than the ones with lower level of education. Moreover, graduate education presents some advantages for the higher education institutions. The higher education institutions highly ranked in university ranking systems have more prestige than other universities because they produce more publication, project, and PhD graduates all of which are core outcomes of the graduate education. As a result, the question of what makes different an organization providing graduate education from others may be responded with organizational dynamics.
The term climate is frequently used in everyday life. Cold and warm are the adjectives describing the climate. Similarly, these adjectives depict the atmosphere in an organization. More formally, organizational climate can be defined as shared perceptions of individuals about the work environment in the organization (Hoy & Miskel, 1991). On the other hand, organizational climate is closely related to positive outcomes such as organizational commitment (Uysal, 2013), organizational citizenship (Shanin, Naftchali, & Pool, 2013), and organizational effectiveness (Stetzer, Morgeson, & Anderson, 1997). Organizational climate is also significant for the higher education institutions. Coso and Sekayi (2015) found that institutional climate affects the engineering doctoral students’ preparation for diverse career planning and professional development, especially future faculty by developing teaching abilities. Musah and his colleagues (2016) conducted a study in Malaysia and found that performance of academic staff was predicted by organizational climate. In the literature, it is possible to see the scale development and adaptation studies in organizational climate. Grobler and Grobler (2015) conceptualized organizational climate for the open and distance learning in higher education and found these factors: “leadership, my manager, organisational citizenship, compensation, interpersonal relationships and clients, capacity and values”. In another study, Kasırga and Özbek (2008) conducted reliability and validity studies of a scale measuring organizational climate in higher education instititons. The results of Exploratory Factor Analysis and reliability analysis showed that after 10 items were omitted, remaining 20 items were both valid and reliable.
In the international literature, there are many studies focusing on organizational climate in higher education institutions (Duwve, Columbaro, &Poggiali, 1992, Manuela, Cecila, & Joao, 2014; Moran &Volkwein, 1988; Sokol, Gozdek, Figurska, & Blaskova, 2015). Organizational climate is less studied topic in higher education context of Turkey. In the education field, frequently studied topic is school climate (Bayar & Uçanok, 2012; Bektaş & Nalçacı, 2013; Özdemir et al., 2010). On the other hand, the researchers of the current study did not come across a study focusing on organizational climate at the graduate education level in the context of Turkey such that there are only studies investigating organizational climate in the universities of Turkey (Balcı-Bıcak, 2002; Yaman, 2010; Yüceler, 2009). In other words, studies in Turkey do not distinguish higher education institutions in terms of level of education. However, climate in higher education institutions offering graduate education becomes different by the structure and process of graduate education. On the other hand, there is a cooperation between higher education in Turkey and Eurepean Higher Education Area throguh Bologna Process. In this respect, quality of climate in higher edcuation institutions may be a feedback mehanism for this partnership. Therefore, there is a need for a scale to assess organizational climate in graduate education institutions such that the current study aims to develop an organizational climate scale focusing on graduate education.
The design of the current study is a survey which is based on the development of a scale assessing organizational climate in graduate education. The population included the graduate students in a public university in the capital city of Turkey. The sample was selected randomly through clustered sampling. After the departments had been chosen randomly, scale was administered to all students in those departments. However, some of the students were not volunteer to fill scale while a few students did not provide healthy data. As a result, the sample consisted of 302 graduate students. The process of scale development was based on steps of literature review, formation of item pool, cognitive interview with graduate students, expert opinion for content validity, content validity criteria of Veneziano and Hooper (1997), and expert opinion for face validity. After this process, item pool was updated and included 35 items on five dimensions. Approvals of graduate schools and Human Subjects Ethics Committee of the university were provided for the pilot study. The scale was administered to graduate students in a pilot study in order to test its reliability and validity in December, 2017. For the sample size of the pilot study, recommendations from literature in terms of sample size in factor analyses were taken into consideration. Study by MacCallum, Widaman, Zhang, and Hong (1999) depicted studies recommending criteria for sample size in factor analysis. Three to six (Cattell, 1978), at least five (Gorsuch, 1983), and at least 10 (Everitt, 1975) for the ratio of number of participants to number of items were criteria offered by the authors (as cited in MacCallum et al., 1999, p.84-85). As a result, current study having 302 participants and 35 items met the recommendations of the many studies in the literature. The data gathered from the graduate students were analyzed in SPSS 24.0 to explore factors by using EFA (Exploratory Factor Analysis). In EFA, critical factor loading values, KMO (Kaiser Meyer Olkin) values, extraction and rotation method, sphericity test, and scree plot of eigenvalue were considered. Additionally, Cronbach Alpha and correlation coefficients were calculated to check reliability of items and dimensions in the scale (note that: Confirmatory Factor Analysis will be performed on the data which will be collected for the main study between March and May, 2018. Therefore, if this paper is accepted, it will have been completed by the conference date).
At the beginning of Exploratory Factor Analysis, multivariate normality assumption was checked such that Mardia’s test was found significant. Because normality assumption was violated, principal axis factor was chosen as the extraction method. Direct oblimin was used as rotation to interpret factors. When EFA was run, The Kaiser Meyer Olkin (KMO) was sufficient and Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity was significant. Hair, Anderson, Tatham, and Black (2010) offered minimum %50-%60 variance for the humanities. Considering this recommendation, 51.34% of variance was chosen and this percentage came up to the sixth factor. Items of 8, 13, 20, 22, 24, 28 and 35 were removed because of close or critical factor loadings. Six factors which explained 57.39% of the common were labeled as departmental climate, social climate, administrative climate, climate based on relations with advisor, climate based on relations with faculty members, and academic climate. Finally, six-factor structure had a value of .87 Cronbach Alpha. For these six dimensions, coefficients of internal consistency changed between .70 and .85. Although six-factor structure has not confirmed yet, this factor structure is consistent with European context. Sokol et al. (2015) conducted a study in a Polish university and found that the most important factors were process and structure in higher education institutions and intellectual stimulation which respectively correspond to departmental climate and academic climate of the current study. Additionally, Manuela, Cecilia, and Joao (2014) investigated climate in higher education institutions in Portugal and found some dimensions like leadership and interpersonal relationships which cover the administrative climate, social climate, climate based on relations with advisor, and climate based on relations with faculty members of the current study. On the other hand, the current study differs by Canada (Evan-Harvey, 1995) and US context (Oregon Report, 1997) which emphasized diversity as a crucial part of organizational climate.
Balcı-Bucak, E. (2011). Abant İzzet baysal üniversitesi eğitim fakültesinde örgüt iklimi: Yönetimde ast-üst ilişkisi. Sosyal ve Beşeri Bilimler Araştırmaları Dergisi, 7. Bayar, Y., & Uçanok, Z. (2012). School Social Climate and Generalized Peer Perception in Traditional and Cyberbullying Status. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 12(4), 2352-2358 Bektaş, F., & Nalçacı, A. (2013). Okul iklimi ve öğrenci başarısı arasındaki ilişki. Uluslararası Avrasya Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 4(13), 1-13. Coso, A. E., & Sekayi, D. (2015). Exploring the role of institutional climate in preparing engineering doctoral students for academic careers. Paper presented at the meeting of American Society for Engineering Education, Seattle, WA. Duwve, K. M., Columbaro, N. L., & Poggiali, C. A. (1992). Application of a climate survey in higher education. The Journal of Epsilon Pi Tau, 18(2), 37-42. Grobler, A., & Grobler, S. (2015). Organisational climate: conceptualisation and measurement in an open and distance learning higher education institution. South African Journal of Higher Education, 29(4), 114-134. Hoy, W. K., & Miskel, C. G. (1991). Educational administration: Theory, research, and practice, 4th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. Kasırga, İ., & Özbek, O. (2008). Beden eğitimi ve spor yüksekokullarında örgüt iklimi. Beden Eğitimi ve Spor Bilimleri Dergisi, 6(2), 59-68. MacCallum, R. C., Widaman, K. F., Zhang, S., & Hong, S. (1999). Sample size in factor analysis. Psychological methods, 4(1), 84. Manuela, N. M., Cecilea, A., & Joao, C (2014). Higher education institution organizational climate survey. International Journal of Advances in Management and Economics, 3(1), 107-121. Moran, E. T., & Volkwein, J. F. (1988). Examining organizational climate in institutions of higher education. Research in Higher Education, 28(4), 367-383. Musah, M. B., Musah, M. B., Ali, H. M., Ali, H. M., Vazhathodi al-Hudawi, S. H., Vazhathodi al-Hudawi, S. H., ... & Said, H. B. (2016). Organisational climate as a predictor of workforce performance in the Malaysian higher education institutions. Quality Assurance in Education, 24(3), 416-438. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2015). Education at a glance-2015 highlights. Özdemir, S., Sezgin, F., Şirin, H., Karip, E., & Erkan, S. (2010). İlköğretim okulu öğrencilerinin okul iklimine ilişkin algılarını yordayan değişkenlerin incelenmesi. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 38(38). Shahin, A., Naftchali, J. S., & Pool, J. K. (2014). Developing a model for the influence of perceived organizational climate on organizational citizenship behaviour and organizational performance based on balanced score card. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 63(3), 290-307.
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