Assessing organizational culture based on words used by company to describe itself…

Duke (2021) explored the association between organizational culture and financial statement fraud. What was interesting to me was how organizational culture was measured. In this study, the emerging scholar apparently reviewed press releases and other publicly-available documentation relating to companies, and classified each sample company into four culture groups –

  • Adhocracy
  • Clan
  • Hierarchy
  • Market

No statement was made by the emerging researcher about her classification being reviewed by more seasoned, experienced domain experts (like faculty!). How does a reader assess construct validity? I guess it doesn’t matter. Also, there was no assumption or limitation statement that the coding was subjective. I guess its “Trust me…”

In RQ1, each of these cultures was compared to nominally-coded fraud (0 = No; 1 = Yes), and a Chi-square test was performed (2 x 5 = 10 cells). No significant association. It makes sense – N = 50. With a sample size of 50, only a w in excess of .489 (which is large!) could be identified.

Next, the emerging scholar performed another Chi-square test comparing the four classifications with 5 types of fraud; however, Table 2 (p. 59), which apparently shows the type of fraud by organizational classification (N = 60; some fraud incidents fall into more than 1 category, which is problematic), doesn’t reconcile with data displayed in Tables 7-10 (N = 100 in each classification). If a Chi-square test was performed on data found in Table 2, there is no significant association. But, the emerging scholar did five Chi-square tests on the N = 100 data and found a statistically significant association.

What does this all mean? If you look deep enough you can find something; mainly, if you get to interpret the values of the variables. This is why I tell students: Don’t trust doctoral dissertations. Who says the respective emerging scholar or their faculty know what they’re doing?


Duke K. (2021). Organizational culture and the relationship to financial statement fraud (Doctoral dissertation). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection.(28315482)