The Shaping of the Departmental Culture: Measuring the Relative Influences of the Institution and Discipline1

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


This chapter demonstrates the extent to which different aspects of departmental culture can be attributed to the influence of institutional and disciplinary cultures. Despite its fundamental role in the structure and function of higher education, departmental culture has received little attention from higher education scholars and virtually no research has been done on how departmental culture is shaped by the larger disciplinary and institutional cultures. The academic department is a fundamental component in American higher education. Departments are allocated their own power and resources; they contain their distinct curricula, financial budgets, and administrative leadership. Departmental structure varies from one unit to another. The academic department is best understood as an organisational culture, defined by a unique set of values, beliefs and assumptions, which is a part of other larger cultures. An orientation towards a diverse college population that solves social problems is thus conceivably a stronger disciplinary opinion than an institutional one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Higher Education
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781134082018
ISBN (Print)9780203882221
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences

Cite this