Initial development and validation of the child welfare organizational culture inventory
Westbrook, Tonya M.
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A multi-dimensional measure of organizational culture in child welfare was developed in this study. It continued development of Ellett’s (2000) professional organizational culture measure, the only known measure of organizational culture in child welfare agencies. The newly created scale expanded upon Ellett’s examination of professional dimensions of organizational culture as a factor related to retention of child welfare employees by creating a new measure of the broader concept of organizational culture in child welfare agencies more comprehensively than the one created and used by Ellett in two previous studies (Ellett, 2000; Ellett et al., 2003). This newly created, comprehensive measure of organizational culture for use in child welfare agencies, the Child Welfare Organizational Culture Inventory (CWOCI), was administered to all Georgia DFCS child welfare employees at the county level in an effort to examine initial measurement reliability and validity estimates using Ellett’s Intent to Remain Employed – Child Welfare scale (IRE) (Ellett, 2000; Ellett, et al., 2003) as a measure of criterion-related validity. Principal Components Analysis identified seven empirical dimensions of organizational culture that explained 45.7% of the total item variance. The seven dimensions demonstrated internal consistency reliabilities (Cronbach’s Alphas) ranging from .47 to .97. Criterion-related validity estimates of the Child Welfare Organizational Culture Inventory were examined using subjects’ expressed intentions to remain employed in child welfare as measured by the Intent to Remain Employed – Child Welfare measure and a variety of statistical analyses: simple bivariate correlations, stepwise regression analysis, and discriminant function analysis. Furthermore, the study also furthers our understanding of the relationship between organizational culture and (a) organizational characteristics (county geographic type [rural, suburban, and urban] and caseload size) and (b) child welfare employees’ personal characteristics (years experience working in child welfare) using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t-test procedures.