Open Access Dissertation
Recreational agencies--Accreditation--United States; Corporate culture--United States;
The purpose of this study was to explore and examine the organizational cultures of municipal park and recreation agencies in the United States. Further, the study sought to compare the organizational cultures of municipal park and recreation agencies which have achieved accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) versus those who have not achieved CAPRA accreditation. Organizational culture according to Schein (1985) included characteristics found within a working environment, a pattern of assumptions, both written and assumed, passed on to new members. Authors throughout the literature wrote that all organizations have culture. Accreditation is a level of achieving best practice within a professional organization. The goal of this study was to expand the literature regarding organizational culture and accreditation of municipal park and recreation agencies which currently is lacking.
A written questionnaire was distributed to 57 CAPRA accredited municipal park and recreation agencies and a convenience sample of 94 non-accredited agencies. Data was collected from 96 municipal park and recreation agencies: CAPRA accredited agencies (n= 37) and non-accredited agencies (n= 59) during winter 2010 using a written questionnaire. The questionnaire utilized the Diagnosing Organizational Culture model developed by Harrison and Stokes (1992), the Competing Values Framework of Culture model developed by Quinn and Spreitzer (1991), demographic questions regarding population, budget size, and number of full-time employees, and two open ended questions regarding why accreditation was or was not chosen.
Results indicated that the overall organizational culture of municipal park and recreation agencies when using the method developed by Harrison and Stokes was that the "Achievement Orientation" was the prominent profile. The prominent organizational culture of CAPRA accredited agencies was also the "Achievement Orientation" while the "Support Orientation" was the leading culture of non-accredited agencies. When seeking differences among CAPRA accredited and non-accredited agencies there were two areas of statistical significance: "Role Orientation" and "Achievement Orientation." While using the Competing Values Framework of Culture model the results illustrated that the outcome was varied with statistically significance in the "Group Culture," "Developmental Culture," and "Rational Culture." There was no association between the population, budget size, and number full–time staff with respect to the organizational cultures of CAPRA accredited and non- accredited agencies.
The CAPRA accredited agencies stated that they became accredited for basically two reasons: to meet and validate a set of best practices and to meet a high level of professional standards. The non-accredited agencies touted that lack of financial resources and the time to complete the accreditation process as reasons for not taking part.
Year of Submission
Doctor of Education
School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services
Christopher R. Edginton, Chair
Samuel V. Lankford, Co-Chair
1 PDF file (x, 201 pages)
©2010 John E. Farland
Farland, John E., "A comparative study of the organizational culture of CAPRA accredited and non-accredited municipal park and recreation agencies" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 642.