Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Matthew W. Seeger


This study explored the link between culture and climate with respect to customer service ratings. Two hospital units, one with high customer service ratings and one with low customer service ratings, were identified for analysis. A mixed-method design was implemented to assess climate and culture on each unit. Climate was assessed with a survey that combined elements of Schneider, White, and Paul's (1998) Assessment of Service Climate Instrument and Litwin and Stringer's (1968) Organizational Climate Questionnaire. An ethnographic approach using observation, interviews and archival data analysis was completed to understand each unit's culture. Findings indicate high customer service environments rated the factors of warmth, identity, customer orientation and global service climate more favorably. In addition, ethnographic elements within high service environments include the Nature of Time, Assumptions of Human Relationship, and values as discussed by Schein (1985). All these factors help to create and perpetuate a climate and culture of high service.