Organisational culture of the South African construction industry


  • Nishani Harinarain University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Christina-Louise Bornman University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Mandie Botha University of KwaZulu-Natal



Organisational culture, Construction industry, Competing values, Frameword, Organisational culture assessment instrument


Constant change and globalisation of the construction industry has prompted an international query into the understanding of organisations’ culture, highlighting its impact on effectiveness and performance. Assessment of the likely culture type of the South African construction industry has been conducted. The aim of this article is to investigate the organisational culture of the South African construction industry by utilising the Competing Values Framework, with its measurement scale, the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument. This model will identify the industry as either one of the following dominant cultures, namely the clan, adhocracy, market or hierarchy. The systematic sampling method was used and every third participant from a list of quantity surveyors and contractors was selected for the sample group. Each participant was emailed a standard questionnaire. From a sample of 235 quantity-surveying firms a total of 39 valid responses were received. From the 270 contractors that were emailed, 32 valid responses were received. The results revealed the market culture to be the predominant organisational culture in the South African construction industry, followed by the clan, hierarchy and, lastly, the adhocracy cultures. Understanding of their own and other firms’ organisational culture could reduce conflict and misunderstanding between stakeholders, and enable managers to make business decisions that could improve competitiveness and create a more harmonious working environment.


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How to Cite

Harinarain, N., Bornman, C.-L. and Botha, M. (2013) “Organisational culture of the South African construction industry”, Acta Structilia, 20(1), pp. 22–43. doi: 10.38140/as.v20i1.132.



Research articles