The Relationship between Workplace Innovation and Organizational Culture in a Victorian Public Sector Organization.

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis


To improve public sector innovation more understanding is needed about the impact of organizational culture on workplace innovation. This has been neglected in literature despite the public sector representing up to 30 per cent of local economies and Workplace Innovation contributing well over 30 per cent of Sector innovation. This thesis investigated the relationship between Workplace Innovation and Organizational Culture within the context of a large Victorian Public Sector Organization. Culture in this study is treated at three levels; public sector culture, organizational culture, and group (department) level culture. The thesis utilized a case study approach within a Victorian State Government Department and an explanatory sequential mixed methods approach was undertaken. A survey of 479 employees was analyzed using correlation, ANOVA, T-Tests, regression and structural equation modelling. Public Sector Culture was shown as a significant antecedent of Workplace Innovation predicting 24.6 per cent of variation and identifying significant variation in Individual Innovation, Organizational Innovation, Team Innovation and Workplace Innovation Climate. Analysis of Demographic and Employment Characteristics found considerable variation between groups. Group level culture was particularly influential in the relationships identified. Triangulation with qualitative data corroborated the findings, and a final mixed methods integration including a second triangulation of findings identified additional factors explaining the relationships including sustained organizational change that reinforced the strength of subcultures. This thesis accessed as its subject organization a Department of State, an entity which is rarely available for research. For the first time to date the results empirically identified a significant relationship between Public Sector Culture and Workplace Innovation. As an unusual and critical case the findings could be generalized to public sector theory. The findings identified significant correlations where culture was an antecedent to workplace innovation which impacted on employee’s capacity to innovate. The research extended the theory of public sector innovation by proving a relationship between Public Sector Culture and Workplace Innovation. In addition, the thesis extended the theory of Public Sector Culture highlighting its importance to Workplace Innovation and the negative impact on innovation of constant organizational change. The thesis built on the theory of public sector management identifying culture as important when managing public sector innovation. The research has implications for management of innovative public sector workplaces and cultures.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • RMIT University
Award date18 Dec 2018
Place of PublicationRMIT University
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Empirical
  • Organizational Culture
  • Mixed Methods
  • Public Sector Culture
  • Public Sector Management
  • Public Sector Innovation
  • Workplace Innovation
  • Organizational and Management Theory
  • Public Innovation
  • Innovation and Technology Management


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