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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Measuring School Foodservice Workers’ Perceptions of Organizational Culture

Authors
item Cullen, Karen
item Watson, Kathy - BAYLOR COLLEGE MED

Submitted to: Journal of Child Nutrition and Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 2007
Publication Date: April 1, 2007
Citation: Cullen, K.W., Watson, K. 2007. Measuring school foodservice workers' perceptions of organizational culture. Journal of Child Nutrition and Management [serial online]. 31(1). Available: http://docs.schoolnutrition.org/newsroom/jcnm/07spring/cullen/index.asp.

Interpretive Summary: School foodservice workers are a direct link to children eating school meals, and their work environment may support them in promoting healthy food choices to students. The objective of this paper is to report the development of a questionnaire designed to measure the organizational culture of a school foodservice department. A questionnaire for teachers on organizational culture was adapted. The 26-item questionnaire was completed by 117 foodservice workers in 14 schools. Two factors were obtained: Managerial Support and Collegial Support. Adults 40 years and older reported significantly higher Managerial Support than did those who were under 40 years old. The questionnaire provides measures of individual foodservice workers perceptions of their work relationships and of managerial support. Such perceptions could influence job performance and atmosphere within foodservice departments. Future research should more intensively analyze the relationships with larger samples of schools in diverse areas.

Technical Abstract: School foodservice workers (SFW) are a direct link to children eating school meals. SFW who perceive positive and supportive organizational culture at their school nutrition departments also may perceive that such environments foster their own promotion of healthful food choices by students. To date, there are no questionnaires that directly assess organizational culture in school foodservice departments. The objective of this paper is to report the development and psychometric analysis of a questionnaire designed to measure the organizational culture of a school foodservice department. A questionnaire for teachers that measures constructs similar to organizational culture was adapted for SFW. The 26-item anonymous questionnaire was competed by SFW in 14 schools that participated in a snack bar intervention for another research project. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine construct validity and identify subscales. Scale reliability was assessed using Cronbach's alpha, and factor-based scores were computed for each resulting scale. Analyses of variance were conducted to assess differences in the resulting scales by demographic characteristics. One hundred seventeen SFW completed the questionnaire (66% Hispanic, 62% > 40 years of age, all women). Two factors accounting for 44.2% of the variance were obtained: Managerial Support (11 items, alpha=0.86) and Collegial Support (13 items, alpha = 0.88). Adults 40 years and older reported significantly higher Managerial Support than did those who were under 40 years old. There were no differences by treatment condition. The questionnaire provides measures of individual SFW perceptions of their work relationships and of managerial support. Such perceptions could influence job performance and atmosphere within foodservice departments. Future research should more intensively analyze the relationships with larger samples of schools in diverse areas.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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