Organizational climate in the university quality improvement processes


Organizational climate in the university quality improvement processes

Clima organizacional en los procesos de mejora de la calidad universitaria


Emilia Botello Ramirez1*
Benita Mavel Beltrán González2
Tamara Cárdenas Domínguez2


1 Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Directorate of Science and Technological Innovation. Cuba.
2 University of Medical Sciences of Villa Clara. School of Medicine. Cuba.


*Author for correspondence. E-mail:




The perception of workers about the functioning of the structures and processes that occur in their work environment is called organizational climate. Each institution manifests its own climate influenced positively or negatively by internal and external factors, both physical and structural. Although climate studies are more frequently applied in the business world, its usage extends to other complex organizations such as academic ones due to the variety of subsystems and the human capital that compose it and the diverse perceptions that they generate. This article aims to: present some considerations about the use of studies on organizational climate in the processes of improvement of university quality, through approaching to its definitions and the experience of the use of these studies in the academic environment, specifically at Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences.

MeSH: quality of life; organization and administration; decision making, organizational; education, medical.


La percepción de los trabajadores sobre el funcionamiento de las estructuras y procesos que ocurren en su medio laboral se denomina clima organizacional. Cada institución manifiesta un clima propio influenciado de forma positiva o negativa por factores internos y externos tanto físicos como estructurales. Aunque los estudios de clima se aplican con mayor frecuencia en el mundo empresarial, su uso se extiende a otras organizaciones complejas como las académicas por la variedad de subsistemas y el capital humano que la componen y las diversas percepciones que generan. El presente artículo tiene como objetivo: exponer algunas consideraciones acerca del uso de los estudios sobre clima organizacional en los procesos de mejora de la calidad universitaria, a través de un acercamiento a sus definiciones y la experiencia del uso de estos estudios en ámbitos académicos, de manera específica en la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara.

DeSC: calidad de vida; organización y administración; toma de decisiones en la organización; educación médica.



Submitted: 15/05/2020
Accepted: 21/07/2020



Understanding the organizational phenomenon is a necessity for all professionals who have some responsibility in the management of people and resources, and where the accelerated advance of science and technology means that modern society is forced to compete within a context whose dynamics are fundamentally guided by development.(1,2)

Universities are complex organizations due to the variety of subsystems and the human capital that develop administrative, technical, professional, maintenance and service tasks; All this interaction generates the perceptions the members have on the organization and that give rise to different organizational environments.

In higher education institutions, interest in organizational development is conditioned by:(2)


  • The growth of its scale of activity that significantly increases the complexity of its management.
  • The ever closer link between the products of higher education and the economic and social development of each country, which shows the demand on their effectiveness.
  • The incessant increase in the costs of higher education and the decrease in the inflow of resources that causes a marked interest in the rationality of the processes and in the use of those resources.
  • The need to integrate transdisciplinary interdisciplinary teaching and scientific work and its institutional projection as cooperative work.


Institutional evaluation and accreditation also differentiates these times in order to guarantee standards of academic-scientific quality, essential for planning and defining strategic policies and management, since it allows the university to be accountable for society on its performance on the use of government funding and the fulfillment of its public mission.

This evaluation only promotes good results in an organization open to innovation and change, where the majority of the interested people share the idea that a critical perspective can be a source of improvement, progress and the achievement of quality and excellence.(2, 3)

Therefore, the general functions of planning, organization, regulation and control are integrated into the academy. Curricular design, implementation and evaluation then begin to be seen, not only as psychopedagogical or sociological facts, but also as administrative facts; the same happens with the processes that lead to the generation of new knowledge.(2)

Cuban researchers(3) in organizational issues assure the current importance that public health attaches to the assessment of the work environment because it constitutes an essential element in the development of its planned organizational strategy and enables the manager to have a future vision of the organization.

The definition of organizational climate varies and it is determined from its historical development. It emerged as a concept around the 1960s and it´s the product of the development of other concepts. The authors who have dedicated themselves to the study of the organizational climate in the world have established its definition, objectives, dimensions, importance, theories and instruments for its measurement. What is proposed by Gonçalves(4) is assumed in this article, who defines it as the perception that workers have of the properties of the environment of the center in which they work, and influences collective and individual behavior.

The measurement of the organizational climate is usually done through employee surveys. There is a history of international consulting firms that are dedicated to the development and commercialization of these instruments.(1,4) Among the scholars on the subject, the following stand out worldwide: Lewin, Lippit and White, Halpins and Crofts, Forehand and Gilmer, Litwin and Stringer, Dessler, Hall, Likert and Goncalves.(1,4) In the Cuban context, the authors propose a review of the works published by Segredo Pérez,(2,3,5,6) who has ventured into the measurement of work environments in health institutions and defends that its application is important in institutions where the human resource is formed; It also highlights that the communicational dimension plays an important role in the instruments that are used.

As completion works of the Master´s course in Public Health in Villa Clara, studies on the organizational climate in healthcare institutions are registered in the thesis repository. In academic spaces, the authors highlight two recent investigations that apply the same methodology: «Organizational environment in the student residence of Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences, 2019»,(7) and «Work environment in the Nursing degree of Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences, 2018».(8) Both used the same instrument for the measurement validated by the Department of Psychology of «Marta Abreu» Central University of Las Villas, adjustable to any organization, but designed specifically for university students environments, which was adapted and applied in health in 2019 at the «XX Aniversario» University Polyclinic in Santa Clara to assess the organizational climate perceived by its students and workers.

The instrument consists of 34 items that respond to the dimensions: communication, leadership, management style, motivation, development opportunity, conflicts, interpersonal relationships, identity, organizational structure, working conditions and climate, obtained through measures of central tendency. Using a marked quantitative methodological design, the referred authors also use qualitative instruments that allow the information to be contrasted.

The studies carried out on organizational climate at Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences reveal the use of dimensions present in the different educational actors, they express individual and collective perceptions that make possible to diagnose the climate that prevails at a given moment and establish management strategies based on the results obtained, they are also necessary tools for the academic accreditation processes in which the institution is immersed.

Professionals interested in the subject can access to an updated bibliographic arsenal, contextualized to the country, with antecedents of applicability in health and in human resource training institutions, as well as being participants in the changing processes that these generate.



1. Segredo Pérez AM. Aproximación teórica a la evolución, teorías, enfoques y características que han sustentado el desarrollo de las organizaciones. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [Internet]. 2016 [citado 16/04/2020];42(4):[aprox. 13 p.]. Disponible en:

2. Segredo Pérez AM. Desarrollo organizacional. Una mirada desde el ámbito académico. Educ Med [Internet]. 2016 [citado 16/04/2020];17(1):[aprox. 5 p.]. Disponible en:

3. Segredo Pérez AM, García Milian AJ, López Puig P, León Cabrera P, Perdomo Victoria I. Enfoque sistémico del clima organizacional y su aplicación en salud pública. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [Internet]. 2014 [citado 20/04/2020];41(1):[aprox. 20 p.]. Disponible en:

4. Gonçalves AP. Dimensiones del clima organizacional. México: Sociedad Latinoamericana para la Calidad; 2000.

5. Segredo Pérez AM, García Milian AJ, López Puig P, León Cabrera P, Perdomo Victoria I. Comunicación organizacional como dimensión necesaria para medir el clima en las organizaciones en salud pública. Horiz Sanit [Internet]. 2017 [citado 25/02/2020];16(1):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en:

6. Segredo Pérez AM, Pérez Piñero J, López Puig P. Construcción y validación de un instrumento para evaluar el clima organizacional en el ámbito de la salud pública. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [Internet]. 2015 [citado 16/04/2020];41(4):[aprox. 24 p.]. Disponible en:

7. Cárdenas Domínguez T. Ambiente organizacional en la residencia estudiantil de la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara; 2018-2019 [tesis]. Santa Clara: Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara; 2019.

8. Gaitán Vizcaíno NM. Ambiente Organizacional en la carrera de Enfermería, Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara, 2018 [tesis]. Santa Clara: Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara; 2019.



Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interests.



Contribution of the authors

Emilia Antonia Botello Ramírez: found the problem and conception of the article, wrote and accepted the final draft.
Benita Mavel Beltrán González: contributed with bibliography related to the topic in the context of public health and participated in the writing of the final draft.
Tamara Cárdenas Domínguez: contributed with bibliography related to the topic in the context of public health and participated in the writing of the final draft.



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