Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Tanya Brinkley


Small, nonprofit, private, higher education institutions (SNPHEIs) are facing economic challenges that threaten their existence. This threat represents a public policy problem because 28% of all higher education in America is delivered by SNPHEIs. The purpose of this study was to investigate any correlational relationships that may exist between the organizational culture (OC) in SNPHEIs and their financial sustainability. Based on the competing values framework, a causal relationship between OC and organizational profitability within the SNPHEI was posited. In this study, both descriptive and comparative research questions were used; they focused on the OC types identified in the competing values framework and the financial sustainability of SNPHEIs as measured by profitability. A quantitative method with correlational ex post facto design and a census approach for data collection were used. OC data were collected using a survey and profitability data were collected from archival sources. I used statistical analysis tools to analyze the data on 23 SNPHEIs in Georgia. Results indicated no statistical significance between the variables. While there was more of a relationship between the clan OC and profitability than between the market OC and profitability, the lack of significance indicated that the dominant OC may not provide a sufficient predictor of profitability. Implications for social change include providing SNPHEIs and policymakers with information about which factors, specifically OC, do not impact the profitability of SNPHEIs. With this information, SNPHEIs and policymakers can allocate time and resources to explore variables other than OC that drive financial sustainability in SNPHEIs.