Assessing a Culture of Mattering in a Higher Education Context

Isaac Prilleltensky, Samantha Dietz, Cengiz Zopluoglu, Adam Clarke, Miriam Lipsky, Christopher M. Hartnett
Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education  •  Volume 5  •  2020  •  pp. 085-104

The purpose of this study was to examine the factor structure of a newly developed Culture of Mattering survey (CoM) that evaluates mattering in the context of relationships with supervisors, colleagues, and the organization as a whole.

Mattering can be defined as the experience of feeling valued and adding value. Despite the importance of mattering in personal and occupational domains, there is very little research on organizational cultures that promote mattering. As far as we know, there is no research on the measurement and promotion of a culture of mattering in higher education settings.

Data were collected from 4,264 university employees across 469 work units using web-based surveys. CoM scores were aggregated into unit-level average scores, which were the focus of all analyses.

This study is the first to examine the measurement of a CoM in a higher education context. The specific context consists of a set of principles and behaviors enacted in relationship with supervisors, colleagues, and the organization as a whole.

Factor analysis of the CoM resulted in one general factor (α = .90), and three sub-factors dealing with supervisors (α = .95), colleagues (α = .92), and the organization as a whole (α = .86).

When trying to improve organizational culture, attention must be paid to how employees feel at all these levels.

This study shows that it is important to pay attention to three contextual levels when assessing mattering among faculty and staff: interactions with supervisors, colleagues, and the entire organization.

Mattering is a crucial aspect of organizational health and well-being.

It is important to study how mattering in higher education impacts the well-being of faculty, staff, and students.

mattering, organizational culture, instrument development, employee, higher education
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