About the Author(s)

Liuyi Zhang Email symbol
Business School, Hohai University, Nanjing, China

Yang Wang symbol
School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China


Zhang, L., & Wang, Y. (2021). Impact of creative talents’ organisational culture consent on job satisfaction. South African Journal of Business Management, 52(1), a2214. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v52i1.2214

Original Research

Impact of creative talents’ organisational culture consent on job satisfaction

Liuyi Zhang, Yang Wang

Received: 30 June 2020; Accepted: 14 Mar. 2021; Published: 26 Apr. 2021

Copyright: © 2021. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose: This study aims to verify the relationship between organisational culture consent and job satisfaction among creative talents using data from China and to provide professionals with insights into the factors to be considered for shaping culture functions, improving job satisfaction and retaining creative talents of innovative organisations.

Design/methodology/approach: Related theories of enterprise management are studied to form a logical theoretical system and explain the effect of organisational culture consent on job satisfaction for creative talents. Organisational culture consent is quantified and subsequently examined with job satisfaction based on the data from 2512 respondents who were a part of a survey conducted across 28 companies. The relationship is measured through correlation and regression analyses.

Findings/results: The respondents were found to have a moderate level of job satisfaction. Clan organisation culture was dominant in both the present and preferred cultures for innovative and non-innovative companies; however, organisational culture consent was significantly related to job satisfaction only for creative talents and not for general workers.

Practical implications: A clear and dynamic organisational culture needs to be created to boost creative employees’ flexible aspirations. Diversity of employees should be taken into account to better formulate a reasonable compensation, promotion and motivation mechanism.

Originality/value: This study addresses the research gap in the field of job satisfaction in China by providing a method to quantify organisational culture consent based on data collected by the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument and to analyse its relationship with job satisfaction among creative talents.

Keywords: creative talents; creative industry; organisational culture consent; job satisfaction; China.


With technology becoming one of the core competitive advantages today (Gao, 2017), innovation and knowledge production have become the main driving forces for economic growth. However, because of the high technological content and rapid updates occurring in knowledge in innovation industries, employees are exposed to greater work pressure; thus, they are becoming less satisfied with their jobs. Previous studies suggested that organisational culture and job satisfaction in the innovative industry have distinctive manifestations (Lumley, Coetzee, Tladinyane, & Ferreira, 2011). The existing organisational culture and employees’ preference might not match, and this mismatch can lead to a decrease in job satisfaction (Farooqui & Nagendra, 2014). Most managers believe that organisational culture can be used as an informal control system to influence all employees in all aspects, improve the performance of organisational communication and reduce transaction costs between employees (Koys, 2001). Research related to organisational culture consent of creative talents is rudimentary. Most studies on the relationship between organisational culture consent and job satisfaction adopt research methods such as literature discussion and qualitative investigation, which lack in quantitative empirical support. Moreover, such studies seldom distinguish creative talents from general workers (GW), neglecting the possible influence of their unique characteristics on their perception of organisational culture and the subsequent impact on their organisational culture consent and job satisfaction. Therefore, this study aims to examine the influence of organisational culture consent on job satisfaction of both creative talents and GW using quantitative data acquired in Nanjing, China, and consequently bridge the knowledge gap.

This study explores the organisational culture consent through the difference between extant and preferred organisational cultures and investigates its relationship with job satisfaction. Based on a theoretical review and qualitative analysis of the issues, this study proposes relationship hypotheses between organisational culture consent and job satisfaction among creative talents and verifies them with empirical results. The findings underscore the need for managers to pay more attention to the link between organisational culture consent and job satisfaction of creative talents and take necessary measures to retain talent and promote innovation production.

This article is organised as follows: Section 2 reviews relevant theories of organisational culture consent and job satisfaction and briefly examines the relationship between them. Section 3 presents the hypotheses of this study. Using field survey data, this section provides a statistical analysis of the organisational culture and job satisfaction of innovative and non-innovative companies in Nanjing, China. Sections 4 and 5 discuss the findings regarding the relationship between the degree of alignment of perceived and preferred organisational culture and job satisfaction.

Literature review

Organisational culture consent of creative talents

Organisational culture consent is the key to measure the success of organisational culture. Improving employee identity is the focus and the main challenge in corporate culture construction. Lee (2018) summarised organisational culture consent as the discourses of organisational power and workplace identities. Guo (2020) conveyed the fact that organisational culture consent involves the communication and corporate culture identity that can affect the psychological and behavioural patterns of employees, maintain the stability of the team, improve the internal human resource structure of the enterprise and maintain the competitiveness of the enterprise. Pomyalova, Volkova and Kalinina (2020) proposed that organisational culture consent refers to one’s commitment and identification towards the organisation, namely, the organisational identity, symbolic identity and one’s perceived image and reputation of the organisation. Chen and Zhang (2011) suggested that organisational culture consent is closely related to person–organisation fit, which is the matching degree between personal values and the organisational culture. The two concepts were described as separate notions in the study; however, the identification was not clear and articulated, needing further empirical probe. Chen (2010) conducted a survey to measure organisational culture consent by scoring the identification of employees through dimensions of cognition, emotion and behaviour. However, the scale was based on a simple rating of cognition, emotion, behaviour and socialisation; furthermore, merely 164 participants were involved, resulting in the credibility of this measurement being questionable. Liu (2019) adopted the Denison model (Dyer & Denison, 1991) to evaluate organisational culture consent by measuring the perceived and preferred organisational culture and comparing them. However, instead of systematically quantifying the organisational culture consent, the study merely narrated the observed difference in results.

Creative talents are generally considered as the core of sustainable innovation development. Previous studies suggested that creative talents can produce innovative output (Wonglimpiyarat, 2016), help enhance co-workers’ productivity (Kerr, Kerr, Özden, & Parsons, 2016), reduce uncertainty in innovation and support technological development to increase the competitiveness of a region or a country (Srivastava & Gnyawali, 2011). Thus, creative talents are of great value to innovation and economy development. Recent studies have proposed that valued organisational culture can foster innovation and company performance (Naranjo-Valencia, Jiménez-Jiménez, & Sanz-Valle, 2016). In this respect, it can be deduced that when creative talents find a fitting organisational culture, the match can breed greater innovative production.

Creative talents are highly mobile (Shearmur, 2007). This may be because they are not always aligned with the organisational culture of the company that they work in. Creative talents are different from ordinary human capital. They rely more on personal creativity for production and tend to live and work in diverse urban environments. They are more willing to become entrepreneurs and commercialise their ideas independently (Audretsch & Belitski, 2013). Creative talents are less likely to adapt to an organisational culture they disagree with compared to GW because of their higher capability. Therefore, a good organisational culture consent is crucial for keeping them from job-hopping. Liao (2019) conveyed the fact that traditional corporate culture construction methods and human resources management methods have been unable to meet the fundamental needs of the establishment of knowledge-based enterprises, requiring managers to clarify the important position of creative talents in the development of enterprises. A more complete human resources management system and a more innovative organisational culture set are those that can boost creative talents’ potential the most, encouraging them to invest in their work to a greater extent and contribute to the development of the enterprise. Zheng (2017) suggested that to effectively promote the sustainable development of the creative industry, enterprises should understand the industry, acknowledge the characteristics of creative talents, construct a healthy organisational culture that is conducive to the development of the industry and continuously promote the development and cultivation of creative talents. Comprehensively, a better organisational culture consent from creative talents is indispensable for innovation development.

Job satisfaction in creative industries

Job satisfaction is the extent of contentment an employee obtains from their job, and comprises both affective and cognitive components (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996). It refers to the degree to which people appreciate their work (Millán, Hessels, Thurik, & Aguado, 2013), and appears to influence the performance of individuals and organisations. For instance, job satisfaction is positively related to achievement orientation (Lusch & Serpkenci, 1990), individual and organisational performance (Koys, 2001), and negatively related to employee turnover (Ryan & Schwartz, 1965). In addition to regulating career inclination, job satisfaction improves a company’s output and competitiveness. In short, job satisfaction refers to the subjective emotional reactions and attitudes of an individual in the context of work situations, or situations in which their individual needs are fulfilled. It is vital to an organisation as happy employees work more effectively. Mirabzadeh Ardakani, Heidari and Sefidgaran (2017) suggested that conscientiousness and agreeableness correlate with job satisfaction, indicating that employees will be happier if they have values and traits similar to their organisation.

There are two basic ways to measure job satisfaction: the single overall assessment method and the comprehensive scoring method. Single overall assessment involves the responses of an employee regarding their feelings about and towards their job. Comprehensive scoring divides job satisfaction into multiple dimensions in investigating job satisfaction. Investigation includes guided interviews, impressions, structured questionnaires and unstructured questionnaires. In practice, questionnaires are the most convenient and frequently used method. Compiled by Weiss, Dawis and England (1967), the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) is widely used for assessing job satisfaction in almost every work domain, but few studies have used it in the creative industry and with creative talents. This underscores the relative paucity of job satisfaction studies in the creative industry – a gap addressed by the current study. The MSQ has a long version and a short version, which are both qualified to examine job satisfaction from working conditions, leadership, responsibility and external rewards with different scrutiny.

As creative development is currently part of the national development strategy of China, retaining creative employees and enhancing their working enthusiasm has been the subject of intense discussion. Scholars in South Africa found numerous significant relationships between job satisfaction and organisational commitment in innovative companies (Lumley et al., 2011). Others suggested that job satisfaction and job commitment are supported by position recognition, organisational support, leadership attainment and task versatility among creative employees (Reid, Riemenschneider, Allen, & Armstrong, 2008). Oosthuizen, Coetzee and Munro (2019) proposed that the turnover rate is relatively high in the creative industry and that talent retention is significantly related to job satisfaction in such circumstances. In addition to having greater job satisfaction compared to those with managerial career orientation, these creative talents have a positive synergy effect on other personnel (McMurtrey Grover, Teng, & Lightner, 2002). Therefore, learning the indicators of job satisfaction can motivate both creative and non-creative employees. Turgut and Neuhaus (2020) concluded that low organisational culture consent strengthens employees’ dispositional resistance to change and career planning, indicating that more qualified employees require higher development-focused organisational culture. As creative talents are typically young, dynamic, open-minded and self-sufficient, their perception of corporate values can be overly subjective; thus, in their role as moderators, organisational culture might receive negative cognition (Crespi-Vallbona & Mascarilla-Miro, 2018). Therefore, we can deduce that such innovative individuals are competent and demand a more effective promotion plan. Accordingly, examining the difference between extant and preferred organisational culture, namely, the organisational culture consent of such employees, is necessary.

Organisational culture consent and job satisfaction

There is a strong interaction between organisational culture consent and job satisfaction. Previous empirical studies on job choices suggest that perceived organisational values influence an organisation’s attractiveness, especially to job seekers (Cable & Judge, 1994). Koustelios (1991) suggested that when an employee’s extant and desired culture (psychological contract) align, they will have a better perception of the intrinsic aspects of their work. It is believed that organisational culture consent has a significant impact on job satisfaction (Vianen, 2000; Farooqui & Nagendra, 2014) and influences an employee’s assessment of their work (O’Reilly, Chatman, & Caldwell, 1991). In the Chinese context, Zhou and Xu (2012) suggested that employees who perceive their organisational culture as compatible with their own values and needs will have greater organisational loyalty and suitability. Kim, Park and Ruy (2018) have similarly found that favourable perceptions of organisational culture are positively related to job performance and employee satisfaction. Cao (2019) suggested that improving the degree of organisational culture identity of employees is an important goal of corporate culture construction, which can effectively improve the work performance of employees. Dang (2019) conveyed the fact that as the competition between enterprises is becoming fiercer, employees having a sense of organisational culture consent is an important factor to enhance the cohesion of enterprises, stimulate creative vitality and promote the rapid development of enterprises. Zhu (2020) revealed that the influence and binding force of corporate culture need the recognition and compliance of employees to have an impact on their work performance. To sum up, better organisational culture consent results in better work attitudes, higher job satisfaction and less turnover intention among employees, but organisational culture consent-related studies seldom used quantitative methods to verify this relationship.

The apparatus used to assess organisational culture can also be used to assess organisational culture consent by having respondents complete the questionnaire twice, based on their perceptions and preferences and then comparing the responses (Liu, 2019); however, previous studies have always failed to quantify the difference. Numerous tools – such as the Organisational Culture Inventory (Cooke & Lafferty, 1989), Organisational Beliefs Questionnaire (Sashkin, 1984), Corporate Culture Survey (Glaser et al., 1987) and Denison Model (Dyer & Denison, 1991) – were used until Cameron and Quinn (1999) developed the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI). The OCAI comprises four core values in a 2×2 competing values table: flexibility and discretion versus stability and control, and internal focus and integration versus external focus and differentiation. The competing values cover six dimensions: dominant characteristics, organisational leadership, management of employees, organisational glue, strategic emphasis and criteria of success. Types of culture can be deduced from these values, including clan, adhocracy, market and hierarchical cultures. More specifically, clan culture is friendly and ‘cosy’, and employees have high job and organisational commitment. Adhocracy culture is innovative and risk taking, and employees are highly creative and dynamic. Market culture is highly competitive, and employees are ‘glued’ together by their desire to win. Finally, hierarchical culture is well coordinated, and employees are characterised by their adherence to formal rules and policies.

The OCAI is a self-reported survey comprising six questions and can be administrated electronically (James-Parks, 2015), making it efficient and user-friendly. However, because scholars have yet to quantify the difference between extant and preferred organisational culture, markedly few studies on organisational culture consent have utilised the OCAI. Furthermore, few scholars have examined the relationship between organisational culture consent and job satisfaction, particularly under the Chinese context. Therefore, closer examination of this relationship is necessary.


The extant literature has established the fact that organisational culture is related to job satisfaction in various work settings. Studies also indicate that dissonance between perceived and preferred organisational culture can influence job satisfaction for employees, especially for creative talents. To verify whether the noted difference in organisational culture consent can predict job satisfaction and to examine whether the relation only exists in the context of creative talents, two hypotheses are proposed:

H1: The difference between perceived and preferred organisational culture is negatively related to job satisfaction among creative talents.

H2: The relationship between job satisfaction and organisational culture consent among creative talents is more significant than that of GW.



This study comprised employees of 28 companies in Nanjing as its sample: 14 from the List of Top 50 Innovative Enterprises in Nanjing (Nanjing Municipal Science and Technology Bureau, 2018) and 14 from general industries. The criteria of entering the List of Top 50 Innovative Enterprises are to have more than 300 million Chinese Yuan (RMB) operating revenue, more than 4% of research and development (R&D) investment in business revenue that is not less than RMB 40 million, more than 10% of R&D personnel and multiple core technological patents and related programmes. The 14 innovative companies are chosen from the list with respect to the operating field based on Florida’s (2002) ‘creative occupations’, which includes engineering, education, entertainment and arts, business and management, finance and banking, medicine and health, law and science and technology. The 14 other enterprises were chosen with similar operating revenue and out of the ‘creative occupations’ field, such as toy manufacturing and catering services. Nanjing was chosen as the research area because it is one of the rising stars in the Yangtze River Delta Bay Area, which focuses on creative development according to the national development strategy. This study adopted a survey questionnaire to collect primary data. The questionnaire comprised three parts: the OCAI, the MSQ and basic personal information (age, gender, education level and corporation classification). The short version of the MSQ was chosen to get an accurate representation of job satisfaction while avoiding a lengthy questionnaire. The survey was conducted from February 2019 to March 2020. By contacting the human resource managers of the available companies, questionnaires were distributed through the companies’ internal WeChat groups. Of the 2800 questionnaires distributed, 2512 valid responses were retrieved, providing a response rate of 89.71%. Of these, 1105 were from innovative companies and 1407 from general industrial companies. The responses from innovative companies were considered as samples of creative talents, and the responses from general industrial companies as samples of GW.

Research method and design

This study aimed to quantify the difference between cognised organisational culture and individual preference (IP) for further discerning the correlation between this difference and job satisfaction. As noted above, the OCAI was adopted to assess both perceived and preferred organisational culture within the sample companies. To assess the difference, respondents were first asked to assign a value for each alternative of a question based on their perception of their company’s organisational culture; subsequently, they were asked to assign a value to the same alternatives based on their own preferences. The difference between extant and preferred organisational culture was used as the independent variable, and job satisfaction constituted the dependent variable. As suggested by Kamalanabhan, Sai and Mayuri (2009), demographic variables (age, gender and education level) were used as control variables.

The difference (Diff) between IP and cognised culture (CC) can be described as the sum of the absolute values of the difference between the average results of the options, as shown in Equation 1:

After quantifying the difference, the Pearson correlation analysis was used to reveal the relation between the difference and job satisfaction. One-stage least squares (OLS) regression analysis was adopted to confirm the relation and check whether the difference can be used as a predictor of job satisfaction. Demographic variables were also used as selection variables to run conditional regression tests to examine their contingent effects. Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) 22.0 was used in this study for data analysis.


Survey results

The survey data indicated that employee ideas mostly corresponded with those of the company, but some minor differences remained in each respective type. This difference is demonstrated in Figure 1 and Figure 2. The overall preference for all companies is the clan culture; however, it can be seen from the figures that the difference is slightly higher for creative talents. With the quantification determined using the equation mentioned above, this difference will be correlated with job satisfaction to prove the hypotheses.

FIGURE 1: Organisational culture cognition difference of creative talents.

FIGURE 2: Organisational culture cognition difference of general workers.

Table 1 shows the average values of the four types of organisational culture with respect to the sampled creative talents and GW, along with their descriptive results. The average job satisfaction (JSA) of sampled creative talents was 2.8673, which is slightly higher than that of GW. Both results of job satisfaction are above the median, which indicate that employees were generally satisfied with all aspects of their work. The lower scores come majorly from discontent related to salary. Some other lower satisfaction scores were because of higher expectations for self-development, which means that the promotion system may need to be considered. The average Diff for creative talents is 20.244 and 18.1812 for GW, conveying the fact that creative talents have comparatively lower consent for organisational culture. The statistics of basic personal information depicted that overall, creative talents are younger than GW. Moreover, creative talents are comparatively more gender balanced than GW. The educational level distribution does not demonstrate much distinction.

TABLE 1: Descriptive statistics.
Correlation and regression analysis

Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to reveal the relationship between the differences in the perception of organisational culture types and job satisfaction. Table 2 provides the results of this analysis for creative talents and GW. The difference and job satisfaction have a significant negative relation among creative talents. However, for GW, the relation is not as clear.

TABLE 2: Pearson correlations result.

One-stage least squares regression analysis was conducted to verify the fact that the difference and other control variables could be used as predictors of job satisfaction. As Table 3 shows, the OLS regression results also support the aforementioned results, which indicate the fact that the difference between cognised and preferred organisational culture of creative talents is negatively related to job satisfaction. While for GW, the coefficient is −0.001, showing the same negative relation, this result is not significant. As such, the correlation and regression analyses verify the fact that the difference between cognised and preferred organisational culture is significantly related to job satisfaction for creative talents. Furthermore, this negative relationship between the two is significant for creative talents rather than GW.

TABLE 3: Linear regression result of creative talents and general workers.

In summary, the results indicate that employees of the sampled companies evaluated their job satisfaction at an upper middle level. The results also show that clan organisation culture was dominant. The findings support the fact that the difference between cognised or extant organisational culture cognition and preferred organisational culture is negatively correlated to job satisfaction. The higher the level of difference, the lower the organisational culture consent and job satisfaction. As this relationship is only significant for creative talents, H1 and H2 are verified.

To further explore whether the control variables would affect the relation between organisational culture consent and job satisfaction in the regression model for creative talents, the study takes the basic personal information results as selection variables to build conditional regression models. By building these conditional regression models, this study aims to examine the impact of every alternative of the mentioned control variables. Tables 47 present the conditional regression results of age, gender, educational level and corporation types as selection variables.

TABLE 4: Conditional regression result of creative talents (age).

Table 4 reveals the fact that different age ranges exert effects of different intensities. Overall, age does not change the fact that creative talents’ organisational culture disagreement has a negative influence on job satisfaction. However, this relation is more significant among creative talents aged 20–30 and under 20 or over 50. It can be deduced that younger creative employees and older employees tend to have less organisational culture consent. The possible explanation is that younger talents have recently left a campus culture; hence, it is difficult for them to adapt to the enterprise culture. Meanwhile, older talents may already have developed their own cognition of organisational culture and are reluctant to adjust to the current ones.

Table 5 illustrates that gender difference does not have notable effects on the regression results. The relationship between male creative talents’ organisational culture consent and job satisfaction is slightly more significant than that of female creative talents.

TABLE 5: Conditional regression result of creative talents (gender).

From Table 6, we can see that creative talents with a bachelor’s degree have the most significant correlation between organisational culture consent and job satisfaction. Talents with college degrees, master’s degrees and other degrees also reveal a negative effect of differences in organisational culture cognition on job satisfaction; however, this effect is not very strong. Furthermore, talents with PhD degrees show the opposite relationship between organisational culture disagreement and job satisfaction; however, as their sample size is quite small, the result needs further examination.

TABLE 6: Conditional regression result of creative talents (educational level).

Table 7 provides the regression result of corporation classification as the selection variable. Among all types of innovative companies, five out of eight showed negative relations between job satisfaction and difference of organisational culture cognition and preference. In other words, creative talents from education, entertainment and art, business and management, law, and science and technology occupations support hypothesis H1; whereas those from construction and engineering, finance and banking and medicine and health occupations show different results. Creative talents from entertainment/arts and science/technology occupations have the most significant regression results. From the results, we can see that some creative occupations have better organisational culture consent than others.

TABLE 7: Conditional regression result of creative talents (corporation classification).


The results of this study show that employees in Nanjing are generally satisfied with their work. Clan culture was the dominant organisational culture type. Hierarchy culture is the second dominant type, which indicates that employees are used to a well-structured institutional system. Market culture is also influential for creative talents, suggesting that innovative industries are open to changes and are highly competitive. This study found no drastic difference between the cognised and preferred organisational culture. However, deeper scrutiny reveals some differences, and creative talents have less consent for organisational culture than GW. This may be because creative talents have more practical skills and innovative minds, which help them be more individualistic. Their skill set and capability make creative talents more competitive in their careers; thus, they are not as keen as GW to blend in an organisation. They could rely on their ideas to become self-dependent entrepreneurs (Audretsch & Belitski, 2013). The correlation between job satisfaction and the difference between preferred and cognised organisational culture is significant for creative talents, while it is not significant for GW; this suggests that this impact of organisational consent is rather exclusive for creative talents. The possible explanation is that creative talents have dynamic characteristics (Crespi-Vallbona & Mascarilla-Miro, 2018) and their perception of organisational culture might be less positive than regular employees as they seek more efficient self-realisation (Turgut & Neuhaus, 2020). It has also been discussed that organisational culture and job satisfaction have distinctive expressions in creative industries (Lumley et al., 2011), and different points of view of the existing organisational culture may lead to a decline in job satisfaction (Farooqui & Nagendra, 2014). Hence, it should be focused on in creative industries and regions with innovative development vision. Moreover, as the results of the conditional regression models revealed that the relationship proposed in the study is most significant among younger creative talents with bachelor’s degrees and in those from certain creative occupations, this group of creative talents should be focused on when making decisions about organisational culture. As stated before, job satisfaction is undoubtedly influential for job commitment, turnover rate and recruit attraction; moreover, narrowing the gap between cognised and preferred organisational culture for creative talents is crucial for attracting and retaining valuable human capital to ensure creativity sustainability.

The results of this study validate its hypotheses. Subsequently, management personnel can use these results as a reference for future management practice. Firstly, companies in innovative industries need to improve both the physical environment and organisational culture of their employees to enhance their job satisfaction. Secondly, these companies need to create a clear and appropriate organisational culture, which is dynamic to the companies’ context. Constantly tailoring the culture to the aspirations of employees is vital to its efficacy, as it actively shapes an innovative organisational culture that will encourage bold and creative behaviour among employees. Thirdly, the characteristic diversity of creative employees should not be neglected. As employees have different backgrounds, their evaluation of organisational culture and job satisfaction may vary. Accordingly, managers should be aware of such diversity, conduct training and counselling for different groups, listen to all opinions and adjust the current organisational culture accordingly to improve employees’ sense of identity and form a more tolerant atmosphere. Fourthly, the results of this study can help formulate a reasonable compensation, promotion and motivation mechanism. Compensation is extremely important to employees and reflects their value to the company. While salary is an important factor in determining job satisfaction, the relationship between remuneration and job satisfaction is not determined by an employee’s total income. Promotion will bring positive changes in management power, social status, job content and remuneration. Providing fair promotion opportunities and self-development programmes can have a positive impact on employees’ job satisfaction.


By examining organisational culture and job satisfaction in innovative and general companies, this study develops and tests a method of quantifying the difference between extant and preferred organisational culture and the impact of this difference on job satisfaction. The findings are expected to help Chinese innovative companies attract and retain creative talents. The results suggest that there is a gap between extant and preferred organisational culture within the sampled companies, and it impacts job satisfaction in the form of organisational culture consent. While Chinese innovative companies, employers and employees are becoming more aware of the concept and presence of organisational culture, its importance and capabilities are way beyond what is currently comprehended. The findings can help managers address this oversight, realise the importance of creative talents’ organisational culture consent and pay greater attention to organisational culture improvement. Identifying the influence of organisational culture consents on job satisfaction is a good start for innovative companies in China to better treat and support creative talents. If provided with a more dynamic and tolerant cultural environment, creative talents may have higher organisational culture consent, which encourages them to stay in their jobs and work more efficiently. Such a virtuous cycle is a good foundation for sustainable innovative development.

This study has two limitations. Firstly, quantifying the difference between extant and preferred organisational culture constitutes the foundation of this study as it allows the analysis to move beyond theoretical discussion. However, the data collected from the sampled companies showed differences that are not particularly prominent. This could be because the survey was disseminated by the company’s human resources manager, and this ‘top-down’ procedure resulted in anonymity concerns among the sampled employees. Secondly, this study added only demographic variables as control variables. Further influencing factors, such as work stress and personality traits, can be added for multiple comparisons and correlation analyses.


The authors thank Editage (www.editage.com) for English language editing and publication support.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationships that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Authors’ contributions

L.Z. came up with the idea and methods, dispatched the survey, analysed the results and drafted the manuscript. Y.W. helped in composing the survey and drafted part of the literature review.

Ethical considerations

This article followed all ethical standards for research without direct contact with human or animal subjects.

Funding information

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, L.Z., upon reasonable request.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated agency of the authors.


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