Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 517–521 | Cite as

Organisational culture: an important concept for pharmacy practice research

  • Shane ScahillEmail author
  • Jeff Harrison
  • Peter Carswell
  • Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar


Throughout the developed world, community pharmacy is under considerable pressure to play a greater part in delivering effective primary health care. The requirement to adopt new roles continues to challenge community pharmacy and drive change. The factors that determine the ability of community pharmacy to effectively deliver services for health gain are complex and include; policy, professional, financial and structural elements. There is also evidence to suggest that organisational culture may influence the effectiveness of an organisation. In order to address this there is a need to understand the dimensions of organisational culture that lead to successful implementation of the change necessary for community pharmacy to become a more effective primary health care organisation. In this commentary, we introduce the concept of organisational culture, outline two frameworks for studying culture, and argue the benefits of pursuing an organisational culture research agenda for the evolution of pharmacy practice and research.


Organisational culture Community pharmacy Organisational theory Practice change Pharmacy management 



The lead author would like to acknowledge Dr Amanda Wheeler, Dr Fiona Kelly and Professor John Shaw from the School of Pharmacy, University of Auckland for their mentorship, support and encouragement during the writing of this paper.


The lead author is the recipient of the University of Auckland Senior Health Research Scholarship.

Conflicts of interest statement

The authors declare that they do not have conflicts of interest relating to this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shane Scahill
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeff Harrison
    • 1
  • Peter Carswell
    • 2
  • Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Pharmacy, University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Population Health, University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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