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1 Background of the study


Organizational culture is not a new term nor is the continuing debate about its meaning.
Organizational Culture has been used for years in economic environment. The term
"Organizational Culture' has been an official and established definition in organization and
management science since the 80s of the previous century and currently a crucial element in
the decision-making process to maximize profit. Therefore, it has been considered as
invaluable asset of corporation but its popularity in the academic sector has risen since the
early of twenty-first century. There is little consideration of Organizational Culture relevant to
university.
A review on the nature, each University is an organization that has the function of educating
and training higher labors, providing human resources for intellectual society.The self
function along with organizational structure, operational mechanisms are dominated by a
culture, that is the organizational culture of the university-a thumbnail with the social
structure, active rules, standards , values, strengths and own weaknesses created by the
specific people of all generations. As an organization, each of the universities exists, more or
less, a certain culture.
Organizational culture at university level can be determined as the values and beliefs of the
people who are related to the school: the managers, teachers, students, university’s board
members, staff; based on tradition and the verbal as well as non-verbal communication.
(Deal and Kennedy, 1982; Bartell, 2003).
Pacanowsky và O’Donnell-Trujillo (1983) said: “ ​Culture is not something that an
organization has; culture is what the organization is ​”.
In the context of globalization, there is a must to invest more in education in Vietnam -
a developing country to maintain its position in globalized economy. In long-term
period, investing in education especially university is the best choice.
Over the years, there have been many attempts to gain more innovations, to reform the
educational content at all levels towards more progressive way, but compared to some
countries in the region and in the world, our education is still backward , especially in the
University. In the context of renovation and international
integration, program content of higher education of our country are revealed many
inadequacies and limitations as content knowledge training is too heavy on the theory, too
light on the practice, not to create unity to link the educational goals with the aim of finding
employment for learners after graduation; yet make a connection between the standard of
international higher education and Vietnam as well as the curriculum is also heavy with too
much school time. A statistics and comparison shows, duration 4 years in a college class in
Vietnam is now compared with 2,138 America is 1,380 hours (4).So the program in Vietnam
longer than 60% in comparison with the United States.
Results of survey of the U.S. national academy in 2006 has commented on university
teaching and learning method in Vietnam, whereas HCMC University of Technology is one
subject of their research at that moment, as follows: Ineffective teaching method, imbalance
between theoretical courses and practical one, not much interaction between students and
professors/ faculty; casual attitude and passive learning of students toward study process.’
Thus, when analyzing as well as studying the educational systems of advanced countries in
the world, finding limitations and remedies help our education improve and realize that
organizational culture is one of the major barriers, according to Pham Hiep (2008), culture is
the culprit of the failed educational reforms in advanced developing countries.
The Ho Chi Minh City University of technology (a member of Vietnam National University) is
recognized as one of famous universities in training engineers. Moreover, this University is
also the largest center of scientific research and technology transfer in Vietnam. The school
is currently in the stage of transformation in pioneering models of cross-border education by
establishing OISP (office for international study program). Additionally, the school has
reformed following the credit model system but still many inadequacies.

Derived from the necessity of the study of the organizational culture of the HCMC University
of Technology aimed to analyse clearly the cultural peculiarity of the school, as well as figure
out some solutions to improve the quality of education in HCMC University of Technology
and other universities in particular. ​ It is a need to know what type of university's culture to
draw a detailed picture of current campus culture to point out its elements, to assess and
make changes. This paper aims at researching the definition, classification of organizational
culture at the university level. Therefore, ​the research subject is “Organizational Culture at
University Level in the context of HCMC University of Technology - VNU”, which to
contribute to the study of organization culture at university level in Vietnam.