The Effects of Organizational Culture on Public Image and Membership Recruitment at Rotary International


The purpose of this study was to examine how Rotary International’s organizational culture affects the achievement of two of its strategic priorities: improving its public image and attracting a younger and more diverse membership. This study aimed to: (1) determine how organizational structure and symbolism affect organizational performance (2) assess Rotary International organizational culture and (3) analyze how Rotary’s organizational structure and symbolism affect its ability to achieve its strategic goals.

The methodology for this study included secondary research in the fields of organizational theory; more specifically in organizational culture, structure and symbolism. Primary research was conducted through the analysis of preexisting data, interviews conducted with Rotary International staff and a survey that was distributed to 500 non-Rotarian participants in Rotary programs. The study of preexisting data established the fact that Rotary was not satisfied with its public image or membership numbers; and that the organization had not adapted itself well to modern day society. Interviews with Rotary International staff revealed the nature of Rotary’s organizational culture and some of the specific traditions and structural components that affect the realization of its strategic priorities. The survey gave general impressions of both the organizational culture as well as the impression of Rotary’s public image and membership diversity.

This study found that both Rotary’s organizational structure and symbolism do affect its abilities to achieve the strategic goals of improving its public image and increasing younger and more diverse membership. The findings of this research will provide Rotary International with valuable information in order to make more informed decision and choices as it moves forward with its strategic priorities.


Business Administration, Management, and Operations

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