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How do you measure the organisations culture?


There is a huge amount of theory espoused but does anyone know of some real PRACTICAL tools/questionnaires that will help me get at an organisations culture. By culture I am talking about the underlying assumptions, beliefs, perceptions etc that drive a company. I am particularly looking for questionnaires but recommended books and URL links would also be of help

Thanks in anticipation
Stuart Dyson (MSc student)
0151 254 5017
Stuart Dyson

12 Responses

  1. Organization training culture
    I have a simple, little, quite lighthearted questionnaire to identify the organization’s attitude to training and evaluation in particular. If you woud like a copy e-mail me.
    Leslie Rae. [email protected]

  2. Gap Analysis – Motivation/Culture/Perception
    I developed a new model of motivation ‘Five Factors for Motivation'(Copyright MullinB 1994) when I did my Masters a few years ago. My survey measures the perception gap between what management says is happening and what employees at the lower levels in the organisation actually experience. If you would like to know more please email me.
    Barbara Mullin MSc [email protected]

  3. Corporate Self Assessment
    There is a book called ‘The Corporate Self Assessment Handbook’ by Chris Hakes (Chapman & Hall 0-412-63890-8) which is a resource kit full of questionnaires which help explore aspects of organisations. Although associated with quality it goes beyond this and looks at several different aspects of corporate assessment.

    If you send me your e mail address I can send you some information.

    [email protected]

  4. How to measure organisation culture.
    I am a member of the Culture Management Research Assiciation founded by Jeff Cartwright. Jeff developed the Nine Factors Cultural Assessment which is an employee questionnaire designed to measure a company’s culture. He has written a book – Cultural Transformation – published by Financial Times/Prentice Hall – ISBN – 0-273-63984-6. More information can be obtained from Nine Factors UK Ltd., 01803 813558 or

  5. Verax Organisational Culture Inventory
    I have used a questionnaire published by Verax (based in Fleet, Hampshire) to measure organisational culture. It’s one of a series of diagnostics that can be individual, 360, team, group or organisational.

  6. Measuring Org Culture
    Do please contact us for info on the organisational culture instrument which we are assisting in validating and norming.
    01844 238775
    Maria Bennett

  7. Why do you want to do it?
    My first response to your question would be why do you want to do it? You refer to theory espoused and then seek web links, books and other, what I would call theory-oriented and ‘transactional’ approaches. One of the proverbs I work with is ‘never try to resolve a complex problem with a simple solution’… …and problems that involve people are usually complex. I use the employee life-cycle as a vehicle for discussion and then talk to people at every level of the organisation about their experiences and the experiences of their colleagues. You will pick up endless perceptions, beliefs of individuals and an insight into the organisational values and culture. Measure? Why? What ‘practical’ benefit can ‘measuring’ culture have for anyone other than a pure academic? Your term ‘get at’ is much more appropriate and when you have ‘got at’ you will have every measure you will ever need. You can continue the debate if you like via [email protected]

  8. I have access to an external source that can solve the problem
    Having been asked the same question by a division of the organisation I work for. I have been able to resolve the difficulty, to this issue.

  9. Peter Honey
    I think I understand what you mean by ‘get at’ (analyse & understand?)and I have used Peter Honey’s manual ‘Explore Your Values’ to help me recognize the values and culture of my own organisation and others. It is relatively simply, but never the less, it works for me.

    It can be used to look at the values and belief of people in the following areas:

    Attitudes & Behaviour
    Continuous Improvement
    Learning Organisation
    Feeling & Emotions
    Leading & Managing
    Learning & Development
    Responsibility & Accountability
    Strategic, thinking and planning

    Here are the details:

    Title: ‘Explore Your Values’
    Author: Peter Honey Publications
    ISBN: 1 902899 01 6
    Web Site:

    Good Luck

    [email protected]

  10. ‘The character of organisations’
    … by William Bridges has a questionnaire – especially interesting for those into MBTI

  11. ‘Character of Organisations’
    ‘The character of organisations’ by WIlliam Bridges has a questionnaire. Especially interesting to those into MBTI.

    (Moderator, please delete my last comment – the one-line summary did not appear

  12. Definition & Summary
    this article has some simple but effective suggestions (from

    Values are communicated in a number of ways:
    (1) Rites and Rituals: Established occurrences that further define expected behavior.
    (2) Heroes: Organization role models.
    (3) Stories: Told at meetings on breaks, related to heroes. Further reinforce the norms and values.
    (4) Symbols: Pictures posters, plaques, the environment gives a message.

    Assessing Organizational Culture

    1. Telephone:
    Often the first contact
    How are calls taken?
    How long to get an appointment?

    2. Physical setting
    How are newcomers greeted?
    Procedures, delays, paperwork.
    What does the setting communicate.
    Is the setting consistent for all?
    What values are communicated by? The above & other aspects of the setting.

    3. Written Communication
    Internal versus external message Brochures, reports, memos

    4. Observe employees (Consider the emotional climate)
    Dress, name tags
    Interaction with other clients & management.
    Management, visible, interact with clients.

    5. Observe meetings
    How is agenda created, who speaks?
    Who is conflict addressed?
    What is the content? This tells us what is important to the organization.

    6. Interview employees. Identify their perceptions of:
    History, success, clients, advancement, feedback, decisions making, communication, conflict.

    7. Interview clients
    Who really runs the place, how are you treated, How are goals created?

    8. Listen for stories

    9. Observe the language

    10. Consider jargon and other language barriers

    Problem cultures
    Emphasis on other than client outcomes.
    Divergent beliefs about client outcomes.
    Clients as occupational hazards.
    Heroes exemplify negative role models.
    Management versus staff
    Disorganized around routine tasks
    Short term internal focus


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