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Seb Anthony

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Measuring Organisational Climate


I'm looking to measure our organisational climate against our strategic objectives. How would I go about this and what instruments are available for this?

Craig Ramsay

2 Responses

  1. Measuring Organisational Climate
    Hi Craig,

    I guess it depends what you mean by climate. I utilise a fantastic instrument called the Organisational Culture Inventory, which clearly defines in easily understood terms what sort of ‘culture’ exists around the place. I have used it most effectively by first asking senior execs what sort of culture they would ideally like to exist and then compare their ideal with what actually exists. This provides valuable information in helping them to identify just what needs to change in order to make it like they would like it to be. Give me a ring if you would like to know any more. Tel:01327 844634


  2. Diagnosing organisational culture climate
    Hi Craig

    Do you mean against your objectives or in the context of your objectives? Do any of your strategic objectives state a change in culture or values?

    Just undertaking a culture audit or review on its own is one thing – but it needs to be done in context. Many of the culture diagnostic tools or models work on a given premise:

    Harrisons Diagnosing Organizational Culture Instrument (OCI)(Wiley publications ) looks at values with respect to power and decision-making

    Byrds Creatrix Inventory looks an innovation as a culture (see article Innovation culture a fresh perspective )

    Cameron & Quinn OCAI (Amazon ) looks to identify the organizational culture profile based on the core values and assumptions.

    What most of these instruments fail to do is to recognise the difference in views from varying parts of the organisation. They also look at culture in isolation from the organisations development (or growth) stage.

    Looking at culture in isolation (even taking into account strategic objectives) leads many developers to look for ‘utopia’ rather than ‘what is right for this organisation at this time’.

    I have seen several organisations go from autocratic to empowered (thought to be the right thing to do by the client) and they were bankrupt or greatly reduced within 2 years.

    While an autocratic style might not be peoples ideal culture, it fits and works in many organisations. Who is to say one culture is right or wrong?

    It is about the most appropriate for the people, the type of work , and the reason for the organisations existence.

    For change in culture to be real and sustained it needs to be integrated in the strategic plan of the organisation and the culture of policies and procedures need to be consistent.
    Senior managers must own the vision and lead the change.

    In our Business Improvement Review ) we look at culture as part of the overall organisational development/ diagnostic cycle. We have found through experience (and literature research) that change to process without reference to vision and culture is prone to failure (and vice versa).

    I would urge people looking at reviewing organisational culture to do it in the context of organisational change and the strategic direction of the organisation – not is isolation.

    Also remember that while many books include questionnaires and such instruments – generally they have a copyright notice prohibiting use, be careful.


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