Oregon State University ED 530 Fall 2000 Cultural Assessment Assignment, Revised

by John Inman

The first question to be answered is what do I mean by culture? There are a variety of ways to describe culture, here are a couple:

Organizational culture is a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations. This system of shared meaning is a set of key characteristics that the organization values. This creates a shared understanding of how things are done in the organization.
A relatively stable picture of the organization's personality shared by its members. Cultures are usually shaped in the organization's early days, often by its earliest leaders. Everyday customs and rituals both reflect the culture and continue to shape it.
So the bottom line is how do we do things around here; do work, relate to people, relate to the market, what do we value, how do we grow and learn. 

The purpose of a cultural assessment tool is to specifically try to get a read on what you think the culture is at your organization, not how you feel about it. In other words, as you look at the questions, simply click on your first impression. No need to be more reflective than that. If you were to answer how you feel, that is a job satisfaction measure and I am not working on that.

The results of this survey are to be used to help identify the cultural attributes of your organization and then to make recommendations on how to improve the culture to help develop a learning organization. Please note that the questions are blocked into units that have similar attributes and that some questions in other blocks may be similar but are intended to try to discover different things about the culture of your organization.

If you choose to fill this out for me, no individual identification is collected. Your help is greatly appreciated. The assessment should take about 10 minutes or so to click through. Not a bad project for lunch. :-) Thank you.

Cultural Assessment Survey 

Home office Location (where you report):
Portland    Mt. View    Europe    (Cohort Try)

Styles of Behavior:

  1. Clear Direction: Is the direction your organization is heading and the reasons for it heading that way clear?
    Very Clear    Pretty Clear    Clear    Medium Clear    Not Clear

  2. Personal Freedom to Act: Do you have a lot of freedom to make decisions and act on them?
    Lot's    Fair Amount    Average    Fairly little    Very Little

  3. Personal Freedom to Risk: Are you encouraged to be aggressive and take risks?
    Highly    Medium High    Medium   Fairly Little     Very Little

  4. Department Coordination: Are the different departments within your organization encouraged to work closely together?
    Highly    Medium High    Medium   Fairly Little     Very Little

  5. Management Support: How much do managers provide clear communication, assistance and support to the team members that report to them?
    Lot's    Fair Amount    Average    Fairly Little    Very Little

  6. Micro Management: Are you closely watched by your supervisor and need to follow lots of rules and regulations?
    Highly    Medium High    Medium   Fairly Little     Very Little

  7. Company Team Membership: Do you feel more like a close family member to the company than you do to your work team?
    Lot's    Fair Amount    Average    Fairly Little    Very Little

  8. Recognized for Performance: Are you recognized and rewarded for your performance more than for internal politics and favors?
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  9. Conflict Resolution: Do people usually come together to solve their own problems and arguments rather than have someone help?
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  10. Open Door Policy: Can you go to anyone in the organization for help rather than having to always go through channels?
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

How do team members learn to fit in?:

  1. Learning Structure: Are you given a structured and formal training plan or do you go into your job with the expectation that you will learn on the job?
    High Structure    Fair Amount    Average    Fairly Little    Little Structure

  2. Self Study: Are you part of a class setting with lots of other team members when you learn rather than individual learning?
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  3. Time to get it: Is everyone expected to be trained within a fixed period of time rather that learn at own pace?
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  4. Mentors: Are you assigned a mentor or role model when you enter the organization rather than simply expected to get it on your own?
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  5. Respect for your abilities: Were you hired for your knowledge, skills and attributes rather than expected to mold to a preexisting model?
    Highly respected    Medium High    Medium Respect   Medium Low    Expected to mold

Organizational Personality Style (very much like individual personality style)

  1. Pace: Is your organization a fast paced or slow paced organization?
    Go get em    Some urgency    Were Moving    Don't rush me    In my sweet time

  2. Committees: Are decisions a committee affair or do individuals take action?
    Go get em    People usually act    Sometimes in group    Usually in group    Don't move without others

  3. Social: We are like a family and invest lots of time supporting each other.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  4. Task: Our noses are to the grind stone and we do not fool around.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

Organizational Learning

  1. Failure Accepted: Failure is looked on as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than hidden or used as a reason for personal punishment.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  2. Try and Test: Team members are expected to try new ideas and push the envelope of the way it is done here.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  3. Processes: We have discovered how to integrate in new ways of doing things and have created processes so that we can repeat and improve our successes.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  4. Empowerment: We are encouraged to study, learn, explore and use this ever increasing level of personal power to build ourselves and  the organization.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  5. Empathy: When others are having difficulties or searching for resources, people in this organization actively look for ways to provide help.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  6. Assessment: We assess personal and organizational performance on a regular basis and use the results to make improvements to performance.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  7. Persistence: Team members see their missions through to completion even if there are roadblocks and resource limitations. 
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  8. Sense of Urgency: In our company, there is passion for improving the ability to serve and deliver value to customers inside and outside of the organization. 
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  9. Vision Driven: In our company, team members make decisions that drive all performance to fulfill our mission, vision, goals, and objectives. 
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  10. Ownership of End Result: Team members in our company listen to each other and work together to create the best idea to solve the problem: i.e. ownership of end result rather than means to get there.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  11. Trust: Leaders are able to lead and followers follow without reservation because in our organization, all people are treated with courtesy and respect building strong bonds of trust. 
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

  12. Sense of Balance: In our organization, we understand that there is life outside of business. People to not sacrifice themselves for the organization. Martyrs do not serve the long term best interest of the team or the organization.
    Always    Most of the time    On average    Sometimes    Never

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out on my project. If you have questions I have not answered please let me know.