Organizational Culture Inventory®

Research and development by Robert A. Cooke, Ph.D. and J. Clayton Lafferty, Ph.D.

The Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI®) is the world’s most thoroughly researched and widely used organizational culture assessment. The OCI goes beyond just corporate culture, company culture, and workplace culture. The cultural dimensions it measures apply to all types of organizations—whether work or nonwork, for profit or not for profit, or public or private sector.

Employees and Leadership identifying their organizational culture

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“We looked to Human Synergistics to help us go deeper with the conversations we were having to go beyond the first level of climate (including employee engagement and satisfaction) and really identify the norms and traditional behaviors people were performing over time.”

~Kristin Chase, Sr. Director Organizational Development, Universal Parks and Resorts

Make the OCI part of your drive for change

The Organizational Culture Inventory is administered and facilitated exclusively by internal or external consultants who have been prepared and accredited in its application and interpretation. We offer two options:

  • A qualified and experienced Human Synergistics consultant can help you to use the OCI and, as an option, the OEI (our  organizational climate assessment tool), to initiate and implement the cultural changes you seek. Simply contact us to get connected with a consultant who’s right for your organization.
  • The entire change process can be led internally in your organization by arranging OCI accreditation for one or more change team members. This will ensure they have the skills to administer the Organizational Culture and Effectiveness Inventories and identify appropriate levers to achieve long-term culture change. To get started, register for an accreditation workshop.

A Human Synergistics consultant or your accredited team member(s) can also utilize your culture results to engage your leaders and members in designing and implementing a customized 90-day blueprint for success using our Culture Quick-Start Program. This program includes a thorough assessment of organizational culture and climate that goes beyond simplistic “culture index” results. It highlights multiple dimensions of culture (values and norms) as well as climate (perceptions and attitudes) to support a facilitated planning session with a leadership and/or change team.

Frequently asked questions about the Organizational Culture Inventory (OCI)

What dimensions of culture are measured by the OCI?

The OCI goes beyond simplistic culture index surveys and single scores by measuring and reporting on three general yet discrete sets of behavioral norms:

  • Constructive 
  • Passive/Defensive
  • Aggressive/Defensive 

These three different types of norms are distinct and their impact on effectiveness is cumulative. Considering them separately yet concurrently provides a picture and mastery of culture that properly reflects organizational dynamics and makes true and impactful culture change feasible.

How do you conduct an organizational culture assessment?

The Organizational Culture Inventory begins with a survey that is distributed to all members, at all levels, within the organization. The organizational culture survey tool is designed to be comprehensive, yet as easy and quick to use as possible, and can be accessed from either mobile devices or in paper form.

As noted above, OCI results are in-depth, actionable, and more dimensional than a basic  culture index survey. Therefore, results are typically debriefed by an accredited change agent, followed by evidence-based conversations about next steps and action plans.

How long does the OCI (versus a culture index survey) take?

There are many “quick” culture index surveys or assessments available. The Organizational Culture Inventory and the Ideal survey may take slightly longer, each approximately 20 minutes, to complete. Cultural assessment surveys are available both online and in paper format with results displayed on the circumplex.

Is the OCI valid and reliable; does it really measure culture?

The Organizational Culture Inventory is the most widely used and thoroughly researched culture assessment available. It measures culture–in terms of “what’s expected” (norms) and “what should be expected” (values)--rather than members’ attitudes or perceptions–which are dimensions of organization climate rather than culture. The statistical reliability and validity of the inventory have been assessed by not only our research team but dozens of independent researchers and academicians as well. See our research page for links to over a hundred books, refereed journal articles, presentations, and dissertations focusing on the inventory and its reliability and validity.