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.

Assess your culture today. Contact us to learn how.

Note: Our US offices will be closed Monday, May 27, 2024, for the Memorial Day holiday. We will service any inquires and orders received during this time on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Thank you!

    “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

    + Product info

    The product of more than 35 years of research, and now using the latest survey technology, the Organizational Culture Inventory measures the attributes of organizational culture most closely related to the behavior and performance of members. It reveals what members collectively believe is expected of them and how those behavioral norms influence their engagement and effectiveness—ultimately providing an unmatched foundation for constructively changing organizational culture.

    + The benefits for your organization

    Administer the OCI in your organization to provide members at all levels with an understanding of how they’re currently expected to approach their work and interact with one another—and how the existing norms either support or interfere with problem solving and task performance. This best-in-class organizational culture assessment instrument will also empower members to create a vision of the ideal culture in terms of the behaviors that would enable them and the organization to execute strategic initiatives, achieve goals, and attain the mission.

    + How it works

    Two forms of the Organizational Culture Inventory are available for culture assessment:

    • The standard OCI measures the current culture of an organization in terms of shared behavioral norms—that is, the behaviors that members believe are required to “fit in” and meet expectations. Members’ responses are combined and profiled on the Human Synergistics Circumplex to show the relative strength of Constructive, Passive/Defensive, and Aggressive/Defensive norms within the organization.
    • The OCI-Ideal complements the current form of the Organizational Culture Inventory by identifying the optimal or preferred culture for the organization. It assesses the behaviors that leaders and other members believe should be expected to maximize effectiveness and enable the organization to reach its goals. The result is a picture of the ideal culture based on shared values and beliefs—a benchmark against which the current culture can be compared to identify gaps and targets for change.

    Members’ responses to these culture surveys are aggregated and electronically analyzed to generate a report (or reports) to support and inform your organizational culture change initiatives. A Human Synergistics consultant, accredited OD practitioner, or one of your internal HR or OD specialists (who we can train and accredit) guides organization leaders and change team members through the findings and the steps required for successful development and transformation.

    Our cultural assessment surveys are available online on almost any digital device as well as in hard copy (including self-scoring) format.

    + Complementary tools

    We recommend that you apply the Organizational Culture Inventory in tandem with the Organizational Effectiveness Inventory®. The OEI, our climate survey, provides unique insights into the outcomes of the current organizational culture and the structures, systems, technologies, and skills/qualities that can be used to change that culture. 
    The OCI can be used after or along with the Life Styles Inventory™ and ACUMEN® Leadership WorkStyles™ 360 feedback assessments to support individual development programs. The Group Styles Inventory™ and Leadership/Impact® or Management/Impact® can be used in conjunction with the organizational culture and climate surveys to promote changes at the leadership and team levels which, in turn, complement and reinforce development at the organizational level.

    Additionally, the Organizational Change Challenge and the Culture Change Situation help teams learn the steps of an effective organizational change process and develop the knowledge needed to manage and constructively redirect an organization’s culture.

    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.