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OCAI Assessment

The OCAI (© Kim Cameron) was carefully designed, tested, and validated.

Respondents are asked to score six aspects of culture:

  1. Dominant characteristics
  2. Organizational leadership
  3. Management of employees
  4. Organization glue
  5. Strategic emphases
  6. Criteria of success

For each aspect, they must divide 100 points over four statements. They assign the most points to the statement that is most true, and the least or none to the statement that doesn't fit with their organization.

The first round of scoring the six aspects yields a profile of the current culture. Quinn and Cameron found that most organizations have developed a dominant culture style. An organization rarely has only one culture type. Often, the culture profile is a mix of the four organizational culture types.

The second round focuses on the preferred organizational culture in the future. The gap between these two profiles shows the desire for and direction of change.

This way of scoring is deliberately designed. By dividing 100 points over four statements, respondents have to weigh and choose in the Competing Values Framework. In reality, you can't have everything maximized at the same time. A Likert-scale would allow people to give all statements a 1 or a 5 - while this way of weighing points is more realistic.

The six aspects are based on extensive research. Adding more variables does not enhance the survey's validity. Hence, the survey is short and sweet while it yields a valid representation of culture. (If you want to know more about validity and reliability, please see the book by Cameron & Quinn: Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture).

By averaging all OCAI profiles, we can calculate a collective team or organization profile to get an overview of current and preferred culture. It can be interesting to compare the culture profiles of departments, locations, levels, or professions within one organization.
In smaller teams, you could also compare the individual profiles.

Organizational Culture Profile

An OCAI culture profile shows:

  • The dominant current culture
  • The discrepancy between present (fuchsia area) and preferred culture (blue)
  • The strength of the current culture
  • The strength of the preferred culture
  • The proposed change: in what direction?
  • People's current "pain" and any "gain" of change

The results report also shows the congruency of the six aspects. Cultural incongruence often leads to a desire to change, because different values and goals can take a lot of time and discussion. If the six culture aspects emphasize different values, people may be confused, frustrated, and conflicts could ensue.

Continue with OCAI use for organizations.