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Culture Models Overview

Culture Models Overview

  • 10 August 2017
  • Posted by Marcella Bremer

Welcome to this overview of the best-known organizational culture models that we have discussed.It is crucial to understand where you are right now before you develop or change anything. There are roughly two ways to understand and assess the culture:

The anthropological approach gathers data via observation, documents and processes, participation, and interviews. It doesn’t have to be bound by a theory and yields qualitative information - but it could be time-consuming.

The assessment approach uses a validated culture theory and often a culture survey. It is less open but benefits from the inter-subjectivity of many respondents and yields quantitative and some qualitative information. The theory might help to find a desired direction of change.

If you are strategic about culture, OCAI Online's next open workshop on Positive Culture Change Leadership is scheduled for May 2018! More information and registration is available at a first come first serve basis.

Culture theories and tools to choose from are:

The Competing Values Framework and the OCAI culture survey

Denison Culture Model

Trompenaars Culture Model

Deal & Kennedy Culture Model

Hofstede Culture Model part 1

Hofstede Culture Model part 2

Human Synergistics Culture Model

CTT Barrett Values Spiral Dynamics Culture Model

Most theories are compared to the Competing Values Framework as this is the most fundamental to human organization. The CVF is a descriptive model instead of a normative model that prescribes "the best" culture type.

Which model you like best depends on your situation. The choice depends on how “wide and deep” you want to work with culture in your organization. Other criteria might be your personal preferences regarding the theory, and how detailed or time-consuming the associated surveys are. But also: the ease of use, your dependency on expensive consultancy, the obligation of expensive certification, or whether you can do-it-yourself.

Do you want to know how your organization scores on the Competing Values Framework? Do the free individual OCAI trial here. Or check out the paid Pro and Enterprise assessments for teams and organizations.

© Marcella Bremer 2017. All rights reserved.