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Organizational Culture Assessment Questionnaire (OCAQ)

  • Purpose

To identify and understand the nature of the culture in an organization as a first step in identifying problems and defining the desired culture.

  • Users

Organizational leaders and managers who are committed to building a better, more functional organizational culture.

  • Time

Approximately eight minutes to complete the 30-item assessment via the Internet

The Organizational Culture Assessment Questionnaire (OCAQ) is a 30-item questionnaire that is designed to help understnd an organization's culture and identify ways to deal with cultural-based problems. The OCAQ assesses the values and beliefs that help or hinder organizational performance in five crucial dimensions. The feedback is provided along with a detailed interpretive guidebook to assist participants in interpreting their results.


The OCAQ assesses the following five crucial functions that all organizations must successfully perform if they are to survive.

  • Managing Change: This area of action concerns how well an organization is able to adapt to and deal effectively with changes in its environment. An especially important belief that supports managing change effectively is the belief that one is able to affect the environment. The OCAQ assesses the degree to which respondents see their organization as effective in adapting to and proactively managing change. The specific items inquire about actual success in dealing with change and about the presence or absence of positive values.
  • Achieving Goals: Having a clear focus on explicit goals has been proven to have a very strong relationship to actual success and achievement. Goal achievement is also facilitated when the goals of the organization's members are aligned with one another and with the overal goals of the organization. The OCAQ asks repondents to describe how effective the organization is in achieving goals, the extent to which there are coherent and shared goals, and the degree to which shared values support improvement and achievement rather than the status quo.
  • Coordinated Teamwork: Long term organizational survival depends on how well the efforts of individuals and groups within the organization are tied together, coordinated and sequenced so that people's work efforts fit together efficiently. Thus, in terms of the values and beliefs that support effective coordination, the value of collaboration and the belief that "we are in this together" are important. In contrast, an especially unhelpful value is that of competition to see who can "do the best," independent of others. The OCAQ assesses the extent to which an organization is effective in coordinating the work of individuals and groups. It also gets at the extent to which the shared value of collaboration is present.
  • Customer Orientation: While organizations often have specific product or service goals, the crucial question is whether these internally-derived and defined goals match or fit with what clients or customers want of the organization. The values that support an effective customer orientation function are not simply an overriding belief in the importance of the client or customer. A rather different strategy is based on the belief that new products or services should be natural extensions of existing product or service lines. The OCAQ assesses the extent ot which organizational activities are directed toward identifying and meeting the needs and goals clients and customers. The scale also examines the extent to which basic and strategic values that support an effective customer orientation are present.
  • Cultural Strength: All organizations have a culture, formed out of the pattern of values and beliefs shared by some, most, or all of the organization's members. When nthe organization is faced with crises and must draw an all its human and physical resources, then a strong culture will help the organization to survive and provide greater stability of organizational functioning. The OCAQ assesses the strength of the organization's culture, asking respondents to report on the extent to which people agree on values and examining the extent to which certain "meta-values" are present.


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