Organizational culture defines an organization’s uniqueness and identity. It is made up of basic assumptions (values, beliefs, attitudes, norms, and characteristic patterns of behavior) that are shared and adopted by individuals in an organization to cope with internal and external pressure. Understanding an organization’s culture helps us to understand why organizations do what they do and achieve what they achieve.
To remain competitive, an organization should constantly evaluate its values and practices to ensure they are aligned with their corporate strategy. A culture audit can be used to measure how far an organization’s behavior matches its expressed values. This knowledge can be used to determine the strategic maneuvers, competitive actions, investments, new developments, organizational changes, and so on an organization needs to reorient itself in the proper direction.
The audit gives you a comprehensive diagnostic of your current culture as well as a detailed understanding of the culture you are aiming for, by examining employees’ perceptions of the organization’s current practices and the values they consider desirable. The audit is not an end in itself. It serves as a starting point to address cultural strengths and weaknesses within your organization and to start the discussion on what needs to be done to facilitate organizational change.
The Organizational Culture Audit (OCA) is a simple, easy to use, psychometrically valid tool that measures the perceived importance of a number of key cultural values and current practices. It consists of a questionnaire covering 12 dimensions of organizational culture:
2. social responsibility
3. client/stakeholder orientation
4. change orientation
7. responsibility and accountability
9. learning environment
10. results orientation
11. respect for the individual