The “Red Pill” of Cultural Change: Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI)
Are you seeking to understand why workers and management are not on the same page? Does your manager demand that you produce more work than you can reasonably complete? Do you work for a micromanager who is quick to point out your errors and/or lack of efficiency? Are you the quiet member of a rowdy, boisterous team? Are your unique ideas unappreciated or underutilized?
If you answered yes to any of the questions, you are in no way alone. For years, many have battled to understand why management “just did not get it.” No doubt, some managers have the same sentiment as their employees.
If you would like to learn more about your culture and may be ready to consider change, I recommend the “Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument” (OCAI). Like the “red pill” in the 1999 movie, The Matrix, the OCAI can help you find the “truth of reality” in your organization. Knowledge is the first step toward enacting change.
According to authors, Cameron and Quinn (2011) people are unaware of their culture until it is challenged, or they experienced a new culture, or their culture is made overt and explicit. Their research has also found that organizational culture can impact individuals in many ways including morale, commitment, productivity, physical health, and emotional well-being. The OCAI can help you determine your organization’s culture and begin the process of addressing cultural change.
Is your organization a “Clan, Hierarchy, Adhocracy, or Marketing” culture?
Most organizations have developed a dominant cultural style. An organization rarely has only one type of culture. Often, there is a mix of the four organizational cultures that are described in the Figure below: Clan, Advocacy, Hierarchy, or Marketing (OCAI online, 2017).
Clan (Collaborative) Clan cultures are collaborative, family oriented environments that have a significant amount of interaction between the employees and management. Management is a part of the mentoring process for the team. Loyalty, tradition, and commitment are highly regarded, leaders assume parental roles, and this warmth trickles down to its internal/external customers (Cameron and Quinn, 2011).
Hierarchy (Control) In a Hierarchy culture, you have a controlled, formalized, structured environment where policies and procedures are established, and protocol and boundaries are set. Implemented for uniformity and control, those who run such organizational cultures are more concerned with pushing out consistent, efficient productivity to remain a step ahead of its competitors (Cameron and Quinn, 2011).
Adhocracy (Create) The Adhocracy culture values the creativity that employees produce and foster in the workplace. Innovation and commitment are regarded over loyalty, tradition, and family. Success is governed by new opportunities that creativity can render, for example, new innovative products such as the iPad. Without restrictions, employees are given the freedom to create.
Market (Compete) The Market culture is an aggressive, competing, results-driven culture. Leaders drive employees to increase profitability and meet company objectives (Cameron and Quinn, 2011). This organizational culture is very intense. The bottom line is to compete for results that establish and maintain a brand among its competitors while also increasing the organization’s market share.
Knowing your organization’s current dominant culture, as well as what is preferred by you and your fellow employees, creates an opportunity for the organization to retain quality people, increase profitability, generate innovative products while unifying and presenting consistent and quality branding. The OCAI assessment is a useful tool that can identify you and your organization’s expectations and further the discussion of how to bridge the gap between the two.
Questions for Discussion:
- How would you characterize the culture of your organization? Is it a Clan, Advocacy, Hierarchy, or Marketing culture?
- How effective is your organization’s culture? How might a different culture be more effective?
Cameron, K.S., & Quinn, R.E. (2011). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
OCAI – Online. (2017, January 22). OCAI Assessment. Retrieved from https://www.ocai-online.com/about-the-Organizational-Culture-Assessment-Instrument-OCAI/OCAI-Assessment
OCAI – Online. (2017, January 22). Organizational Culture Types. Retrieved from https://www.ocai-online.com/about-the-Organizational-Culture-Assessment-Instrument-OCAI/Organizational-Culture-Types