What Is a Culture Assessment? (With 20 Sample Questions)

Culture assessment is defined as a process of tinkering that helps organizations differentiate between ideal culture and real culture. Culture assessment includes analyzing an organization’s expectations, experiences, philosophy as well as the values that guide member behavior in an organization.

The Competing Values Framework, one of the most popular and effective frameworks in business, serves as the foundation for the OCAI (ten Have, 2003). Over 10,000 companies used it. It is well-researched, validated, and concise, with just six components that accurately capture an organization’s culture. With the OCAI, you can quickly assess your cultural knowledge by allocating 100 points among four “Competing Values.”

Organizations that prefer to organize for stability value transparent structures, planning, budgets, and dependability; organizations that prefer to organize for flexibility value these same attributes. They assume that reality can be known and controlled. Flexible organizations operate under the premise that nothing can ever be completely predicted or controlled. They favor an adaptable mindset and structure that focuses more on people and activities than on structure, procedures, and plans in order to respond quickly to changing circumstances.

Stability and flexibility are “competing values,” so you can’t do both at the same time. Organizations frequently emphasize particular values because they can only invest so much money, time, and attention in them. Quinn and Cameron discovered that adaptable organizations are most successful, which occasionally results in inconsistent behavior. The “best” organizations use all four value sets when necessary.

The activities domain that aligns with a culture type’s values yields the best results. For instance, we frequently observe clan culture in the health care industry. Beware: The Competing Values Framework does not prescribe an absolute “best” organizational culture. The model is descriptive. One culture type may fit better than another in a particular domain or market, and the organization should determine this. “When would be at our best?”.

These fundamental organizing principles underlie all human and organizational activity. The four biologically determined drives of the brain—the urge to bond, learn, acquire, and defend—are in line with this. (Paul Lawrence, Nitin Nohria, 2002). The “Big Five” personality traits, the MBTI, and the four psychological types identified by Carl Gustav Jung can all be related to the CVF and OCAI.

This scientific foundation is excellent, but its ability to be applied practically is even better. When people plan activities, whether they are in a for-profit organization, a sports club, a local community, or a family, the CVF helps you see what they value and emphasize. The plan outlines your current location and desired destination.

This is a dynamic and creative working environment. Employees take risks. Leaders are seen as innovators and risk takers. Experiments and innovation are a way of bonding. Prominence is emphasized. The long-term goal is to grow and create new resources. It is considered successful when new goods or services are offered. The organization promotes individual initiative and freedom.

This working environment is friendly. There are many shared interests, and it feels like a big family. The leaders are viewed as role models, possibly even as father figures. The organization is held together by loyalty and tradition. There is great involvement. They emphasize long-term Human Resource Development. Success is defined in terms of meeting client needs and looking out for the welfare of the populace. The organization promotes teamwork, participation, and consensus.

This is a formalized and structured workplace. Procedures direct what people do. Leaders are proud of efficiency-based coordination and organization. Keeping the organization functioning smoothly is most crucial. Formal rules and policies keep the organization together. Stability and results, along with effective and seamless task execution, are the long-term objectives. Reliable delivery, continuous planning, and low cost define success. The personnel management has to guarantee work and predictability.

This is a results-driven environment where emphasis is placed on achieving goals, deadlines, and completing tasks. People are competitive and focused on goals. Leaders are hard drivers, producers, and rivals. They can be tough with high expectations. The emphasis on winning keeps the organization together. Reputation and success are the most important. Long-term focus is on rival activities and reaching goals. Success is defined by market dominance, achieving your goals, and having excellent metrics. Competitive prices and market leadership are important. The organizational style is based on competition.

This way of scoring is deliberately designed. In the Competing Values Framework, respondents must weigh and select based on 100 points divided among four statements. The truth is that nothing can be maximized simultaneously. While this method of allocating points is more realistic, a Likert-scale would allow people to assign all statements a 1 or a 5.

The six aspects are based on extensive research. Adding more variables does not enhance the surveys validity. As a result, the survey is concise and provides a reliable picture of culture. (For more information on validity and reliability, see the book Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture by Cameron & Quinn.)

We can create a collective team or organization profile by averaging all OCAI profiles to get a sense of the current and desired culture. Comparing the cultural profiles of various departments, locations, levels, or professions within a single organization can be interesting. In smaller teams, you could also compare the individual profiles.

Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument: its features

What are the quadrants of a culture assessment?

Collaboration, creation, control, and competition are the four main pillars of culture assessment. When businesses conduct employee surveys, they discover responses that skew more toward one of these four categories, allowing them to assess how their culture actually is. These are a component of the Competing Values Framework (CVF), which identifies the potential organizational values. Here are some details about each of the four quadrants:


The collaborate quadrant denotes a company that values collaboration, loyalty, and open lines of communication. These businesses frequently put a strong emphasis on long-term growth and are very accommodating of internal procedures and requirements. Customers may be more likely to trust the company you work for if it falls into this category because these values can be seen outside of the company.


Businesses that are more in the create quadrant put more emphasis on innovation and creativity at work They frequently develop novel products for the market and respect people who take risks. This indicates that they are adaptable, especially to external requirements, and that they can change and adapt quickly as a business grows. These can be more entrepreneurial companies, like startups, and they typically recruit staff by developing a distinctive vision that others can concur with.


The control quadrant indicates that businesses are most concerned with efficiency and well-organized operations. They frequently place a high value on order and reliable procedures based on practical consideration. These businesses value process improvement, cost-cutting initiatives, and strict regulations. The executives of these companies must ensure that these regulations are followed. These businesses may undergo gradual change as their primary objective is to encourage internal focus.


Companies in the competitive quadrant aggressively value competition both inside and outside of their organization. Rather than fostering community or loyalty, their priority is results. If a company has a culture where you can win or lose rather than learn or grow as you might in the other quadrants, that company is in this quadrant. These businesses frequently prioritize growing their revenue and market share while concentrating on immediate results and maintaining control in external environments.

What is a culture assessment?

When a company’s leadership examines its internal and external culture to determine whether it aligns with their ideals, they are conducting a culture assessment. This evaluation assists company leaders in better aligning with their core mission as they frequently decide what kind of culture they want to foster, such as a collaborative or autonomous one. In order to assess the reality of the workplace environment and to compare it to the company’s mission and values, culture assessments frequently involve asking employees a series of questions.

There are several different types of cultures that the company you work for may have when conducting an assessment:

20 sample questions for a culture assessment

Here are some examples of test questions for cultural assessment:


What is included in cultural assessment?

Here’s how to conduct a cultural assessment in five steps:
  1. Choose a cultural assessment model. …
  2. Perform the assessment impartially. …
  3. Examine the results of the assessment. …
  4. Draw conclusions about the assessment’s results. …
  5. Draft a plan for implementing cultural changes.

What is a company cultural assessment?

Ask about ethnic background, religious preference, family dynamics, food preferences, eating habits, and health practices when conducting a quick cultural assessment. Prior to the assessment, be aware of the important topics to cover and how to do so without upsetting the patient or family.

What are the categories of cultural assessment?

A company’s cultural elements, such as expectations, experiences, philosophy, and values that shape team members’ behaviors within an organization, are analyzed by company culture assessments. Organizational culture in the workplace is created by long-standing values, attitudes, and rules.

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