The World of Work Project

Denison Organizational Culture Survey

The Denison employee culture survey has 50 questions and covers four many areas: Adaptability, Mission, Involvement and Consistency. Outputs are presented as a wheel showing relative cultural strengths and weaknesses.

Summary by The World of Work Project

Denison Organizational Culture Survey

The Denison organizational culture survey is a 50 question employee survey. It covers four core cultural areas: Adaptability, Mission, Involvement and Consistency. Each of those areas is broken down into 3 sub-categories, giving a total of 12 areas of cultural assessment. At the heart of the model or survey are the organizations beliefs and assumptions.

The output of the survey is provided in the form of a wheel, or radial diagram, and organizations can use their results to shape future change initiatives.

We’re not sure any culture wheel could be as cool as a watermelon wheel!

The World of Work Project View

The Denison survey looks reasonable, but we’ve never used it in a work environment so can only comment on it in a limited fashion.

Overall its four high level areas of focus appear reasonable, as do the dimensions of internal and external focus and flexibility and stability. We think, however, that the version of the model that we’ve seen is somewhat limited in what it covers. Additional areas such as hierarchical power, fear, trust, wellbeing and mental health, change readiness and recognition may all shed further light on an organization, though of course they may be covered further in this framework in ways that we’ve not seen.

Sources and further reading

Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.

This post is based on original content as created by Dr Daniel Denison, currently at the International Institute of Management Development in Switzerland. You can learn more about the model and approach from the Denison Consulting website.


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