Measuring Organizational Phenomena - Organizational Psychology

Measuring Organizational Phenomena

The word dimension suggests the possibility of quantitative comparison of the severity of organizational phenomena in different types of organizations.

For this, a psychologist consultant can use different methods depending on the purpose of the diagnosis.

An example list of diagnostic purposes may look like this:

1. Identify the type and/or main characteristics of the existing corporate culture.

2. Assess the company's ability to implement complex strategic tasks, effectively act in the face of changing strategies. Determine the correspondence of corporate culture to the directions of solving strategic business problems.

3. To forecast the potential of the company in the situation of organizational changes (structural transformation, mergers, acquisitions, new owners' arrival).

4. To integrate the level of resistance of personnel when implementing new management tools.

5. Assess the level of staff loyalty.

6. Comprehensively evaluate the effectiveness of staff interaction and the effectiveness of the organization of business processes.

7. Localize hotbeds of tension and identify problem areas in the team and resolve conflict situations.

8. Provide managers with information for making managerial decisions within the current business objectives.

9. Identify the direction of transformation or development of the corporate culture itself.

Then the consultant should determine the object of diagnosis: the choice of the aspects of the corporate culture being studied. Examples of diagnostic objects:

- characteristics of certain features of culture;

is the power of culture ( depth & quot ;, understanding etc),

- subculture and counterculture;

- the most significant carriers of corporate culture;

- the degree of staff readiness for changes and forecasting the directions of possible resistance;

- the attitude of management towards the established culture;

- the degree of management control over the culture of the enterprise.

The next step is to select the tools for diagnosing and measuring the corporate culture.

Direct Diagnostics tools include questionnaires, surveys, statistical analysis, graphical profiles, typologies. Scientists and consultants have developed different approaches to identifying a set of variables chosen for quantitative analysis of the company's culture. Variables can be directly related to the level of interaction: the organization is the external environment; group - group; individual - organization.

For each level (individual, group, organization) can be measured the effectiveness of their functioning in terms of the interests of the organization and the satisfaction of the individuals themselves. Variables can be considered in a temporal aspect, i.e. to focus on the short or long term. Organizational values ​​as priorities or preferences can be assessed: Organizational belief questionnaire ( Organizational beliefs questionnaire) M. Sashkin, "Corporate Culture Form" ( Corporate culture survey) R. Glaser, "The Value Orientation Method" M. Rokich et al. To measure the behavioral norms of expectations about the behavior and interaction of members of an organization: Organizational culture questionnaire ( Organizational culture inventory) R. Cook and J. Lafferty Cultural Gap Form (Culture gap survey) R. Kilmann and M. Saxton. The above methods of diagnosis are classified as closed methods. They are used in Western consulting companies, and the questionnaires themselves are almost impossible to find in open sources. Identifying the prevailing type of corporate culture is possible using the following methods: Questionnaire Organization Profile (R. Laikert), "Organizational ideologies" (R. Harrison), Type Questionnaire (C. Handy), "Scales of organizational paradigms OPS (L. Constantine), "The Organizational Culture Assessment Tool OCAI" (K. Cameron, R. Quinn, J. Rohrbach), Organizational Culture Questionnaire (D. Denison), "Determining the types of national cultures" (H. Hofstede), "Methodology for assessing national cultural differences" (F. Trompenaars, C. Hampden-Turner). In some of them, in addition to ascertaining the current state of affairs in the company, there is a graph to identify the personal preferences of a particular employee (whatever he would like to see his company). For example, the questionnaire "Scales of organizational paradigms OPS is 25 judgments formulated as unfinished sentences with four options for ending them. The closing phrases in each paragraph correspond to one of the four organizational paradigms.

Scales OPS identify and evaluate the organization's founding principles:

- Leadership and management style

- communication style;

- orientation to changes;

- individual/group orientations;

- system coordination style;

- the scale of the working environment;

- the style of solving problems and making decisions.

According to the results of the questionnaire, some methods allow for the construction of graphical profiles, in particular, it is possible in the models of K. Quinn, J. Rohrbach and K. Cameron, D. Denison.

The advantage of questionnaire methods for diagnosing organizational phenomena is that they allow for a short time to cover all layers of the organization and get an objective picture of the values ​​and attitudes of the staff. In order for these methods to be really effective, it is necessary to structure the questions in such a way that they reflect the basic values ​​of the employees (that is, the culture itself), and not the secondary attitude to the essence of the phenomena (for example, the social climate in the team). Nevertheless, one can not absolutize the value of quantitative methods - sometimes they can only give an express assessment or allow you to compare some parameters of different cultures in several organizations.

The second group of methods is sociological methods (focus groups, semi-structured and in-depth interviewing, testing). According to experts, the most informative are in-depth group interviews (focus groups) and individual interviews with the company's top executives.

In addition to conscious and directly declared representations and preferences (like what is right or wrong, what should be changed, etc.), such interviews allow recreating the natural behavior, unconscious attitudes and aspirations of the culture bearers. Various options for conducting interviews give the opportunity to see the problem from different angles. An individual interview highlights a specific view of the situation - for example, from the height of a certain managerial level or from a separate division of the company. Interviews with the first persons of the organization reveal the historical patterns of the culture and their impact on the organization's work capacity in the present. The focus group stimulates collective thinking: people, engaging in a lively discussion and starting to think together and express their opinions aloud, show hidden emotions, motives and attitudes, reveal the reasons for their attitude to what is happening in the organization. There is an opportunity to see the situation in the company through their eyes. It's best to conduct an interview vertically - from top management to ordinary employees, then it is possible to get an objective picture of corporate culture.

The third group of methods can be referred to as field methods study of the situation by immersion in the culture of the company. It is about immersing the researcher in culture. He begins to act in it as a participatory observer, consultant or even a member of the team (working groups consisting of consultants and company employees, discussion seminars with key persons, included observation, timing, diary keeping, empirical observation method, stop exercises, confession experience and the like.)

Indirect Diagnostic Tools help to study the samples of existing regulatory documents; documents regulating the system of relations and information exchange between various parts of the organization; established procedures for interaction with staff, decision-making, well-established management practices:

- content analysis of in-house documentation, reporting, and features of the language of these documents;

- the study of oral folklore - Basque and legends, stories and myths, anecdotes and jokes, stereotypes of communication, slang, hymns and mottos of the company;

- the study of the rules, traditions, ceremonies and rituals in force in the organization;

- the study of the company's existing procedures for work with personnel: disciplinary practices and incentive and punishment systems, leadership style, management decision-making features, control systems.

In certain circumstances, an effective mechanism is group self-diagnosis.

Using the whole set of research technologies and tools gives the most objective picture, allowing to study different strata and aspects of culture.

In addition to survey methods, other methods of organizational diagnostics are also highlighted, for example:

- Metaphor method

- Crossword method & quot ;;

- The Life Cycle Scheme organization;

- analysis of management errors;

- analysis of organizational pathologies.

These methods of self-diagnostics of organizations are described in detail in AI Prigogine's book "Methods of Organizations Development".

The examples of methods presented here do not reflect the whole variety of organizational diagnostic tools. Organizational issues are both universal and unique at the same time. Therefore, in each case, a diagnostic program is built up that reflects the request of a particular organization.

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