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Culture – the Best Measurement Tool

by Paddy Collins on November 28th, 2018

Click on the image to see full version of Hofstede’s Multi-focus Model

Every organisation has its unique style of working which often contributes to its culture. The beliefs, ideologies, principles and values of an organisation form its culture. The culture of the workplace controls the way employees behave amongst themselves as well as with people outside the organisation.

Clearly the culture also defines how the organisation is likely to interact with customers, suppliers and a range of external stakeholders. Consequently there is a clear link between culture and bottom line performance.

Measuring culture is important for your company and measuring the right things – those that matter most to performance and provide a framework for positive change is crucial to future success.

Organisational culture is the pivot on which a company’s competitiveness in the market (including the job market) hinges.

And this brings us to another challenge: how to use an intangible and pervasive dimension like culture as a management tool in order to achieve our company’s strategic objectives and, indeed, ensure the culture we are setting up doesn’t subsume our strategy, but the two sustain and enable each other?

The best answer I have found yet to this question is Hofstede’s Multi-focus Model on Organisational Culture, comprising a conceptual framework to map out our corporate culture and a digital tool to effectively measure it and identify any gaps between the “as is” (the actual behaviours and practices taking place at all levels of the organization) and the “to be” (what top management wants to believe).

The model breaks down a company’s organisation culture in 6 core dimensions:

1 Organisational effectiveness (goal oriented vs. process oriented)

2 Motivation (internal vs. external)

3 Structure, Control & Discipline (low vs. high)

4 Degree of innovation (local vs. professional)

5 Inclusiveness (closed vs. open system)

6 Management philosophy (people vs. task oriented)

These dimensions are measured through the online tool and compared to internal and external benchmarks. It is important to notice that there is no absolute measure of success (i.e. not necessarily a company that scores higher on any dimension is “better” than its competitors); on the other hand, it is relative to the external market and industry conditions (the external benchmark), as well as the top management’s vision and objectives (the internal benchmark).

How does measurement lead to success? The Hofstede tool provides an assessment of current and desired culture for the organisation plus a suite of change levers to deliver the optimal culture – this is delivered by changing real life work activities including for example:

> The way we deal with each other;

> The way we do our work;

> The way we deal with the outside world.

Should you wish to arrange a demonstration of the Hofstede Multi-focus Model please call us for details on +353 1 662 3020.


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