Related sites

© Han van Loon 1996-2006

Cultural Survey


Surveying the status of organizational culture, improvement and innovation in the SPICE and Knowledge Management communities.

Initial survey results - Part 3

© Han van Loon 2004.


The profile for the importance of knowledge workers had over 60% of respondents indicating that knowledge workers were extremely important, and 33% as important. The results reflect the expectation of the communities that were surveyed and the era of the knowledge society. The majority of organisations were in business areas where knowledge is very important (e.g. education, Information Technology, software, aerospace) and also reflect the types of organisation (where only 9% were industrial mass producers).
The results for process specialists were lower - a one-to-one comparison showed a mean difference of 0.58 between the levels of importance with a 0.24 variance within the 99% confidence limits. 77% of respondents stated that process specialists were important or extremely important, and the 14% rated as medium are based upon the statement that they use standard operating procedures. This indicates that 91% of organisation surveyed use some form of standard processes.

Information Accessibility
Survey questions Q3 - Q7 were concerned with the type of information made available and the ease of access.

Figure 5. Information accessibility - general business information

Figure 6. Information accessibility - improvement and innovation versus general business information

The types of information were divided between improvement and innovation information, and general business information such as organisation vision, mission, and performance. In general the results were similar, with a slight emphasis on better dissemination of general business information. It seems that organisations are still somewhat better at disseminating general information. The other aspects that came from survey respondents to these questions was that in general there is more information 'push' (dissemination) and less feedback upon the information (actively sought feedback was rated above as 'good'). How the lack of feedback affects improvement and innovation will be investigated further.
The questions also sought to determine if both 'push' and 'pull' systems existed (i.e. through use of a knowledge management system). Very few respondents indicated that 'push' and 'pull' systems were available. Given that one community is the knowledge management community itself, which nominally is a leading proponent for KM systems, the low number of respondents in this category indicates further research is needed on validity and implementation of KM systems.

Figure 7. Personal relationship to organisation vision and mission

Q.3 asked respondents how they personally related to the organisation vision and mission. This question raises several interesting cultural aspects of organisations.

1. How well organisational values are shared?

2. How does organisational alignment occur and be reinforced?

3. What impact does decision making have on shared values?

The responses indicate that while a majority (over 50%) of respondents saw the organisational vision and mission being adopted in their work area (Answer: Our department/team/group aligns its work with our vision and mission), but only a minority (just over 20%) saw it as a personal responsibility. Almost as many respondents were unaware of or saw their organisation's vision and mission as non-existent or public relations only (16%). While I intend further analysis in this area, one comparison is provided here - versus the decision making process.

Figure 8. Decision making and personal relationship to organisation vision and mission

Go to part 4

Comparative profiling

If you would like a printable report or a specific comparative profiling for your organisation versus the surveyed organisations, please email me.

© Han van Loon 2004
November 2004.

Han van Loon