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© 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 5

© Han van Loon 2004.


Another series of questions investigated whether innovation was a centralised activity or spread out in the organisation (and external to it).

Figure 12. Innovation spread

Figure 13. Innovation search

The innovation spread (Q.16) and amount of external search (Q.17) follow a similar response pattern. Further one-to-one analysis will be performed to see if the response is consistent within an organisation.
The innovation activities are also compared to the organisational hierarchy (Q.21) and way management support provided (or not) (Q.19).

Figure 14. Hierarchy

Figure 15. Obtaining management support for innovation.

The management hierarchy (more layers) and the decision process for management support have similar patterns, and are in general the reciprocal of the innovation spread. Further one-to-one analysis is planned.

Q.18 specifically asked whether standard processes affected innovation. There has been some debate in the KnowledgeBoard forums about this issue. 39% of respondents indicated a negative impact upon innovation (mostly that it slows down innovation), while 27% indicated a positive impact. One quarter indicated that standard processes had no positive or negative effect. It would be interesting to learn why respondents indicated a negative effect (and whether they use standard processes) and also how the respondents with processes that support innovation have managed this. Unfortunately this survey did not research this in depth, but it will be considered for further survey data.
Q.10 asked about the level of commitment to improvement.

Figure 16. Effect of standard processes upon innovation

The majority of respondents indicated that the commitment is based upon the level of personal interest. When seen with the reward responses and the support responses, the personal interest response can be either a positive or negative commitment to improvement.

The final plot for this survey report are on rewarding people.

Performance based reward still dominates the reason why people are rewarded. This result reflects human resources practice where performance based reward is still typical (e.g. in Management By Objectives). Also since performance can be relatively easily explicitly measured and appears less subjective than behaviour based reward, it is more 'defensible' by management.

Figure 17. Rewarding people

The second part of this data set looked at whether individual or team reward is used. Again the majority of responses indicated that individual reward is most often used. The effect of this upon team building and team commitment requires further analysis.


In this preliminary results presentation, the author hopes that the data presented is of interest to the participants and the KnowledgeBoard and SPICE community.

Further detailed analysis has started in order to extract significant correlations from the data, at this stage all comments upon the data presented are preliminary and subject to further validation.

I would like to again thank respondents for their participation and hope to make further results available in the not too distant future.

Comparative Profiling

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

© Han van Loon 2004
November 2004.