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Kilmann-Saxton Culture-Gap® Survey
At the bottom of this page, you can order (1) the Kilmann-Saxton Culture-Gap Survey and (2) Work Sheets for Identifying and Closing Culture-Gaps directly from amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. Click here to see this assessment's Sample Results and Interpretive Materials. Just below is some background information about culture and our unique survey.
NOTE: We use both the Culture-Gap Survey and its corresponding work sheets in our recorded online course: Culture Management.
ASSESSING ACTUAL VERSUS DESIRED NORMS
The culture of a work group is the invisible force that guides behavior. It is not what the formal policies, rules, procedures, and job descriptions mandate. Rather, culture is the unwritten—often unconscious—message that fills in the gaps between what is formally decreed and what actually takes place. Culture, therefore, determines how formal statements get interpreted and provides what the written documents leave out. As a result, culture affects the quality of decision making and action taking, which in turn affects work group morale and performance.
While culture manifests itself in several ways, it is most subject to measurement and change through work group norms. These norms are the unwritten "rules of the game," what really counts in order to get ahead or, alternatively, how to stay out of trouble.
The Kilmann-Saxton Culture-Gap® Survey provides a systematic tool for pinpointing cultural norms. Part 1 of this survey assesses the actual norms that are operating in your work group. Part 2 assesses the desired norms that would improve your group's performance, job satisfaction, and morale. Any differences between actual and desired norms are referred to as Culture-Gaps.
Once you complete Parts 1 and 2 of the Culture-Gap® Survey, you will be able to graph your own Culture-Gap® Profile. If you have access to the other members in your work group, department, or the entire organization, you can graph additional Culture-Gap® Profiles. These various profiles will enable you to pinpoint the particular Culture-Gaps that are barriers to organizational success. Specifically, four culture-gaps are identified:
- Task Support includes cultural norms that are technical in nature with a short time frame. For example: "Share information with other groups only when it benefits your own work group" versus "Share information to help other groups."
- Task Innovation includes cultural norms that are technical in nature with a long time frame. For example: "Discourage creativity" versus "Encourage creativity."
- Social Relationships includes cultural norms that have a people orientation with a short time frame. For example: "Don't bother getting to know the people in your work group" versus "Get to know the people in your work group."
- Personal Freedom includes cultural norms that have a people orientation with a long time frame. For example: "Live for your job or career" versus "Live for yourself and your family."
Since the two underlying dimensions of cultural norms—technical versus people and short term versus long term—cover such a broad spectrum of experience in an organization, the resulting four types of Culture-Gaps are expected to capture the great variety of cultural norms that affect both morale and performance.
The Kilmann-Saxton Culture-Gap® Survey takes only fifteen minutes on average to complete and another ten minutes or so to graph the Culture-Gap® Profile of a work group of five to fifteen members. Following completion of the graph, the members of the work group can begin discussing how to close the largest Culture-Gaps that were identified, which have previously thwarted their best efforts and intentions.
Based on the Kilmann-Saxton Culture-Gap® Survey, these work sheets help participants develop unique lists of their actual norms (the unwritten rules of the game) and then establish more desired norms (the new rules that will enhance both performance and satisfaction). Once these culture-gaps have been identified, additional work sheets help participants use the five steps of problem management (sensing problems, defining problems, deriving solutions, implementing solutions, and evaluating outcomes) to close their largest culture-gaps. Participants are also asked to design and use an informal sanctioning system to help one another switch from the old norms to the new ones.
NOTE: "Culture-Gap" is a registered trademark of Organizational Design Consultants (ODC), the parent company of Kilmann Diagnostics.