Organizational Climate Index

Stern, G. G. (1970). People in context: Measuring person-environment congruence in education and industry. New York: Wiley.


Comments: The Organizational Climate Index (OCI) is one of a set of indexes (CCI, AI, HSCI) developed by George Stern and his associates. They were developed to measure both the personality needs of the individual and the psy- chological character of the environment (organization). The OCI is a measure of the environmental character of the organization. The Stern indices are based on the 30 Need-Press scales (model) of H. A. Murray, who stressed that explained behavior was a function of the relationship between an individual (personality needs) and the organization (environmental press). The OCI is a general instrument that can be used to characterize the psychological climate of a wide variety of organizations. According to Stern, needs are the tendencies that give unity and direction to an individual’s behavior. Press describes the conditions that represent obstacles to the expression of a need or make such expression easier. Press can be further differentiated as either beta press or consensual beta press. Beta press is the private interpretation that each individual places on events around him. Consensual beta press recognizes that people who share a common ideology also tend to share a common interpretation of events. The OCI measures organiza- tional members’ interpretations of events, or beta press. When group mean scores are developed such scores provide a measure of consensual beta press.

Scale Construction: The OCI (long form) is a 300-item instrument, 10 items for each of Murray’s 30 need-press scales.

The short form, which is included here, is an 80-item instrument.

Sample: The instrument was originally developed with college students and in five public schools in upstate New York.

However, the instrument has been used extensively in research since the late 1950s.

Reliability: Reliability assessments are provided with KR-20 estimates of internal consistency. These estimates calcu- lated on 931 public school teachers for the 30 press scales ranged from 0.23 to 0.87. The low estimates suggest that some scales should be treated with caution because of possible attenuation of relationships due to low reliability.

Validity: Primary validity information is in the form of significant differences among the average press scores from dif- ferent organizational settings. Correlations of OCI factors or profiles with other criteria are also provided.

Factor Analysis: A principal component analysis with an equimax rotation yielded six first-order factors and two sec- ond-order factors. The second-order factors are Development Press and Control Press; the first order are Intellectual Climate, Supportiveness, Orderliness, Achievement Standards, Practicalness, and Impulse Control.


Frothingham, E. M. (1988). Teacher collegiality: Its relationship to professionalism and organizational climate in public and private schools. PhD dissertation, New York University.

Meyer, D. E. (1988). The relationship of organizational climate to burnout among faculty in selected community colleges in the Midwest. EdD dissertation, Oklahoma State University.

Smith, L. D. (2009). School climate and teacher commitment. EdD dissertation, University of Alabama.

Stern, G. G., et al. (1970). The Organizational Climate Index. Syracuse, NY: Evaluation Research Association.

Taylor, J., and Bowers, D. G. (1972). The Survey of Organizations: A machine scored standardized questionnaire instrument. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.

Watts, C. D. (2009). Technology leadership, school climate, and technology integration: A correlation study in K–12 public schools. EdD dissertation, University of Alabama.


Organizational Climate Index (Short Form)

1. Work programs are well organized and progress systematically from week to week.
2. People here express their feelings openly and enthusiastically.
3. Everyone here has a strong sense of being a member of the team.
4. There is a lot of group spirit.
5. Administrative policy, goals, and objectives are carefully explained to everyone.
6. When people here disagree with an administrative decision, they work to get it changed.
7. People here put a great deal of energy into everything they do.
8. Improving one’s knowledge of important works of art, music, and drama is encouraged here.
9. One of the values most stressed here is open-mindedness.
10. Social events get a lot of enthusiasm and support.
11. People who have friends of the opposite sex show their affection openly.
12. People find others eager to help them get started.
13. People here spend a great deal of time thinking about and discussing complex problems.
14. The ability to plan ahead is highly valued here.
15. Many social activities are unplanned and spontaneous.
16. People are expected to have a great deal of social grace and polish.
17. Untidy reports or ones that depart from a specified style are almost certain to be returned unaccepted.
18. Most people here go to lots of parties and other social activities.
19. There are many facilities and opportunities for individual creative activity.

20. Most people here love to dance.
21. Personality and pull are more important than competence in getting ahead around here.
22. The administrative staff are often joked about or criticized.
23. Most activities here are planned carefully.
24. People here speak up openly and freely.
25. People here are not only expected to have ideas but to do something about them.
26. Good manners and making a good impression are important here.
27. The activities of charities and social agencies are strongly supported.
28. Criticism is taken as a personal affront in this organization.
29. Neatness in this place is the rule rather than the exception.
30. Male-female relationships sometimes become quite serious.
31. Many people here enjoy talking about poetry, philosophy, or religion.
32. Everyone is helped to get acquainted.
33. All work assignments are laid out well in advance, so that people can plan their own schedules accordingly.
34. People here thrive on difficulty—the tougher things get, the harder everyone works.
35. Individuals who are not properly groomed are likely to have this called to their attention.
36. Service to the community is regarded as a major responsibility of the institution.
37. People here are not really concerned with deep philosophical or ethical matters.
38. Good work is really recognized around here.
39. Work is checked to see if it is done properly and on time.
40. Administrators are practical and efficient in the way they dispatch their business.
41. There are no favorites in this place; everyone gets treated alike.
42. People here can get so absorbed in their work they often lose all sense of time or personal comfort.
43. People frequently do things on the spur of the moment.
44. Proper social forms and manners are not particularly important here.
45. Few people here are challenged by deep thinking.
46. People set high standards of achievement for themselves here.
47. New ideas are always being tried here.
48. People here tend to take the easy way out when things get tough.
49. Administrators put a lot of energy and enthusiasm into directing this program.
50. People here talk about their future imaginatively and with enthusiasm.
51. There is a general idea of appropriate dress which everyone follows.
52. There always seem to be a lot of little quarrels going on here.
53. It’s easy to get a group together for games, soda, movies, etc.
54. The work atmosphere emphasizes efficiency and usefulness.
55. People spend a great deal of time together socially.
56. There is not wasted time here; everything has been planned right to the minute.
57. Discussions about improving society are common here.
58. Unusual or exciting plans are encouraged here.
59. People here feel free to express themselves impulsively.
60. People here expect to help out with fund drives, CARE, Red Cross, etc.
61. There is a specific place for everything and everyone here.
62. People here often get involved in long, serious intellectual discussions.
63. The administrative staff will go out of its way to help you with your work.
64. Many people here read magazines and books involving history, economics, or political science.
65. Looking and acting “right” is expected.
66. The people here are easily moved by the misfortunes or distress of others.
67. Everyone has the same opportunity to make good.
68. Communications within the organization is always carried on through formal channels.
69. Most activities here present a real personal challenge.
70. People ask permission before deviating from common policies or practices.
71. There is a recognized group of leaders who receive special privileges.
72. People here feel they must really work hard because of the important nature of their work.

73. Parties are colorful and lively here.
74. Programs here are quickly changed to meet new conditions.
75. People are always carefully dressed and neatly groomed.
76. “Lending a helping hand” could very well be the motto of this place.
77. There is considerable interest in the analysis of value systems and the relativity of societies and ethics.
78. There is a lot of interest in the philosophy and goals of science here.
79. Frank discussions about sec are not uncommon among people here.
80. People here are usually quick to help each other out.

Scoring: T–True. Generally true or characteristic of the organization, is something which occurs or might occur, is the way people tend to feel or act. F–False. Generally false or not characteristic of the organization, is something which is not likely to occur, is not the way people tend to feel or act.