Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Press Release


Culture Self-Assessment Practice

New Resource to Help Companies Assess Organizational Culture, Avoid Potential Scandal

Culture Assessment Practice from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Offers Businesses a Model of a Healthy Culture

SANTA CLARA, Calif. Nov. 20, 2019—Unhealthy culture is at the heart of corporate scandal. Recent headlines have surfaced decisions made within organizations rife with practices that block employees from acting ethically. Today, Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is releasing its Culture Assessment Practice, a set of new materials to help businesses and other organizations evaluate their culture for ethics.

The new resource shares free materials to encourage and support culture assessment and is primarily for members of an organization’s leadership team, including human resources and legal, but designed to engage a cross-section of leaders from various disciplines.

“There’s a recognition that recent high-profile controversies have stemmed from ethical breakdowns in organizational culture,” said Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. “Whether stemming from rapid growth in the tech sector or as a response to societal interests, such as those triggered by the #MeToo movement, culture has become top-of-mind in the C-suite.” 

In addition to offering a new model of healthy culture attributes, organizations will find a process for assessing culture, a case study, and tools to use in the process. Skeet added, “These materials can help companies shift their practices from thinking about culture management as a soft skill to recognizing that it can be approached as a hard skill—one that’s technical, can be measured and managed.”

These materials are made available under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) for noncommercial use with attribution and no derivatives. They were piloted at Seagate Technology, the results of which are highlighted in a case study included with the materials. The Ethics Center expresses its appreciation to the Park Family Fund for supporting this project through a grant to the Markkula Center.

About the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Founded in 1986 with a seed grant and initial endowment from Linda and A.C. “Mike” Markkula Jr., the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics brings the traditions of ethical thinking to bear on real world problems. Beyond a full range of programs for the Santa Clara University community, the Center also serves professionals in fields from business to health care, from government to the social sector, providing innovative approaches to problems from fake news to privacy protection. Through its website and international collaborations, the Center brings ethical decision-making resources to the wider world. For more information, see

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering doctoral degrees. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Subscribe to Our Leadership Ethics Blog

* indicates required
Subscribe me to: