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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Sample Basic Qualitative Question Set

Culture Self-Assessment Practice

Sample Basic Qualitative Question Set

This qualitative question set may be used to assess a deeper rendering of the current organization culture using open-ended responses for each question, or may be used to further probe quantitative data containing a broader variance or polarized responses.

Questions are intended for the anonymous collection of data through employee interviews and focus groups, and responses are then shared in real-time with participants through the use of collaborative data collection and sharing tools such as OptionPower Virtual Base Station Moderator Tool from Option Technologies, or similar. This allows opportunity for facilitators to probe further as needed and is a critical component of the Culture Self-Assessment Practice Process Design.

Additional sample question sets can assess topics using scaled, objective responses for each question, or to probe topics in-depth such as environmental risk and data security.

These materials are made available under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) for noncommercial use with attribution and no derivatives. If your organization adds to or changes these materials in any way, please distinguish clearly between these materials and those developed internally.

Sample Basic Qualitative Question Set

View the Question Set as a PDF

Q1. What two or three key values characterize the company organizational culture?

Q2. How are the organizational values communicated and reinforced?

Q3. What are the two or three most important ethical values at your company/firm/organization?

Q4. How are ethical norms (both inside and outside of the code of ethics) communicated and reinforced?

Q5. What qualities does the company look for when hiring managers/professionals?

Q6. Who are the company heroes—that is, the types of people who get praises, rewarded, and promoted?

Q7. Please list reason(s) why information is not shared (for example, organizational silos, hoarding of information, systems that don’t facilitate sharing, etc.).

Q8. What are the consequences (or downstream effects) when silos inhibit the flow of information?

Q9. To what extent is the silo issue being addressed in any specific new initiative?

Q10. What kind of behaviors or topics are considered ethically troubling at your company/firm/organization?

Q11. What kind of behaviors or topics are considered ethically troubling at the company/firm/organization but are not addressed in the code of conduct?

Q12. What are some examples of fraudulent activities that may be occurring?

Q13. What subjects don’t get openly discussed at your company/firm/organization?

Q14. In your opinion, what are the two or three business activities where the company/firm/organization is at most risk of potential unethical behavior? Why?

Q15. What potential supplier/vendor behavior(s) give you the most concern?

Q16. What are the priorities of the company/firm/organization management: Profits? Technology? Customers? Others? (list three or four in order)

Q17. Why might it be difficult to reach the board?

Q18. Give one or two examples of where you are proud that your company/firm/organization “does the right thing.”

Q19. Are there things that your company/firm/organization won’t do for ethical reasons (e.g. even if they are profitable?)

Q20. Have you recently witnessed any potentially illegal or unethical misbehavior at your company/firm/organization? Indicate yes or no; if yes, then briefly describe the behavior in question.

Q21. To what extent do you feel your personal values match the company/firm/organization values?

Q22. Which question(s) did we NOT ask that should have been asked?

Q23. Please take this time to input any thoughts, concerns, feedback, or questions you may have (we will not show responses to this question to the group).


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