Answering “what is the character of the organization?”.

The identity of the organization is comprised of the critical social values it applies. Mutliple vectors:

Cultural bias.

  • Autonomy: Values diverse viewpoints.
  • Control: Values uniform identity.
  • Cooperation: Everything fits somewhere.

Organization expectations.

  • Autonomy: Meritocracy, take risks.
  • Control: Follow orders.
  • Cooperation: Assist others.

Individual expectation.

  • Autonomy: Opportunity access.
  • Control: Security of role.
  • Cooperation: Access to community.

Development pattern.

  • Autonomy: Hire primarily from the outside.
  • Control: Prefer to promote into higher roles.
  • Cooperation: Develop via partnerships.


  1. Robert W Keidel, Seeing Organizational Patterns: A New Theory and Language of Organizational Design (Washington, D.C.: Beard Books, 2005). (See notes.)