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Cultural fit assessment


3-5 min






Values, Self-Report

Suitable for

All positions

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Assessment Summary

An organisation’s culture consists of the fundamental assumptions, values, behavioural norms and expectations, as well as the larger patterns of behaviour that all members of the organisation share together, as a group. Values and their implicit assumptions, or taken for granted beliefs, typically act as the defining cultural elements which determine how members perceive, think about and react in various organisational settings. As a result, organisational culture has been shown to be one of the key ingredients of organisational effectiveness, contributing to sustainable competitive advantage.

The Competing Values Framework (Quinn, & Rohrbaugh, 1983; Hartnell, Ou, & Kinicki, 2011) has identified four main culture types based on the combination of the organisation’s focus and structure, two criteria underlying organisational effectiveness. In terms of focus, some organisations may emphasise internal capabilities, integration, and unity of processes, while others may move towards an external orientation and differentiation. In terms of structure, some organisations may be more flexible and exercise discretion, while others may favour stability and control. Each type possesses unique sets of values, beliefs, assumptions and behaviours that influence the organisation’s attention and effort. To sum up, culture types relate to different organisational effectiveness indicators as a function of their basic assumptions, values, and structures, as outlined below:

  • The team-oriented culture type is internally oriented and reinforced by a flexible organisational structure. Its underlying assumption is that human affiliation makes employees have positive attitudes towards the organisation. Therefore, the organisation's success is attributed to human capital. It’s based on the core belief that the organisation’s trust in and commitment to its members facilitates transparency and employee involvement. Consequently, values like attachment, affiliation, membership, and support are key. Behaviours associated with these values include teamwork, participation, employee involvement, and open communication, which are expected to lead to employee morale, satisfaction, and commitment.
  • The hierarchy culture type is internally oriented and supported by an organisational structure driven by control. Its core assumption is that stability, predictability and control foster efficiency, which leads to the belief that employees meet expectations when their roles are clearly defined. As a result, values like precise communication, routine, formalisation, and consistency are paramount. Behaviours that result from these values include conformity and predictability, which are expected to promote efficiency, timeliness, and smooth functioning.
  • The change-oriented culture type is externally oriented and supported by a flexible organisational structure. Its underlying assumption is that change produces new resources, hence the fundamental belief that an idealistic and novel vision induces members to be creative and take risks. As such, it values growth, stimulation, variety, autonomy, and attention to detail. Behaviours associated with these values include risk taking, creativity, and adaptability, which are expected to cultivate innovation and cutting-edge outcomes.
  • The market-oriented culture type is externally oriented and reinforced by an organisational structure driven by control. Its underlying assumption is that achievement focus and competitiveness lead to productivity and shareholder value in the short term, so the primary belief is that clear goals and contingent rewards motivate employees to perform. Therefore, values such as communication, competence, and achievement are reinforced. Behaviours associated with these values include planning, task focus, centralised decision making, and the articulation of clear goals, which contribute to the achievement of business goals, not to mention overcoming competitors, improving product quality, and enhancing market share and profitability.

Irrespective of type, the culture of an organisation evolves through time as a result of the joint processes of selection and socialisation that ensure person-organisation fit. To begin, individuals may select roles and organisations they perceive as congruent with themselves, considering them to be more attractive because they are more similar to themselves. At the same time, organisations strive to hire people who share their values. New hires are then socialised and absorbed further, and those who do not fit are likely to leave. Thus, basic individual values or preferences for specific ways of behaviour are expressed in organisational choices and then reinforced within organisational contexts.

The present instrument assesses cultural fit based on individuals’ preferences for the four culture types defined above, and is derived from valid and reliable instruments assessing organisational culture, such as The Organisational Culture Profile (O'Reilly, Chatman, & Caldwell, 1991; Marchand,Haines, & Dextras-Gauthier, 2013).

Assessment Outcomes

The higher the level of person-organisation fit, the higher the likelihood of candidates to:

  • Perform better on the job.
  • Experience a higher level of motivation and job satisfaction.
  • Have fewer turnover intentions.
  • Adopt various extra-role behaviours like endorsing the organisation or openly defending its objectives.
  • Identify more strongly with the company and experience a higher level of organisational commitment.

Measurement Areas

The HireNest Cultural Fit Assessment investigates individuals’ preferences for each of the four culture types below:

Team oriented

internally oriented and with a flexible organisational structure


internally oriented and with an organisational structure based on control

Change oriented

externally oriented and with a flexible organisational structure

Market oriented

externally oriented and with an organisational structure based on control

Why Measure Cultural Fit?

Cultural fit refers to how aligned employees are with the organisational culture. In other words, it reflects the degree to which employees’ goals, values, and belief systems connect with the company’s objectives and values. Although a person may have the required skill set to perform a particular job, they may not necessarily perform at the highest level possible unless they fit in with their team or the wider company culture in terms of day-to-day behaviour. This is why cultural fit is crucial, helping companies and individuals alike make informed decisions about the extent to which they are congruent and can support each other in the achievement of outstanding results.

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