Organizational Life Style Analysis as an Assessment Tool for Organizational Health and Effectiveness

This study is introducing the application of adapted constructs of the Adlerian Style of Life or Life Style Analysis, to assess the culture of an organization, and to correlate those characteristics with the overall health and effectiveness observed and measured within an organization. The Organizational Life Style Analysis, a framework originally designed by Dr. William J. Premo (2008) for his Organizational Lifestyle class at Adler Graduate School, is intended to uncover the underlying behavior and interpretation patterns of the organization in a similar way that the traditional Adlerian Life Style Analysis uncovers the framework in which we as individuals interpret experience, control experience through goal oriented private and social behavior, and predict experience, based on previously created convictions. The Organizational Life Style unites the organization, and indicates how the organization makes creative use of resources and subjective understandings to behave in the world. The first goal of this work is to demonstrate the Organizational Life Style Assessment tool and methodology to uncover the organization‘s Life Style, or its self-defining, guiding action that shows the line of movement or direction for the organization. The overarching Life Style of the organization in this study is derived from information gathered via interview, survey, corporate data and documentation, as well as observation, which then is analyzed based on an organizational version of the four Life Style constructs: self-concept (organizational concept), self-ideal (organizational ideal), weltbilt (environmental views) and ethical convictions. The second goal of this study is to utilize the Life Style data to define further the underlying cultural aspects of the Life Style, providing new insight into strengths and issues, either existing or potential, within the organization. These insights are intended to assist in guiding strategic improvement efforts. This portion of analysis includes the examination of two types of alignment regarding the previously defined Life Style constructs; the alignment and misalignment within the themes in each particular construct, as well as between constructs. Alignment issues, in the individual Life Style analyses, are believed to indicate maladaptive or unhealthy issues within the individual thus are predicted also to uncover issues within an organization. The third goal of the study is to use the data collected for the Life Style Analysis to explore cultural and behavioral patterns that may affect the effectiveness of the organization, discussed as “organizational health” to correspond with healthy use of convictions found within the Life Style.

Heather R. Andrews
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