OCS Content:
1. Ownership Identity

Ownership Associates announces the November, 2005, sale of the Ownership Culture Survey™ to the National Center for Employee Ownership.

The NCEO, a nonprofit organization serving employee-ownership companies since 1980, is now the sole source for the survey items. Companies interested in employee-ownership surveys should contact the NCEO or visit the survey resources page on the NCEO website.

Ownership is a universally available concept--all of us have an intuitive understanding of what it means to own something. Ownership is also rich in emotion--many people feel a bond to objects they own, and ownership of some items, like a car or a house, is a milestone in many people’s lives. The Ownership Identity section of the OCS provides a simple measure of the extent to which people feel like owners of their companies.

The Ownership Identity dimension measures the extent to which members of the organization identify themselves as genuine owners of the company. The OCS approaches this dimension from several directions. People indicate how much they personally feel like owners and also act as observers of the organization, reporting to what extent they believe other members identify themselves as owners. The survey asks directly how important ownership is to each person. Finally, it asks if people see themselves as having a sufficient understanding of the ESOP or other ownership plan.

The OCS also investigates what ownership means to employees. Here OCS analysis concerns the varying degrees of importance people attach to each of five possible meanings of ownership. The five meanings, or aspects, are: (1) financial payoff, (2) having a say over decisions that affect daily work (“participation”), (3) input into overall company direction (“influence”), (4) a sense of community, and (5) being treated fairly. Measuring these aspects reveals the extent of alignment at a company about the meaning of ownership and helps in the design of ownership education efforts. (See Ownership and Motivation: What Does Ownership Mean to Employees?.)

As one would expect, the items in the Ownership Identity dimension (Self as Owner, Others as Owners, Importance, and Understanding) are highly correlated with scores on rights and responsibilities. (See Self-Direction and Employee Ownership.)

Finally, a subset of the items in this section are combined to create a measurement of cynicism. (See Ownership Cynics.)

OCS Content: 2. Rights and Responsibilities