An Overview of the Research behind OQM®

Organic Quality Management (OQM®) claims to measure the health and quality of an organization and positively affect their further development. To achieve this a questionnaire is used which was developed based on scientific criteria. This article gives an overview of the research regarding the reliability and validity of the OQM® questionnaire. The research focused on the following questions:

The research focused on the following questions:


  • To what extent is there a correlation between the performance of the workers and the quality of the organization?

  • To what extent is there a correlation between the identification of the workers with their organization (personal engagement and motivation) and the quality of the organization?

  • What correlation is there between the fluctuation among workers, i.e. the tendency to either stay in the organization or leave it, and the quality of the organization?

  • How strong is the correlation between the physical and emotional well-being of the workers and the quality of the organization?

  • And finally, how reliable is the OQM® questionnaire?

How reliable is the OQM® questionnaire?

If a ques­ti­onn­aire is relia­ble, then it pro­du­ces – twice in the same orga­ni­za­ti­on under sup­po­sed­ly the exact same cir­cum­s­tan­ces – the same result. This situa­ti­on of cour­se never real­ly occurs, but it can be simu­la­ted very well by sta­tis­ti­cal methods. In this regard the OQM® ques­ti­onn­aire pro­vi­des excel­lent results. The maxi­mum theo­reti­cal value of a relia­bi­li­ty coef­fi­ci­ent is 1.0.
For orga­ni­za­tio­nal dia­gnostic approa­ches (such as OQM®) only a value above 0.5 is requi­red. In per­so­na­li­ty tests, which only app­ly to a sin­gle per­son, the requi­red value is over 0.8, in IQ tests the requi­red value must be above 0.9. The OQM® ques­ti­onn­aire would only have to pro­du­ce a value above 0.5, but actual­ly regu­lar­ly deli­vers values above 0.8 and even 0.9. This makes its relia­bi­li­ty com­pa­ra­ble to instru­ments used for indi­vi­du­al dia­gno­sis. The fol­lo­wing gra­phic shows how high the relia­bi­li­ty is in each of the eight qua­li­ty cha­rac­te­ris­tics mea­su­red by the ques­ti­onn­aire.

The Correlation between Performance and Quality

In order to deter­mi­ne whe­ther or not the OQM® ques­ti­onn­aire actual­ly mea­su­res the cor­re­la­ti­on bet­ween per­for­mance and qua­li­ty, two addi­tio­nal, secu­lar tes­ting pro­ce­du­res were used which que­ry both per­so­nal eva­lua­ti­on and eva­lua­ti­on from others. In this test pro­ce­du­re the In-Role-Beha­vi­or (IRM) and Orga­ni­za­tio­nal Citi­zenship Beha­vi­or (OCB) (Wil­liams and Ander­son (1991), Riket­te & Lan­de­rer (2002), Van Dyne & LePi­ne (2008) were used. The In-Role-Beha­vi­or ques­ti­onn­aire mea­su­re how high the obli­ga­ti­on to ful­fill com­mit­ments is in an orga­ni­za­ti­on. For examp­le, it eva­lua­tes the fol­lo­wing state­ments:

  • I ful­fill what my tasks requi­re­ments.
  • I con­duct mys­elf on the job in accord­ance with the mis­si­on state­ment of my orga­ni­za­ti­on.
  • My super­vi­sor is satis­fied with me.
  • I com­ple­te the tasks expec­ted of me.

The cor­re­la­ti­on of the OQM ques­ti­onn­aire with the IRB ques­ti­onn­aire is high: the cor­re­la­ti­on is r=.58, p.001.

The Orga­ni­za­tio­nal Citi­zenship Beha­vi­or does not so much mea­su­re the sen­se of com­mit­ment among workers as it does their vol­un­ta­ry effort – i.e. the per­for­mance they bring bey­ond what is requi­red of them. State­ments such as the fol­lo­wing are eva­lua­ted:


  • I help my col­leagues when they have a lot of work.
  • I vol­un­ta­ri­ly help my super­vi­sor in his / her work.
  • I take time to lis­ten to the pro­blems and con­cerns of my col­leagues.
  • I sug­gest impro­ve­ments to the work pro­cess without having to be asked.
  • I would never publicly cri­ti­ci­ze my com­pa­ny.
  • I tre­at com­pa­ny pro­per­ty care­ful­ly.

In this con­text a cor­re­la­ti­on of r=.53, p

The correlation between identification and quality

Here also an addi­tio­nal test pro­ce­du­re was used par­al­lel to the OQM® ques­ti­onn­aire, the Mael Sca­le for Orga­ni­za­tio­nal Iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on (Mael & Ash­fort, 1992). The Mael Sca­le asks how stron­gly workers iden­ti­fy with their orga­ni­za­ti­on. Here are examp­les of some of the key state­ments which are eva­lua­ted:

  • If someo­ne cri­ti­ci­zes my orga­ni­za­ti­on I feel per­so­nal­ly offen­ded.
  • When I talk about my com­pa­ny I usual­ly say “we” ins­te­ad of “it”.
  • The suc­cess of my orga­ni­za­ti­on is also my suc­cess.
  • If someo­ne com­pli­ments my orga­ni­za­ti­on it’s like a per­so­nal com­pli­ment to me.

The cor­re­la­ti­on here is r=.35, p.001. That means that the more stron­gly a worker iden­ti­fies with his orga­ni­za­ti­on, the hig­her the qua­li­ty of the orga­ni­za­ti­on tends to be.

The correlation between fluctuation and quality

The ques­ti­on which is inte­res­ting here is whe­ther or not workers tend to remain in their orga­ni­za­ti­on or quick­ly lea­ve it:

  • I intend to stay in this orga­ni­za­ti­on.

The cor­re­la­ti­on bet­ween the qua­li­ty mea­su­red by the OQM® ques­ti­onn­aire and this ques­ti­on is r=.40, p.001. That means that the­re is a clear, mea­sura­ble cor­re­la­ti­on bet­ween the qua­li­ty of an orga­ni­za­ti­on and the fluc­tua­ti­on of the workers.

The correlation between health and quality

In this com­plex of ques­ti­ons the Job-Indu­ced-Ten­si­on sca­le (JIT, Hou­se & Rizo, 1972) was used par­al­lel to the OQM® ques­ti­onn­aire. The sub­ject group had to deal with state­ments such as the fol­lo­wing:

  • My work influ­en­ces my phy­si­cal well-being.
  • I work under gre­at ten­si­on.
  • I feel rest­less or ner­vous becau­se of my work.
  • Pro­blems I have at work keep me awa­ke at night.
  • I often think about my job and can’t stop, even when I’m doing other things.

A cor­re­la­ti­on of r=.37, p.001 was mea­su­red here. In addi­ti­on, spe­ci­fic ques­ti­ons were asked about typi­cal phy­si­cal com­p­laints such as sto­mach pains, head­a­che, heart pal­pi­ta­ti­on, list­less­ness, shoul­der, neck or back pain. The cor­re­la­ti­on here was r=-.22, p=.001.