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.