What is a healthy organization? In Hanges, Mohammad and Aiken, we argue it is an organization that maintains connection to its environment despite turbulence and competition. Our research shows that organizations that encourage people to speak up (climate for psychological safety), encourages diversity, encourages fair treatment of employees, encourages teamwork, and encourages continual learning and innovation are those that maintain positive relationships with their customers.

In 1999, the University of Maryland Libraries partnered with the University of Maryland (UMD) Industrial and Organizational Psychology (I/O) program to develop an assessment of the climate and culture of the University of Maryland libraries: the Organizational Climate and Diversity Assessment (OCDA). In 2004, the UM Libraries once again partnered with the I/O program to provide an updated “snapshot.” The analyses revealed that a number of positive changes had occurred over the four year interval between the two surveys. This work not only identified the dimensions of climate and culture important for a healthy organization in a library setting, but also provided proof that feedback from the OCDA survey, when taken seriously, can have practical organizational level benefits.

In 2007, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the UMD Libraries, in partnership with the I/O program tested the generalizability of the OCDA protocol across multiple library organizations. During Phase I, five ARL institutions tested a modified OCDA survey and validated the hypothesis that a healthy organization provides better customer service. In 2008, during Phase II, ten ARL and non-ARL institutions expanded the pilot further refining the protocol. The protocol was transferred to ARL in 2009 for ongoing operation of a library assessment service, now known as ClimateQUAL®: OCDA, and focuses on measuring internal organizational climate and diversity.

To learn more about ClimateQual®: OCDA, go to