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Improve your Organisational Culture through discovering what drives behaviours and practices

RESOURCE: Collaborative Working Survey

This survey is a diagnostic tool to take the pulse of the collaborative effort in a working team.

It diagnoses what is going well in addition to identifying areas where tensions exist. Tensions should be explored through dialogue and reflective practice to clarify the nature of difficulties and plan how to go forward.

The survey can be repeated over time to assess development and progress as the collaboration evolves.


  1. Distribute the survey to all members of the collaborative effort
  2. Ask each member individually to rate the extent they think the themes are present in the current collaborative working arrangements
  3. Collate the scores
  4. Present the collated scores to the group, highlighting areas which are strong, areas where there is a diverse range of views and areas where tensions seem to exist

Collaborative Working Survey

We have developed common  aims  1234
We have developed shared compatible aims  1234
There is good communication between members  1234
There is clarity about each member’s role and  who/what they represent1234
There are deepening bonds of commitment and determination between members to achieve the aims  1234
Members are prepared to compromise in the interests of the common aims  1234
We have developed effective working processes which helps get things done1234
There is accountability between members for following through on decisions which have been agreed  1234
The leadership of the collaboration enacts principles of democracy and equality to empower everyone to take an active role  1234
Members share resources  1234
Members do not undermine each other or behave in ways which has a negative impact on others1234
Members trust each other to behave in ways which show respect  1234
Power (personal and role) is used wisely to avoid over control by any one member  1234
Due to working together we make faster, better decisions   1234
Members share information and knowledge  1234
Members are recognised and appreciated for their contribution    1234
There is productive output as a result of our collaboration  1234
The synergy achieved through collaboration makes things happen that wouldn’t or couldn’t otherwise1234
Individual Total    

Questions to ask about the results

In following up responses from team members to the Survey, these questions might make for a productive conversation:

What seem to be your strengths?

(High percentages of colleagues agreeing that topics are both important and currently happening.)

What might you conclude if there is a high percentage of ‘disagree’ ratings?

What does it mean when people regard an issue as important but feel it isn’t currently happening?

Follow-up questions include: Why isn’t it happening? and What may need to be done about this?

What does it mean when colleagues don’t consider an issue very important?

What will you now do with the results?

From Engaging Leaders; The challenge of inspiring collective commitment in universities (2014), Paul Gentle with Dawn Forman, Routledge.

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