3: Organisational Cultures Must Be Analysed In Detail

The Human Energy Organisation has developed a framework of 10 ‘dimensions’ of organisational behaviour that allows organisations to understand the detail of how employees perceive and react to precise aspects of organisational culture.
The 10 dimensions were first set out and explored in My Steam Engine Is Broken: Taking the organisation from the industrial era to the age of ideas, by Dr Mark Powell and Jonathan Gifford, the founders of The Human Energy Organisation.
 The dimensions are all entirely familiar aspects of organisational behaviour; taken together, they cover every significant facet of the many behaviours, approaches and mindsets that come together to create each organisation’s unique culture.
 A brief outline of our particular ‘take’ on these 10 dimensions is given below.

The 10 Dimensions of Organisational Behaviour


Organisations need to be ‘in control’, but people will not be highly motivated without a degree of autonomy. Some organisational cultures need higher levels of ‘control’ than others. This dimension explores employees’ perceptions of the balance between control and autonomy in their own organisation.


Organisations need measurements and indicators, but when we try to ‘measure’ employees, they can feel labelled, diminished and manipulated. This dimension explores employees’ perceptions of their organisation’s approach.


Processes must be as efficient as possible, but some minor ‘efficiencies’ can impact people very negatively. This dimension explores how generous organisations are perceived to be in ‘the little things that mean a lot.’
Organisations know that they need to innovate, but innovative thinking is ‘risky’, by definition. This dimension explores the balance between avoiding risk and encouraging creativity within the organisation.


Organisations tend to issue instructions but communication is ideally a dialogue. This dimension explores the health of organisations’ communications.

Physical environment

Workspaces should be designed to encourage good communication, chance encounters and the flow of ideas. This dimension explores the extent to which employees feel they are ‘stuck at their desks’ or are enabled to have useful encounters with colleagues and others.


People are most highly motivated when they have an input into how they go about achieving their objectives. This dimension explores the extent to which employees feel involved in the key decisions that affect their work.


Leadership should be devolved, but is often hoarded. This dimension explores employees’ perception of leadership within their organisation and whether they feel encouraged to offer leadership themselves where appropriate.


New ideas tend to happen at boundaries, when people from different parts of the organisation reach out and interact. This dimension explores the extent to which employees feel their own organisation creates networking opportunities.

Diversity of opinion

Groups of people working together in the same environment tend to become more and more similar. This dimension explores the extent to which organisations welcome and encourage different points of view.

Revealing precise causes of disengagement

These 10 dimensions of organisational behaviour form the framework for The Human Energy Organisation’s unique eGap Diagnostic. eGap reveals the precise causes of engagement and disengagement, using challenging and provocative questions to probe the areas where employees hopes and expectations are in harmony with their organisation, and the areas that are causing conflict and dissatisfaction.
Read the fourth aspect of our argument: Every Corporate Culture Is Different

What We Believe