Organizational Climate Index (OCI)

The Organizational Climate Index (OCI) is a short organizational climate descriptive measure for schools. The index has four dimensions —principal leadership, teacher professionalism, achievement press for students to perform academically, and vulnerability to the community. The measure is a combination of the OHI and OCDQ. The OCI is a revision of the earlier SCI.

Dimensions (Subtests of the OCI)

Collegial Leadership s directed toward both toward meeting the social needs of the faculty and achieving the goals of the school. The principal treats teachers as professional colleagues, is open, egalitarian, and friendly, but at the same time sets clear teacher expectations and standards of performance.

Professional Teacher Behavior is marked by respect for colleague competence, commitment to students, autonomous judgment, and mutual cooperation and support.

Achievement Press describes a school that sets high but achievable academic standards and goals. Students persist, strive to achieve, and are respected by each other and teachers for their academic success. Parents, teachers, and the principal exert pressure for high standards and school improvement.

Institutional Vulnerability is the extent to which the school is susceptible to a few vocal parents and citizen groups. High vulnerability suggests that both teachers and principals are unprotected and put on the defensive.


Each of these dimensions was measured by a subtest of the OCI. The reliability scores for the scales were relatively high: Collegial Principal Behavior (.94), Professional Teacher Behavior (.88), Achievement Press (.92), and Institutional Vulnerability (.87).

Construct Validity

A factor analysis of the instrument supports the construct validity of the concept of school climate (Hoy, Smith, & Sweetland, 2002). The items loaded strongly on each of the theoretically predicted dimensions.

Administering the Instrument

The OCI is best administered as part of a faculty meeting. It is important to guarantee the anonymity of the teacher respondent; teachers are not asked to sign the questionnaire and no identifying code is placed on the form. Most teachers do not object to responding to the instrument, which takes about five minutes to complete. It is probably advisable to have someone other than the principal in charge of collecting the data. What is important is to create a non-threatening atmosphere where teachers give candid responses.


The items are scored by assigning 1 to "rarely occurs," 2 to "sometimes occurs," 3 to "often occurs," and 4 to "very frequently occurs." Each questionnaire is scored , and then school scores are computed.

Step 1: Score each item* for each respondent with the appropriate number (1, 2, 3, or 4). Then calculate a school average for each item by summing all the teachers' scores for that item and dividing by number of teachers in that school who responded to that item. Some teachers occasionally skip items; make sure you divide by the number of teachers in the school who responded to that item.

* Items 4, 14, 30 are filler items and are not scored.

Step 2: Calculate the school score for each dimension by summing the school item means calculated in step 1. The formulas are:

Collegial Leadership (CL) = 1+3+5+10+13+20+27
Professional Teacher Behavior (PTB) = 8+18+21+23+ 25+28+29
Achievement Press (AP) = 7+11+15+16+17+19+22+24
Institutional Vulnerability (IV) = 2+6+9+12+26

Computing the Standardized Scores for the OCI for purposes of comparison to a typical sample of high schools.

Convert the school subtest scores to standardized scores with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100, which we call SdS score.

Standard Score for Collegial Leadership (SCL) = 100(CL-20.75)/2.658 +500

First compute the difference between your school score (CL) and the mean for the normative sample (CL-20.75). Then multiply the difference by one hundred [100(CL-20.75)]. Next divide the product by the standard deviation of the normative sample (2.658). Then add 500 to the result. You have computed a Standard Score for Collegial Leadership of the Principal where the average is 500 and the standard deviation is 100.

Repeat the process for each climate dimension as follows:

Standard Score for Prof. Teacher Behavior (SPTB) =100(PTB-21.280)/1.520+500
Standard Score for Achievement Press (SAP) = 100(AP-20.80)/2.352 +500
Standard Score for Institutional Vulnerability (SIV) = 100(IV-12.417)/1.687 +500

You have standardized your school scores against the normative data provided in the New Jersey sample. For example, if your school score is 400 on institutional integrity, it is one standard deviation below the average score on institutional integrity of all schools in the sample; that is, the school has more institutional integrity than only 16% of the other schools. . You may recognize this system as the one used in reporting individual scores on the SAT, CEEB, and GRE. The range of these scores is presented below:

If the score is 200, it is lower than 99% of the schools.
If the score is 300, it is lower than 97% of the schools.
If the score is 400, it is lower than 84% of the schools.
If the score is 500, it is average.
If the score is 600, it is higher than 84% of the schools.
If the score is 700, it is higher than 97% of the schools.
If the score is 800, it is higher than 99% of the schools.


Hoy, W. K., Smith, P. A., and Sweetland, S. R. 2002). The development of the organizational climate index for high schools: Its measure and relationship to faculty trust. The High School Journal, 86, 38-49.

Ohio State School of Education
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