How Conflicts Show Up in Your Organization: A Look at the Denison Culture Survey and the GRPI Model to Decode Areas of Conflict


There are many areas of conflict within an organization that cause problems for an organization.

The Denison Culture Survey is a tool to help you understand how people feel about your organization, and what they perceive about the goals, their roles, the work procedures, and interpersonal relationships. 

CLI administers The Denison Culture Survey to organizations that know that there is a direct link between culture and organization performance.

Depending on your Denison Culture Survey results, we would expect to see how stressors – both internal and external – impact the perceptions about your organization.


Decoding Conflict Within and Outside Your Organization

 Denison Chart

You will see a circumplex, or circle above. Notice that there are colored areas all filed in in the circumplex. Your results will yield color only in areas where people feel clear and aligned.

  • Now think about your own organization’s culture. Are people connected to the mission, if so, do you see sufficient color in this area? Or do you think that there is a lack of clarity, understanding, or disagreement with the strategic direction, goals or vision of your organization? Are people clear on where you are going?
  • Let’s look at the consistency area. How much color do you see there? Are people feeling that there is cohesive and integrated collaboration across the organization? Are people acting on your core values and are they clear about what those are? Do they perceive that there is a lot of divisiveness within the organization? Is this area as strong as it needs to be to serve as your organizational framework?
  • Looking at the involvement area, are people getting the skill development they need to thrive? Are they collaboration or competing? Do individuals feel constrained or empowered? Are people engaged enough to do their best work?
  • Finally, considering the adaptability area, are people able to create the changes needed to keep your organization functioning nimble? Are they forward facing and customer-focused? Does your organization learn from mistakes and share them? Do people, overall, feel hopeful about the future and you organization’s ability to cope and change? Are you scanning and listening to the marketplace?



Going Deeper Inside: Decoding Conflict Inside your Organization


A simple way of breaking down your understanding of the conflict within your organization is to use the GRPI Model.

The GRPI model allows you to see where conflict is likely occurring:

GRPI Model

Goals – What exactly we are being asked to accomplish? Is everyone clear and aligned toward the goals we have prioritized as an organization?

Roles – What exactly does each person to do to accomplish the goal? Is there clarity and role definition, or role diffusion?

Procedures – The “how” and the ”what” must specifically be done to accomplish the goal. Does everyone have access to expected procedures and resources to do their job?

Interpersonal – What behaviors are expected to be exhibited as we accomplish the goal? Do we agree?

Using both the Denison Culture Survey and The GRPI Model can help you decode where conflicts are occurring, and how to overcome them.

Interested in using the Denison Culture Survey with your organization? Visit or contact CLI to learn more!

Contact us at or at 800.203.6734

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