What is ClimateQUAL®?

ClimateQUAL®: Organizational Climate and Diversity Assessment is an assessment of library staff perceptions concerning (a) their library's commitment to the principles of diversity, (b) organizational policies and procedures, and (c) staff attitudes. It is an online survey with questions designed to understand the impact perceptions have on service quality in a library setting. The survey addresses a number of climate issues, such as diversity, teamwork, learning, and fairness, as well as current managerial practices, and staff attitudes and beliefs.

ClimateQUAL® aims to:
* Foster a culture of healthy organizational climate and diversity;
* Help libraries better understand staff perceptions of organizational climate and diversity;
* Facilitate the on-going collection and interpretation of staff feedback;
* Identify best practices in managing organizational climate; and
* Enable libraries to interpret and act on data.

Libraries use these data to improve their organizational climate and diversity culture for delivering superior services to the communities they serve.

Dr. Paul Hanges, lead researcher from the University of Maryland Industrial and Organizational Psychology Program, is working with a new groundbreaking concept resulting from the ClimateQUAL® research: the “healthy organization” that makes an empirical connection between organization health and the service experience of customers. The findings of the assessment can in turn lead to remedial action to improve climate positively.

How is the ClimateQUAL® survey conducted?

Prior to 2012, ClimateQUAL® was administered online as a Web based survey using SurveyMonkey.com, a well-known survey software that offers a variety of customization and data analysis options.  Beginning in 2012, ARL incorporated ClimateQUAL into StatsQUAL®, a gateway to library assessment tools developed by the Association of Research Libraries that describe the role, character, and impact of physical and digital libraries.  ClimateQUAL is now administered online through StatsQUAL®.  The survey period is 3 weeks. ClimateQUAL® consists of approximately 150 questions representing the nine climate dimensions, seven organizational attitude scales, and additional demographic questions. There is also a free-text comments box at the end of the survey.

The first part of the survey asks respondents to answer questions related to their designated team or work unit.  In the second part, respondents answer based on individual membership in a group (i.e., membership in minority groups including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, rank, and age).

Respondent confidentiality is of paramount concern, given the sensitive nature of the questions and responses. Results are reported back to individual institutions in a way that will not compromise respondent identity. An overview report is provided to the library with the comments of the respondents. Only libraries with large enough sample sizes can receive additional analysis for specific subgroups within the organization, as an add-on service.