ACCA culture-governance tool

Corporate culture encourages behaviours that support or impede the achievement of organisational objectives. The challenge is understanding how to nurture a culture that promotes behaviours consistent with organisational objectives. The ACCA culture-governance tool seeks to support organisations with their culture goals.

ACCA Culture-Governance Tool-page-001

ACCA developed this tool on the basis of research conducted since 2012 under a global initiative called Culture and channelling corporate behaviour. Under this initiative ACCA held a series of international roundtables in London, New York, Dubai and Bengaluru alongside a survey of ACCA’s global membership, to which close to 2,000 members responded.

Subsequent research inspired by the findings called Effective speak-up arrangements for whistle-blowers also informed the development of the tool.

The ACCA culture-governance tool aides organisations review culture and determine the course of change. 


Idea behind the tool

There was an overarching agreement that corporate culture is decisive in determining whether an organisation will do the right thing. Furthermore, culture is often driven from the top - corporate leadership has the responsibility for ensuring that organisational values are lived and breathed throughout the organisation. 

The research findings also highlight the importance of interaction within the organisation. Everyone, including senior leadership, experiences peer pressure, formal and informal norms and mirroring of behaviour. The tool captures both aspects of culture. 

Driving a vision for the future

Organisations can trigger culture change. This is particularly relevant for those who are responsible for governance of the organisation. They have governance responsibilities in driving corporate culture by setting the organisational direction, making key internal and external decisions, and setting behavioural examples. These collectively set the overall tone of the organisation. Some of these involve giving direction to the processes and procedures of the organisation, which affect both employees and external stakeholders. 

Formal and informal organisational processes and procedures, in turn, define how people, including corporate leadership, interact with the organisation as well as with each other in their day-to-day lives. Through these interactions, people come across visible clues to the culture that prevails within the organisation. 

Using the tool

This tool helps you design your own organisation’s culture change, based on what you set out to do. It can help you to understand alignment between organisational objectives and corporate culture and: 

  • identify where significant inconsistencies exist between culture and organisational goals and plan actions; 
  • help you to review periodically the alignment between culture and organisational goals to promote behaviours that support organisational goals. 

Furthermore, the tool can be used when organisations are going through rapid changes such as fast growth, ownership and capital structure change, or developing a succession plan. It can give a structure for narratives on culture when communicating internally and externally or speaking with interested stakeholders such as investors.