The OPI evolved from a process tool designed by MDI consultants about 20 years ago, as an economical means of gathering data about the perceptions of organizational members. It was originally built to focus on about seven of the characteristics we had found most important to the effective functioning of organizations.
Undergoing five distinct revisions in the course of its usage, the OPI came to include the nine categories of items presently used. One or two additional categories have been tried and rejected, but principally we have focused on improving the items used to tap perceptions within the nine categories.
We have placed considerable emphasis on the nature of the instrument as a measure of perceptions, not judgments or attitudes. This emphasis, derived from Jungian psychology, makes the instrument unique in its approach to organizational evaluation.
Reliability. We have been able to apply both split-half and test-retest reliability checks. Without exception, correlations from these analyses have been in the .80's or above. Split-half reliability has consistently ranged from .85 into the low .90s.
Validity. The primary source of our belief in the validity of the instrument is experiential. As we have used the tool with numerous clients in widely varied settings, we have consistently been assured of the accuracy of the composite perceptions reflected in the results.
We have attempted to insure and strengthen this validity through correlational studies that have led to item revision. Factor analysis has given further support to the legitimacy of most of the items.
The usual approaches to determining instrument validity have not been practical for the OPI because it is a unique measure. Without some other instrument that purports to measure the same organizatioal characteristics, we have not been able to perform the usual kinds of statistical reliability checks.