Sociability v Solidarity (Double S) Model

Is everyone in your organisation focused on delivery and the risks and associated actions required by themselves and others?

There has been a significant progression in the development of tools and techniques for managing risk within organisations and an acceptance that board members and trustees need to be mindful of the risks associated with organisational objectives.

However, each has a unique cultural approach, a culture that may or may not be helpful in successful risk management. Moreover, individual language styles, values, beliefs and priorities towards risk contribute to, are affected by and influence the organisation’s culture.

The sociability vs solidarity model (Goffee and Jones, 1998) considers culture in two dimensions:

  • sociability (people focus – based on how well people get on socially)
  • solidarity (task focus – based on goal orientation and team performance
Sociability v Solidarity (Double S) Model

Source: Institute of Risk Management, 2013. Risk culture; Resources for Practitioners

The model identifies four distinct organisational cultures, described as:

  • Networked (high people focus, low task focus)
  • Communal (high people focus, high task focus)
  • Mercenary (low people focus, high task focus)
  • Fragmented (low people focus, low task focus)

Research undertaken by the Institute of Risk Management indicates that organisations should strengthen their sociability and solidarity ratings to implement risk management more effectively. Low scores on either factor create a barrier to the effective management of risk.


Goffee, R. and Jones, G., 1998. The character of a corporation: How your company’s culture can make or break your business. New York: Harper Collins Business

Institute of Risk Management, 2013. Risk Culture: Resources for Practitioners

Institute of Risk Management, 2017. Risk culture: Resources for Practitioners

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