What Does Culture Mean in Business?
Corporate culture is a term that is used a lot. Inc. magazine defines corporate culture the following way:
“Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community.”
Invigorating corporate cultures have tangible advantages. These cultures attract more highly qualified candidates, and once the candidate becomes an employee they are more productive and they stay longer. Understanding the ins and outs of company culture can help move your company forward in the best possible way.
Researchers have grouped company cultures into four types:
Clan or Collaborative
This culture can often be found in family owned companies as it focuses on nurturing employees through interpersonal connections and mentoring. Teamwork is key so energy is put into providing teams the needed flexibility and resources to be successful.
This type of culture is often found in startups. It is primarily focused on innovation and risk-taking. It creates an entrepreneurial environment throughout all levels of the organization. This environment often supports a “no idea is too crazy” type of culture which can inspire innovation.
This may be what you think of as a stereotypic business culture. The bottom line is the main priority and the focus is on results. Those that succeed are rewarded with promotions and raises. Quotas are set and there is an expectation that the employees will perform well under pressure.
This culture follows a traditional corporate framework where decisions are made from the top and there is a clear chain of command. Structure is key and several management levels will separate executives and employees. The focus is on efficiency and reliability with company processes codified in policy.
Each of these business culture types have advantages and disadvantages. Which type of culture best suits a company will depend on a variety of factors including type of product, size, and stage of organizational development.
With these culture types in mind, our next blog will look at a corporate culture development model that can be useful for all types of business.