Types of Organizational Culture and the role HR plays in shaping it 

types of organizational culture

Organizations are held together by their organizational cultures. Understanding the various corporate cultures can help you better understand how to influence your organization’s culture as it grows over time. Let’s explore the many organizational cultures, their essential traits, their benefits, and their drawbacks.

Want to learn what actions you must take to change your culture when it is no longer advantageous to your business? Please view the complete version of our cultural transformation handbook here.

What is Organizational culture?

The Latin word “colere,” which means to tend or cultivate, is where the word “culture” first appeared. The various types of Organisational culture expressed is how leadership tends to, nurtures, or looks after its operations, stakeholders, and people. The constant organizational practices of staff members and leaders are called culture (norms).

Different types of organizational culture

The Competing Values Framework is a well-known classification of different types of organizational culture types. These four corporate culture types are mixed differently, with one culture often predominating. There is a greater chance that a larger organization will have multiple cultures, given its size. This could be useful for the company, but it might also be problematic or difficult when trying to create a unified culture in a regionally and internationally distributed corporation.

Cameron and Quinn defined four organizational cultures, which are as follows:

Adhocracy culture: is the innovative, business-minded Create Culture. Cultural organizations are friendly, customer-focused Collaborate Cultures. The process-focused organized Control Culture is known as Hierarchy Culture. Market culture is a competitive, results-driven culture. Let’s take a closer look at each organizational culture type and the development methods.

Culture Of Adhocracy

The terms “Ad hoc” and “bureaucracy” are combined to form the word “adhocracy.” Adhocracy-based organizations are hence adaptable and unrestricted by bureaucratic rules and regulations. The emphasis is on continuous innovation and development, the pace is typically relatively quick, and the status quo will be questioned even if it appears to be functioning.

Establishing a culture of adhocracy

Creating an authentic adhocracy culture that simultaneously incorporates a high-risk business plan depending on your industry could be challenging. However, implementing strategy and holding brainstorming sessions enables staff members to contribute essential ideas that can boost performance. Teams are encouraged to go beyond the box by rewarding winning ideas.

Clan Culture: A “clan” is a group of close-knit families or a collection of individuals that share a cultural significance and passion. Small or family-owned enterprises without clear hierarchies frequently have clan cultures. Employees are valued, and working conditions are favorable regardless of their level.

Companies with clan cultures that value their employees include Tom’s of Maine, Redmond (Real Salt), and Chobani.

Establishment of a clan culture

Your employees should be your priority if you want to foster a clan culture within your business. A healthy clan culture depends on open communication, so let your staff know you welcome criticism. Find out what matters to them, what needs to be addressed, and what ideas they have for improving the company. Step two is to consider and implement their recommendations.

Hierarchy culture: In the US, the hierarchy culture is pervasive in business. Structure, established practices, and levels of authority serve to define it. Employees in this culture are perfectly aware of their position in the hierarchy, who is responsible for them, to whom they report, and the rules. Doing the right thing is crucial in our culture.

Organizations in the financial, health, and oil and gas industries have hierarchical cultures. Operations are frequently streamlined, and duties are well defined. Thanks to this organizational culture, they can effectively manage risk, be stable, and operate efficiently. However, it can make it more difficult for them to be creative, adaptable, and receptive to quick changes in their markets and sectors. They might not have the adaptability required in the markets of today and tomorrow.

Creating a culture of hierarchy

The first step in creating a culture of hierarchy is to streamline your operations. Make sure each team and department has distinct long- and short-term goals by considering them. Fill any gaps in the chain of command if there are any.

Market Culture: Profit margins and staying ahead of the curve are crucial to market culture. It has a strong external focus and is results-oriented to guarantee client satisfaction. Tesla, Amazon, and General Electric are a few examples of businesses influenced by a market culture.

The success of these businesses depends on having high-quality goods or services. Thus there is a constant need to be more inventive and introduce new or enhanced products to the market before their rivals. There can also be less focus on employee pleasure or experience. Employees frequently experience burnout due to the high expectations and ongoing pressure to achieve, even while this type of culture may ensure the company’s survival.

Creating A Culture Of The Market :

A company’s bottom line is correlated with its market culture. As a result, begin by assessing each role in your company. Determine the return on investment for each position and set appropriate production standards. Top performers should be rewarded to promote similar work.

Various types of organizational culture in organizational behavior

More detailed analyses and descriptions of cultures are possible. The explanation is that types of organizational cultures have distinct identities shaped by their leadership, vision, and mission. Groysberg, Lee, Price, and Cheng identified the following additional corporate cultures in their study, published in the Harvard Business Review (2018).

  • Purpose culture: Altruistic principles such as transforming the world and ensuring that resources are shared with people who live on the margins are shared by company leaders and staff.
  • Learning organizational culture: Focuses on research, innovation, creativity, learning, and development.
  • Enjoyment organizational culture: Having fun and a sense of humor defines this culture.
  • Results organizational culture: Characterized by meeting targets, achieving goals, and being performance-driven.
  • Authority organizational culture: Is characterized by solid leadership and assured staff. Employees compete to be the best in their fields in a competitive workplace.
  • Safety organizational culture: This could be a risk-averse environment where executives thrive on promoting safety by preparation, taking calculated or insignificant risks, and adhering to what has previously been successful.
  • Order organizational culture: Is usually defined by rules and procedures and where employees have very defined roles.
  • A caring organizational culture: Will be distinguished by an environment that values its employees and where there may be high levels of engagement and loyalty.

As was previously stated, leadership is crucial in determining culture. HR plays a significant part in influencing leadership and defining culture. According to Gallup, “HR leaders are accountable for sustaining responsibility across all levels of the firm, cultivating a sense of ownership for that culture, and aligning managers and employees with the aspired culture.

Therefore, HR must train and provide managers and leaders with the tools they need to model cultural values and take responsibility for helping to create the culture they want.

The way your business conducts work and business, its brand, and whether it meets its organizational goals are all significantly influenced by corporate culture. Knowing the various corporate culture types helps you choose which kind your company wishes to have and what has to be changed to get there.

The various types of Organisational culture can be influenced and changed by HR leaders. HR can determine which HR initiatives would be most effective based on the company’s culture or aspiration.


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