12 Different Types of Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is the personality of an organization. Think of how a geographical culture tends to have similar ways of doing things, similar customs and values, and a similar language or way of expressing themselves. Organizational culture is kind of the same thing. It is the unique set of behaviours and values that the organization follows.

Below are twelve types of organizational cultures, each with their own unique set of characteristics:

1. Strong organizational culture

When employees are aligned with the culture of their workplace, this means the company has strong organizational culture. It is a highly beneficial position for organizations to be in, as it helps the company run more smoothly. With strong organizational culture, employees do what needs to be done more naturally, because they understand what the company is trying to do.

2. Weak organizational culture

If people, especially employees, have a hard time defining the culture of an organization, it can be defined as having a weak organizational culture. Unlike organizations with a strong organizational culture, these companies can only function through extensive procedures that must be used to gain control.

Companies with weak organizational culture have more difficulty running smoothly, because employees do not naturally understand what the company’s goals are, so they don’t know what to do to help the company achieve those goals.

3. Clan culture

Companies with clan cultures are kind of like a big family. These companies value teamwork and participation, and employees tend to be more friendly with each other and have a lot in common with one another. Leaders in these types of organizational cultures to act more as mentors and facilitators. They collaborate with their team and function on effective communication.

4. Adhocracy culture

These companies value creativity, and encourage employees to be risk takers. Leaders in companies with an adhocracy culture are innovators, visionaries, and entrepreneurs. Companies with these types of organizational cultures embrace change and unique ideas. They are more likely to support and encourage employees to take the initiative to do things on their own.

5. Market culture

Market culture is a results-driven culture. These companies want to see the numbers, they want to win, and they want to get results. They are driven by concrete goals, and the leaders tend to be tough, and will push their employees to achieve and surpass the goals the company wants them to reach. Take note of that wording – employees of a market culture are usually expected to reach goals defined by the company. Market culture often tends to pit employee against employee – as they are often pushed to sell the most or get the most results, and may even be rewarded for having the best results.

6. Hierarchy culture

Structure and organization is highly valued in a hierarchy culture. Leaders monitor, coordinate, and organize, and expectations include predictability and efficiency. Quite the opposite of an organization with an adhocracy culture, companies with hierarchy cultures want to use the tried and true methods, and change is not welcomed with open arms. As such, employees are expected to follow suit, not get creative.

7. Culture of fear

Some companies run on a culture of fear, which means leaders use fear to get their employees to do what they want. This is not seen as an effective organizational culture to have, because it tends to suppress the abilities and strengths of employees. It also encourages employees to stay quiet about problems they may have, and good ideas about ways the company could improve never make it to the top, and thus can never be implemented.

8. Academy culture

These types of organizational cultures put a high value on education and academic standing. That includes not only the existing education and knowledge an employee has when he or she is hired, but also their enthusiasm for continuing education. Employees are often provided with additional training, which helps them to continue enhancing their skills and knowledge, and the employees look forward to such training.

9. Tough guy culture

In companies with this culture, employees are micro-managed, and are not encouraged to stray off the beaten path. Tough guy culture is for companies that want things to be done a specific way, and no other way, and they tend to take measures to ensure their employees do just that.

10. Normative culture

In a normative culture, everybody knows what they are supposed to do, and that is what they do. Going out of line is not even considered, and each employee follows a pre-determined set of guidelines, rules, and regulations in order to do their job.

11. Pragmatic culture

In a pragmatic culture, the customer is always right. These organizations highly value their customers, almost to a fault. There really aren’t any set rules, regulations, or processes other than: make the customer happy.

12. Baseball team culture

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum from pragmatic culture, baseball team culture puts the employees first. Organizations with baseball team culture view the importance of their team, and know that without them the organization would fail.

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