5 examples of organisational culture

How do we communicate with clients? How do we greet each other? Do we use a formal or informal register? Is it normal to question your manager, or do we have to accept and carry out everything? Do we work at set times or can we use a flexible schedule? All these aspects are part of the organisational culture of a company.

The definition of an organisational culture:

An organisational culture consists of the norms, values and behaviours shared by all employees in an organisation. It contains the “unspoken rules” of the company.

The organisational culture of a company isn’t always directly visible. However, you’ll find out which norms and values are being used quickly. When the norms and values have been outlined, employees will adhere to them and the organisational culture will be seen as a dynamic process.

The shared norms, values and behaviours differ though. There are organisational cultures that can vastly differ from each other, or have quite a lot in common. Organisational cultures with many commonalities belong to the same type. We’ve outlined 5 types of organisational cultures for you.

The Elite Culture

In companies with an elite culture, it is quite noticeable that all the best talents in their field are working here. The employees are passionate about their work and do their utmost to achieve the maximum result. Companies with an elite culture consciously choose the most highly qualified candidates who are competitive. This is an advantage for these companies. They expect their employees to constantly develop their products, processes and service and take them to the next level.

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The Adhocracy Culture

Quinn and Cameron, researchers at the University of Michigan, distinguish four organisational cultures. Adhocracy is one of them. In this organisational culture, creativity, flexibility and innovation play an important role. The management of the organisation has a clear vision of the future and they work towards this vision. Employees of an organisation in an adhocracy culture are constantly challenged to discover new possibilities and opportunities, in order to fulfil and develop the future vision of the organisation together.

The Clan Culture

In addition to the adhocracy culture, the clan or family culture is also one of the four organisational cultures outlined by Quinn and Cameron. The relationship between people is central to this business culture. The working environment is friendly and caring for clients and employees comes first. As a coworker, you are very closely involved in the organisation and teamwork is something that is very important here. The employees receive support from the managers, who act as mentors to solve problems in the organisation.

The Nomadic Culture

Companies with a nomadic culture are often very sensitive to market fluctuations. In these companies, mergers, acquisitions and other changes are always a possibility. This makes the situation very uncertain for the employees, as they do not know what to expect in this situation. On the other hand, employees see an opportunity to try something new and improve the way of working. Among themselves, employees talk openly about possible buyouts or new investors for the organisation.

The Egalitarian Culture

When job titles don’t matter and everyone does a bit of everything in an organisation, it’s an egalitarian culture. There is no clear hierarchy. In this organisational culture, employees work closely together and there is one specific goal: keeping clients satisfied.

We provide outlines with these five types of company cultures. However, every company is different and it is certainly important to maintain your own company culture, which contains the self-formulated norms and values of the organisation.


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