July 19, 2022

Types of organizational culture in modern businesses

In the current professional landscape, around 46% of workers regard organizational culture as a key aspect when it comes to looking for a job or staying in a company. This is a factor that can’t be overlooked by businesses if they want to grow. That is why it’s so important to identify the type of culture each business has. If the culture hasn’t been defined yet, it’s mandatory to create one now. 

There are many types of organizational culture. Do you know the different types you can find? At T2W we have an extensive experience in Human Resources and talent management. In this article we will delve deep into the different types of culture that help to define modern organizations. 

What is the organizational culture? 

The organizational culture can be defined as the way of thinking and acting that people share within an organization. Each company has its own culture, whether it’s been defined consciously or not. The culture should be designed carefully and according to the company’s objectives. To achieve this, the organization must define its values, objectives, rules and work philosophy. 

Classification of organizational culture 

When we talk about the different types of organizational culture, there are many classifications and naming. Here we will show you two models that are widely known and accepted in the world of Human Resources. It’s important noticing that the following are general classifications and there are organizations that can have more than one of these styles. 

Types of organizational culture by Cameron and Quinn 

One of the most popular classifications was made by Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn. They define 4 types of organizational culture that change according to the level of freedom or control companies have over people and if they are internally or externally focused. 

1. Clan organizational culture 

This is a type of culture that is focused on people. It values collaboration and teamwork. For organizations with clan culture, employees are a priority. Therefore, it creates an environment that fosters guidance and training, as well as personal and professional development. There is also horizontal communication, less control in management positions and more creative freedom for employees. 

2. Hierarchical organizational culture 

This type of culture is very common in companies that show vertical structure. Leaders are the ones who have all control over the decision-making and efficiency is highly valued. For this reason, there usually are procedures that guarantee the company’s stability and proper functioning. Here, communication tends to be vertical and there is little creative freedom for employees. 

3. Adhocracy organizational culture 

As the name suggests, this is a type of culture that puts aside hierarchy and fixed structures. On the contrary, it promotes employee participation and collaboration to foster creativity and innovation. Communication is usually horizontal and there is more freedom for people at all levels to show their ideas. The work environment is usually creative and dynamic. 

4. Market organizational culture 

This type of culture can be very competitive. The competition can be external, with other organizations, or internal, between employees. The priority for companies with this culture is to obtain results so; it’s a very fast-paced work environment. Procedures are put aside to prioritize results. Employees usually have many chances to get to new positions and better wages. However, the decision-making is only in hands of leaders. 

You can also read: ¿What is a Human Resource Information System (HRIF)? 

Types of organizational culture by Roger Harrison 

Types of organizational culture by Roger Harrison

For psychologist Roger Harrison, there are also four types of organizational culture. However, he classifies each type of culture according to the company’s objectives and the actions taken to achieve those objectives. 

1. Power-oriented culture 

For companies with this type of culture, their main objective is to increase competitiveness in the market. Due to this, the leader usually has a lot of control over the organization, its processes and employees. That can be an advantage since decisions can be made quickly and it’s easier to adapt to changes. However, this type of culture can have some issues such as the excessive control the organization has over employees, which can end up in a high turnover rate. 

2. People-oriented culture 

In this case, the culture of the organization pays attention to people wellness. It promotes the personal and professional growth of its employees. A big advantage is that it can boost employee motivation and, as a result, productivity grows. This approach is usually opposed to power-oriented organizational culture. It’s worth noticing that for this culture people in general are important, which includes employees and also the audience.  

3. Rule-oriented culture 

This type of organizational culture prioritizes stability and safety. In order to achieve its objectives, the organization has a strong focus on norms and guidelines. Therefore, it’s important to follow the norms since the company’s operation depends on it. The main issue with this is that the decision-making can be too slow since there is a protocol to follow. While planning can guarantee results, the culture can be a little rigid. 

4. Results-oriented culture 

This culture emphasizes effectiveness in all processes to reach the company’s objectives.  For that reason, the organization tries to optimize all its resources, whether material or human. Decisions and actions must be taken having the results in mind and if it would get the company closer to its objectives. 

Now you know the different types of organizational culture there are and the way these are classified. What type of culture reflects your organization? Does it reflects your objectives? Keep in mind these are general classifications and some companies can fit in more than one category. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.  

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