What are company culture types: Examples and best practices to implement them

16 min read
What are company culture types: Examples, best practices, and methods to implement them
What are company culture types: Examples, best practices, and methods to implement them

Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting your own venture, or even an employee setting off on their journey, understanding the different types of culture, along with the best practices and methods for implementation, can make a significant difference in your company's success.

Culture isn't just a buzzword; it's a pivotal element that defines your organization's identity and influences your employees' experiences.

So, let's dive in and discover the various top company cultures and culture types, delve into some real-world examples, and uncover the best practices that can help you foster a thriving, vibrant, and creative culture within your company.

What is a company culture?

Company culture is the collective personality of an organization, encompassing the shared values, beliefs, behaviors, and traditions that shape how employees interact and work within the company.

It's the unwritten set of rules that guide day-to-day activities and decisions, as well as the overall identity and atmosphere of the workplace. In essence, corporate culture defines the particular organization itself's character, its principles, and the way it operates.

A strong and positive company culture serves as a powerful glue that unites employees, fosters a sense of belonging, and influences how they approach their work. It can significantly impact the productivity, job satisfaction, and overall success of the company.

What are company culture goals?

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What are company culture goals?

Organizational cultures’ goals are the specific objectives and outcomes that a business leader of an organization aims to achieve through the development and maintenance of its culture.

These goals are vital for shaping the workplace environment, guiding employee behavior, and ultimately contributing to the success of the company. Here are some common goals regarding workplace cultures some companies have:

  • Employee engagement: Foster a culture that keeps employees motivated, satisfied, and fully engaged in their work. This can lead to increased productivity and reduced turnover.
  • Innovation: Cultivating workplace cultures that encourages creativity, idea-sharing, and risk-taking. The goal is to drive constant innovation, and market growth and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Collaboration: Promoting clan cultures where teamwork, open communication, and collaboration are the norm. This can improve problem-solving and create a more supportive and more collaborative work environment.
  • Customer-centricity: Build a culture that places the customer at the center of all activities. The goal is to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Inclusivity and diversity: Strive for a culture that values and celebrates diversity, ensuring that all employees feel included and respected. This fosters creativity and broader perspectives.
  • Results-orientation: Develop a culture that emphasizes performance, accountability, and delivering measurable results. This can drive efficiency and competitive advantage.
  • Learning and development: Create a culture that encourages continuous learning and personal growth. The goal is to improve employee skills and adaptability.
  • Work-life balance: Promote a culture that values work-life balance, reducing burnout and improving employee well-being.
  • Transparency and communication: Establish a culture of open and honest feedback and transparent communication to enhance trust and alignment of the organizational objectives and cultures within the organization.
  • Ethical and social responsibility: Make ethical behavior and social responsibility integral to the corporate culture, contributing to a positive public image and long-term sustainability.
  • Adaptability and change management: Develop a culture that embraces change and encourages adaptability, enabling the organization to navigate shifting business landscapes.
  • Retention and recruitment: Use culture to attract top talent and retain high-performing employees.
  • Continuous improvement: Foster a culture of continuous improvement where employees are encouraged to seek out opportunities for growth and refinement in processes, products, and services.
  • Empowerment and autonomy: Cultivate a culture that empowers employees with autonomy and decision-making authority, allowing them to take ownership of their work and contribute meaningfully to the organization's success.
  • Wellness and mental health support: Prioritize employee wellness and mental health by promoting a culture that provides resources, support, and initiatives aimed at maintaining a healthy work-life balance and addressing mental health needs.

These goals can vary depending on the particular organization's mission, industry, and values. By setting and actively pursuing these objectives, a company can shape its culture to align with its strategic priorities and improve its overall performance.

What are the 11 dimensions of organizational culture?

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What are the 11 dimensions of organizational culture?

Organizational culture is a multifaceted concept. The 11 dimensions are key aspects that shape an organization's character. Here they are –

  1. Innovation: This dimension assesses an organization's willingness to take risks and embrace change to drive innovation.
  2. Stability: It gauges the extent to which an organization values tradition, stability, and control in its own authority organizational culture.
  3. Respect for people: This dimension measures the degree to which an organization prioritizes the well-being and development of its employees.
  4. Outcome orientation: It evaluates the emphasis placed on results, achievement, and meeting goals within the learning organizational culture.
  5. Team orientation: This dimension examines how much an organization values collaboration, teamwork, and group achievement.
  6. Aggressiveness: It reflects the extent to which the market culture in an organization is competitive and assertive in pursuing its goals.
  7. Attention to detail: This dimension revolves around the organization's focus on precision, analysis, and detail-oriented approaches.
  8. Customer orientation: It measures the organization's commitment to meeting customer needs and providing excellent service.
  9. Ethical behavior: This dimension evaluates the organization's commitment to ethical standards and integrity in its interactions with stakeholders, including customers, employees, and the community.
  10. Adaptability: It assesses the organization's ability to respond and adapt to changing external environments, market dynamics, and emerging trends.
  11. Work-life balance: This dimension considers the organization's support for employees in achieving a healthy balance between work responsibilities and personal life commitments.

What are the 4 methods of managing culture?

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What are the 4 methods of managing culture?

Managing and shaping an organization's culture is not a passive endeavor. It requires intentional effort and a clear strategy. In this section, we'll explore four key methods that organizations employ to manage their culture.

  1. Lead by example: Leadership sets the tone for the organization. Leaders must exemplify the desired culture through their actions and behaviors.
  2. Formalize cultural values: Clearly define and communicate the organization's core values and make them an integral part of the company's identity.
  3. Hiring and onboarding: Use the hiring process to select candidates who align with the company stand and desired culture and provide thorough onboarding to instill cultural values.
  4. Feedback and adaptation: Continuously gather feedback from employees and stakeholders to assess the current culture. Adapt and evolve the culture as needed to meet changing goals and challenges.

What are the 17 types of organizational culture with examples?

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What are the 17 types of organizational culture with examples?

The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) developed by Cameron and Quinn, identifies four core types of organizational culture, with subtypes, which can lead to a total of 17 types of organizational culture. These are:

1. Collaborative clan culture

In this clan culture, the workplace feels like an extended family. Teamwork is at the core, with a strong emphasis on shared values, positive employee relationships, and a nurturing atmosphere. Employees here often experience a sense of belonging and camaraderie that contributes to their job satisfaction and productivity.

2. Adhocracy culture

Within this clan culture, you'll find a unique blend of collaboration and innovation. Employees are encouraged to think outside the box, take risks, and experiment with creative solutions. It's a culture that values adaptability, where employees have the freedom to explore new ideas, fostering an environment of continuous improvement and fresh thinking.

3. Bureaucratic hierarchy culture

This culture prioritizes stability and order. It's characterized by established rules and procedures that create a structured and controlled work environment. Employees in this culture often appreciate the predictability and reliability it offers, which can lead to efficient and consistent operations.

4. Controlling hierarchy culture

Efficiency and uniformity are the cornerstones of this hierarchy culture subtype. Centralized control is paramount, and rule orientation is a defining feature. While it emphasizes precision and consistency, it can also lead to limited creativity and autonomy among employees.

5. Competitive market culture

In this culture, results and competition take center stage. There's a relentless drive to achieve goals and excel. High-performance expectations are the norm, and the focus is on outperforming competitors, which can be motivating but may also lead to a more demanding work environment.

6. Customer-oriented market culture

This market culture subtype revolves around customer satisfaction. Meeting customer needs and being highly responsive to market demands are top priorities. Employees are encouraged to adapt swiftly and provide value to customers, creating a strong customer-centric approach within the organization.

7. Innovative adhocracy culture

Creativity, risks, and experimentation are encouraged in this adhocracy culture. It fosters an environment where employees feel free to innovate, explore new ideas, and take calculated risks. This culture can result in groundbreaking innovations and a forward-thinking atmosphere.

8. Collaborative adhocracy culture

This culture combines elements of innovation with collaboration. Employees work together as equals, driving change and adaptation through teamwork and creative problem-solving. It promotes an egalitarian environment where all voices are valued, resulting in a culture of collective achievement.

9. Collaborative clan culture

This subculture emphasizes the familial atmosphere within the broader clan culture. Employees work together harmoniously, building strong, supportive relationships, and viewing each other as an extended family. This enhances trust and unity in the workplace.

10. Adhocratic clan culture

In this subculture, the familial atmosphere of the clan culture coexists with innovative and risk-taking elements. Employees are encouraged to experiment and create within a supportive and collaborative framework. This approach blends the stability of the clan culture with the innovative spirit of adhocracy.

11. Bureaucratic hierarchy culture

Focusing on stability, structure, and rule adherence, this subculture emphasizes clear processes and a hierarchical structure. It thrives on order and control, which can lead to consistent and structured work environments.

12. Controlling hierarchy culture

This control culture type, a subcategory of hierarchy cultures, places a strong emphasis on control, efficiency, and uniformity. It often relies on strict rules and procedures to maintain predictability and precision.

13. Competitive market culture

Within the broader market culture, this subculture centers on results and competition. High-performance expectations drive employees to excel but can sometimes create a highly competitive, potentially stressful work environment.

14. Supportive leadership culture

In this culture, leadership is characterized by support, guidance, and empowerment. Leaders prioritize the development and well-being of their teams, fostering an environment of trust, respect, and open communication. Employees feel valued and motivated, leading to higher morale and performance.

15. Learning organization culture

This culture prioritizes continuous learning and development at all levels of the organization. Employees are encouraged to seek out opportunities for growth, knowledge sharing, and skill enhancement. Learning is embraced as the company's core values, leading to greater adaptability and innovation.

16. Social responsibility culture

Organizations with this culture are committed to making a positive impact on society and the environment. They integrate social and environmental considerations into their business practices and decision-making processes, aiming for sustainability and ethical responsibility.

17. Networked culture

In a networked culture, collaboration extends beyond internal teams to encompass external networks and partnerships. The company values connections with stakeholders, customers, and industry peers, leveraging diverse perspectives and resources for mutual benefit and innovation.

While the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) identifies four core types of organizational culture, including Clan, Adhocracy, Hierarchy, and Market, it's important to note that additional culture variations are not explicitly defined within this framework.

For example, an 'enjoyment organizational culture' may be considered a unique subculture that emphasizes fun and humor within the broader context of Clan Culture.

Similarly, a purpose-driven culture is a concept that is often discussed and valued in the realm of organizational culture. This type of culture places a strong emphasis on the company's mission, values, and the broader impact it aims to make.

How are cultures created within organizations?

Culture within an organization is created through a combination of various factors and processes that influence the behaviors, beliefs, and values of its members.

Firstly, organizational culture is shaped by the collective experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives of its founders, leaders, and employees.

The values, vision, and goals established by the founders lay the foundation for the culture, while leadership behavior and actions influence its evolution over time. Leaders serve as role models and set the tone for acceptable behaviors within the organization, thus playing a pivotal role in shaping the culture.

And organizational culture is created and reinforced through socialization processes that occur within the company. New employees are introduced to the organization's culture through orientation programs, onboarding processes, and interactions with colleagues.

These experiences, along with informal norms and rituals, contribute to the assimilation of individuals into the cultural fabric of the organization.

Furthermore, external factors such as industry dynamics, market competition, and societal trends can also influence the creation of company's culture. Companies may adapt their cultures in response to external pressures or changes in the business environment.

How to choose and build a sustainable corporate culture for your company?

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How to choose and build a sustainable corporate culture for your company?

Choosing and building a sustainable corporate culture for your company is a strategic and ongoing process that requires careful planning and commitment.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you establish a strong leadership culture that aligns with your company's values and ensures its long-term sustainability:

  • Define your core values: Start by identifying the fundamental values that your company stands for. What principles are non-negotiable? What beliefs guide your decision-making? These core values will be the foundation of your culture.
  • Assess your current culture: Before you can build a new culture, you need to understand your existing one. Conduct surveys, interviews, and assessments to gain insight into your current workplace culture and toxic work environment. What aspects of your present culture align with your desired values, and what needs to change?
  • Set clear cultural goals: Establish specific, measurable, and realistic goals for your desired culture. Define what success looks like and what you hope to achieve through cultural transformation. Ensure your goals align with your company's mission, purpose, culture and vision.
  • Engage leadership: Your leadership team must be on board with the new culture. They should not only support it but also embody it through their actions and decisions. Leadership commitment is crucial for cultural change.
  • Align hiring and onboarding: Make cultural fit a priority during the hiring process. Identify candidates who share your values and will thrive in your desired culture. Additionally, create onboarding processes that immerse new and prospective employees well in the culture from day one.
  • Encourage employee feedback: Actively seek feedback from your employees. Understand their perceptions of the culture and their suggestions for improvement. Employee input is invaluable for shaping your culture.
  • Recognize and reward cultural behaviors: Acknowledge and reward employees who exemplify the desired cultural behaviors. This reinforces the importance of culture and encourages others to follow suit.
  • Training and development: Invest in training and development programs that support cultural growth. Provide opportunities for employees to build the skills and behaviors necessary for the new culture.
  • Monitor and adjust: Regularly assess the progress of your culture change initiative. Are you meeting your cultural goals? If not, identify areas of clan culture that need adjustment and adapt your strategy accordingly.
  • Celebrate successes: Recognize and celebrate milestones and achievements in your cultural transformation journey. This motivates employees and reinforces the importance of the culture.
  • Be patient and persistent: Changing culture takes time, and it may encounter resistance. Be patient and persistent in pursuing your cultural goals, and continually reiterate the importance of the desired culture.
  • Measure cultural impact: Use key performance indicators (KPIs) and feedback mechanisms to measure the impact of the new culture on productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall business success.
  • Iterate and evolve: A sustainable culture is one that can evolve as your company grows and changes. Be open to revisiting and adapting your culture as needed to remain relevant and effective.
  • Seek employee involvement in culture-building initiatives: Involve employees at all levels in the process of defining, refining, and embodying the company culture. Encourage their active participation in culture-building activities, such as workshops, focus groups, and brainstorming sessions.
  • Promote diversity and inclusion efforts: Integrate diversity and inclusion initiatives into your culture-building strategy. Foster an environment where individuals from diverse backgrounds feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents.

Building and sustaining a corporate culture is an ongoing journey that requires commitment from all levels of the organization. By following these steps and consistently nurturing your culture, you can create a sustainable and thriving work environment that aligns with your company's values and mission.

6 Company culture best practices

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Company culture best practices

An effective culture can improve employee satisfaction, boost productivity, and set the stage for sustainable success. In this section, we'll explore six best practices that can help you shape and maintain a vibrant culture.

  1. Lead by example: Discuss the importance of leadership modeling the desired culture through their actions and behaviors. Provide examples of company leaders, cultures, and leaders who have successfully led by example.
  2. Clear communication: Emphasize the significance of transparent and open communication in building and maintaining a healthy culture. Highlight best practices for effective internal communication.
  3. Employee involvement: Explain how involving employees in shaping the culture can lead to better buy-in and commitment. Share examples of organizations that engage employees in culture development.
  4. Continuous learning: Discuss the importance of fostering a culture of continuous learning and professional development. Share strategies and examples of companies that prioritize learning.
  5. Celebrate successes and failures: Stress the value of acknowledging both successes and setbacks in promoting a culture of learning and resilience. Share examples of companies that celebrate both.
  6. Ethical and social responsibility: Highlight the importance of incorporating ethical values and social responsibility into the order organizational culture. Discuss the positive impact of organizations such companies that prioritize these principles in safety organizational culture.

An effective culture can improve employee satisfaction, boost productivity, and set the stage for sustainable success. In this section, we'll explore six best practices that can help you shape and maintain a vibrant culture.

7 Best organizational culture examples

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Best organizational culture examples

Let's dive into real-world examples of organizational cultures that have propelled these companies to remarkable success.

  1. Google (innovative culture): Google is renowned for its innovative culture, where employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time on personal projects. This has led to groundbreaking products like Gmail and Google Maps.
  2. Zappos (customer-centric culture): Zappos prioritizes customer service to a remarkable degree. Their core value "Deliver WOW Through Service" is ingrained in their culture, creating unparalleled customer loyalty.
  3. Patagonia (ethical and socially responsible culture): Patagonia is not just a clothing company; it's a champion of environmental sustainability. Their commitment to ethical and environmentally responsible practices is deeply embedded in their culture.
  4. Salesforce (inclusive culture): Salesforce's dedication to inclusivity is evident in its appointment of a Chief Equality Officer and its strong commitment to diversity and equality within the company.
  5. Apple (results-driven culture): Apple's relentless pursuit of excellence and constant innovation, has created a culture where employees are driven to achieve outstanding results, leading to products like the iPhone.
  6. Buffer (transparent communication): Buffer is a prime example of transparent communication. They openly share financials, salaries, and strategies with employees, promoting trust and engagement.
  7. Spacex (celebrate successes and failures): SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, celebrates its rocket launches, whether they succeed or fail. This practice emphasizes the importance of innovation and experimentation within the organization.

What are the sources of organizational culture?

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What are the sources of organizational culture?

Organizational culture is a complex and multifaceted concept that plays a crucial role in shaping the behavior, values, and norms within a company. Understanding the sources of organizational culture is essential for leaders and managers to effectively manage and cultivate a positive and productive work environment.

Here are the key sources contributing to organizational culture:

Founder's values and vision

The values and vision of a company's founder(s) serve as the foundational elements of organizational culture. The beliefs, principles, and goals established by the founder(s) often shape the direction and priorities of the company, influencing the behaviors and attitudes of employees.

For example, if a founder emphasizes innovation and creativity, the company culture may prioritize experimentation and risk-taking.

Leadership behavior and actions

Leadership behavior and actions have a significant impact on organizational culture. Leaders serve as role models for employees, and their attitudes, decisions, and interactions with others shape the culture of the organization.

For instance, if leaders demonstrate transparency, empathy, and inclusivity, it can foster a culture of trust, collaboration, and respect among employees.

Employee interactions and socialization

Employee interactions and socialization processes within the organization contribute to the development and maintenance of culture. The shared experiences, norms, and rituals that employees engage in shape the collective identity and values of the organization.

For instance, regular team meetings, company events, and informal gatherings can reinforce cultural norms and foster a sense of belonging and cohesion among employees.

HR’s role in shaping organizational culture

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HR’s role in shaping organizational culture

Human Resources (HR) plays a critical role in shaping organizational culture by implementing policies, practices, and initiatives that align with the company's values and objectives.

As stewards of employee relations and organizational development, HR professionals are instrumental in fostering a positive and inclusive work environment.

Here are key aspects of HR's role in shaping organizational culture:

  • Recruitment and selection: HR is responsible for attracting, selecting, and onboarding employees who not only possess the requisite skills and qualifications but also fit with the company culture. Through strategic recruitment efforts, HR ensures that new hires share the organization's values and contribute to its cultural fabric.
  • Training and development: HR designs and implements training and development programs that align with the company's cultural priorities and objectives. These initiatives aim to enhance employee skills, competencies, and alignment with organizational values, fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth.
  • Performance management: HR oversees performance management processes, including goal-setting, feedback, and evaluation, to reinforce desired behaviors and values. By aligning performance expectations with cultural norms, HR promotes accountability, recognition, and alignment with organizational goals.
  • Employee engagement: HR develops strategies and initiatives to enhance employee engagement, morale, and satisfaction. By fostering a culture of open communication, recognition, and empowerment, HR cultivates a sense of belonging and commitment among employees.
  • Diversity and inclusion: HR champions diversity and inclusion efforts by implementing policies and programs that promote equality, fairness, and respect for all employees. By fostering an inclusive culture where diverse perspectives are valued and celebrated, HR enhances innovation, creativity, and collaboration.
  • Conflict resolution: HR serves as a mediator in resolving conflicts and addressing interpersonal issues that may arise within the organization. By promoting constructive communication and conflict resolution skills, HR mitigates disruptions to the organizational culture and fosters a harmonious work environment.
  • Policy development: HR develops and implements policies and procedures that govern employee behavior and conduct. By ensuring that policies align with the company's values and legal requirements, HR reinforces cultural norms and fosters a respectful and ethical workplace.
  • Leadership development: HR identifies and develops future leaders who embody the organization's values and vision. Through leadership development programs, coaching, and mentorship, HR cultivates a pipeline of leaders who can effectively role model and promote the desired organizational culture.
  • Culture assessment and improvement: HR conducts regular assessments to gauge employee perceptions of the organizational culture and identify areas for improvement. By soliciting feedback and implementing targeted interventions, HR continuously evolves and strengthens the organizational culture to adapt to changing dynamics and challenges.


In this ever-changing landscape of the corporate world, one truth remains constant: a vibrant and aligned culture is the bedrock of success.

As we've explored the best practices and real-world examples of strong organizational culture, we've witnessed the transformative power of culture in driving innovation, productivity, and employee satisfaction.

But understanding and implementing these practices requires more than just knowledge; it demands the right tools.

That's where CultureMonkey comes into play. With our comprehensive employee engagement platform, we offer the means to not only measure your workplace culture but also to improve and refine it. Request a CultureMonkey demo today!



Santhosh is a Jr. Product Marketer with 2+ years of experience. He loves to travel solo (though he doesn’t label them as vacations, they are) to explore, meet people, and learn new stories.