What are The 4 Types of Company Culture?

What are The 4 Types of Company Culture?

Building a strong company culture is essential if you want to propel your business forward, and getting it wrong can be a very costly error. And many businesses have realized this after being confronted with serious employee retention, productivity, and engagement issues (to name a few).

So, focusing on your people may be a top priority. But how can you even begin to consider developing your 4 types of company culture? If you have no idea where your business currently stands?

In the 1980s, the Competing Values Framework, a cultural assessment tool, identified four types of company culture. In this blog post, I will examine the benefits and drawbacks associated with each of these, as well as their defining characteristics.

What is Corporate Culture?

The phrase “corporate culture” is ubiquitous; it is present everywhere. However, this does not imply that it is simple to define or correctly defined. In general, it describes the organizational environment as a whole.

“Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature,” as defined by Inc. magazine. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s objectives, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the larger community.

What Is the Definition of Organizational Culture?

Before we delve into the various types, let’s review the basics. Organizational culture, also known as company culture, is defined as an organization’s shared values, attitudes, and practices. It is the personality of your company, and it plays a significant role in the overall satisfaction of your employees.

It is a common misconception that core values, employee benefits, and similar factors are the pillars of a strong organizational culture. In reality, your core values should guide your organization’s culture, but they are by no means an exhaustive effort, and your benefits packages should be the result of your deliberate efforts to create a pleasant workplace.

Why is it Important?

Each company has its vision of success. Then, executives and founders develop a list of objectives for achieving it. Employees contribute a variety of skills and abilities. These components constitute the best types of corporate culture, which determines how a company will conduct business and interact with its customers. Ideally, the company culture brings employees together and propels everyone forward so that the company can achieve its objectives.

Why Is Organizational Culture Important?

Strong company culture will attract and retain the most qualified candidates and employees. According to a study by Glassdoor, 77% of adults would evaluate a company’s culture before applying for a job. Perhaps more significantly, 56 percent consider organizational culture to be more significant than compensation.

Developing a successful organizational culture requires significant time and effort. Your organization’s culture must accurately reflect your values and be in line with its overall mission. Don’t be disheartened by the magnitude of the task at hand; your efforts will pay off in the long run. Now, let’s examine the four primary types of organizational culture.

What are the different types of organizational culture?

There is no exhaustive list of corporate cultures, but Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn from the University of Michigan identified four of the most prevalent. Clan, Adhocracy, Hierarchy, and Market are these. According to the theory, each organization has its own unique combination.

4 types of company culture Organizational

There are four types of organizational culture with which business leaders should be familiar, and we will now examine them.

Clan Culture

Clan culture, also known as “family culture,” is comprised of employees who share a great deal in common and is characterized by friendliness and positivity. In addition to emphasizing employee well-being, the task of establishing and sustaining a strong company culture is a consistent top priority.

Leaders of clan cultures are enormously revered and are frequently viewed as father figures or mentors. These leaders foster teamwork, employee participation, and empowerment. Employees throughout the organization share the same business objectives and company values, resulting in a streamlined universal vision and employees who are committed to the company’s mission.

By entering a business that demonstrates a clan culture with confidence, employees are provided with the trust and autonomy they need to flourish in their roles. This culture is more prevalent in start-ups because it fosters a collaborative environment where all ideas are welcome.

However, adopting a clan culture is not without risk. By encouraging a social and fun office environment, you run the risk of losing the work-fun balance and delegitimizing the workplace. Furthermore, if you give your employees too much freedom, you may be giving them the opportunity to slack off and lose interest in their jobs. Monitoring is essential for maximizing the benefits of clan culture.

Hierarchical Culture

A culture that adheres to the traditional corporate structure and has a distinct chain of command is hierarchical. There are multiple management levels between executives and employees. This type of business may adhere to traditional norms such as a dress code and set hours of operation. The company prioritizes stability and dependability.

Market Culture

Market culture is designed for digitally savvy, scalable businesses. Consequently, this culture is highly focused on results, valuing internal competition, and rewarding winners. Therefore, all employees are expected to be on their “A-game” in this culture. Those who consistently succeed receive substantial monetary rewards or opportunities for advancement.

Adhocracy Culture

Adhocracy culture emphasizes innovation and risk-taking above all else. Numerous successful startups are believed to possess this corporate culture. It fosters an entrepreneurial work environment in which employees are encouraged to take risks. In an adhocracy culture, ideas that would be deemed too unconventional in a more traditional workplace are actively fostered and pursued.

These businesses have ambitious objectives and visions. They are constantly searching for the “next big thing” and must be willing to take risks.

What type of culture does your company have? 

Upon reviewing one of the aforementioned organizational culture types, you may have thought, “Yes, that’s us.” Or perhaps things are not so clear-cut and you are uncertain of your position. It is essential to have a solid understanding of your company’s current culture. Robert E. Quinn, professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, says, “The key is to know where they are now and where they want to be.”

You cannot make changes or improvements to your organization’s culture unless you understand its current state. But how can you determine this? Are you required to throw darts at a board or make an educated guess?

Not quite. Quinn and Cameron created the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument as a supplement to their research (OCAI). Cameron explains, “thousands of organizations have utilized it to accurately evaluate their organizational cultures.” It’s basic: The tool will determine which organizational 4 types of company culture best fits your company, as well as which one is preferred, based on your responses to a survey that should take approximately 15 minutes to complete (there is a free version, to begin with).

You will leave with validated, in-depth information about your organization. With this information, you can make strategic changes to foster an environment that encourages the growth of your team, as opposed to one that breeds frustration.


The culture of a company is no longer defined by superficial factors. Many individuals are now most concerned with a company’s values, caring and competent leadership, and a clear path to advancement – all of which are exemplified by many of our organizational culture examples! So, are you interested in gauging your company’s culture or considering conducting a survey on a new culture statement? You’ve arrived at the right location!

SurveyLegend provides dozens of beautifully designed survey templates that can be used to conduct employee surveys or polls. They are always secure, responsive, and influential! How do you motivate employees to respond? Check out our blog post on Six Fantastic Survey Incentives!

Frequently Asked  Questions (FAQs) about What are the 4 types of company culture?

What are the 4 types of company culture?

  • Clan Culture. Clan culture, also known as a collaborative culture, focuses primarily on teamwork.
  • Adhocracy Culture. Adhocracy culture emphasizes innovation and risk-taking above all else.
  • Market Culture. In a market-based society, the bottom line is the primary concern.
  • Hierarchical Society

What are the five cultural elements?

Culture consists primarily of symbols, language, norms, values, and artifacts. Language facilitates effective social interaction and influences how individuals conceptualize concepts and objects.

What are the most essential aspects of a business’s culture?

Employee respect is the single best predictor of a company’s culture score. Respect is not only the most essential factor, but it stands head and shoulders above all other cultural elements in terms of importance.

What are a company’s four pillars?

Management, marketing, operations, and finances are the four pillars of every business. If you feel overwhelmed, let’s take it one step at a time. Entrepreneurship can be frightening, but if you follow a successful road map, you will be fine.

What are the pillars of company culture?

Through my work with tens of thousands of customers and hundreds of employees, I’ve observed that the majority of individuals seek three essential characteristics to be truly dedicated and engaged at work: purpose, community, and growth. These three pillars serve as the foundation for a strong corporate culture.

What is the optimal corporate culture?

According to a new report from the company review website Comparably, Microsoft has the best workplace culture worldwide. The annual ranking is based on the anonymous employee ratings for 70,000 companies shared on their website over the course of one year, from March 2021 to March 2022.

What are three instances of culture?

Examples of cultural elements include customs, laws, attire, architectural style, social norms, and traditions.

What are the primary categories of culture?

Material culture consists of the tangible products of a society, while nonmaterial culture consists of the intangible products of that society. Automobiles are representative of American material culture, whereas our commitment to equality is representative of our nonmaterial culture.

What defines organizational culture?

A company’s culture defines acceptable behavior within the organization. This culture consists of leaders establishing shared beliefs and values. Which are then communicated and reinforced through a variety of means, ultimately shaping employee perceptions, behaviors, and comprehension.

What is positive work culture?

Simply put, a positive work culture prioritizes the well-being of its employees, provides support at all organizational levels and has policies in place that promote respect, trust, empathy, and support.

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