What is a company culture

In this article let’s find out together what is a company culture and what it means to have a good one. 

company culture

Where there are people – there is culture. The same applies to companies, small or big, they all have a certain culture. A good company has the responsibility to ensure a good company culture for their employees to work in. To understand what it means, it is important to realize what company culture is.

Company culture is a system of workers values, beliefs, norms and traditions that determine internal communication and organizational stereotypes regarding all issues related to the company.

In this article let’s find out together what is a company culture and what it means to have a good one. 

Organizational culture – meaning

In academical language company is replaced with organization, therefore it is more often referred as the organizational culture. 

Every company’s goal is to achieve a good working environment which will lead to great results. Organizational culture expresses collective professional preparation and social integration in the process of achieving these said common goals. 

company culture definition

According to Stefan Robbins, organizational culture is a synthesis of values, knowledge and practical actions. 

He considers the main characteristics of the organization to be the following.

  • Individual autonomy – the level of responsibility of employees, their independence and opportunities for initiative;
  • Activity structuring – level of work process regulation;
  • Support – to what extent managers of different levels support the efforts of their employees and what are their mutual relations;
  • Identification – to what extent employees identify themselves with the specific organization, how involved and motivated they are in achieving goals;
  • Wage – to what extent the results of employees are rewarded and stimulated;
  • Conflicts – how often there are conflicts in the organization between employees, with managers, what is the attitude towards different opinions and beliefs;
  • Degree of risk – in what way employees are stimulated to be innovative, persistent.

Typically, large organizations have a core or dominant culture and several subcultures. 

The dominant company culture is the values that are accepted by the majority of employees in an organization. When we talk about organizational culture, we think about the dominant culture. 

On the other hand, subcultures arise within various structural units and branches in the company. In large companies, the interaction of the dominant culture and subcultures can cause problems, so they need special attention.

company culture

4 main types of company culture by Schein

Another division is offered by one of the brightest authors of organizational culture theory – Edgar Schein. He distinguishes four dominant types of organizational cultures.

1. The culture of power

In this first type of culture the leadership skills are a value, entrepreneurship and certainty are desirable norms of behavior. In the implementation of changes, managers take the initiative and responsibility, employees are in the role of followers. 

Usually those employees who are close to management and are their favorites become managers. Ordinary employees who have not earned the trust of managers, only have to fulfill their duties

2. Role culture

Power and influence are shared by the leader and various forms of bureaucratic expression. The work environment is stable, everybody knows the procedures and thy rarely change. 

Such organizations have a very calm, even sleepy working atmosphere.

3. A culture of achievement

The main value is inspiration and success. Only high achieving employees are recognized. There is a high competitive spirit, and there may be weak teamwork. 

The work environment is “stressful”, managers’ requirements for work performance standards and procedures are variable. People generally can feel depressed in this kind of company culture.

4. Support culture

The main values are solidarity and social support, teamwork prevails. Employees trust each other and the management, mutually explain work tasks and support each other in achieving results.

Organizational culture exists for two reasons. The first is improving quality and increasing flexibility, while the second is realizing that the main driving force of the organization is the staff.

Hopefully now you know a little more about company culture. To find out even more, check out an article on onboarding to learn how important the process of that is – How to communicate Company Culture to New Employee.

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