4 Types of Organizational Cultures (+ Best Culture Examples) (2023)

Many companies think that corporate culture means offering "fun" things in the office. So feel free to bring a foosball table, bean bags, free sodas, and so on. And while those things are great and bring positivity to employees, culture goes deeper than that. So let's take a look at workplace culture, examples of culture statements, and more.

Create your survey, form or culture survey now!

What is organizational culture?

Correspondingthe job board Indeed, corporate cultureis:

“The set of standards of conduct and procedures observed in a company. These include policies, procedures, ethics, values, employee conduct and attitudes, goals and codes of conduct. It also makes up the 'personality' of a company and defines the work environment (professional, casual, fast-paced, etc.).”

So is corporate culture important? Absolutely! First, astudy throughForbesshows that 92% of executives believe that improving company culture will increase the value of the company. Second, more than 50% say corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, shareholder value and growth rates. Still, only 15% believe their organization's culture is where it belongs.

Of course, the culture is also important for the employees. This is also reported by Indeed, for example46% of job seekers don't apply for certain jobs because they don't think it would be a good 'cultural' fit.

Four types of organizational culture

There are four types of organizational cultures that business leaders should become familiar with, which we will now discuss.

Clan cultural

Clan culture mainly exists in more traditional organizations than digital ones. Because these companies are often family-owned, the focus is often on employee advancement through interpersonal relationships or mentoring programs. All of this is done naturally to create the feeling of a real extended family.

hierarchical culture

There are also hierarchical cultures in traditional organizations. Companies have a lot of structure with power and decision making at the top. As a result, only the C-suite is responsible for making decisions. As a result, other employees can feel undervalued and powerless. While this type of organizational culture is often very efficient, it is not ideal for fostering creativity or innovation.

market culture

The market culture is designed for digitally savvy companies looking to scale. So this culture is very result-oriented, values ​​internal competition and rewards winners. As such, this is a culture where all employees are expected to play their "A-Game". Those who are consistently successful experience significant financial rewards or promotion opportunities.

Adhocracy culture

Associated with digital businesses and fostering risk-taking, an adhocracy focused on innovation. In this less structured culture, all employees are encouraged to get involved regardless of their position because you never know where the next big idea will come from!

(Video) Types of Organizational Culture

7 characteristics of organizational culture

ThatBarrett modelof culture consists of seven characteristics. Created by Richard Barrett who was inspired by Abraham Maslowhierarchy of needs,The model looks at the seven areas that make up human motivations.

1. Viability

Profitability is all about financial stability, which means businesses need to be financially stable in order to:

  • Survive
  • compete
  • Expand your customer base
  • Pay your bills and employees

2. Relationships

Most companies want their employees to get along. In this way, they support open communication, employee and customer satisfaction, and friendship among team members. Of course, some companies are wrong, which we will discuss later.

3. Performance

This level focuses on performance. For example, pride in performance and quality of products or services. At this level, companies want to profile themselves and employees want to participate.

4. Development

Today, technology is constantly evolving. As a result, the way people do things today could change by tomorrow. At this level, companies continuously adapt, learn and train employees.

5. Alignment

This trait takes building harmonious relationships to the next level. This trait is mostly focused on building an internal community that is passionate about what they do and open to each other.

6. Cooperation

Once a company discovers its true sense of purpose, it can form strategic alliances. In order to form these partnerships, most organizations need to be “in the game”. For example, when Starbucks opened kiosks within Barnes & Noble, both chains benefited. Then again, they may be working together for a bigger cause, like Subaru and the ASPCA who have raised millions to help animals.

7. Post

At this level, companies take steps to ensure a better planet for future generations. For example, reduce your company's carbon footprint, recycle or find a cause. In short, post is aboutcorporate social responsibility.

5 companies with the best corporate cultures

A glass doorto learnfound that great cultures are created when there are company values, caring and competent leaders, and a clearly defined path to advancement.

So, which five companies nail it when it comes to culture?Forbesjust put this out recentlylistbased on the anonymous staff favorable ratings and a high degree ofemployee engagement.

ADP: “There's a great work-life balance and the realization that life happens both inside and outside of work. Diversity is definitely welcomed and valued, and there is a spirit of charity and acceptance.”

(Video) What is Organizational Culture?

Google:“Intangibles are great. People are cool; Opportunities are there, quality of life is generally high.”

Hubspot:"We believe in the company, in the team and that is reflected in everyone's daily actions."

Microsoft: “There is a consistent drive to be transparent and have a diverse work culture. People are encouraged to speak up and solve problems.”

Zoom:Literally every single person you come into contact with on a daily basis LOVES working at Zoom. It's a culture that you can not only see but also feel.”

These are just a few examples of great organizational cultures you can find online!

Bad corporate culture can create bad press

Many companies get the culture right while others can stumble. Of the many examples of poor organizational culture we looked at, Amazon stood out due to allegations in 2015. The allegations said employees were expected to attend lengthy meetings and tear up others' ideas. They also had to work until midnight and respond to emails.

More recently, aHistory of the New York Postreported on undercover cops andAuthorJames Bloodworth's infiltration of an Amazon warehouse. He compared the warehouse to a prison. Bloodworth said, "People just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of being disciplined for 'idle time' and losing their job just for going to the bathroom."

This type of culture will result in extremely high turnover. Of course, companies should do their best to avoid attrition due to financial impact and bad word of mouth. Somestudiespredict that every time a company replaces an employee, it costs an average of 6 to 9 months' salary. So, for a manager making $60,000 a year, that's $30,000 to $45,000 in recruiting and training costs.

5 examples of culture statements

Now that we've looked at corporate culture examples, you may want to create your own culture statement. So, here are a few to give some inspiration!


Our culture and values ​​reflect our bee namesake, albee-it, in a slightly different way.

✓Offen ✓Effektiv ✓Kundenorientiert ✓Neugierig.

(Video) Organisational Culture | What are the 4 types of organisational culture?

carbon black

We are incredibly proud that as we grow, our culture remains steadfast. At the core? Cooperation, camaraderie and collective hard work without selfishness or pretense. Almost every company says they work and play hard - and we do. But it's much more than that. There's a commitment to each other that can be felt. Additionally, we respect the commitments we all have outside of work—and the confidence and flexibility to meet them.


As an Etsy employee, you get to do the work you love, be yourself, and make a difference in the lives of millions. Our commitment to diversity, team culture and the spaces we work in reflect our mission to keep commerce human.

Scion Social

Expand your expertise: We're a curious and driven bunch who come to work every day to tackle tough, meaningful problems. Working alongside our diverse team, you will learn to think quickly and expand your personal and professional skills.

Boost your creativity: Our team is made up of talented, thoughtful, and well-rounded individuals who will inspire you to consider new perspectives and challenge you to become a better creator and innovator.

Expand your passions: Working at Sprout is an opportunity to explore the intersection of personal interest and work experience. Everyone on our team is encouraged to pursue their passions inside and outside of our walls.


All work and no play? No way! We come together for more than just meetings. In fact, there's a fun get-together scheduled every month... Sometimes you can even catch a live band on the roof of our Hollywood headquarters.

Remember, your culture statement should reflect your unique company. Therefore, it can be short and sweet or long and detailed. It's all up to you! Check out more great culture statements from other companiesBuilt-in.

Corporate culture survey with pictures

A good way to find out what employees think about company culture is to use surveys. A company survey can not only help you gauge your current culture level, but it can also increase employee engagement (which in turn increases employee retention). Studies show that organizations that don't survey or respond to feedback only score27%on the Employee Engagement Index. It is therefore important not only to collect feedback, butPloton feedback.

While company surveys tend to have relatively high response rates (~85% for companies with fewer than 50 employees, ~75% for companies with 500+ employees, and ~70% for companies with 1000+ employees), adding survey images is a sure way to improve them. When you use a poll with pictures, there is a higher level of engagement and a better level of understanding. Here is an example of a culture survey that asks some questions with pictures and be sure to read more about itBenefits of survey images.

Survey with images created by SurveyLegend.


Corporate culture is no longer defined by superficial things. Above all, many people are now more interested in a company's values, caring and competent leaders and a clear path to advancement - which many of our examples of organizational cultures do very well! So would you like to get a sense of your corporate culture or are you considering surveying your company for a new culture statement? Well you are in the right place!

(Video) Edgar Schein's 3 Levels of Organizational Culture

SurveyLegend offers dozens of beautifully designed onesSurvey Templateswhich you can use to poll or interview your employees. They are safe, responsive and always work! Wondering how to get employees to respond? Check out our blog6 Great Survey Incentives!

Do you have some great organizational culture examples you'd like to share? How about your own culture statement? Share them with us in the comments!

Create your survey, form or culture survey now!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is organizational or corporate culture?

Corporate culture is the collection of behavioral and procedural norms that are easy to adhere to within a company. In short, it is the policies, procedures, ethics, values, goals and code of conduct for employees.

What types of corporate culture are there?

There are four types of corporate culture, consisting of clan culture, hierarchical culture, market culture, and adhocracy culture.

What are the 7 Characteristics of Organizational Culture?

Based on the Barrett Model, there are seven cultural traits: Viability, Relationships, Achievement, Development, Alignment, Collaboration, and Contribution.

(Video) Four Levels of Organizational Culture


What are the 4 types of organizational culture give an example of organizational culture? ›

They identified 4 types of culture – clan culture, adhocracy culture, market culture, and hierarchy culture. You can take the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) to assess your organization's culture in just 15 minutes and make strategic changes to foster an environment that helps your team flourish.

What are the 4 corporate cultures? ›

There are four types of corporate culture, consisting of clan culture, hierarchical culture, market culture, and adhocracy culture.

What are the types of culture and examples? ›

The two basic types of culture are material culture, physical things produced by a society, and nonmaterial culture, intangible things produced by a society. Cars would be an example of American material culture, while our devotion to equality is part of our nonmaterial culture.

What are the four types of corporate culture please explain any two types with examples? ›

4 Types of Corporate Culture
  • Clan Culture. Clan culture, also called a collaborative culture, is mainly focused on teamwork. ...
  • Adhocracy Culture. Adhocracy culture is primarily focused on innovation and risk-taking. ...
  • Market Culture. In a market culture, the bottom line is the main priority. ...
  • Hierarchy Culture.

What are 5 examples of popular culture? ›

Popular culture in the 20th and early-21st centuries
  • popular music.
  • film.
  • television.
  • radio.
  • video games.
  • book publishing.
  • internet.
  • comics.

Which is the best example of Organisation? ›

Apart from being one of the Big Five of tech, Google is an amazing employer. It was the first to launch many of the perks and benefits that startups are now known for. Google employees are synonymous with drive, talent and a motivated workforce. So what makes them one of the best organizational culture examples?

What are the 4 cultural values? ›

Cultural value was assessed by disaggregating it into five components: aesthetic, social, symbolic, spiritual and educational value.

What are the 4 cultural styles of communication? ›

There are four basic communication styles: passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive and assertive. It's important to understand each communication style, and why individuals use them.

What are the 7 examples of culture? ›

The following are common examples of culture.
  • Norms. Shared norms of behavior such as an expectation that you keep your voice to a reasonable level in a particular office. ...
  • Roles. Roles such as family roles in a traditional culture.
  • Expectations. ...
  • Habits. ...
  • Language. ...
  • Food. ...
  • Events. ...
  • Pastimes.
10 Jul 2020

What are different types of cultures? ›

Each person belongs to several kinds of cultures: national, subcultural (regional, gender, ethnic, religious, generational, and socioeconomic), and group or workplace (corporate culture).

What are 3 examples of cultural differences in the workplace? ›

4 types of cultural diversity in the workplace
  • Age.
  • Gender identity, biological sex, and sexual orientation.
  • Race and ethnicity.
  • Disability.

What is work culture explain with example? ›

The work culture definition is the attitudes and behaviors of employees within an organization. Many things influence the company culture, ranging from the work environment (ok, so ping pong tables don't hurt), policies, leadership, goals, values, and mission. A positive work culture doesn't just happen.

What are 10 examples of culture? ›

The following are illustrative examples of traditional culture.
  • Norms. Norms are informal, unwritten rules that govern social behaviors. ...
  • Languages. ...
  • Festivals. ...
  • Rituals & Ceremony. ...
  • Holidays. ...
  • Pastimes. ...
  • Food. ...
  • Architecture.
10 May 2018

What are 8 examples of culture? ›

8 Examples of Strong Culture
  • Shared Experiences. A history of shared experiences such as difficult problems that were overcome as a team.
  • Habits. Shared habits such as the norm that people keep common areas in an office clean.
  • Expectations. Pervasive expectations. ...
  • Language. ...
  • Ethical Climate. ...
  • Tone. ...
  • Comradery. ...
  • Traditions.
24 Nov 2017

What is local culture examples? ›

Local culture is the set of behaviours, beliefs and customs that exist in a country—everything from how people eat and dress to the way they work and communicate.

What are the 4 types of organizational? ›

The four types of organizational structures are functional, multi-divisional, flat, and matrix structures.

What is the example of type of organization? ›

There are a variety of legal types of organizations, including corporations, governments, non-governmental organizations, political organizations, international organizations, armed forces, charities, not-for-profit corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, and educational institutions, etc.

What is importance of organizational culture? ›

Organizational culture therefore defines the environment for everything that happens within a company. It's the spoken and unspoken behaviors and mindsets that define how your business functions on a day-to-day basis. It also codifies what it's like for employees to work there.

What is a good culture? ›

A good culture is cohesive despite its differences because the people have a shared sense of purpose. They understand, and management makes it clear, not only how their work helps achieve the long-term goals of the company, but also why their work is meaningful.

Where is the best work culture? ›

Comparably just published its newest ranking of 2022: Best Global Company Culture. The workplace culture site used employee ratings from March 2021 through March 2022 to create this ranking. Microsoft landed at the very top of this company ranking, followed by IBM.

What makes the best work culture? ›

What is a good work culture? Good work culture is one where employees are continuously encouraged to work as a team, have each other's back, and bring the best outcomes in every project.

What are 4 cultural characteristics? ›

Generally, the main characteristics of culture are the beliefs, behaviors, material objects, and values shared by a group of people.

What is cultural values and examples? ›

The examples of it are morals, rules, values, languages, beliefs, arts, literature, music, social roles, customs, traditions and many more.

What are 4 personal values? ›

20 core value examples
  • Altruism.
  • Dependability.
  • Integrity.
  • Generosity.
  • Courage.
  • Gratitude.
  • Well-being.
  • Sustainability.
7 Jun 2022

What are the 4 types of communication styles and examples? ›

There are four main styles of communication: passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive.

What are the 4 types of communication styles in the workplace? ›

There are a few different frameworks for understanding communication styles. Do a quick Google search and you'll find the classic four: assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and passive.

What is the fourth level of culture? ›

Type 4: Hierarchy Culture

About Hierarchy Culture: Companies with hierarchy cultures adhere to the traditional corporate structure. These are companies focused on internal organization by way of a clear chain of command and multiple management tiers that separate employees and leadership.

What are the 4 types of organisational structures? ›

The four types of organizational structures are functional, multi-divisional, flat, and matrix structures. Others include circular, team-based, and network structures.

What are the four types of organizational culture quizlet? ›

There are four main types of organizational cultures: clan, adhocracy, market, and hierarchy. A clan culture has an internal focus and encourages collaboration among employees.

What is Organisational culture and its types? ›

Organisational culture is defined as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organisation.

What is organizational culture elaborate with an example of a company? ›

Organizational culture is the collection of values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the actions of all team members. Think of it as the collection of traits that make your company what it is.

What are Handy's 4 classes of culture? ›

Handy outlined four types of culture: power, role, task and person.

What are the 4 cultural spheres? ›

Coastal trading cities began to dramatically expand. Second, intensified trade and linguistic and religious integration generated the world's four major cultural “spheres,” whose inhabitants were linked by shared institutions and beliefs: China, India, Islam, and Europe.

What are the 4 types of culture in sociology? ›

There are various different types of culture which sociologists refer to. These are consumer culture, folk culture, high culture, low culture, popular culture and mass culture to describe different aspects of culture in society.

What are the 6 types of organizational culture? ›

6 Types of Corporate Culture (And Why They Work)
  • Empowered Culture.
  • Culture of Innovation.
  • Sales Culture.
  • Customer-Centric Culture.
  • Culture of Leadership Excellence.
  • Culture of Safety.

What is your organization culture answer? ›

How to answer "Describe your ideal company culture."
  1. Prepare your answer in advance. Before your interview, think about what you feel contributes to a positive work environment. ...
  2. Research the company. ...
  3. Focus on two to three important traits in your answer. ...
  4. Be honest. ...
  5. Explain how you can contribute to the company culture.


1. Handy's Model of Organisational Culture - Explained
2. Organisational Culture (Overview)
3. Introduction to Organizational Culture
(Management Courses - Mike Clayton)
4. 3 Powerful Company Culture Examples | AIHR Learning Bite
(AIHR - Academy to Innovate HR)
5. Organizational Culture (With Real World Examples)| Strategic Management | From A Business Professor
(Business School 101)
6. 7 Fabulous Organizational Culture Examples To Learn From


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