Corporate culture is the dynamic blend of values, beliefs, taboos, rituals and myths that all companies develop over time, according to Entrepreneur's Small Business Encyclopedia. A company's culture may be written in a mission statement or simply lived out day by day, but the true culture of a company has a profound effect on the way owners and employees behave and therefore a profound effect on whether or not a company succeeds.
According to Free Management Library, new employees quickly sense the culture of an organization. Everything about an organization demonstrates its culture: the physical working conditions, the style of clothing people wear, the management style, and how success is defined internally. Basically, the culture of a company is its personality.
Types of Cultures
According to Free Management Library, corporate cultures can be divided into personality types. The "academic culture" of universities and hospitals provides highly skilled individuals with opportunities for long-term employment and advancement through professional development. The "baseball team culture" of advertising and investment banking employs individuals with valuable skills who can easily find jobs elsewhere. The military and law enforcement are examples of the "club culture," in which "fitting in" and seniority are very important. Large manufacturers and retailers often display the "fortress culture," a sense of being under siege by competition, which can result in job insecurity.
According to a 2008 report published by Harvard Business School, organizational leaders are essential in maintaining company values, vision and purpose. Values must be lived out by example, instead of just being written down. Values are those things that a company is willing to invest in, as opposed to slogans and empty promises. Recognizing employees who exemplify a company's values and celebrating team successes are methods of reinforcement.
Benefits of a Positive Culture
Companies with clearly defined values, vision and purpose come to be regarded, both inside and outside the organization, as good places to work. This increases the pool of prospective employees, increases employee retention and loyalty, and increases customer loyalty.
When Cultures Go Bad
Corporate culture is a dynamic concept and those that are adaptable can handle change. According to Harvard Business School, reasons that cultures disintegrate include success and subsequent apathy, loss of interest in creative change, breakdown of communication, and leaders who are overcome by a sense of their own importance.
- Photo Credit business colleagues image by Vladimir Melnik from Fotolia.com
Definition of Ethics in Law Enforcement
Law enforcement personnel interact with the general public in personal settings and have access to private and confidential information. They deal with...
What Are the Characteristics of a Small Scale Business?
Entrepreneurs and those who work for small businesses tend to enjoy doing a variety of tasks, and are generally flexible people. With...
Characteristics of the Successful Global Business Professional
American companies increasingly seek to enter international markets. Economic growth in many regions of the world is creating a vast new population...
Characteristics of International Companies
As their involvement with international markets develops, companies evolve to take advantage of foreign opportunities and their characteristics change.
German Business Culture Characteristics
Germany is a dominant nation in the worldwide business arena, and many U.S. firms aspire to do business with German firms. However,...
Characteristics of a Global Corporation
A global corporation invests in operations overseas to serve the international market. Specific characteristics depend on the context.