Last Updated 25 Mar 2020

The Corporate Culture Between the Public and the Private Sectors

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The foundations to organize company’s personnel are different between the public and the private sectors. These may also be different from one country to another or from one company to another according to the organization, the context of evolution and its environment. And from these foundations and values that are shared by all staff, a corporate culture is set. The corporate culture is a key variable to explain the daily life and strategic choices made by a social group. The corporate culture is in a sense, a product of national culture and therefore a set of values and signs shared by the majority of employees.

Seen from the outside, all companies in a country are alike: workshops, warehouses, offices, constant movements of people and goods. Yet a detailed examination shows that no company is comparable to another, especially between public sector and private one, On the one hand there are for example statutes, recruitment through entrance exams and the automatic nature of salaries, and while on the other hand, there are for instance labour laws, individual goals expressed through contracts and the freedom to set pay scales, so each has its own personality, has a unique identity and image.

This personality is forged around five themes: the status, recruitment, remuneration, the mindset of management and the environment in which the firm operates. One can see for example between a public sector company "assurance maladie" and a private company "axa". Both operate in the same category of activity, «assurance maladie " staff does not enjoy equal reassuring status than "axa" staff, the civil servant status is more securing than employee status.

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Even their recruitment are not the same, in the public sector recruitment is often done by concours what is not the case in the private sector. Another deference between the two sectors is shown in the system of remuneration, the latter is fixed by the state according to a pay scale with " assurance maladie " while in "axa" is set based on skills and level of responsibility added to motivations by objective system that is not the case in the private sector. The personality of a company also reflects the personality f its leaders, at "axa", it is CEO who has a strong influence on the culture that the company wants to pass through goal setting and strategy of development. In assurance maladie even if it is managed by the state, each individual seeks to satisfy his need to belong without being dependent on the culture instilled by the state. In addition the public status of “assurance maladie " requires that it must be transparent about its economic, financial or social situation which is not always the case with private businesses as "axa".

This lack of transparency oblige private company to suggest a human resources strategy that will seek to reconcile the interests of the company and the employees for a social peace, in order to show workers that they have an important place and an opportunity of promotion so they keep their motivation. The corporate culture is like a collection of complexes allowing each individual to identify with their organization. Facing an unstable environment and increasingly complex, firms seek to boost their human potential. The corporate culture seems to be a response to develop this potential.

But we can still consider the fate of these concerns. The corporate culture, as strong as it is not eternal. Indeed the downsizing imposed to "axa” staff caused a sharp questioning of the culture because "axa” is shown as Paternalist Company that assured lifetime employment and high wages. If there there 's deference between "axa" corporate culture and " assurance maladie " culture is that it is also due to the model on which both businesses based, on one side "axa" being a private company that seeks to generate benefits inherited the U.

S. management , in the other side model so that " assurance maladie " it follows the French model. The logical functional of American corporate culture is based on earnings so its organization is perceived primarily as a system of tasks, functions to perform and goals to achieve while in the business culture in France, the organization is designed primarily as a social system involving a community of people.

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