Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Types of culture

Category Culture
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Organizational culture

Organizational culture is beliefs and assumptions, which are shared by all members of an organization (Seymour, 2013).

Charles Handy researched four types of organizational culture, which may be accepted by companies. The first type is “the power culture”, which means that the power is concentrated in one person and dominated by one person in the company (Greener, 2010). One person influences all decision-making. A type of organization with this cultural type is able to solve problems and provide solutions easily, however solutions depend on the central person for their success. The fact is that with this cultural type it is difficult to connect activities together, because of group sizes (Greener, 2010).

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The performance in the companies, which use this cultural type, can be examined by their results. The second type, according to Handy, is “the role culture”. In this type of culture each person has his or her own well-detailed job position (Greener, 2010). The influence comes from rules and procedures, which are very well-established. In addition, this type of culture can be a good choice in a resistant type of market. This type of culture can provide security and reward promotions for employees. The third type of culture, which Handy explained, is “the task culture”.

This type of culture is activityoriented; the main focus is on task outcome (Greener, 2010). This is a team culture, which is oriented on the completion of a project. This culture is appropriate on the competitive market. The main difficulty is a control in this type of organizations, however there is a control in each type of project. The fourth and last type of culture is “Person culture”. This type of culture that is not used by many companies, because it is very unusual (Greener, 2010). In such organizations employees prefer to do a job in which they have efficient skills and can perform successfully.

Furthermore, employees tend to do a job, which they wish to do. In addition, these are standard types of culture and the majority of companies do not have only one cultural type. Moreover, most of the companies prefer to choose the culture type, which can become appropriate to the organization policy, in most cases they choose a mix of culture types. Furthermore, Quinn et al. decided to describe type of culture with the help of environment, which can be flexible or controlled, and with two types of focuses: internal and external.

Internal means the environment inside the organization, while external environment means factors outside the organization, which organization can’t change. Quinn et al. proposed four different types of culture: the first type is called “clan”, which is based on human relations; this culture type is internal and flexible (Cameron and Quinn, 2005). There is a friendly atmosphere in such organizations. The second type of Quinn et al. culture is called “hierarchy”, which is based on control; this type of culture is internal and controlled (Cameron and Quinn, 2005).

The work area is very formal and leaders play a role of the representatives of a company (Angel, 2003). The third type of Quinn et al. type of culture is called “adhocracy”, which is based on innovations; this type of culture is external and flexible (Cameron and Quinn, 2005). Work areas in such organizations are very positive, which have a vital energy (Angel, 2003). The last type of Quinn et al. type of culture is “market”, which is based on control; this type of organizational culture is external and controlled (Cameron and Quinn, 2005). The work atmosphere is a competitive place (Angel, 2003).

In addition, Geert Hofstede research showed that a type of organizational culture depends on national values and vary from country to country (Hofstede G. , 2001; Hofstede G. et al. , 2010). The research found out that “the Organizational Cultural model consists of six autonomous dimensions (variables) and two semi-autonomous dimensions”(Hofstede G. , 2001:1; Hofstede G. et al. , 2010).

For instance, there are several measurements for organizational culture: “oriented vs. goal oriented, internally driven vs. externally driven, easy going work discipline vs. strict work discipline, local vs. professional, open system vs. closed system, employee oriented vs. work oriented, degree of acceptance of leadership style and degree of identification with your organization” (Hofstede G. , 2001:2; Hofstede G. et al. , 2010). Furthermore, depending on the goals of a business some of these dimensions or combinations of these dimensions may be more suitable for the company then others are. Organizational performance directly depends on the type of organizational culture. Organizational performance is a way in which employees present the results of their tasks.

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