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  • Writer's pictureMarty Jalove

Understanding Four Types of Company Culture

In today's highly competitive business world, companies often focus on the bottom line, growing their customer base, and increasing profits. While these are important goals to pursue, a company's culture is equally critical in building a successful business.


Look around and you will find many opinions and descriptions of several different types of company cultures. Robert E. Quinn, Kim S. Cameron, and John Rohrbaugh defined four of them. Let’s explore these four and show ways to succeed within each of them. See which best describes your current company’s culture and which may be better, based on where you want your company to go.


If you are a business owner or sales professional who want to create a positive work environment that fosters employee engagement, productivity, and customer loyalty, please read on.



Clan Culture - Collaborate and do things together.

Clan culture prioritizes the company's internal social and human aspect over external factors, like competition. Clan culture creates a cohesive team that feels like a family. Clan culture fosters employee loyalty, cooperation, and collaboration. Companies with clan cultures often have flat organizational structures, informal communication networks, and flexible job descriptions.


To foster a clan culture, social gatherings like lunches and company-wide game days can help create relationships between everyone. Keeping communication open and involving your team in decisions will also give them a sense of purpose and belonging. Bonuses, paid time off, and flexible working hours can also contribute to creating a sense of gratitude and commitment among team members.


Adhocracy Culture – Create and do things first.

Adhocracy culture prioritizes creativity, innovation, and risk-taking. In adhocracy cultures, employees are encouraged to experiment with new ideas, take risks, and challenge the status quo. Adhocracy cultures tend to have a flat organizational structure, low levels of bureaucracy, and a focus on collaboration, feedback, and communication.


To make this culture work, it’s important to encourage your team to come up with their own ideas and provide the necessary tools and resources to support them. This will foster a sense of ownership in team members, leading to a greater level of passion for their work. Encouraging creative brainstorming sessions among colleagues and incentives for the latest gadgets are also great motivation to keep creativity flowing.


Hierarchy Culture – Control and do things right.

Hierarchy culture prioritizes efficiency, consistency, and uniformity. In a hierarchy culture, employees follow strict rules, policies, and procedures. Hierarchy cultures often have a vertical organizational structure, a centralized decision-making process, and a focus on status, titles, and authority.


A company that fosters this culture can create an environment where there's a clear understanding of what's expected from everyone. Trainings that focus on systematic problem-solving and leadership coaching can also be excellent activities that develop this culture. Rewards for finishing projects according to set standards can also inspire team members to work harder in their roles.


Market Company Culture – Compete and do things fast.

Market culture prioritizes results, achievement, and competition. In market cultures, employees are driven to win and exceed performance goals. Market cultures tend to have a focus on customer satisfaction, speed, and efficiency. Market cultures often have a horizontal organizational structure, a focus on individual achievement, and a reward system based on performance.


To foster a market culture, it’s important to set goals, measure every individual's progress towards meeting those goals, and incentivize working hard. Create a healthy competition among team members with incentives for hitting or exceeding a certain sales target. A recognition program for sales leaders or those who have exceeded their sales targets could also add to a healthy sales-driven environment.


Don't make the mistake of overlooking the importance of culture in your company.

A company's success heavily relies on the type of culture it fosters. Different types of cultures work for different teams, but at the end of the day, all that is required is a team of individuals who work cohesively. Take a close look at the way that you include social gatherings, encourage creativity, leadership training, and incentivized sales targets as part of your culture. When implemented successfully, these activities can lead to increased productivity within the company, with a more positive working atmosphere for individual team members too. Don't make the mistake of overlooking the importance of culture in your company. Embrace it and watch in awe as your company's productivity thrives.


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