The 5 types of corporate culture to navigate your career success


Self-understanding is the most valuable source of information at the individual level, and it is also vital at the business level. Any organization of any scale is controlled by an announced and unannounced cultural framework that determines how people communicate. Employees who don't meet these criteria and requirements can find themselves less productive, or at the worst levels, they may be terminated. Both staff and leaders must recognize and respect their organizations' culture to enhance their productivity and fulfillment.

There are several approaches to describe the main types of the corporate culture. All organizations have a mission, a primary form of decision-making, a way of gaining status, and a method of dispute resolution. Understanding these complexities in-depth, a job seeker or a potential hire would figure out what they are getting into before accepting a job offer or getting into disputes.

Corporate culture types are very general. The bigger the company is, the more exceptions there might be. Usually, these exceptions serve to highlight the larger beliefs and laws of the whole. One always needs to be mindful of the variation and diversity within the framework defined by the organization.

The list below will explain the 5 types of corporate culture:

  • Egalitarian culture.
  • Hierarchical/seniority-based culture.
  • Mercenary culture.
  • Elite culture.
  • Clan culture.

Egalitarian Culture

Some startups and non-profits thrive in a culture of egalitarianism. From the CEO to the staff members, all are encouraged to express and propose reforms and developments. Commonly, employees working in these corporations feel that their remarks have the same meaning as someone else's remark. So, the practices of these corporations are characterized by nothing but equality. Yet, one of these culture type disadvantages is late decision making when there's no consensus.

Hierarchical/Seniority-Based Culture

A conventional organizational corporation embraces hierarchy and seniority over all others. In this form of culture, individuals can have titles such as Senior Assistant Manager or have enamel pins and desk awards that reflect their years of service in the organization. Government entities and the public sector, such as public schools, most much align with this concept.

Pay and benefits are related to experience and qualifications, and pay scales are strictly applied. This culture's advantage is that a new employee will easily expect how his career life will be like. On the other hand, the disadvantage is that reform may be daunting to come about, and those who deserve promotion on a competency basis can feel overshadowed.

Mercenary Culture

there are businesses where the "eat what you kill" mentality has no space with seniority. These businesses adopt the law of who sells the most or brings the most money will be the highest who get rewarded. All employees working in this sort of corporate culture realize that there is a track-keeping scoreboard. Examples of this culture can be found in investment banks and corporate law firms.

Clan Culture

The sense of mission, commitment, and cooperation in these organizations is so evident that they build a deep sense of belonging. These businesses can be bizarre for such activities that only employees working there have the luxury of understanding. An organization that works under this form of atmosphere stimulates employees' progress or creativity. These cultures can be soothing and friendly to those on board.

Elite Culture

In businesses with an elite ethos, such as management consultancy firms, workers are very aware of the importance of obtaining a company position, as in the United States. Marine's adage, "Maybe you can be one of us," in this kind of corporate culture, companies always stress the idea that "it's not easy to join us" and, as a result, the privilege of getting a job there is an excellent source of gratification. These organizations may feel like elite universities where current students and alumni think pride in joining. On the disadvantages, this job style often encourages an atmosphere where there is no respect or consideration for diversity and others who don't belong to the entity.

The culture of a business is a critical indicator of achievement for employees. An intelligent career seeker or a prospective employee shall have a good understanding of corporate principles and behavior early in the process of joining a new company. Evaluating compatibility is a matter of seeking a corporate atmosphere that better enhances everyone's professional style and personal ethics.

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