The Importance of Organizational Culture and What It Is


If you’ve heard the term “organizational culture” thrown around and you still don’t quite understand what it is or why it’s important, you’re not alone. It can seem like yet another empty buzzword if you’re not familiar with just how important the organizational culture of your workplace really is. However, developing an organizational culture can be crucial in helping people within your workplace work together as a team.

Organizational culture is a bit different than corporate culture. However, there are a lot of similarities. The organizational culture of a company constitutes a number of different values and attitudes that dictate the way people working for that company act and think, and serves as an important tool in promoting unity and teamwork.

Understanding Organizational Culture

One of the first things you may be wondering is which type of organizational culture is best. There is, in fact, no one type of organizational culture that is better than another. Different types are better for different types of workplaces, different corporate philosophies, and different type of companies.

When starting a business, one of the first things you need to do is decide on the type of organizational culture that you use to make decisions about the way your business is structured and the way that people interact with one another. That being said, let’s have a closer look at some basic types of organizational culture that may be utilized within a business, and what makes this distinct types of organizational culture suitable for different purposes. Keep in mind that these are just a handful of the many types of organizational culture out there. These are just examples that have been chosen because of how well they contrast against one another.

The Collaborative Culture

In this type of organizational culture, workers are encouraged to cooperate on projects, both within and outside of their departments. Teamwork is crucial in this type of work environment, and the employees that you hire must be ready and able to cooperate throughout their workdays – individual projects and assignments are relatively rare.

Collaborative cultures can work with many different types of businesses, and are especially great for those that require the combination of many different skills – marketing and advertising agencies are a prime example.

The Controlled Culture

A strictly controlled workplace used to be the ideal in the past, but has fallen out of favor in recent years. However, there are some areas of industry in which a controlled workplace is still crucial to success. In a controlled organizational culture, employees are expected to be punctual and dependable – there is little room for error.

These environments may be highly scheduled and may place high emphasis on things such as cost-effectiveness and high efficiency in all things. Examples of workplaces that may thrive with this type of organizational culture include those in the financial sector or businesses that frequently deal with important, time-sensitive information.

The Competitive Culture

The polar opposite of the cooperative culture, the competitive workplace culture sets up employees against one another and asks them to compete on a day-to-day basis. Goals are crucial in these types of workplaces, and often lead to things such as bonuses. Many competitive workplace cultures may also make use of commission in order to encourage employees to do more within the workplace.

One of the key features of this type of organizational culture is the emphasis that is placed on success – not only on the individual success of each team member, but also on the success of the company as a whole. Sales-oriented businesses usually thrive with these types of cultures.

The Creative Culture

Many people may associate the creative workplace culture primarily with creative enterprises, such as graphic design companies or music production companies. However, many types of businesses can thrive when working with a creative organizational culture that places high emphasis on entrepreneurship and dynamic thought.

The creative workplace culture, while still placing a high emphasis on cooperation, may also allow for more independent projects among its employees. In many cases, employees may have the ability to pitch and pursue their own ideas. The creative organizational culture also emphasizes the importance of taking risks and of being fresh and innovative. These businesses want nothing more than to be the trendsetters in their fields.

Why Varied Organizational Cultures are Important

These organizational cultures are important because they can encourage employees to work in different ways. Sometimes collaboration is more important than competition, and at times strict control is more important than creative freedom. However, no one of these types of organizational cultures is universally better than another.