A-Z Popular Blog Culture Search »
Organizational Culture
Organizational Structure

Office Politics

Hygiene Factors


Organizational Attributes

Culture Examples

78 Examples of Negative Culture

 , updated on
A negative culture is an organization that suffers from failures and inefficiencies due to poor habits, norms, expectations, morale and working conditions. Culture is an intangible asset or liability that emerges with the shared experiences of groups. It can't be controlled directly by management and tends to be slow and difficult to change. As such, a firm with a negative culture is likely to underperform for an extended period of time. The following are common elements of a negative culture with examples of each.


The norms and habits of the leadership of an organization.
Conflict of interest
Disregard for stakeholders
Fail to clear issues
Failure of imagination
Failure to lead change
General incompetence
Inflated sense of entitlement
Lack of accountability
Lack transparency
Mushroom management
Narcissistic leadership
Neglect of due diligence
Neglect of fiduciary duty
Neglect of risk
No values
Out of touch with operational realities
Perverse incentives
Sacrifice future for quarterly results
Say one thing but do another
Set a bad example
Unimaginatively copy the competition
Mushroom management is the practice of keeping employees in the dark and throwing manure on them once in a while. This is an analogy to mushroom farming.


A counterproductive culture of communication such as a habit of over-communicating propaganda-like messages or large volumes of information such that employees simply stop listening.
Avoidance of necessary conversations
Discussing confidential matters in front of customers
Failure to listen
Failure to manage expectations
Failure to set expectations
Inefficient meetings
Information silos
Messages perceived as disingenuous propaganda
Overuse of jargon
Unnecessary secrecy

Motivation & Engagement

Expectations and conditions that cause low productivity. For example, norms that allow knowledge workers to avoid committing to projects and action items such that they do little work.
Disengaged employees
Failure to deliver to commitments
Gaming the system
Hands-off culture
Lack of shared experiences
Lack of trust
Low attention to detail
Low confidence in management
Low confidence in strategy
Low productivity
Malicious compliance
Poor attendance
Resistance to change

Office Politics

Office politics is the defacto process by which firms make decisions, allocate power and get things done. This is a social process that can turn negative and counterproductive in countless ways.
Abilene paradox
Bozo explosion
Failing upwards
Low cooperation
Passive-aggressive behavior
Petty authority
Prioritization of group harmony over rational action
Promotions not based on merit
Setting up to fail
Workplace bullying
A bozo explosion occurs when an executive hires friends and former colleagues with inflated job titles in order to build their power base. This can fill an organization with inflated job titles as each hire goes on to hire their friends and former colleagues.

Working Conditions

Elements of culture that impact the health, safety and quality of life of employees. For example, a work culture where nobody goes home before their boss such that they may work long hours despite a lack of work.
Blaming low level employees for failures not within their full control
Expectation of long hours
High stress environment
Inappropriately high workload
Poor safety culture
Pressure not to take time off for any reason

Customer Experience

Elements of your culture that impact the customer. For example, a culture where designers don't use their own products and have never met a customer such that products are disconnected from customer needs.
Biases directed towards customers
Corporate narcissism
Culture of disrespect for the customer
Culture of misleading customers
Hostility towards customers
Lack of professionalism
Naive design
Poor service culture


Negative culture are entrenched shared behaviors that are detrimental to the common interests of a group.
Next: Office Politics
More about negative culture:
Abilene Paradox
Blame Shifting
Bozo Explosion
Corporate Narcissism
Failing Upwards
Gaming the System
Malicious Compliance
Mushroom Management
Naive Design
Perverse Incentives
Petty Authority
Service Culture
Setting Up to Fail
Tone At The Top
Workplace Culture
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Office Politics

A list of social processes, absurdities and strategies related to office politics.


The definition of sidelining in business with examples.


The definition of civility with examples.


The definition of schadenfreude with examples.


The definition of jargon with examples.

Career Development

A guide to career development.

Political Climate

The definition of political climate with examples.

Work Culture

The definition of work culture with examples.

Organizational Culture

An overview of organizational culture with examples.

Internal Environment

The definition of internal environment with examples.

Words To Describe Work Culture

A vocabulary for describing work culture.

Authoritarian Personality

The definition of authoritarian personality with examples.

Adaptive Performance

The definition of adaptive performance with examples.

Support Opposite

A list of words that are the opposite of support.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map