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160 Examples of Organizational Culture

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Organizational culture is the set of organizational realities that emerges with the experience of employees. This is mostly beyond the direct control of management but can be shaped over time. Organizational culture is recognized as an intangible competitive advantage or disadvantage that can help to explain differences in organizational productivity, creativity and ability to change. The following are illustrative examples of organizational culture.
Ability to attract top talent
Accountability is enforced
Ad-hoc processes
Agents of change are rewarded
Agents of change are sidelined
Ample opportunities for advancement
Attention to detail
Attention to health and safety
Authoritarian culture - processes and rules used to create power
Big strategies without testing ideas first
Blame culture
Boreout - employees are bored with work
Bureaucracy and red tape
Burnout and stress
Celebration of successes
Clear communication
Collectivist culture
Community involvement
Competition is avoided
Competition is embraced
Complaining culture
Compliance is achieved and expected
Conflicts of interest
Constructive criticism
Continuous improvement - often an excuse to move slowly
Corporate narcissism
Creative tension - a health degree of disagreement and lively debate
Customer detachment - employee disconnect with customer needs and context of use
Customer empathy - employees feel what the customer needs
Customer is always right - employees take customers at their word
Customer satisfaction is prioritized
Decision authority - clear authority and accountability for decisions
Decisions are made in the interests of customers
Decisions are made in the interests of employees
Decisions are made in the interests of executives
Decisions are made in the interests of investors
Decisions look at data
Defeatism - a failure of duty due to the belief that strategy is doomed
Directionless and inefficient meetings and communications
Disagree and commit - a time for input and a time to support decisions that are made
Diversity of perspectives - employees think in different ways and often disagree
Embrace of reasonable change
Embrace of trends and change for the sake of change
Empathy and compassion
Empire building - a lack of cooperation between teams
Employee engagement
Employee ownership and responsibility
Employee well-being is prioritized
Employees are hostile to management
Employees are unaware of strategy
Employees believe the organization is good for people and planet
Employees evaluated by perceived effort as opposed to results
Employees given enough authority and resources to achieve their goals
Employees not monitored much and are evaluated according to performance alone
Employees think strategy is flawed
Entrepreneurial spirit
Ethical behavior
Excessive middle management
Excessive teamwork - over-socialization of processes, work and decisions
Excuse making
Failure fatigue - employees expect projects to fail
Failure is ignored
Failure is recognized and accepted with a process of learning and recovery
Failure is recognized and punished
Fair performance reviews
Fear of criticism - employees hold back on creative ideas
Flat organizational structure
Flexible work arrangements
Frequent negative feedback from customers
Goal setting and clear priorities
Grit and resilience
Group harmony - employees avoid conflict such as pushing for creative ideas
Health and safety is prioritized
Heavy monitoring of employees
High expectations for performance
High staff turnover
High stress levels
Honor culture - employees try to avoid showing weakness
Idealistic culture
Inadequate compensation
Inadequate resources
Inadequate training and support
Incentives for performance
Incentivization of least effort and least risk
Incentivization of risk-taking
Individualistic culture
Initiative gets respect
Intellectual bravery - employees will offer creative ideas
Intensity of office politics
Interdepartmental cooperation thrives
Lack of honesty
Lack of organizational confidence
Lack of organizational mission, purpose and vision
Limited opportunities for career growth
Listening habits
Long hours expected
Long-term is prioritized
Low performance is managed
Low throughput
Management hostile to employees
Management is aloof
Management is hands-on
Mature processes and internal controls
Mature processes that are also flexible
Mutual respect
Negative office politics
Neglect of employee well-being
Passive aggressive behaviors
Pessimistic culture
Peter principle - employees are promoted until they a level where they are less than competent
Poor communication
Poor customer service
Poor leadership
Poor supervision
Poor work-life balance
Poor working conditions
Poorly defined roles and responsibilities
Pragmatic culture
Prioritization of individual productivity
Problems are ignored
Problems are only solved when they directly impact revenue
Problems are solved
Prototyping and experiments are common
Quality is prioritized
Raising the bar - leading an industry as opposed to following
Regular feedback
Remaining reachable on holidays is expected
Resistance to change
Respect for individual differences
Respect for the customer
Revenue is prioritized
Rewards and recognition tied to actual value creation
Risks are managed
Sense of entitlement
Sense of purpose
Social detachment - employees distrust each other and don't form friendships
Social interaction - employees have friends at work
Support for risk-taking
Think big culture
Time habits
Time-to-market is prioritized
Timely and reasonable decision making
Toxic positivity
Unclear assumptions, expectations, goals and objectives
Unfair promotion practices
Unfriendly and unsupportive environment
Work ethic


Organizational culture are the human elements of an organization that emerge with a process of shared experience over time. These are intangible things such as attitudes and expectations that can be used to explain vast differences in organizational capabilities in areas such as creativity, risk taking and quality.


Organizational culture are intangible realities that shape the performance and working life of an organization beyond officially documented processes and policies. These are shaped by both management and employees over time.

Organizational Culture

This is the complete list of articles we have written about organizational culture.
Adaptive Performance
Business Life
Business Values
Company Issues
Culture Examples
Human Factors
Internal Competition
Market Culture
Negative Culture
Org Behavior
Organizational Attributes
Workplace Culture
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Organizational Culture

An overview of organizational culture with examples.

Organizational Attributes

An overview of organizational attributes with examples.

Workplace Culture

An overview of workplace culture with detailed examples.

Internal Competition

An overview of internal competition with examples.

Office Politics

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