POWER – Corporate Cultures – TYPES (#2)


SITE : Understanding & Developing Organizational Culture”


4. HIERARCHY or Control
Traditional organizations, especially large ones, tend to be hierarchical. Management is made up of various levels & there’s a clear difference between employees & leaders. Emphasis is on planning & evaluation in all business activities. Decision-making comes from the top, a careful process with great attention paid to details & at what worked before – to minimize risk. These characteristics make a hierarchy culture ideal for industries where safety or security is of utmost importance.

Employees are comforted by the clarity which a control culture provides. To eventually receive a promotion all they need to do is obey the rules, follow procedures, & meet their responsibilities. And managers like being in charge because the workforce is efficient & productive.
The downside to this reliability is that these companies are less dynamic other cultures, which makes Hierarchy unsuitable for industries where innovation is paramount.

5. MARKET or Compete
The Market culture has a very competitive climate, who’s whole aim is to dominate their field. Leadership measures success by market share & the return on investment, rather than the achievements of any individual. All decisions are based on what will bring the
business closer to meeting these 2 goals.

It’s one of the most intentional types, unlikely to arise by accident, since it requires everyone’s commitment to ensure consistent quality in products & services. It’s dynamic – if adapting will likely help the company reach its targets, changes will take place immediately, because it’s less risk-averse.

Since Market culture companies tend to attract competitive employees, it’s common for workers to be high performers, striving to outshine coworkers. It also helps that leadership encourage employees to push for management positions, and are incentivized to work hard with large bonuses & other monetary rewards. However, some people feel that basing their success purely on money is unfulfilling, & find that work may become less meaningful over time.

6. PURPOSE Culture
In a purpose culture, employees strive to achieve a goal for the greater good. This could relate to human sustainability, the environment, or human rights. Employees are driven by a higher cause than personal accomplishments, all sharing similar values – wanting to make a difference in the world.
It’s commonly seen in non-profits, but some for-profit companies with deep values may also fit this category. Like in the Clan culture, this style may pose the problem of groupthink, which can stifle innovation.

In this culture, Power derives from a person’s place or role within a highly structured organization. It attempts to reduce the amount of confusion & redundancies by giving each worker a specific set of roles & tasks for which they’re responsible. Little importance is on whether someone is a manager or subordinate, so employees lead projects based on expertise rather than position.

To thrive in a role-based culture, a finely-honed skill set is required. Each employee is the only person able to do their specific job, & may even be among the best in their field. On the one hand, this rigid system of work distribution doesn’t work well in small companies with few employees, who regularly have to take on a variety of duties. On the other, this culture appeals to specialists because it provides high wages & emphasizes excellence. However, it’s hard to get into such companies, as the person needs years of experience & demonstrable skills, rather than just ‘paper’ qualifications.

A strong leadership culture emphasizes the importance of solid management & a commitment to helping employees progress. In such companies, there are plenty of opportunities for training & coaching from many mentors. Managers often take the initiative to invest in subordinates they feel have the greatest potential, putting them on the fast track for a higher position in the company.
There’s no need for many layers of hierarchy to function well – what matters is that workers have the freedom to develop their leadership skills & so progress in their careers.

In some ways, task-oriented culture is the opposite of Role-based, since every day is completely different. Team members hold meetings to figure out what needs doing, then assign tasks according to the skills of each employee, rather than job title. The one similarity is that hierarchy is of little (if any) importance. A common trademark is the use of small, collaborative teams to tackle inbound issues. Much of the day to day operation consists in getting in conference rooms and other collaborative spaces and hammering out team-specific strategies.

This culture is particularly common in startups, where a few staff members need to take on a variety of responsibilities. To be hired by such a company, a person needs to prove they have a good knowledge of their whole industry, & be task-flexible. Employees must have the ability to work well with each other, so potential hires are interviewed by most or all members of their team to make sure they’ll be a good fit


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