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Updated: Aug 13, 2021

What comes to mind when you hear “Company Culture”? Maybe you think of their values and community service or maybe it’s their public perception and employee satisfaction. If you thought of any of these things, you would be correct. No matter what your company’s culture is like it is important that It is adaptable, open to growth, and that you are aware of it. We are here to give you a quick description and a few examples of the five corporate cultures so that you can better identify the culture your company has (or, how you’d like it to be!)

1. Team First Culture

Companies who value their team and their well-being above all else would fall into this category. When it comes to hiring, they are more concerned about a potential employee’s values and fit within the team above their current skills or experience. Businesses that display this culture include Zappos and Southwest Airlines.

2. Elite Corporate Culture

Organizations that believe that to be the best they must hire the best of the best. Their employees are expected to lead the pack, make huge strides, and push the envelope to be top dog in their field. Business that fall into this category include Google and Tesla.

3. Horizontal Culture

Job titles and hierarchy don’t really exist or matter within a Horizontal Culture. Very common among young companies/startups, this type of a structure requires each team member to share the workload, have open lines of communication, and maybe even require more flexibility. Companies that could be called Horizontal include A Z Advisory Group and Basecamp.

4. Conventional Culture

Conventional Culture is usually in your traditional “old school” companies. Typically, they have very clear hierarchies and struggle to find ways to utilize and communicate new mediums and technologies. People in different departments may not interact, there are strict guidelines/roles, and the CEO may make the majority of decisions. Businesses that can fall into this category include GE and Walmart.

5. Progressive Culture

Lastly, we have Progressive Culture. This is a very transitional workplace which can naturally cause some uncertainty in employees. There is often a lot of change in management, ownership, or the goals of the company. This is not always a bad thing! It can mean growth and opportunity even if it is a bit uncomfortable at times. Companies like LinkedIn or Apple can fall into this category.

Although there are five main categories of companies, that doesn’t mean that every business will fit perfectly into these groups. Once you can pick a category that you most identify with, you can identify the advantages/disadvantages or set goals to transition to a different category.

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1 Comment

Love this breakdown and have put a significant amount of study into company culture myself! It would be really cool to see some examples of companies that have employed these different culture models successfully!

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