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What is Corporate Culture?

Corporate culture is the total sum of the values, customs, traditions and meanings that make a company unique. Corporate culture is often called "the character of an organization" since it embodies the vision of the company’s founders. The values of a corporate culture influence the ethical standards within a corporation, as well as managerial behavior.

Senior management may try to determine a corporate culture. They may wish to impose corporate values and standards of behavior that specifically reflect the objectives of the organization. In addition, there will also be an extant internal culture within the workforce. Work-groups within the organization have their own behavioral quirks and interactions which, to an extent, affect the whole system.

Types of Corporate Culture 

One way of exploring cultures is to classify them into types.
Role Cultures are highly formalized, bound with regulations and paperwork and authority and hierarchy dominate relations.
Task Cultures are the opposite, the preserve a strong sense of the basic mission of the organization and teamwork is the basis on which jobs are designed.
Power Cultures have a single power source, which may be an individual or a corporate group. Control of rewards is a major source of power.

Handy points out that these types are usually tied to a particular structure and design of organization. A role culture has a typical pyramid structure. A task culture has flexible matrix structures. A power culture has web – like communications structure.

Entrepreneurial Organizational Culture 

An Entrepreneurial Organizational Culture (EOC) is a system of shared values, beliefs and norms of members of an organization, including valuing creativity and tolerance of creative people, believing that innovating and seizing market opportunities are appropriate behaviors to deal with problems of survival and prosperity, environmental uncertainty, and competitors’ threats, and expecting organizational members to behave accordingly.

Elements of Entrepreneurial Culture

  • People and enpowerment focused
  • Value creation through innovation and change
  • Attention to the basics
  • Hands-on management
  • Doing the right thing
  • Freedom to grow and to fail
  • Commitment and personal responsibility
  • Emphasis on the future

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