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Workplace Culture

Kirjoittanut: Jacinda Lumme - tiimistä Ei tiimiä.

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Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 5 minuuttia.

Work Culture


Work culture is defined by the beliefs, customs, and behaviour of a group within a working environment. These groups include teams, departments, and the entire organisation. Work culture is created by employee behaviour which also includes the CEO and entry-level employees. A company or organisation’s physical environment affects the working culture and this can be different in each business. The physical environment encompasses the interactions, attitudes, beliefs, traditions, and values. Work culture greatly impacts individuals due to the length of time spent in a working environment. It encompasses both positive work culture and toxic work culture. Within work culture there are four categories being clan, adhocracy, hierarchy, and market. (Andreev 2022.) Workplace culture is the environment that is surrounding individuals all the time. It is difficult to measure workplace culture tangibly since it is the feeling at a work environment rather than written rules that are set. The manner of which employees perform is ultimately influenced by workplace culture. In order to make changes within the workplace and improve its workplace culture, honesty is needed to know what is happening. This is done by observing the culture whilst it is in action by seeing how individuals interact with one another and treat each other. Alongside this it is beneficial to send workplace culture surveys to receive useful information and feedback. (Workplace.) 


Corporate culture includes the beliefs, values and behaviours of how the employees and management are interacting, performing and handling the business transactions. Within corporate work culture it is reflected through its dress code, business hours, the setup of the office, benefits employees receive, turnover, the hiring decisions, treatment of clients and employees, the satisfaction of clients and other remaining aspects of company operations. Globalisation has had an effect on company culture through cross culture where individuals of different backgrounds interact in a business setting, culture shock when business is conducted in a society alternative to their own, and reverse culture shock when individuals who have spent time abroad for business have difficulty readjusting when they return. It is important to devote resources and effort to ease the cross-culture experiences. (Tarver 2022.)

Work Culture Categories

The form of business management that emphasises an individual’s initiative as well as their self organisation to complete tasks is known as adhocracy (Kenton 2021). Adhocracy culture is one of which creates an entrepreneurial workplace. This workplace is where the executives and employees are able to function as innovators and risk-takers. The environment is flexible and allows for agile thinking where it is nurtured. Adhocracy culture encourages employees to pursue any aspirational ideas they have as well as to take action in order to achieve results that advance the company’s goals. Typically the outcome of the adhocracy culture is new and unconventional services and products. (Tarver 2022.)


Clan culture encompasses teamwork and collaboration. This culture’s management functions to be enthusiastic mentors which provide guidance to their subordinates.  The key aspects of clan culture are encouragement, trust, participation, and good relationships. Alongside this a key component of clan culture is the contribution potential that each employee holds. Clan culture is easily adaptable to changes and the implementation of quick needed action. (Tarver 2022.)


Hierarchy within a workplace culture is the more traditional corporate culture which functions in accordance to a company’s executive, management, and staff organisational structure. In this culture the chain of command is followed from top down. The executives are overseeing the employees and ensuring work effort is meeting specific goals. This type of culture awards stability through conventional methods of operation which can be viewed as more rigid than other cultures. In this culture type the employees are able to visibly understand roles and objectives which can provide for a sense of security. (Tarver 2022.)


Market culture is a workplace culture which is focused on specific targets and the company bottom line goals being met. This type of workplace culture creates a competitive and demanding environment. In this workplace the management’s interest lies mostly with the business’s result. Typically the employees have been encouraged to work hard in order to enhance the company’s market presence, profits, and stock price. This environment can have the employees either feeling stressed or enthusiastic and excited to work. (Tarver 2022.)


Types of work culture 

Positive work culture is where the well-being of the employees have been prioritised. The organisation offers support for employees at all levels and there are policies in place and enforced for the encouragement of respect, empathy, trust and support. Within a positive working culture there are six elements. The first is the treatment of colleagues as friends by caring for them and being interested in their wellbeing. The next element is the support of work colleagues and being compassionate and kind during their times of need. There is also forgiveness of mistakes and not assigning blame. Another element is where colleagues work to inspire each other. A crucial element is the ability to find and emphasise the aspects of work that are meaningful. Lastly the prioritisation of trust, gratitude, and integrity is imperative in a positive work culture. By creating a working environment with a positive working culture, employees’ health improves. This is due to the positive social connections within the workplace which ultimately reduces illnesses, prompts quicker injury recovery, reduces the likelihood of experiencing depression, improves cognitive functions and improves the employees job performance. A positive work environment also increases employee loyalty and dedication which increases the positive behaviour and reduces negative behaviour. Positive work culture also increases the performance outcomes as employees trust their leaders and have a feeling of their job being secure prompting them to experiment and cultivate innovation. (Andreev 2022.)


Toxic work culture is formed by dysfunctional behaviour, drama, fighting and arguments, poor communication, low morale and power struggles. Within a toxic work culture there is a lack of employee wellbeing prioritisation through insufficient actions and policies. Low morale is a chronis company-wide issue of the lack of enthusiasm where the negativity is contagious and prompts high performers to leave the organisation. In a toxic work environment there is a lack of clarity in regards to roles, responsibilities, hierarchy and chain of command. Lack of clarity can stem from poor communication, dysfunctional management and power struggles. Causing lack of knowledge on what has to be done, how and who to go to for help. In addition to this there is also interpersonal drama factoring into toxic work culture. Meaning gossip, cliques, passive-aggressive behaviour, and workplace bullying. This can occur between non-leadership employees and higher-level managers which can create interdepartmental drama. The fear of failure comes as a result of penalisation for failure. All these toxic culture attributes ultimately create a high employee turnover, where employees are constantly leaving. (Andreev 2002.)

Developing Corporate and workplace culture

In order to develop a workplace culture, first the company’s vision, values, and behaviours need to be defined. Feedback from the employees should be gathered and detail the company’s values, ideas and work methods that could improve the working environment and performance. It is also good to provide spaces in which employees can voice their opinions by engaging in discussions with groups, surveys or meetings. The company’s values and behaviours should be well communicated to the employees. Alongside this consistency contact with employees creates trust and aids in the company’s success. Recognising the company employees positive attributes by rewarding them for their contributions is another element which aids to a positive workplace culture. (Tarver 2022.)



Andreev, I. 2022. Work Culture. Updated on 27.12.2022. Read on 9.3.2023. https://www.valamis.com/hub/work-culture 


Kenton, W. 2021. Adhocracy. Updated on 25.6.2021. Read on 10.3.2023. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/adhocracy.asp 


Tarver, E. 2022. Corporate Culture Definition, Characteristics, and Importance. Updated on 22.12.2022. Read on 10.3.2023. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/corporate-culture.asp 


Workplace. Workplace Culture: What it is and how to create a positive impact in your organisation. Read on 9.3.2023. https://www.workplace.com/blog/workplace-culture 


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