Discussion on Corporate Culture

Corporate Culture


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Corporate culture refers to a distinct set of values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, which inform how members of an organization relate to each other for a common goal of influencing an organization’s productivity (Gochhayat et al., 2017). The corporate culture also relates to a totality of procedures and systems (whether formal or informal) explaining how an organization performs. This paper attempts to discuss the different types of corporate cultures, with a specific perspective on the results of a random self-assessment that the researcher pursued concerning corporate cultures.

The first part of this essay is two-pronged as it discusses the types of corporate culture and provides a detailed summary of the results of the assessment test. The second part discusses modalities on how the researcher can improve on the weak areas highlighted in the test. The thesis of this essay is embedded in the concept that given the fact there exist different types of corporate cultures, there is no absolute right or absolute wrong corporate culture because every organization comprises individuals with diverse personalities and preferences.


Types of the corporate culture

According to Gunasegaram (1999), there are four different kinds of corporate culture that include; (a) performance culture, (b) control culture, (c) relationship culture, and (d) responsive culture. Performance culture is concerned with people who are focused on ensuring that a company’s performance is the paramount objective. Such employees or managers desire to have the organization perform optimally regardless of other ensuing factors, such as competition from other entities. Control culture deals with individuals who primarily want an organization to be guided by powerful managers who should steer the company in the right direction with minimal interruptions from the staff. The responsive culture focuses on persons whose principal objective is to enhance a company’s responsiveness to new market trends, technologies, and products.  The relationship culture is concerned with individuals who consider good interpersonal relationships among staff in an organization crucial in realizing optimal production results.


Analysis of researcher’s self-assessment test results

The outcome of the random assessment test reflected results in the four types of the corporate culture. The self-assessment test comprised 12 questions, whereby each question was presented with two answer choices from which the researcher would select one option. All the answers to the 12 questions were interchanged to fit specific corporate culture characteristics. The scale of performance in answering the 12 questions was assessed out of 6 for the four types of the corporate culture.

The first ranking in the assessment test is control culture. The researcher scored 2 points of 6, which translates that they have a low preference for the control culture. The 2 points emanate from the corresponding three questions that were answered in favor of control culture. Remarkably, the researcher responded that they would prefer to work in an organization: (a) where the management controls everything, (b) where employees abide by company rules, (c) and where senior executives are respected.

This rank of 2 points implied that the researcher prefers little control and little hegemony by the company managers. Depending on people’s personalities, some individuals would give more production when offered little supervision in their work than when heavily regulated and supervised. If according to the test, the researcher favored the control culture, they would have chosen favorable answers in the assessment test, such as wanting organizations whereby most decisions are made by senior managers, where senior executives pocket additional benefits that other employees cannot access, and where top managements maintains a sense of order in the company.

The second-ranking of the researcher assessed the level of performance culture. The researcher scored 1 out of 6, which implied that the student had the lowest preference for performance culture. The score of 1 of 6 came about from only two questions in the entire test that the researcher answered to support attributes of performance culture. These answers are that the student would prefer to work in an organization; (a) where employees adapt quickly to new work requirements; and (b) where employees are proud when the organization achieves its performance goals.

A high score on performance culture would imply that the researcher is conscious of the effectiveness and efficiency of a firm to develop results in tandem with its objectives and goals. An example of an organization that capitalizes on performance culture is the GST corporate culture. The company argues that they offer the best performance to its clientele by being adaptive and responsible (Anon, 2001).

The corresponding answers from the assessment test that describe performance culture is that an individual would want to work in an organization that: (a) expects everyone to work extra hard at more than 100% of effort for optimal performance to be achieved; (b) where every worker does their duties throughout in clockwork; (c) where best performers in an organization earn better than the rest; and (d) where highly respected and quality products are produced.

In the third-ranking, the researcher assessed the relationship culture. The student scored 3 points out of 6 points, which translates to an average score in preference for relationship culture. The researcher provided three answers in the assessment test that accounted for this score which includes that they would want to work in an organization: (a) where employees are kept informed of what is happening in the firm; (b) where employees are treated fairly; (c) and where employees work in teams.

A good example of organizations that encourage relationship culture in their firm is Southwest Airlines, which motivates its employees to work in teams with fairness and open communication. In its strategic plan, the organization stipulates that it cares for both the relationship between the staff members and the relationship between the organization and the customers (Anon, 2019a).

According to the self-assessment test results, people with a strong sense of relationship culture exhibit the following additional preferences: where corporates strive to keep employees happy through hard work, where employees are assisted in overcoming personal problems, and where employees care for each other.

The fourth-ranking of the research assessed responsive culture. The researcher scored 5 points out of 6 points, indicating a very high preference for responsive culture. The student answered four questions, such as they would want to work with an organization:  (a) that responds promptly to competitive threats; (b) that is on top of innovations in the industry; (c) that often experiments with new ideas in the market; and (d) that listens to customers and responds promptly to their emerging needs.

According to the assessment, people with personalities inclined towards responsive culture significantly help sustain the organizations by combating issues of customer satisfaction and market strategies in addressing competitive brands. An example of an organization that encourages responsive culture is Home Depot, which focuses on keeping all employees interested in the business by ensuring that all staff carries out diverse roles regardless of their status in the company (Anon, 2019b).


How to improve on the weaknesses of the test

It is worth noting that corporate culture can have a varied impact on employee productivity depending on the dominant corporate culture in an institution. In essence, an organization could have one or more of the four types of corporate culture exhibited either by the executive team or by the various staff members. For that reason, when an institution seeks to hire new staff, the management must do thorough background checks to establish the types of corporate culture that the team possesses. On the same note, a job seeker also should seek the essential corporate cultures of an institution to see if they are compatible with their own culture or not (Hibbard, 1998).

Ideally, to establish a good corporate culture for employees, each employee should score moderately (at least 3 points out of 6 points) in the four types of the corporate culture. As mentioned elsewhere, the student scored 2 points out of 6 points in the assessment of control culture, 1 point of 6 points in the evaluation of performance culture, 3 points out of 6 points in the evaluation of relationship culture, and 5 points out of 6 points in the assessment of responsive culture.  This segment attempts to highlight where the researcher needs to improve concerning the preferences in an organization.

To begin with, in the control culture where the score was 2 points out of 6 points, it is vital to improving on the preference of wanting to coexist in an organization where there is some hegemonic bureaucracy of doing things, with a lot of control and power vested on top executive officials. To fit properly in an organization, an employee should be willing to take orders from the managers and be subordinate enough. On the other hand, organizations with excessive control culture may find it too difficult to maintain many staff members. High employee turnover is sometimes caused by the employees’ inability to enjoy the workplace environment. Some employees feel “suffocated” by the domineering nature of the executive and would want some space to be autonomous and get to pursue their duties with less supervision.

On the second type of corporate culture, the performance culture, the student performed dismally at 1 point out of 6 points. The score indicated that the student has the lowest preference for performance. Since the most significant goal of an organization is to exhibit high performance in terms of productivity, clearly, this low score shows that the student needs to focus on positive attributes of performance culture, which promote effective and efficient ways of attaining optimal performance in an organization. For instance, the student needs to improve on performance culture attributes that incentivize employees’ hard work. A scenario whereby a corporate rewards employees in tandem with their output rate is commendable to encourage better performance. This scenario applies in corporations whereby, on top of the monthly wages, employees are rewarded accordingly on a percentage commission basis depending on the number of sales they make in a day or the number of clients they serve on an hourly basis.

Similarly, the student should consider giving a higher priority for providing superior quality products, not just any quality of products. Quality products that meet customer’s satisfaction and expectation is the most significant hallmark of performance. Therefore, as an employee, a top priority should be placed on those corporations that fulfill customer’s needs. In this context, more growth in the workplace is realized better.

The third type of organizational culture that needs improvement is the relationship culture. From the assessment test, the researcher scored moderately at 3 points out of 6 points. However, this score implies that the student can perform better in an organization that gives a lot of priorities to interpersonal relations between its employees and strives to maintain a good relationship with its clientele base (Gunasegaram, 1999). Owing to this symbiotic relationship of culture, the resultant effect will be that customers and staff will grow tremendously to better the organization.

In responsive culture, the student performed remarkably with 5 points out of 6 points. This score indicated that the researcher is very sensitive to market trends, change in technology, responsive to customers’ complaints, responsive to employees’ concerns regarding working hours and work environment. However, the researcher should consider enhancing new brands in the market in correspondence with customers’ ideas and wishes.



From the self-assessment test done by the researcher, it is clear that the results were random, and in no way do they reflect the genuine opinion of the student. However, the assessment plays a substantial role in highlighting the various types of the corporate culture. From the outset of this essay, the central argument has been that there is no good or bad corporate culture. Still, the focus is always on the interaction of these cultures from the organizational perspective, and on the employee perspective. As observed, many organizations have various types of cultures owing to the fact that their employees have different personalities and preferences. Another major takeaway message in this essay has been that incongruent corporate cultures between employees and and the organizations may lead to high employee turnover, low productivity, and more preference for low control culture. Also, discussed has been the notion that any kind of corporate culture comprises of a positive and negative impact. In this context, when a new employee with strong corporate culture is hired to an organization with a poor corporate culture, the new employee is compelled to emulate the undesirable attributes of the organization, such as mediocrity, and basic minimum performance. When, on the other hand, a new employee with low or average corporate culture is enjoined to an organization that is grounded on excellent corporate culture, the new employee will be co-opted into following the good attributes, such as time management, optimum production, innovation and responsiveness, just to mention a few examples.



Anon. (2001, April). Global Science and Technology, Inc. | Partnering for Success. Www.gst.com. http://www.gst.com/

Anon. (2019a). Southwest Airlines | Book Flights & More – Wanna Get Away? Southwest.com. https://www.southwest.com/

Anon. (2019b). The Home Depot. Homedepot.com. http://homedepot.com

Gochhayat, J., Giri, V. N., & Suar, D. (2017). Influence of Organizational Culture on Organizational Effectiveness: The Mediating Role of Organizational Communication. Global Business Review, 18(3), 691–702. https://doi.org/10.1177/0972150917692185

Gunasegaram, M. (1999, January 15). Technology – Effects on Corporate Culture. Besser.tsoa.nyu.edu. http://besser.tsoa.nyu.edu/impact/f99/Papers/gunasegaram.html

Hibbard, J. (1998, September 21). Culture Breakthrough.




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