25 Characteristics of Organizational Culture

Organizational culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, norms, behaviors, and practices that shape the work environment and interactions within a company.

Here are some common characteristics of organizational culture:

Characteristics of Organizational Culture
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Characteristics of Oranizational Culture

What is organizational culture?

Definition of organizational culture

Organizational culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, and behaviors that define how a company operates and interacts with its employees, customers, and stakeholders. It is the collective identity of the organization, influencing its overall work environment and shaping employee attitudes and behaviors.

Importance of organizational culture

Organizational culture is of paramount importance in every company. 

It sets the tone for employee engagement, productivity, performance management and satisfaction. A strong and positive workplace culture fosters loyalty, commitment, and a sense of belonging among team members. 

It also plays a pivotal role in attracting and retaining top talent, as employees are more likely to seek organizations with values aligned with their own.

How organizational culture is formed

Organizational culture is not something that can be created overnight. It evolves over time through the collective actions, behaviors, and decisions of employees and leaders within the organization. It is influenced by a variety of factors, including the organization’s mission, vision, and core values. Leadership plays a crucial role in shaping and reinforcing the desired culture by role-modeling and establishing clear expectations.

What are the characteristics of organizational culture?

Shared values and beliefs

A strong organizational culture is built upon shared values and beliefs that guide employee behavior and decision-making. These values serve as a compass, providing a common framework for how work is conducted and how relationships are built within the organization.

Clear communication

Effective communication is a hallmark of a positive organizational culture. Transparent and open communication channels foster trust, reduce ambiguity, and create a sense of psychological safety among employees. Clear communication ensures that everyone is on the same page, facilitating efficient workflow and collaboration.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is a critical characteristic of a strong organizational culture. Engaged employees are passionate about their work, feel a sense of ownership and purpose, and are willing to go the extra mile to contribute to the organization’s success. An engaged workforce leads to higher productivity, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced turnover rates.

Role of organizational culture and company culture

Impact on employee productivity

Organizational culture directly influences employee productivity. A positive and empowering culture promotes employee motivation and satisfaction, leading to higher levels of performance. When employees feel supported, valued, and appreciated, they are more likely to be productive and proactive in their roles.

Role of organizational culture in innovation

An innovative organizational culture encourages and nurtures new ideas and creativity. It is characterized by a willingness to take risks, experiment, and adapt to changing market conditions. In such an environment, employees are encouraged to think outside the box and contribute innovative solutions, ultimately driving the company’s growth and competitive advantage.

Effect on team dynamics and collaboration

Organizational culture plays a fundamental role in shaping team dynamics and collaboration. A culture that promotes collaboration, trust, and respect enhances teamwork and cooperation among employees. When team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, offering constructive feedback, and collaborating, it creates a synergistic effect, leading to higher team performance and better outcomes.

How to create and maintain a positive organisational culture?

Focus on key characteristics

To create and maintain a positive organizational culture, it is essential to focus on the key characteristics that align with the company’s values and goals. This includes fostering shared values, promoting effective communication, and supporting employee engagement through recognition and development opportunities.

Encourage autonomy and new ideas

Organizations with a positive culture empower their employees by encouraging autonomy and independence. By providing employees with the freedom to make decisions and explore new ideas, organizations tap into their creative potential and foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

Create a supportive work environment

A supportive work environment is crucial for maintaining a positive organizational culture. This includes providing employees with the necessary resources, training, and support to perform their jobs effectively. Organizations should also prioritize work-life balance, promote diversity and inclusivity, and ensure a safe and healthy work environment for all.

What are the different types of organizational subcultures?

Service culture

A service culture is characterized by a strong focus on providing excellent customer service. Organizations with this type of culture prioritize customer satisfaction and go above and beyond to meet customer needs. Employees are trained to deliver exceptional service and are empowered to resolve customer issues promptly and effectively.

Aggressive culture

An aggressive culture is characterized by high competitiveness and a results-oriented approach. Organizations with an aggressive culture place a high value on winning, achieving targets, and outperforming competitors. This type of culture can be motivating for individuals who thrive in a high-pressure environment but may also lead to stress and burnout if not managed effectively.

Sense of belonging

A sense of belonging is an essential subculture within organizations. It is characterized by a strong emphasis on creating a supportive and inclusive work environment where employees feel valued, respected, and connected to their colleagues and the organization as a whole. A sense of belonging enhances employee morale, engagement, and overall well-being.


Organizational culture plays a significant role in shaping the success of every company.

By understanding the characteristics of organizational culture and its impact on employees and the organization as a whole, companies can create and maintain a positive work environment that fosters employee engagement, productivity, and innovation. 

It is essential for organizations to continuously assess and adapt their culture to align with their values, goals, and evolving workforce needs.

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