Types of Team Cultures

When a group of people work together, they form a culture. A company’s culture is shaped by regular employee habits, beliefs, and values, and that culture affects practically every facet of how a company operates.

While no two businesses are alike, and each has its own culture, there are some common characteristics among them. And it is based on these characteristics that a company’s culture is determined.

A culture type allows you to categorise businesses into groups and, looking at
similarities and differences, distinguish one organisation from another.

To differentiate between team cultures, you can generally place a company into one of four categories:

  • Adhocracy
  • Hierarchical
  • Clan
  • Market-driven

Adhocracy. Adhocracy is built on innovation, change, and adaptation and follows an unstructured corporate structure. In modern fast-paced corporate settings, business is a fast-paced environment. Employees are encouraged to take chances and stretch their abilities,
experiment and flex their creative muscles.

Hierarchical. A hierarchical culture is structured and formal. These traditional top-down management approaches are used by businesses, with firmly defined roles and responsibilities.

They’re noted for their consistency and uniformity at corporate levels.

Clan: Clan culture is modelled after a family. This culture is, above all, devoted to the team. It promotes a one-for-all, all-for-one mentality. And, rather than encouraging employees to compete with one another, a clan culture encourages them to work together, promoting cohesion, collaboration, and mentorship.

Market-driven. Market-driven cultures are results-driven and goal-oriented. Market-driven cultures are the most aggressive of the four culture types. These cultures are built on competition—both internal and external.
And they prioritise achievement and concrete results.

The key takeaways

Companies can be classified into culture types based on their similarities and variances. There are four basic culture types, however there is no such thing as a “correct” culture or a “one-size-fits-all” type.

Some businesses are adhocracies that place a premium on invention and creativity, while others are not.

Others use a hierarchical approach and place a premium on structure and uniformity.

And while some businesses are clan cultures that encourage collaboration and consensus, others are market-driven businesses that place a premium on competitiveness and profit.

Each of the four cultural types has advantages and disadvantages, and successful businesses can fit into any of them.

Keep in mind when deciding on your culture type that you can choose one of these cultures to operate under, or you can construct your own bespoke blend by combining elements from each culture type that appeal to you.

Culture can change. What are the most essential benefits to you as a business? What drawbacks do you think you’ll be able to live with?

You can make gradual changes and adopt a new style if you’re currently employing a cultural type that doesn’t fit those responses.

Culture is not static. You have the ability to alter things. Continue to learn about these four cultures, and then move on to the next step and make a decision about where your company’s values lie.

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