Corporate culture is a type of organizational culture that encompasses the various beliefs, values, and other cultural elements that define a particular company. There are many different types of corporate culture that often mix together, even within individual companies. Some are defined by the founders of a company when they build the business with specific goals based in certain values. Others are imported when companies hire more employees with diverse knowledge, experience, and values. Over time, these different values held by management, employees, and other people important to the company mingle to form the overall corporate culture.
There are several different types of corporate culture that define the organizational and, to a significant extent, the social aspects of a given business. Some are strictly hierarchical and are aimed at control, stability, and internal efficiency. This is a type of culture and not just an organizational scheme because it reflects and enforces the manner in which employees interact, the values of the company, and the particular way that the company is built to achieve its goals. A similar corporate culture might be structured hierarchically but may be more focused on competition and on external concerns than on internal efficiency.
Some corporate cultures are based less on control and organization than on freedom and creativity. These emphasize creativity, flexibility, and innovation over strict organization and efficiency. Such a culture may be built based on the idea that strict organization and hierarchical structure stifles creativity. Employees will interact with each other and with their managers in a drastically different way than employees in more control-oriented corporate cultures. Individuals and teams may, for instance, have far more autonomy.
There are advantages and disadvantages associated with all different types of corporate cultures. One that is too firmly based in control and stability, for instance, may stagnate because it suppresses free thought, individuality, and creativity. On the other hand, a company that allows its employees too much autonomy may be inefficient if the employees are not particularly self-motivated. The culture defined by a company's founders also may clash with that which emerges from the employees in the workplace. A cohesive corporate culture can, however, unify employees, increase overall job satisfaction, and greatly improve a business's efficiency and productivity.