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Corporate Culture
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What is corporate culture?


Corporate culture refers to the entirety of shared values, norms, behaviors, and practices that prevail within a company. It encompasses how employees interact with each other, how decisions are made, how conflicts are resolved, and how the company's goals and values are lived out. Corporate culture is a crucial influence on the work environment, employee motivation, and ultimately, a company's success. It can be explicitly nurtured and shaped by company leadership, but it also develops organically through shared experiences and traditions within the organization. A positive and strong corporate culture can contribute to increasing employee satisfaction, fostering innovation, and achieving corporate objectives.


The term "corporate culture" has its origins in the social sciences and organizational psychology. It was first coined and established in the 1960s. Two social scientists, Edgar Schein and Fritz Roethlisberger, significantly contributed to the development of this concept.

Edgar Schein, a social psychologist and organizational researcher, is considered one of the pioneers in the study of corporate culture. In his book "Organizational Culture and Leadership" published in 1985, he defined the term and emphasized the importance of shared values, beliefs, and behavioral norms within organizations. He explained that these cultural elements influence employee behavior and, consequently, shape the functioning of an organization.

Fritz Roethlisberger, a Harvard professor of industrial relations, was also a significant contributor to the exploration of corporate culture. In the 1930s, he worked on the famous Hawthorne Experiments, in which he and his team examined social and psychological factors in work environments. These studies helped raise awareness of the significance of corporate culture in terms of employee satisfaction and productivity.

In the decades following these groundbreaking works, the term "corporate culture" continued to evolve and became a central concept in organizational development and management. Today, it is used in various contexts to describe and analyze the values, norms, and behaviors within companies.


  • Organizational culture

Additional Interesting Facts

Elements of Corporate Culture

Corporate culture consists of various elements, including:

  1. Values and Beliefs: These form the foundation of the culture and are often encapsulated in a mission statement.

  2. Symbols and Rituals: These are visible and experiential expressions of the culture, such as company logos or regular team meetings.

  3. Heroes and Stories: Individuals or events considered exemplary and discussed within the company.

  4. Corporate Language: A specific way of communication and use of terms within a company.

Importance for Corporate Success

  • Adaptation and Survival: An effective corporate culture promotes adaptation to market changes and the survivability of the company.

  • Employee Retention and Motivation: Positive cultures can enhance employee satisfaction and engagement, thereby reducing turnover.

  • Decision-making: A clear corporate culture can serve as guidance in decision-making and make actions and reactions predictable.

Challenges and Management of Corporate Culture

  • Change of Culture: Changing an existing corporate culture is often a difficult and lengthy task as it is deeply embedded in structures, processes, and the self-understanding of employees.

  • Culture Fit during Mergers and Acquisitions: The integration of companies with different cultures can lead to conflicts and poses a challenge for management.

  • Measurement and Evaluation: It is challenging to quantitatively capture and measure corporate culture, complicating the development of improvement measures.

Globalization and Diversity

Globalization and the increasing diversity of the workforce have a significant impact on corporate culture. Companies with a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture can benefit from a variety of perspectives and experiences, promoting innovation and creativity.


Corporate culture is not just a complex and multifaceted concept, but also a dynamic one that is constantly evolving. In the modern business world, a positive and adaptive culture is crucial for the sustainable success of a company. It influences not only the satisfaction and well-being of employees but also the way a company operates, develops, and positions itself in the market.