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Schermerhorn and Bachrach’s four types of culture

Read this article where we introduce four common types of organisational culture: hierarchical, entrepreneurial, rational and team.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

Schermerhorn and Bachrach (2017) classify cultural types based on the competing values framework.

They identify four different types of culture:

Hierarchical cultures

Hierarchical cultures emphasise authority and tradition. A hierarchical culture is clearly ruled by authority, and systems and roles within it are very clear. There is a defined hierarchy and the emphasis is on predictability. Hierarchical cultures work well in a relatively stable environment, and lead to stable, efficient, and highly consistent products and services. Clear lines of decision-making authority, standardised rules and procedures and control mechanisms, are valued as the keys to success.

Entrepreneurial cultures

Entrepreneurial cultures focus on change, growth, creativity and competition. This culture is one where creativity and flexibility rule, and change and growth are valued.

Rational cultures

Rational cultures are governed by the principle of authority, and they strive for as much efficiency and productivity as possible. Planning and processes are valued that place an emphasis on modest change.

Team cultures

Team cultures focus on teamwork, collaboration and trust. Typical characteristics include employee involvement and a commitment to employees. These characteristics can be seen in work teams that are rewarded on the basis of team (not individual) accomplishment. Empowerment schemes are used to encourage workers to voice suggestions on how to improve their own work and the performance of the company.

Your task

Which of the above cultures would you prefer as an employee and why?
Share your thoughts in the comments area.


Schermerhorn, J. R. Jr., & Bachrach, D. G. (2017). Exploring management (6th ed.). Wiley.

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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