Introduction and Types of Corporate Culture

As you prepare to apply for jobs and work at certain companies, there may be one important question that you have not considered; can you convince a potential employer that you will fit in? Companies want to hire candidates that fit in because this heavily impacts the company’s performance, and subsequently the bottom line. Let’s explore the various aspects of workplace culture and what it means for you as a job seeker.

This module will help users to:

  • Define corporate culture and understand the relevance to your job search
  • Identify components of the corporate culture of a target company
  • Understand ‘facilitating’ and ‘bureaucratic’ culture and determine where your work experience fits on the continuum
  • Assess personal competencies
  • Create success stories that will match your competencies, values and ethics, to that of the target company

Understanding the importance of Corporate Culture: A key element in your job search

In your job search, it is important to understand corporate culture as you prepare for the interview and also when you are adapting to the workplace environment.

Over the last decade or so, skilled workers have been granted permanent residence to Canada based largely on their credentials and technical skills.  And, in the last couple of years, admission has become even more specific, as the immigration system focused on bringing in workers in fields that have higher labour needs. So newcomers have been happily arriving with visa in hand and the expectation that Canadian employers will not only give them a chance, but truly want and need them. That’s why so many are shocked when they are not immediately hired in related positions. They are further surprised when they are told they are not the right fit, they don’t have Canadian experience or they lack the soft skills required for the job ­— three different ways of saying the same thing: “you don’t behave the way we want you to behave.” “A large number of new immigrants find many challenges when it comes to finding employment. And once they go through the interview process, they are often informed that they do not have Canadian work experience. What the employer often is telling them indirectly is that they are lacking in ‘soft skills,’” according to Vancouver-based, Indian-born Gobinder Gill, broadcaster, diversity trainer and author of Achieving Prosperity through Diversity. “To put it in another way, the hiring person is asking themselves ‘Will this new person fit in the company’s working environment?’ After all, the employer is not only seeking jobs skills, but also inner qualities that will make the applicant a great team player.

Margaret Jetelina: Improve your cultural fit, a.k.a. soft skills, for a competitive advantage,

Just as each country has its own unique culture, so does each organization: Definition of Culture

  • The sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another – 

Culture in the Canadian workplace

Culture manifests itself in an organization in the following ways:

  • language
  • decision making
  • symbols
  • stories and legends
  • daily work practices

An employee who is a good cultural fit will work well within the environment and culture.

Susan M. Heathfield: Assess Cultural Fit When Interviewing Candidates

What is Corporate Culture?

Corporate culture is the collection of beliefs, expectations, and values shared by an organization’s members and transmitted from one generation of employees to another. It can describe the company’s attitudes and approaches to managing employees, suppliers, and customers. The culture sets norms (rules of conduct) that define acceptable behaviour for employees and influence the way decisions are made. Common descriptions for culture include authoritative, bureaucratic, and entrepreneurial. It’s important for job-seekers to understand the culture of an organization before accepting a job.

Types of Corporate Culture

Facilitating Culture is when employees are empowered to make decisions, take risks, determine pathways to outcomes etc.  There are looser controls, more freedom for the employee to make choices.  The managers are more laid back, relaxed, charismatic and confident.  They are quite able to delegate work and employees respect the managers for themselves.

Bureaucratic Culture has a much more strict system of controls to tell people when and how to do their work.  It is very rule-driven.  Managers are autocratic, make most of the decisions, and are respected for their positions.