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Types of Culture

By | March 2008
Page 1 of 11
The Clan Culture

As Cameron and Quinn describe each culture in great depth in the context of for-profit companies, this paper will summarize the cultures and apply them to the foundation setting. Starting from the top left box of the quadrant, the Clan culture is one that is similar to a family-run organization. The culture is marked by “shared values and goals, cohesion, participativeness, individuality, and a sense of we-ness” (Cameron & Quinn, 1999, p. 36). One would find a great deal of teamwork in these organizations, and a significant commitment to foster inclusion and having everyone’s voice heard. This culture might sound very appealing to foundation management. It might mirror the foundation’s values of inclusion and humility at every level. A Clan culture reflects a high value placed on flexibility and a strong internal focus. However, a foundation that finds itself squarely in this category might be failing to learn from communities and other stakeholders. Clan cultures are more successful when the business environment is largely stable. For example, a company that intends on providing the same service year after year does not need to consult with its consumers on a daily basis. What it needs to do is reduce its labor and training costs. A Clan culture will do this, as employees are likely to take lower pay and stay around longer if they are receiving the emotional and social support that a Clan culture provides. A foundation must be internally focused enough to provide a level of participation among staff and to mirror its values of inclusiveness, but this focus must be counterbalanced by a commitment to also be outwardly focused and learn lessons that only community members and other external stakeholders can offer.

The Adhocracy Culture

The Adhocracy culture is one that values innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and adaptability. Companies that succeed within the Adhocracy model are those that must change direction with...

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