Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Deal And Kennedy's Typology Of Corporate Culture

After examining hundreds of corporations and their business environments, Terrence Deal and Allan Kennedy have come to believe that many companies fall into four general categories or types of organizational cultures. The four generic cultures are:

The Toughguy, macho culture
A world of individualists who regularly take high risks and get quick feedback on whether their actions were right or wrong (e.g., construction, cosmetics, movies, television, venture capital).
The work hard / play hard culture
Fun and action are the rule here, and employers take few risks, all with quick feedback; to succeed, the culture encourages them to maintain a high level of relativelyrisk activity. This type of organizations are sales organizations (e.g., real estate, computer companies, automotive distributors). The primary values of this culture center on customers and their needs.
The bet your company culture
Culture with big stakes decisions, where years pass before employees know whether decisions have paid off. A highrisk, slow feedback environment. This type of organizations lead to highquality inventions and major scientific breakthroughs they help move the country's economy ahead. However, they do not produce on a mass scale, nor perform with the speed and decisiveness of quickfeedback environment. In addition these companies are vulnerable to short term fluctuations in the economy and cashflow problems while they wait for major ventures to pay off. The values of this culture focus on the future and the importance of investing in it.
The process culture
A world of little or no feedback where employees find it hard to measure what they do; instead they concentrate on how it's done. This type organization is populated by banks, insurance companies, financialservice organizations, or large chunks of the government. The value in this culture centers on technical perfection: figuring out the risks and pinning the solutions down to a science. The extreme form of this type of culture would be a rigid type of bureaucracy.