Matching personality to the right culture


Networked culture is high on sociability; and low on solidarity. These organizations view members as family and friends People know and like each other. People willingly give assistance to others and openly share information. The major negative aspect associated with this culture is that the focus on friendships can lead to a tolerance for poor performance and the creation of political cliques.

Fragmented culture is low on sociability; and low on solidarity. These organizations are made up of individualists. Commitment is first and foremost to individual members and their job tasks. There is little or no identification with the organization. In fragmented cultures, employees are judged solely on their productivity and the quality of their work. The major negatives in these cultures are excessive critiquing of others and an absence of collegiality.

Mercenary culture is low on sociability and high on solidarity. These organizations are fiercely focused on goals. People are intense and determined to meet goals. They have a zest for getting things done quickly and a powerful sense of purposes. Mercenary cultures are’nt just about winning; they’re about destroying the enemy. This focus on goals and objectivity also leads to a minimal degree of politicking. The down side of this culture is that it can lead to an almost inhumane treatment of people who are perceived as low performers.

Communal culture is high on sociability and high on solidarity. This final category values both friendship and performance. People have a feeling of belonging, but there is still a ruthless focus on goal achievement. Leaders of these cultures tend to be inspirational and charismatic, with a clear vision of the organization’s future. The downside of these cultures is that they often consume one’s total life. Their charismatic leaders frequently look to create disciples rather than followers, resulting in a work climate that is almost cult like.

Unilever and Heineken are examples of networked cultures. Heineken, for instance, has over 30,000 employees but retains the feeling of friendship and family that is more typical among small

firms. The company’s highly social culture produces a strong sense of belonging and often a passionate identification with its product. Are you cut out for a networked culture? You are if you possess go social skills and empathy; you like to forge close, work-related friendships; you thrive in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere; and you’re not obsessed with efficiency and task performance.