Mastering Culture Change: What are the Four Types of Organizational Culture?

Team Huddle - culture change

Blog Series: Mastering Culture Change

What are the Four Types of Organizational Culture?

11 Feb 2020 | Julia Blandin Wiener

You know that your company culture needs to and should change – but you just don’t know how to do it or where to start? Culture change is not a one size fits all and is a daunting challenge indeed. In order to create change that sticks, you have to first understand where you are (i.e. identify your “present culture”) as well as where you want to go (your “future culture”). Then you’ve got to create a path to get there (your “culture change initiatives”). Well it is definitely easier said than done. The “Mastering Culture Change” blog series gives clear, tested and easy-to-use tools to make tackling this enormous problem a lot more manageable for you and your team. The first step is learning how to measure your culture using data. The OCAI – Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument – will help you, but first you must understand the four organizational culture types.

The Four Organizational Culture Types

The OCAI is a psychometric instrument based on a theoretical model known as the Competing Values Framework, both developed by Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn. The Competing Values Framework and the OCAI are intended to help organizations make sense of their present and future cultures and to assist organizational change agents as they implement sustainable change. Cameron and Quinn’s four organizational culture types form a quadrant with competing or opposite values in each quadrant, giving rise to the name “the Competing Values Framework.”

The culture types are:

  1. The Clan Culture: characterized by teamwork, collaboration, talent management, employee empowerment and interpersonal relationships.
  2. The Adhocracy Culture: a creative culture that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, future-directedness and transformation.
  3. The Market Culture: focuses on competitiveness, rapid market responses, decisiveness, the overcoming of barriers and the achievement of goals.
  4. The Hierarchy Culture: focuses on stability, assessment and measurement, the control of processes, structuring, the improvement of efficiency and quality enhancement.

Our next blog post will delve further into how the OCAI Survey can help you with your own #CultureMagic.





Cameron, K. S., & Quinn, R. E. (2011). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Davis, R., & Cates, S. (2018). The implementation of the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument in creating a successful organizational cultural change. International Journal of Business & Public Administration, 15(1), 71–9