Browse Definitions:

market culture

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A market culture is a type of corporate culture that emphasizes competitiveness not only between the organization and its market competitors but also between employees. 

The market model is the most aggressive and capitalistic of the four common corporate culture models. Employees are encouraged to set difficult goals and strive to achieve them. Employee performance is closely monitored and often directly rewarded or punished. The emphasis on individual performance is thought to lead to greater achievement for the individual employee and, as a result, greater success for the organization. 

Critics of the market model, on the other hand, argue that the emphasis on individual achievement can promote dishonesty and an unpleasant -- and thus unproductive -- work environment. 

Here are the basic characteristics of the other three models:

  • A hierarchical corporate culture has a fairly rigid and fixed organizational structure.
  • An adhocracy is based on the ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions.
  • A clan culture is a family-like or tribe-like environment that values consensus and commonality of values and goals.


This was last updated in February 2014

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