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Definition

clan culture

A clan culture is a family-like or tribe-like type of corporate environment that emphasizes consensus and commonality of goals and values. 

Clan cultures are the most collaborative and the least competitive of the four main corporate culture models. Mentoring, employer commitment and employee engagement are thought to promote empowerment and loyalty that will drive productivity and business success. 

Critics of clan cultures, on the other hand, argue that businesses following that model can suffer from a lack of diversity. It's also argued that the emphasis on cohesiveness can stifle dissent, and that the nurturing environment can lead employees to be less productive than they would be in a more competitive culture. 

The three other common corporate culture models are:

  • Hierarchical corporate cultures, which are characterized by control and a fairly rigid and fixed organizational structure.
  • Adhocracies, which are based on the ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions.
  • Market cultures, which are corporate environments that emphasize competition.

 

This was last updated in February 2014

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