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corporate culture

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Corporate culture is the pervasive values, beliefs and attitudes that characterize a company and guide its practices.

To some extent, a company's internal culture may be articulated in its mission statement or vision statement. Elements of corporate culture include a company's physical environment, human resources practices and the staff itself. Corporate culture is also reflected in the degree of emphasis placed on various defining elements such as hierarchy, process, innovation, collaboration, competition, community involvement and social engagement.

A corporate culture that reflects the broader culture is usually more successful than one that is at odds with it. For example, in the current global culture, which values transparency, equality and communication, a secretive company with a strictly hierarchical structure may have a public relations problem. 

This was last updated in July 2013

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