Corporate Culture Types

How choosing the right Corporate Culture can influence stress-levels

Martina Jeric-Ruzovits

Martina Jeric-Ruzovits


As the leader of a team or company, you are not only responsible for your own stress-levels, but also for the stress within your team. You are responsible for a lot of individuals and their overall well-being. 

It is important to maintain a good balance between productivity and reaching goals, as well as offering an attractive workplace, where employees do not feel exhausted and overwhelmed by the workload and leadership style.

91 percent of respondents say having an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration negatively impacts the quality of their work.

“Many companies may not be doing enough to minimize burnout: Nearly 70 percent of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout within their organization” – Deloitte

There are many different practices within a company which can lead to a toxic work environment. It is important to understand which factors cause these unhealthy atmosphere and address them. The wrong Corporate Culture can be one of them.

Finding the right Corporate Culture for your organisation within 
your country and cultural space can help you in this process.

Below, you can find four different types of Corporate Cultures and some of their characteristics:

💼  Family Culture

  • Strict hierarchy 
  • Manager plays role of the father 
  • Based on personal relationships 


This corporate culture type is more common in  smaller businesses.

It is defined by a strict HIERARCHY and has a defined LEADER whose instructions are being followed. 
You can compare it to the traditional image of a family: The employees play the role of the children, while the manager of the company is like the father. This also means that decisions and #leadership methods can depend on the leader’s moods.

On the other hand, the leader also knows his employees very well and knows about their talents and weaknesses. This helps him find the right positions and tasks for them. Their tasks are clearly defined and every employee knows what is expected from them.
This corporate culture type only works effectively if the employees show respect for the manager.

Corporate Culture Types

💼 Guided Missile Culture

  • Clearly defined objectives
  • Space for creativity and autonomous decisions within specialised teams


This Corporate Culture type is all about the 👉TASK👈
Everything is oriented on specific goals. The focus is to finish tasks and reach goals.

A specialised TEAM of experts is formed to work on a specific project. They take decisions autonomously. 
It is up to the team how to achieve the goal. Hierarchy is not relevant, it is highly egalitarian. 
There is space for creative working and self-expression. And often, the teams are cross-disciplinary.

The Guided Missile Culture is predominant in BIG companies, especially in countries like the USA, UK or Norway.

Corporate Culture Types

💼 Eiffel Tower Culture

  • Strict division of tasks
  • Every employee has a clear role
  • Delivery to direct supervisor (like a pyramid-shaped tower)


This type of Corporate Culture has its name due to the clear hierarchy, which can be depicted as a pyramid-shaped tower, like the Eiffel Tower. Employees are fully focused on their assigned role. Every employee follows a clear role which is determined in their contract depending on their qualifications. There is a very strict division of tasks which are then being delivered directly to the supervisor.

💡Unlike the FAMILY CULTURE, personal relationships are not relevant, you might even call it depersonalized.
All actors, including leaders, can be replaced easily.

Countries where you can commonly find this kind of leadership style are Germany, Austria or France, for example.


💼 Incubator Culture

  • The individual counts 
  • Company as an incubator for creativity and self-fulfilment


In this corporate culture, the individual counts.

Businesses which follow this style can be seen as incubators for creativity. Here, the employees can fulfill themselves, express their ideas and unfold their visions.

On the one hand, you have employees who mainly take care of the organisational part. And, on the other hand, you have creatives who can fully concentrate on their innovative thinking and do not need to worry about bureaucracy. There is a very low level of hierarchy and structure. Employees do not need to follow strict procedures, they are invited to solve problems their own way.

Companies who follow this style are, for example, IT companies in Silicon Valley like #Google. In general, you can more commonly find this kind of businesses in Scandinavian countries and the US.

Corporate Culture Types

Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything for better or for worse.

As you can imagine, hardly any company incorporates exclusively one of those Corporate Cultures. It is a fluid concept. In most cases, different cultures merge, while one concept remains the predominant.

Often, smaller companies tend to follow the Family or Incubator Cultures, while bigger companies, with more complex structures mainly follow the Eiffel Tower, or Guided Missile Cultures.

Also, there is a tendency of certain Corporate Cultures in certain regions. In Austria, Germany or France you can often find the Eiffel Tower model, whereas many businesses in the US, Great Britain or Norway are based on the Guided Missile one. 

Applying the wrong culture in a surrounding which is not used to it, might cause discomfort and lead to stress within the company. 

Would you like to apply the right culture?