David Parrish
international management consultant and trainer
Ideas and Tools

Four Organisational Cultures

Four Organisational Cultures: Networked, Communal, Fragmented and Mercenary

In their book 'The Character of a Corporation' Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones propose a model of organisational culture set out in the matrix below.


Low Solidarity

High Solidarity

High Sociability



Low Sociability



The two dimensions of the matrix are:
Sociability, or 'friendliness' in the organisation. For example the degree to which people might go for a drink after work or send birthday cards; and
Solidarity, which describes the degree of interdependence of individuals in achieving their tasks. In other words, the degree to which people need to work together (whether they like each other or not) in order to get the job done.

Networked Culture is friendly but work tasks are not particularly interdependent, ie Individual but Friendly.
Communal Culture is both friendly and interdependent.
Fragmented Culture is neither friendly nor interdependent, ie people keep themselves to themselves, both in work and personal terms.
Mercenary Culture is not particularly friendly but people do need each other to get the work done.

By understanding the culture of an organisation, managers can recruit the most appropriate personality types to work for them, can anticipate potential clashes of culture when dealing with partner organisations, and can use it as a tool to ensure that different business units, departments or divisions work together effectively by understanding the different cultures involved.

Note: This web page is not intended to provide comprehensive coverage of the subject, merely a brief introduction to provoke thought and to lead to a more in depth understanding and application of the topic, either through further reading - or from me as your management consultant, executive trainer or personal coach in a consultancy project, training course, workshop or seminar.

References and Further Reading

Goffee, R and Jones, G. The Character of the Corporation. Harper Collins. 1998


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