Corporate Culture: A Review and Directions for Future Research

31 Pages Posted: 3 May 2022

See all articles by Jillian Grennan

Jillian Grennan

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business; Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Kai Li

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business; Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER); China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN)

Date Written: April 28, 2022

Abstract

We define corporate culture as an informal institution typified by patterns of behavior and reinforced by people, systems, and events. Corporate culture is manifest in many elements, but brings unity to employees’ perspectives through the expectations they have for how they need to behave to fit in and succeed in their firm. Advanced measurement techniques that make use of computational linguistics and granular data on companies are allowing researchers to study the dynamics of corporate culture at a level and scale previously impossible. These developments coupled with advances in the conceptualization and theory of corporate culture portend a rich research agenda moving forward. Corporate culture features elements of purposeful design and changes faster than societal culture; as such, one of the first steps in this research agenda is isolating the effects of people, systems, and events that serve as catalysts for cultural change. A richer understanding of the drivers of cultural change both in the short and long run can then serve as a foundation for testing and refuting cultural explanations for business outcomes and economic phenomena. This chapter summarizes this important research agenda and its achievements thus far, and outlines directions for future research.

Keywords: Corporate culture, informal institution, social norms, organizational economics, computational linguistics, intangible assets

JEL Classification: G30, G40, C10

Suggested Citation

Grennan, Jillian and Li, Kai, Corporate Culture: A Review and Directions for Future Research (April 28, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4095565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4095565

Jillian Grennan

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative ( email )

215 Morris St., Suite 300
Durham, NC 27701
United States

Kai Li (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business ( email )

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Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Canada
604-822-8353 (Phone)
604-822-4695 (Fax)

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Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER) ( email )

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1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR)

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Shanghai P.R.China, 200030
China

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
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1000 Brussels
Belgium

Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN) ( email )

Queens University
Kingston, ON
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://smith.queensu.ca/centres/isf/research/network.php

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