Corporate Culture: A Review and Directions for Future Research
31 Pages Posted: 3 May 2022
Date Written: April 28, 2022
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
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