The Seven Primary Characteristics
Chatman and Jehn's seven primary characteristics of organizational culture are:
Innovation and Risk Taking - Does your organization stick with tried-and-true methods, or are you open to the risk that comes with innovation?
Attention to Detail - In some industries attention to detail is the most important aspect of success. Financial institutions would be hard-pressed to succeed without meticulous employees. Other companies may work better with a casual, "mistakes happen" attitude.
Outcome Orientation - While emphasizing the final product may seem like the obvious choice, this characteristic is not an either-or proposition. Some companies focus heavily on procedures, with the assumption that when processes are done correctly, the outcome takes care of itself.
People Orientation - Certain areas, such as the non-profit sector, tend to work better with a people-oriented culture. Those working for a cause are often emotionally invested in the organization's success. The opposite end of this spectrum encompasses businesses that emphasize strict policies and procedures.
Team Orientation - Nearly every business with more than a few employees has some level of team orientation, usually in the form of separate departments.
Aggressiveness - Is your organization determined to be at the top of its field, or are you satisfied with a stable of regular clients who provide a steady income?
Stability - Companies that emphasize stability are less concerned with growth. They tend to focus on maintaining their current level of success.
To create a snapshot of your organization's culture, evaluate where you fall in relation to each characteristic.