Perfect Definition of Corporate Culture (Uttal, 1983)

Corporate Culture
Knowledge Center

Warren Miller, CPA, CFA
Strategy Consultant, United States

Perfect Definition of Corporate Culture (Uttal, 1983)

In an article in Fortune magazine (Oct. 17, 1983 - pp. 66-72), writer Bro Uttal defined 'corporate culture' as follows:

"A system of 'shared values' (what is important) and 'beliefs' (how things work) that interacts with a company's people, organization structures, and control systems to produce 'behavioral norms' (the way we do things around here)."

Where I come from, that is a pitch-perfect definition.

  John Henry
Project Manager, United States

Culture, Belief and Values.... Interrelated

I might change the emphasis... A bit
I would say... "The processes, attitudes and interactions of all staff regardless of organizational chart level (universal how things work here) that properly reflects the values and beliefs of the entire organization. I make this change because, values and beliefs (what is important, why it is important, and how we work together) need to undergird the culture. The problem is that often the corporate culture is implemented without regard to the values, and it is fossilized before the values and beliefs are socialized. Changing culture after, is way more difficult than building it from the values and beliefs from the start.
Organizations must lead from their values and beliefs, this must be a large part of the mission of the organization. If the mission statement is tacked on later, it will never reflect the culture... Unless someone changes the culture to be sure it is what is desired.

  Warren Miller, CPA, CFA
Strategy Consultant, United States

Founders are Often Clear About Their Values and Beliefs

Thank you for those comments, John. I agree with what you said about 'changing culture'; I believe that you're 100% righ...

  Dr. Alan Williams
Professor, Thailand

Definition of Corporate Culture Should Include Focus on Goals

Many interesting points however seems to be there's one point mostly missing; CONTINUOUS FOCUS ON GOALS. I say this bec...

  Emilio Ferrero
Management Consultant, Curacao

Perfect Definition of Perfect Culture?

@Dr. Alan Williams: I respectfully draw your attention to differentiate between "the perfect definition of culture" and...

  John Henry
Project Manager, United States

Founders are Indeed the Incorporating Vision.....

Those who start organizations tend to be much less risk-averse than those who come to work in them later. Most founders,...

  Dr P.S.Bhargava
Business Consultant, India

Corporate Culture of Small and Medium Size Enterprises

Founder brings with him the values, beliefs and practices. At a start up stage, it is difficult to articulate and convey...

  Warren Miller, CPA, CFA
Strategy Consultant, United States

'At a Start Up Stage, it is Difficult to Articulate and Convey the Values'

@Dr P.S.Bhargava: With respect, sir, hogwash. (In America, that's a polite synonym for B.S.) At a start-up stage, the v...

  Javier Elenes
Business Consultant, Mexico

Develop a Corporate Culture that Support the Competitive Strategy of the Company

A simple definition of corporate culture is "the way we do things here", and shall support the competitive strategy. So ...

  Paramathmuni srinivas Kumar

Culture Need to Include the Spirit Behind the Values

A mere enumeration of values is not always enough. In implementation the spirit behind the values will be important... W...

  Dr. Alan Williams
Professor, Thailand

Perfect Definition of Corporate Culture (Uttal, 1983)

@Emilio Ferrero: Perhaps you could rewrite your comment in more everyday English and explain your comment a little furth...

  Garth Nowland-Foreman
Partner, New Zealand

Culture Doesn't Change that Easily and not Just Because we Declare it So

I would just add from my experience consulting with hundreds of organisations, Culture is to Organisations, as Personali...

  Dr. Alan Williams
Professor, Thailand

Perfect Definition of Corporate Culture (Uttal, 1983)

Agree, perhaps it was a cultural norm but a quite undesirable/unproductive norm which should be corrected. By the way I ...

  Sathya Devarakonda
Project Manager, India

Corporate Culture and Values

@Warren Miller, CPA, CFA: I totally concur with Dr.Bhargava's opinion. Values start with the founder and remain in the c...


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👀Perfect Definition of Corporate Culture (Uttal, 1983)
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