Difference Between Organizational Culture and Climate

Organizational Culture vs Climate

Difference between organizational culture and organizational climate is that the culture is about the norms, values and behaviour adopted by the employees within the organization while the climate is about the atmosphere of the organization that is created based on the culture. Organizational culture and climate differ from one organization to another. This article presents you with a brief description of the two concepts and an analysis of the difference between organizational culture and climate.

What is Organizational Culture?

Organizational culture is a set of values, beliefs, behaviors, customs and attitudes that govern how people behave within organizations. The culture of an organization provides boundaries and guidelines that help the employees of the organization to know the correct way of performing their jobs.

The culture of an organization is ingrained in the behavior of the employees within an organization and in a way it shows the ‘personality’ of the organization. The unique culture of an organization creates a distinct atmosphere that is felt by the people who are a part of the group, and this atmosphere is known as the climate of an organization.

Types of Organizational Culture

There are four types of cultures that can be identified in organizations as follows:

• Clan culture – It is where employees are behaving as an extended family, mentoring, nurturing and participation can be seen.

• Adhocracy culture – It is where employees of the organization are dynamic, risk-taking and innovative.

• Market Oriented culture – It is where employees are result oriented and focus on the job, competition and achievements.

• Hierarchically oriented culture – It is where the employees undergo a rigid structure, controls, former rules and policies. They expect to maintain stability, consistency and uniformity in their processes.

For example, an educational institute has a hierarchically oriented culture. It is the way all the activities function and also people perceive, think, and feel about things at the institute. 

What is Organizational Climate?

Organizational climate is about the the perception and feeling of each regarding the culture of a particular organization. The climate of an organization is subject to change frequently with the direct influence of top management within the organization. Organizational climate is much easier to experience and measure than organizational culture.

Types of Organizational Climate

There are different types of climates that have been created by the culture of an organization that can be categorized as follows:

• People-oriented climate – It is a climate that focuses on perceptions of individuals who are working in the organization.

• Rule-oriented climate – It is a climate based on established rules, policies and procedures in an organization.

• Innovation-oriented climate – It is a climate that encourages creative or new ways of doing tasks.

• Goal-oriented climate – It is a climate that focuses on achieving organizational goals.

What is the difference between Organizational Culture and Climate?

• Organizational climate can be clearly identified with the perceptions of individuals regarding the quality and characteristics of the organizational culture.

• Culture represents the true image of the organization, whereas climate represents individuals’ perceptions, although there might be differences between each of their ideas.

• Organizational culture is concerned with the macro vision of an organization, whereas organizational climate is very much concerned with the micro image of the organization.

• According to Rosario Longo in 2012, the relationship between the organizational culture and climate can be indicated as follows:

Difference Between Organizational Culture and Climate


Image Courtesy: Organisational Culture and Organisational Climate by Rosario Longo -HR Professional