Schneider Culture Scan

The culture of your organization is as intangible and vague as Nietzsche's ideas. Yet you probably have a feeling about it. What if you can make that feeling tangible? That is exactly what William Schneider did with the introduction of his culture typing. Schneider places the archetypes on the axes people oriented ↔ company oriented and reality oriented ↔ possibility oriented.

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4 typologies

Schneider came up with four archetypes of organizational culture. These are the Control, Competence, Collaboration and Cultivation culture. Every organization has some of every archetype in it, but it's interesting to see where the emphasis is now. You can do something with that as an organization change agent. No characterization is inherently good or bad and as an Agile Coach you adapt your style and focus to the dominant culture. That way you are much more effective.

Schneider Culture Model


The Control archetype is characterized by a tight structure and hierarchy. Rules are important and assignments are spread from top to bottom. There is a lot of control and a lot of reporting. The organization is risk-averse and focused on stability.


The Competence archetype is all about performance. Targets and profit are important, as is efficiency. Bonuses are used to make employees work harder. This is a meritocracy: if you do it right, you will rise higher. There is a lot of competition, also internally.


Together is the keyword in the Collaboration archetype. Employees are treated egalitarian and synergy is found in the collective. Trust and security are important values. Harmony is often sought and conflicts are often avoided.


The Cultivation archetype strives for personal growth and finding meaning. There is a lot of freedom and creativity and the organization is often driven by a clear purpose. Structure and clarity are often underexposed in this culture.

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