Westrum’s Three Cultures Model

Hear speak see no evil Toshogu.jpg
“Hear speak see no evil Toshogu cropped enhanced.jpg” by Bobanny is licensed under CC BY-SA 1.0

“Performance more often comes down to a cultural challenge, rather than simply a technical one.”
Lara Hogan, Engineering Director, Etsy

Culture has a huge impact on the performance of an organization — for better or worse. In fact, some say culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage an organization can have. Despite culture’s importance, it has also been “fuzzy” and notoriously hard to quantify. The problem has been that we’ve had no good way of describing, assessing, or measuring culture. That changed when Dr. Ron Westrum, a sociologist, came up with his “Three Cultures Model”.

I wrote about Westrum’s three different types of culture on Excella’s blog.