The archetypal culture of globalized corporations originated in post-WWII USA. As the economic center of the world spread its capitalistic wings, this culture, too, spread across the world. The archetypal organisation and its structure arise from a strong focus on control, and on organizing for efficiency, reliability and process orientation. This archetype, decades-old and at times irrelevant, still dictates global organizational structure and the basic assumptions behind management practices.
What does all this have to with Type dynamics? Well, Type dynamics can help us understand the success and drawbacks of such an archetypal corporate culture, and provide valuable insights into its nature.
Type dynamics of corporate culture
I would describe the archetypal corporate culture to be that of ESTJ.
E: Interaction with the external world which comprises people, events, activities and things.
S: Predominant focus on data, process (sequence) and getting details right.
T: Heavy reliance on decision-making using universal standards and impersonal analysis applicable to all members, with less room for individual exceptions or needs.
J: Premium placed on closure, early planning, schedules and predictability.
In terms of Type dynamics, this translates into dominant Extraverted Thinking (Te) supported by auxiliary Introverted Sensing (Si), followed by tertiary Extraverted Intuition (Ne) and inferior function of Introverted Feeling (Fi).
The manifestations of the Te and Si functions
This seems credible, because Te, as a function, focuses on organizing the external world against clearly articulated standards; the accent is on efficiency and quick decision-making. Because thinking is extraverted, it is visible in the interaction with people, things and events. Thinking is directed towards establishing control over people, things and events and shaping the extraverted world. In this predominant exercise of the archetypal corporate culture, it is aided by the auxiliary function Si – a library or archive of tangible evidence, past experience and data. This becomes the basis of the Te function’s judging process, since information influences how the organisation stays in control. This structure leads to a decisive, structured, process-driven, objective, efficient, hierarchical and goal-focused corporate culture.
Areas that don’t get focus
In its endeavor to become organized and efficient, the tertiary N (both Ni/Ne) takes a backseat. This position frequently manifests as a narrow perspective of the external world’s opportunities, ‘short-termism’ and the neglect of the organization’s systemic function. This can also come across as efficiency at the cost of effectiveness. Even more ignored or little exercised is the inferior function Fi, demonstrating how individuality is not valued (and often heavily discouraged) in corporate culture. Therefore, personal value-systems find little place in the common workplace, unless they are aligned to organizational values. This sometimes manifests as a lack of authenticity and distrust at the workplace. Individuals’ personal values, actions and words need not be aligned, as long as they are in harmony with organisational directives. This also tells us why the archetypal corporate culture struggles with issues like engagement, retention, organisational change and business ethics while overall quality, execution and financial results seem easy to manage.
Discover the Type of your organization
Since each Type has its own inferior function, no organisation can be free from shadows. However, helping managers and leaders appreciate Type dynamics helps create better, sustainable organisations. Type dynamics can be a powerful tool for helping organisations manage change, culture and leadership development. What is the Type of your organisation? Would you like some help in figuring it out? Do write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +91 44 4201 9547.