Robert A Cooke Model of Organization Culture

Individuals from different backgrounds and varied interests come together on a common platform called organization to achieve targets as well as earn bread and butter for themselves. Individuals work in unison towards a common goal. The behaviour of the employees to a large extent depends on the culture of the workplace. How people interact amongst themselves and with outsiders also depend on the organization culture.

The policies, practices, principles of an organization form its culture. It is essential for an employee to understand the culture and adjust to it well to deliver his level best and win management’s appreciation.

Robert A Cooke proposed the following model of organization culture.

Every employee has a way of behaving at the workplace which he feels is the correct way and would help him survive in the organization for a longer duration. Such perceptions of employees form the culture of the organization. According to Robert A Cooke, the culture of an organization is the way employees behave at the workplace to ensure stable future and growth.

Cooke proposed three types of culture in the organization:

  1. Constructive Culture

    There are certain organizations which encourage healthy interaction amongst the employees. The individuals have the liberty to share their ideas, exchange information and discuss things to come to an innovative solution beneficial to all. Conflicts arise when employees feel neglected and are not allowed to speak their minds. People crib amongst themselves when queries remain unattended leading to severe demotivation. A constructive culture encourages discussions and exchange of ideas amongst employees. Constructive culture motivates the employees and eventually extracts the best out of them.

    The key features of a constructive culture are:

    • Achievement: A constructive culture helps the employees to achieve the targets within the stipulated time frame.

    • Self Actualizing: In this kind of culture, an employee stays motivated and realizes his full potential.

    • Encouragement: A Constructive culture encourages employees to deliver their level best and strive hard for furthering the image of the organization.

    • Affiliative: The employees avoid conflicts and unnecessary disputes and promote a positive ambience at the workplace.

  2. Passive Culture

    In a passive culture, the employees behave in a way contrary to the way they feel is correct and should be the ideal way. In a passive culture, the main motive of the employee is to please the superiors and make his position safe and secure in the organization. In such a culture, employees unhappily adhere to the guidelines and follow the rules and regulations just to save their job.

    The characteristics of a passive culture are:

    • Approval: In such a culture employees can’t take decisions on their own. They need to take their boss’s approval before implementing any idea.

    • Conventional: Employees are bound by rules and regulations of the organization and act according to the prescribed standards only.

    • Dependent: In such a culture, the performance of the employees is dependent on the superior’s decisions and they blindly follow their boss’s orders.

    • Avoidance: Employees tend to avoid their own personal interests, satisfaction and simply act according to the company’s policies.

  3. Aggressive Culture

    Organizations following an aggressive culture promote competition amongst the employees. They encourage the employees to compete against each other so that each one performs better than his fellow worker. In such a culture, employees seeking their colleague’s assistance are often called as incompetent employees. Every individual vies for power, attention and strive hard to win appreciation.

    The key features of such a culture are:

    • Opposition
    • Power
    • Perfectionist
    • Competitive

    In the above culture, employees are aggressive, compete against each other and try to become perfectionist by identifying their mistakes and eventually minimizing them.


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