Whether a company prizes collaboration or independence, its culture—essentially, its personality—influences everything from the value of meetings to a tolerance for tardiness and, ultimately, its products and services. But despite its influence, people often take their organization’s culture for granted.

The reality, however, is that organizational culture is not something that manifests by happenstance. Until recently, researchers credited two factors with shaping organizational culture:

  • “functionality perspective,” or how groups contend with shared experiences

  • “leader-trait perspective,” or how a leader’s personality impacts group dynamics

An Academy of Management Journal article reveals a third factor that influences organizational culture: a leader’s past cultural experience

A leader’s past cultural experience frequently transfers from a previous job to the new position, even when the workplaces are quite different, suggest coauthors Yeun Joon Kim of University of Cambridge and Soo Min Toh of University of Toronto Mississauga, in “Stuck in the Past? The Influence of a Leader’s Past Cultural Experience on Group Culture and Positive and Negative Group Deviance.”

Read more at AOM Insights