Cultural Web Model

Definition and purpose of the cultural web model

The cultural web model, developed by Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes, is a framework used to understand and analyze the culture of an organization. It represents the different elements that make up an organization’s culture, providing a holistic view of its cultural paradigm.

The purpose of the cultural web model is to help organizations understand their current culture, identify areas for improvement, and align their culture with their strategic goals. By examining various elements such as stories, symbols, rituals, routines, and power structures, the model provides a comprehensive overview of an organization’s culture.

Cultural Web Model
The cultural web model, developed by Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes, is a framework used to understand and analyze the culture of an organization.

Stories represent the shared narratives that convey the organization’s history, values, and beliefs. Symbols are the visual representations of the organization, such as logos and office layout. Rituals and routines are the repetitive actions and behaviors that signify the organization’s culture. Power structures refer to the distribution of power and influence within the organization. All of these elements combined help to define and shape an organization’s culture.

Overall, the cultural web model serves as a valuable tool for understanding, analyzing, and improving organizational culture, ultimately contributing to the organization’s success.

What is cultural web model

The cultural web model is a framework developed by Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes in 1992 that helps organizations understand and analyze their culture. This model is based on the belief that the culture of an organization is influenced by a variety of factors, including its stories, symbols, power structures, routines, and control systems. By examining these factors, organizations can gain insight into their culture and how it impacts their performance and ability to achieve their goals. Understanding the cultural web model can help organizations identify areas for improvement, create a more positive and effective work environment, and align their culture with their strategic objectives. This model can also be a valuable tool for leaders and managers seeking to bring about cultural change within their organization.

Importance of understanding organizational culture

Understanding organizational culture is crucial in creating a positive workplace environment as it shapes the values, beliefs, and behaviors of employees. A strong organizational culture fosters a sense of belonging, trust, and teamwork, leading to higher employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction. When employees feel connected to the organization’s culture, they are more likely to be motivated, dedicated, and innovative, ultimately contributing to improved performance and retention.

For example, a company with a culture that values transparency and open communication is likely to have higher levels of employee engagement and collaboration. Conversely, a toxic culture that promotes competition and micromanagement may result in disengaged employees and higher turnover rates.

Aligning organizational culture with strategic goals is essential for enhancing overall organizational performance and profitability. When the culture supports the strategic goals of the organization, employees are more likely to work towards a common purpose and direction. A culture that promotes innovation and customer-centricity, for instance, can drive organizational performance by fostering creativity and customer satisfaction.

In conclusion, understanding and nurturing a positive organizational culture is vital for creating a workplace that fosters employee engagement, performance, and retention, ultimately contributing to the achievement of strategic goals and enhanced organizational performance and profitability.

Overview of the topics covered in the article

The article covers three main topics: small business statistics, workplace injury statistics, and workplace diversity statistics.

Small business statistics are important as they provide insights into the trends and challenges faced by small businesses, which are significant contributors to the economy. Understanding these statistics can help in identifying the causes of success or failure for small businesses and inform policy decisions to support their growth.

Workplace injury statistics are relevant as they shed light on the safety and well-being of employees in various industries. By analyzing the trends and demographics of workplace injuries, it becomes possible to identify high-risk areas and implement measures to prevent and reduce accidents.

Workplace diversity statistics are crucial in understanding the demographics and representation within organizations. It is essential to recognize and address disparities in the workplace to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for all employees.

Overall, these topics provide valuable insights into the state of small businesses, workplace safety, and diversity, helping to inform decisions and actions aimed at improving working conditions and opportunities for all.

Understanding organizational culture

Understanding organizational culture is crucial for creating a positive work environment and achieving business success. Organizational culture encompasses the values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape the way people work within a company. By understanding these cultural dynamics, leaders can better align their strategies, processes, and structures to foster a more cohesive and engaged workforce. This, in turn, can lead to higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and greater overall organizational performance. In this article, we will explore the importance of understanding organizational culture and how it can impact business outcomes. We will also discuss practical steps that leaders can take to assess and improve their company’s culture, ultimately creating a more inclusive and positive workplace for all employees.

Definition of organizational culture

Organizational culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, and behaviors within an organization. It shapes the work environment, employee interactions, and decision-making processes. Organizational culture has a significant impact on the organization, as it influences employee behavior, productivity, and morale. Factors that influence it include leadership styles, company goals, communication strategies, and employee experiences.

Enhancing organizational culture can lead to various benefits, such as improved employee engagement, retention, and performance. It can also lead to a more cohesive and positive work environment, increased innovation, and better alignment with the organization’s goals. In sum, organizational culture plays a crucial role in shaping the success and effectiveness of an organization, making it essential for leaders to understand and actively cultivate a positive and supportive culture within their teams.

Role of cultural elements in shaping organizational behavior

Cultural elements such as stories, routines and rituals, and symbols play a significant role in shaping organizational behavior. Stories about the company’s history or successful projects can influence the values and beliefs of employees, shaping their behavior and interactions within the workplace. Routines and rituals, such as weekly team meetings or annual company events, establish a sense of unity and belonging, impacting the way employees work together. Symbols, such as the company logo or office layout, can communicate the organization’s values and expectations, guiding the behavior of employees.

The cultural web model can be utilized to understand and modify organizational culture to align with strategic goals by examining the various elements of culture, including stories, rituals, and symbols, and how they are interconnected. By identifying the key cultural elements that influence behavior, organizations can make intentional changes to their culture to better support their strategic goals. For example, if an organization values innovation and collaboration, they may introduce new rituals or symbols that foster creativity and teamwork. By understanding and modifying these cultural elements, the organization can shape the behaviors and interactions of its employees to better align with its strategic goals.

Impact of culture on employee performance and satisfaction

Cultural diversity in the workplace can significantly impact employee performance and satisfaction. Different communication styles, work ethic, and management practices can either enhance or hinder workplace dynamics. For example, in a diverse workplace, employees from individualistic cultures may prefer direct communication and autonomy in their work, while those from collectivist cultures may value teamwork and group decision-making. These differences in communication styles can impact collaboration and productivity.

Furthermore, varying work ethics can also influence employee satisfaction. For instance, employees from cultures with a strong work ethic may expect recognition for their hard work and dedication, while those from cultures with a more relaxed work ethic may prioritize work-life balance.

Moreover, management practices that are sensitive to cultural differences can also impact employee engagement and job satisfaction. For example, an inclusive management style that recognizes and accommodates diverse cultural needs can lead to increased employee morale and productivity.

In conclusion, cultural factors such as communication styles, work ethic, and management practices play a crucial role in determining employee performance and satisfaction in a diverse workplace. Understanding and addressing these factors can lead to a more cohesive and productive work environment.

The cultural web model explained

The cultural web model is a powerful tool that helps organizations understand their unique culture and how it impacts their performance. By examining the various elements that make up an organization’s culture, this model provides a holistic view of how beliefs, behaviors, and symbols shape the way work is done and decisions are made. Understanding the cultural web can shed light on both the positive aspects of an organization’s culture that contribute to success, as well as the barriers that may be hindering progress. In this explanation, we will explore the key components of the cultural web model and how they work together to create a cohesive and influential organizational culture.

Overview of the cultural web model

The cultural web model is a framework for understanding organizational culture, consisting of six interconnected components. These components include symbols, rituals and routines, stories, power structures, organizational structure, and control systems. Each of these elements contributes to the overall workplace paradigm and influences the behavior and values of an organization.

By examining these interconnected components, the cultural web model helps in understanding the bigger picture of an organizational culture. Symbols and rituals represent the visible aspects of culture, while stories and power structures reflect the underlying beliefs and power dynamics. Organizational structure and control systems provide the formalized systems and processes that shape behavior and decision-making.

By considering all these components together, the model allows us to understand the complex dynamics and influences that shape an organization’s culture. This understanding is essential for leaders and managers to effectively navigate and cultivate a positive and productive workplace culture. Overall, the cultural web model provides a comprehensive framework for analyzing and influencing organizational culture.

Gerry Johnson’s contributions to the model

Gerry Johnson is known for his significant contributions to the model, particularly his development of the cultural web concept. This concept became a central part of the model, emphasizing the importance of understanding an organization’s culture through six interrelated elements: symbols, power structures, organizational structures, control systems, rituals and routines, and stories and myths. Johnson’s work in identifying core competencies also played a crucial role in the model’s development. He emphasized the significance of leveraging an organization’s unique strengths and capabilities to gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, Johnson played a key role in the development of the strategic management process within the model, emphasizing the need for strategic thinking and planning to achieve long-term success. Overall, his contributions in the areas of cultural web, core competencies, and strategic management have greatly influenced the model and continue to be foundational concepts in the field of strategic management.

Components of the cultural web model

The cultural web model identifies six key elements that contribute to an organization’s culture: stories, rituals and routines, symbols, power structures, organizational structures, and control systems.

1. Stories: These are the narratives that are told within the organization and help to shape the organization’s identity and values. They may include the history of the organization, key successes or failures, and influential leaders.

2. Rituals and Routines: These are the regular activities and behaviors that take place within the organization, such as meetings, performance reviews, or daily work practices. These rituals and routines help to reinforce the organization’s cultural norms.

3. Symbols: These are the visual representations of the organization’s culture, such as logos, office layout, or dress codes. Symbols can convey important cultural messages and values.

4. Power Structures: This element refers to the distribution of power and influence within the organization. It includes the formal hierarchy as well as the informal power dynamics that exist.

5. Organizational Structures: This encompasses the formal processes and systems within the organization, including decision-making processes, communication channels, and reporting relationships.

6. Control Systems: This refers to the mechanisms that the organization uses to monitor and evaluate employee behavior, such as performance management systems or reward structures.

These elements collectively contribute to the cultural reality of the organization and influence the employees’ perspective and behavior within the organization.

Key Elements of the Cultural Web Model

The Cultural Web Model provides a useful framework for understanding and analyzing the key elements that shape an organization’s culture. By identifying and examining these elements, organizations can gain valuable insights into their culture and work towards aligning it with their strategic goals. The model is made up of six key elements that interact and influence each other, including symbols, rituals and routines, stories, organizational structure, control systems, and power structures. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in shaping the beliefs, values, and behaviors within an organization, making it essential to understand and manage them effectively. These key elements of the Cultural Web Model provide a comprehensive view of an organization’s culture and offer a roadmap for driving positive cultural change.


One key story consistently shared within our organization is the 2012 campaign featuring giant puppets. This campaign is often referenced as a major success, highlighting how creativity and boldness can lead to incredible results. The team members involved in this campaign are considered heroes within the company, demonstrating that thinking outside the box can yield great rewards.

Another key story revolves around our founders starting the company from home with only £500. This story is often used to highlight the resilience and determination of our organization, showing that even in the face of limited resources and challenges, great things can be achieved. The founders are revered as heroes for their perseverance and vision.

In terms of villains, our organization often reflects on past failures, such as a failed product launch or a mismanaged project. These stories serve as important lessons, emphasizing the value of humility and learning from mistakes.

These stories consistently reflect the culture, values, and beliefs of our organization, showcasing the importance of creativity, resilience, and learning from failures. They inspire our team to embrace new ideas, overcome obstacles, and continuously strive for excellence.


Our company’s visual symbols include our logo, which features a bold, modern design that represents innovation and forward-thinking. Our office design reflects this aesthetic with clean lines, open workspaces, and plenty of natural light. Our dress code is smart-casual, encouraging a professional yet relaxed atmosphere for our employees. Internally, our language and terminology focus on collaboration, creativity, and excellence, while externally, our messaging is customer-centric, highlighting our commitment to delivering exceptional service.

Our website portrays the image of our business as cutting-edge and customer-focused, with a sleek design, user-friendly interface, and engaging content that showcases our products and services. It aligns perfectly with our desired culture of innovation, professionalism, and customer satisfaction, creating a cohesive brand image across all platforms. Overall, our visual symbols, language, and website portrayal work together to communicate our company’s values and vision to both our employees and customers.

Control systems

Control in the organization is exerted through various systems and processes.

Financial management is a key aspect of control, with budgets, financial reporting, and audits being used to monitor and manage the organization’s resources. Quality control processes ensure that products or services meet set standards, with regular checks and measures in place to maintain consistent quality.

Fringe benefits and bonuses are also used as control mechanisms to incentivize good performance. Employees may receive additional benefits or bonuses for meeting or exceeding targets, which helps to encourage good performance.

In a flat wage structure, good performance is encouraged through recognition and opportunities for career advancement. Poor performance is handled through performance management processes, including regular feedback, coaching, and additional training to help employees improve.

Ultimately, the organization’s control systems are designed to maintain a standard of quality and productivity, while also providing opportunities for employees to excel and grow within the organization.

Power structures

The distribution of power within the organization is primarily hierarchical, with key players including the CEO, executive team, and department heads holding the most influence. This power structure is clearly outlined in the organizational chart, with decision-making authority flowing from the top down. The core assumptions and beliefs in the corporate culture are largely shaped by the influence of these key players, with an emphasis on efficiency, goal achievement, and profitability. Employee empowerment is valued and promoted to some extent, but ultimately, decision-making authority still remains concentrated among the key players. This can impact the corporate culture by creating a sense of reliance on top-down directives rather than fostering a truly empowered workforce. Overall, while the key players hold significant influence and power, there is some effort made to promote employee empowerment within the established power structure.

Rituals and routines

At our company, we have established rituals and routines that reflect our core beliefs and values. When customers, employees, and volunteers walk in, they can expect a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We believe in treating everyone with respect and providing exceptional service. When encountering problems, individuals are expected to communicate openly and seek solutions collectively. This reflects our belief in transparency and collaboration.

Employees are expected to start their roles by attending a morning huddle where they share successes and set goals for the day. This ritual promotes unity and accountability. Volunteers are expected to undergo a thorough orientation process, instilling a sense of purpose and commitment.

One common ritual at our company is the monthly team-building activity, which fosters camaraderie and teamwork. Another routine is the weekly feedback sessions where employees and volunteers provide constructive input to improve processes. These rituals and routines exemplify our commitment to creating a positive and supportive work environment, where growth and collaboration are valued.

Organizational structure

Amazon’s organizational structure is complex and includes seven sectors: operations, technology, consumer, international, web services, finance, and physical stores. Each sector operates relatively autonomously, allowing for a high degree of flexibility and adaptability within the organization.

The structure is primarily hierarchical, with clear lines of authority and a centralized decision-making process. However, Amazon also maintains a certain level of informality, encouraging open communication and collaboration among employees. This allows for a mix of both formal and informal lines of authority within the organization.

In terms of its formality, Amazon’s structure is a mix of organic and mechanistic elements. While the company is known for its innovative and dynamic work environment, it also has standardized processes and procedures in place to ensure efficiency and control.

Overall, Amazon’s organizational structure is designed to foster innovation and growth while maintaining a level of control and standardization necessary for a company of its size and complexity.

Cultural web model recap

The Cultural Web Model introduced in the previous section consists of several key components that shape an organization’s culture. These components include the core beliefs and motivations (paradigm) of the organization, its stories and myths, rituals and routines, symbols, organizational structures, power structures, and control systems.

The paradigm represents the fundamental beliefs and values that guide the organization’s behavior, while stories and myths convey the organization’s history and identity. Rituals and routines encompass the daily activities and behaviors that reflect the organization’s culture, and symbols are the tangible representations of its values and identity. Organizational structures, power structures, and control systems dictate the hierarchy and decision-making processes within the organization.

These components interplay to create and maintain the organization’s culture. For example, the organizational structure and power dynamics can influence the way rituals and routines are carried out, while symbols and stories reinforce the core beliefs and values of the organization. The control systems and power structures also shape the way in which the organization’s culture is perpetuated and maintained. Overall, these components work in concert to define and shape the organizational culture.

The Cultural Web Model is a framework that helps organizations understand and analyze their culture, identifying the elements that contribute to its unique character. This model covers six interrelated components: Stories, Rituals and Routines, Symbols, Organizational Structure, Control Systems, and Power Structures, which together form the “cultural web” that influences employee behavior and attitudes. Sloneek’s HR software is designed to navigate and influence these components effectively. By leveraging Sloneek, companies can capture and share success stories, streamline rituals and routines through efficient workflow management, and use customizable symbols and communications tools to reinforce their desired culture. Furthermore, Sloneek supports the analysis of organizational structure and control systems to ensure they align with cultural objectives. By providing insights into power dynamics, Sloneek enables leaders to make informed decisions that nurture a positive organizational culture, driving engagement, innovation, and success.

We are here for you

Can we help you?

Our experts can answer any questions, guide you through the Sloneek system and help you transform your HR into a modern all-in-one solution.

  • Superior onboarding
  • Introduction of all functionalities
  • Presentation and offer tailored to your HR
  • Answer any questions
Group 1469-1
image 58
Group 1469
image 55

Leave us your contact details, we will get back to you.