We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Relationship between Organizational Culture and Climate?

By Osmand Vitez
Updated Jan 25, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A business or other organization is often a complex body that has many different internal forces that affect or govern employees. Two important factors include the organizational culture and climate. The relationship between these two starts with organizational culture, which is a set of common understandings by which a company organizes itself. The organizational climate is a set of measurements a company can use to measure motivation and behavior. A few common measurable properties between organizational culture and climate are flexibility, responsibility, standards, and reward.

All companies have an organizational culture, which represents the intangible force that centers on a company’s values and beliefs. Different cultures can exist in a company, such as laissez faire or the aggressive use of creativity to advance the company’s operations. Individuals typically work at a company with which their values match the most. One result of organizational culture is to develop a climate by which a company can measure successes attached to this intangible force. This starts the relationship between the organizational culture and climate.

Companies tend to have reward systems that help motivate employees to achieve goals. Rewards differ based on the company’s organizational climate. A company with a background in intrinsic rewards tends to offer more motivational recognition, such as praise for a job well done. Extrinsic rewards are more common in an organizational culture that works with aggressive employees. Bonuses, compensation increases, and time off work well in this organizational culture and climate system.

Measuring success takes time and often needs tweaks in order for a company to determine which systems work best. While organizational culture is often a naturally occurring phenomenon in organizations, the organizational climate often takes more work to implement. Most individuals have different motivational or behavioral needs. While organizational culture and climate have a proven connection, the factors that connect the two can be vastly different. For example, some employees may desire flexible schedules; others may desire a team commitment from all individuals.

A company’s organizational culture and climate are not always static. As a company evolves, so does its culture. This often leads to changes in the organizational climate as managers and employees change, along with the values and beliefs in the business. The organizational climate must adjust as necessary to ensure the company measures the correct factors. For example, a company may shift from flexible schedules to compensation bonuses over time.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By bluedolphin — On May 28, 2013

@burcidi-- I actually think that both organizational culture and climate can be changed easily. It just takes a new group of managers.

By burcidi — On May 27, 2013

@anamur-- These two terms can be confusing, because they sound very similar. So I understand your frustration.

It may be helpful to think of organizational climate as what it feels like to work in a organization and organizational culture as the values and norms of that organization. So you are right in that organizational culture is mostly constant and organizational climate can change.

The way that they are related is that organizational culture shapes organizational climate. For example, if an organization values new ideas and input from employees, it is going to have an organizational climate where employers listen to and seek suggestions from their employees.

You can't have organizational culture without climate and vice versa.

By serenesurface — On May 26, 2013

I don't understand the connection between organizational culture and climate. As far as I understand, the organization doesn't have to do much about the culture because it forms on its own.

As for measuring motivation and behavior, isn't this done with performance standards and assessments?

I don't see how organizational culture influences organizational climate.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.