When you walk into a Target Store, what do you see? What does it look like? What kinds of items do they sell? What do you see when you walk into a Wal-Mart? What does it look like? What types of people shop at Wal-Mart? Who works there?
Shoppers have different experiences walking into a Target versus a Wal-Mart store because even though they are both retailers, their buildings are different, the types of products they carry vary from each other, the workers wear different clothes, the layout of a Wal-Mart store is very different from the layout of a Target store, and the behaviors expressed by workers in each organization are unique to each retailer. These elements give the organization its distinct culture that separates it from the other.
Organizational culture speaks to the culture that is specific to an organization—the culture that makes it distinctive from competitors and non-competitors. Organizational cultures are often referred to as “corporate cultures” and reflect the beliefs, values, and assumptions of an organization. For example, the culture of one school in a school district can be different than the culture of another school located in the same district simply because of what the people in one school culture adhere and react to.