AgilityPortal Insight Blog

Informational content for small businesses.
Back to Blog
  • Culture
  • Blog
  • 10 Mins

Clan Culture In An Organization – UPDATED 2024 – A Complete Guide

Clan Culture In An Organization – UPDATED 2021 – A Complete Guide
Clan Culture In An Organization – UPDATED 2021 – A Complete Guide
Clan refers to organizations that are close-knit, collaborate as a community, and prioritize the needs of their peers and employees.

Posted in: Culture
Clan Culture In An Organization – UPDATED 2021 – A Complete Guide
Clan Culture In An Organization – UPDATED 2021 – A Complete Guide

A good culture can help to improve productivity and make things easier for employers. Similarly, clan culture refers to an organization that has a family-like atmosphere. This somewhat new-age phrase, which comes from late Middle English, is derived from the old-age Scottish Gaelic 'clan,' which means offspring or family.

Clan refers to organizations that are close-knit, collaborate as a community, and prioritize the needs of their peers and employees.

The toxic organizational cultures cost organizations billions of dollars. Nearly half of the employees polled stated they had considered quitting their present employer because of a workplace culture issue. And nearly one-fifth of those surveyed said they had quit a job for that reason in the previous five years.

Managers cannot ignore the importance of creating a productive work environment. About 9 out of 10 senior executives believe that strengthening their organization's culture will raise its worth. In comparison, only 16% of people believe their culture is where it should be.

Clan Organizational Culture

Clan Organizational Culture

Clan culture is an inward-focused characteristic of many small organizations and start-ups. It nurtures company employees by emphasizing interpersonal interactions, communication, and collaboration. It aspires to build one huge happy family in this way.

Clan culture, which replaces traditional organizational hierarchies with a more horizontal structure, breaks down barriers and creates strong, close-knit teams. Mentoring connections grow, people share their knowledge, and leaders freely seek input and suggestions from their subordinates with the help of a chosen productivity app, instant communication tools, etc. It's also a model that accepts change, as evidenced by start-ups' adaptability.

The clan model is one of happiness. Employees who feel valued, supported, and respected are more willing to go above and above, which is excellent for both people and business.

This form of organizational culture can be extremely effective at uniting teams and inspiring loyalty in firms that rely on remote working or have a significant proportion of frontline workers, such as salespeople and other offsite staff.

Advantages of Clan Culture

Happy staff equals a happy company. Employee satisfaction, productivity, and corporate growth all have a favorable association. When employees' needs are prioritized, office morale is good, and employees feel appreciated at work. Instead of whining and gossiping, employees who have faith in their bosses and coworkers are more motivated and committed to completing the tasks that are not even in their assigned responsibilities.

When your whole team is behind you, it's nice to know they can catch you if you fall. They may openly express their ideas, take larger chances, and move beyond the box.

Adopting an organizational culture with strong collaboration and communication encourages employees to think and operate like a dream team. Just as we're urged to sit down and 'chew the fat' with our family at dinnertime, organizations that communicate openly and frequently get several rewards.

Weekly one-on-ones, team presentations, and all-hands meetings are more important in clan cultures. Clan cultures encourage everyone in the firm to sing from the same song sheet, from the sweeper to the CEO. You should know that the more staff you have involved, the louder and wider your message may go.

Clan Culture Examples

Clan Culture Examples

It is a family-like working atmosphere in which values and beliefs encourage the success of a company. For example, in a garment company, the owner may hire employees whom he believes in and who he can entrust with the operation of his company. As a result, the staff at the sock company will act more like family than coworkers. The owner will operate as the family's leader, nurturing the employees in whichever manner he sees fit while running the business. Employees have the ability to contact the owner and resolve company-related issues. This relationship will give the owner confidence in the staff's ability to look after the sock business. It will provide them numerous liberties because he recognizes their talents to manage the business.

Individuals must share a common ancestor in order to be members of a clan. This descendent can come from either the patriarchal or matriarchal line of descent. It is common for clan members to marry outside their clan while marrying inside a clan is frowned upon. Clans can be divided into sub-clans, and new members can be added who have no biological ties to the original members.

Over the years, various clans have existed, such as the term clan used in Scotland. The clans of Scotland were linked to specific areas, such as the MacGregors of Argyll or the Armstrongs of the Borders. People all across the world are now celebrating Scottish clans since some of them have Scottish ancestors.

A clan culture is similar to a clan in that it is family-oriented and attempts to uphold similar aims and ideals. Clan culture can also be defined as a collaborative culture with people who share a lot of interests. Consequently, it is argued that when businesses and organizations replicate this family-like characteristic, they are enforcing a clan culture.

Clan Culture Disadvantages

Clan Culture Disadvantages

As an organization grows, the clan culture can become a hindrance. It is because it lacks the strong, decisive leadership required to propel the company forward and provide clear direction. Leaders who aim to be everyone's best friend may find it more difficult to exercise power or make controversial judgments.

Without the hierarchy that is typically required for decision-making, a focus on individualism can lead to personality clashes. People can lose sight of their place in the world. Because there appear to be no rules, there is a risk of inappropriate behavior, such as discrimination. There's also the chance that clan culture instills a dread of defying the group's will.

1) Homogeneity 

A company with a clan culture is more likely to be homogeneous. While individuals who share similar values, goals, or even demographic characteristics make it simpler to work together, it also eliminates the benefits of diversity. A fresh approach, idea, and solution sometimes can be all that's required to solve a business problem, but if everyone is looking at the problem, in the same manner, a solution is less likely to emerge or will take longer to find.

2) The absence of dissent

  Because teamwork is valued in a clan-culture organization, employees may be afraid to express dissenting viewpoints or fight for an unpopular proposal, even if they believe it is the best option. If the group has a blind spot, such as prejudice or a common misunderstanding, it may be implemented, with unfavorable effects, because no one wanted to question the collective's wisdom. Because of its emphasis on obtaining general consensus on crucial decisions, Cameron and Quinn's "clan" culture is also known as the "collaborative" culture.

3) Possibility of abuse

Clan cultures are more open, pleasant, and appreciative of their employees than any other. However, if employees utilize tolerance as a way to rest rather than contribute, this relaxed attitude can be abused. While many employees respond with gratitude and attentiveness, some may take advantage of the opportunity to loaf or do their own business on work time.

4) Inadequate authority  

Clan-culture leaders act as mentors to their subordinates, with some comparing it to the position of a parent in a family. Because decisions are frequently taken independently by employees or by common agreement, the lines of authority within a clan-culture business are not clearly defined. When a critical decision must be made quickly, and there is no time for group discourse, the lack of a clearly defined chain of command might be a disadvantage. It could also be troublesome if staff is evenly divided on a critical subject. For example, if there is no strong authority figure, good ideas that require a champion may be abandoned merely because a majority vote is not possible.

Examples of Clan Culture Companies  

Examples of Clan Culture Companies ​

Now we know that the clan culture is more prevalent in conventional organizations than in digital ones. It is because these businesses are frequently family-owned, there is a strong emphasis on fostering employees through interpersonal relationships and mentorship programs. Of course, all of this is done to give the impression that you are part of a truly extended family.

Clan cultures are amicable and collaborative and might be compared to a huge family, or in other words, a "clan." It is where everyone knows everyone else. In most cases, strong links of loyalty, tradition, and commonality arise. Google, Zappos, and Tom's of Maine are examples of firms with a clan culture.


A clan culture uses a more 'inclusive' approach, just like in a family, which welcomes ideas and comments with open arms. It's really advantageous for organizations as they can listen to their employees and work on improving the organization's performance. It allows you to find a solution because when you're aware that there's a problem, you can get together and formulate ideas to go through it.

Most popular posts

Join over 98,542 people who already subscribed.

Follow us on Google News



Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Friday, 19 July 2024
Table of contents
Download as PDF

Ready to learn more? 👍

One platform to optimize, manage and track all of your teams. Your new digital workplace is a click away. 🚀

I'm particularly interested in an intranet for