What is the Westrum Cultural Model?

What is the Westrum Cultural Model?

Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition defines culture as "the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization."

What we might call the "Westrum Cultural Model," based on Ron Westrum's "The Three Cultures Model", (according to this site), consists of three categories of corporate culture.  These three are pathological, bureaucratic, and generative and are defined as follows:

"Pathological organizations are characterized by large amounts of fear and threat. People often hoard information or withhold it for political reasons, or distort it to make themselves look better.

Bureaucratic organizations protect departments. Those in the department want to maintain their ‘‘turf,’’ insist on their own rules, and generally do things by the book—their book.

Generative organizations focus on the mission. How do we accomplish our goal? Everything is subordinated to good performance, to doing what we are supposed to do."

The above quotes were taken from this site.

The assessment of a given business may be subjective.  The DevOps movement that emphasizes collaboration has an ideal for each business to strive to be a generative organization.  If you want more information on DevOps and the Westrum Cultural Model, see the following links:


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