Workplace Culture


This guide describes components of a strong, healthy workplace culture, details the field’s dominant patterns, and outlines the concept of architecture’s cultural iceberg—made up of objective culture (above the surface) and subjective culture (usually below the surface).

You’ll learn how workplace culture affects individuals, firms, and the profession—from retention to strategic planning and perception of the field. This guide also contains the legal aspects of harassment, including individuals’ responsibilities, questions to assess organizations’ workplace culture, and ways to improve your own organizations’ workplace culture.


Chapter 2: Workplace Culture >

Firm culture

Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: Optimizing Organizational Culture for Success - Society for Human Resource Management (2015)

Based on a survey of six hundred people, the research summarizes the key factors that lead to job satisfaction in the following categories: career development, employee relationships in management, compensation and benefits, and work environment.

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Great Place to Work Institute

Research, certification, publications, and speakers on the characteristics of "great places to work" for all.

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The Research is Clear: Long Hours Backfire for People and for Companies - Harvard Business Review - Sarah Green Carmichael (2002)

Analysis of studies that show working longer hours does not increase productivity and leads to high stress levels and poorer health. In addition, overworked employees have more difficulty interacting with each other, make more mistakes, and generally lose sight of the bigger picture. All of these together reveal a point beyond which working more hours eliminates the benefits.

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Room at the Top? Sexism and the Star System in Architecture - Denise Scott Brown (1989)

A personal account illustrating the legacy of architecture's "star system" that attributes designs, ideas, and work to the most famous leader in a firm. Scott Brown writes, "The Star system, which sees the firm as a pyramid with a designer on top, has little to do with today's complex relations in architecture and construction." Still relevant to how the profession is seen, how firms are structured, and how architecture is evaluated.

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Sexual Harassment: What Employers Need to Know - Catalyst (2018)

Infographics that show how employers can address sexual harassment, including guidelines for preparation, prevention, and response. Also includes recommendations to address workplace culture issues surrounding sexual harassment.

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What Do I Need to Know about Workplace Harassment - US Department of Labor

Guidance information for compliance with sexual harassment laws, including definitions and reporting of sexual harassment, when harassment violates the law, and how to report.

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Workplace Harassment Resources - Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)

A collection of resources for companies; includes guides for compliance and policies, training, investigation, and research.

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