Market culture is about getting work done and achieving results. The environment is often competitive among coworkers. A company with this type of culture is fixated on making as much profit and capturing as much market share as possible.

Market culture is most common in larger businesses. Leaders tend to be relentless and have very high expectations. Employees are given challenging goals and their performance is closely monitored. Employees are rewarded and punished, and the overall working environment can be alienating for some people.

When Market Culture Works

A market culture can be an aggressive and driven workplace. This can be positive for growing profits and keeping businesses driving ahead, hopefully gaining an edge over competitors. One of the best-known examples of market culture in the workplace is Apple under Steve Jobs.

Maximise profits

A culture that focuses on customers, results and sales is going to reach higher revenues than those who care about environmental concerns or workers rights. Goals are met, or if they aren’t, employees are punished.

Those in top positions in companies with market culture tend to be focused on making money and finding ways to ensure revenue is increased as often and by the highest amount possible.

One step ahead

A dedication to market research and product development is one of the key drivers of market culture. People are aiming to predict trends, release the newest, greatest gadget and be a creator of the zeitgeist.

Driven and ambitious employees

Employees in higher-level jobs tend to be challenged to always be doing more, doing better and reaching targets. Leaders drive their teams towards their goals and reward those who achieve or smash targets.

When Market Culture Fails

On the flip side of market culture is a sometimes toxic working environment. Competition between workers, disregard for skills development and a view that all people are replaceable can make a market culture workplace unattractive, and sometimes emotionally damaging, workplace for many people. It also tarnishes the reputation of a company, which clearly places profit above humanity.

Costly Research

Market culture is sustained by knowing what is going to happen next and being at the forefront of new releases in the industry. Businesses often need to spend large amounts of money on research and development to ensure that they stay ahead.


Team members are often excited and driven when they first join new teams, however, as the pressure to always achieve (sometimes unrealistic) goals takes its toll, many people find they are not suited to a market culture working environment. The need to prioritise work over personal life and compete with coworkers for praise or recognition leads many to burn-out.

Toxic atmosphere 

In a highly competitive working environment, employees who are up against each other can adopt a dishonest and unproductive work ethic. If teams are forced to compete, morale and productivity can suffer. This can lead to other issues that for many people can be damaging as they attempt to move on from such a cut-throat culture.