Question Brian Business & Management

Adidas' Organisational Culture

what type of organisational culture does Adidas use?

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Answer Internal Staff

Organisational culture is described as a set of shared values and norms that controls organization members. According to Schein (2010), the development of an organisational culture involves four stages:

  1. Group formation – a) inclusion, b) power and influence c) acceptance and intimacy d) identity and role
  2. Group building – harmony, conformity and search for intimacy
  3. Group work – accomplishment and teamwork
  4. Group maturity – group survival and conformity.

A study by Eklund and Li (2010) used Schein’s level of culture to identify assumptions and value at Adidas (in Sweden). Employees at Adidas were asked to describe their perception of the Adidas culture and the most common keywords observed were:

  • Sporty – The majority of employees is sport interested and enjoys the weekly sport-hour that Adidas offer them to use for working out during work hours.
  • Healthy – Adidas is very keen on having healthy employees both mentally and physically.
  • Determination and competitiveness – Determination somewhat linked with their sporty attitude. They’re all driven towards a shared vision, which is becoming the leading sports brand globally.
  • High Tempo – They need to be adaptable in the global market, therefore employees have to think fast.
  • Openness – majority of the interviewees think Adidas is not hierarchical and a workplace where expressing opinions is encouraged.

The culture of Adidas is both staff and customer friendly. Adidas believes on continuous professional development and continuous improvement through the training of staff, talent management, good compensation packages and incentives, employee engagement and a specific code of compliance. Employees from top to bottom are treated with respect and professional dignity. The culture of Adidas encourages positive and constructive competition among the employees. The culture that is described above is observed as a general view on the Adidas culture. However, there are some differences between the different sections at Adidas (Eklund and Li 2010).


Eklund, C., and Li, C. (2010) A Cultural Perspective of Diversity Management Implementation. Stockholm School of Economics (Available at:

Schein, E.H. (2004) Organizational Culture and Leadership, San Fransico: Jossey- Bass A Wiley Imprint. 4th Ed