Build a Stronger Culture: 10 Must-Reads for 2024

Explore MIT SMR’s top 10 reads from 2023 on workplace culture.

Reading Time: 3 min 


Jedi Noordegraaf/Ikon Images

Whether or not culture eats strategy for breakfast, as Peter Drucker is credited with saying, it remains a pressing topic for MIT SMR’s readers. A few years into hybrid work arrangements, leaders are still facing cultural concerns head-on, which is why we’ve gathered 10 resources covering psychological safety, workplace toxicity, and proven approaches to culture change — including ways to win over skeptics. We’ve also dug into issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and approaches to building a culture of honesty and trust.

The following are 10 of our most popular articles of 2023 on building a stronger workplace culture. We hope they will continue to help readers lead thriving organizations in which every employee can flourish.

The Toxic Culture Gap Shows Companies Are Failing Women

Donald Sull and Charles Sull

Which elements of corporate culture are most critical to women? And which cultural shortcomings are causing women to head for the exits? In analyzing the language that 3 million U.S. employees used in Glassdoor reviews to describe their employer, the authors found that toxic culture disproportionately affects women, with the widest gender gaps in perceptions of inclusivity and disrespect.

Take a Skills-Based Approach to Culture Change

Per Hugander

Taking a skills-based approach rather than implementing typical culture-change initiatives can lead to positive changes in behavior that endure, particularly when it comes to cultivating soft skills, like perspective taking, and creating psychological safety. The author explains key attributes of the skills-based approach to culture change and how organizations can leverage it to speed adoption and improve performance in the long term.

Managing the Cultural Pitfalls of Hybrid Work

Christine Moorman and Katie Hinkfuss

Although the hybrid work model has been widely adopted among many businesses, the complications it has introduced around peer relationships and connections linger on. A set of strategies presented here can help leaders navigate organizational culture and the socialization of new employees during this era of digital transformation.

Proven Tactics for Improving Teams’ Psychological Safety

Chris Rider, Antoine Ferrère, Zsófia Belovai, Maria Guadalupe, and Florian Englmaier

The authors’ earlier research found that an employee’s psychological safety and their relationships with their managers are key factors in feeling able to bring up ethical concerns. Investigating further, the authors tested managerial interventions that were found to increase that sense of safety and speaking-up behaviors.


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