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Understanding a workplace culture of job class

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We have all heard the terms “white-collar” and “blue-collar”. These terms have historically been used to describe executives and front-line workers – each of which is as a culture.

At a General Motors assembly plant in Warren, Mich., to refer to the cultures without reference to the color of one’s shirt. They will ask someone showers in the morning or if they shower in the evening.


Because, they contend, blue-collar workers shower in the evening to eliminate the sweat of the day’s work on the assembly line versus white-collar workers began to shower in the morning to refresh for the day.

How a job is classified, whether as management, skilled trade, or hourly, will define a culture for those working within the organization. The culture will overlay the other workplace cultures with some elements having an impact on the employee even following a job change.

Predominant subcultures:




Skilled trade

Unskilled laborer

Each of the subcultures can be predicted to act and react in specific ways based on their shared experiences. As with any culture it is important to remember that cultural characteristics that are good for more widespread across the culture and those cultural characteristics that are bad. It is important to always get to know an individual before making character judgments about them.

If you want to learn more about workplace cultures and other management issues go to or subscribe to this Examiner.

©2014 Max Impact, used with permission.

Resources for creating a winning workplace culture:

Cultural roadmap, a look at the contents of the character within each of us.

Max Impact offers free leadership training and development materials including Cultural Faux Pas and Culture Quizzes

Keep your workforce motivated with these motivational quotes.

Books about workplace cultures.



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