Microsoft Organizational Culture

By John Dudovskiy
February 1, 2019

Microsoft Organizational CultureThe origins of Microsoft organizational culture have been laid by founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen as an innovative, but performance-obsessed. From its founding in 1972, the technology company became a market leader in a range of segments partially thanks to its corporate culture associated with efficiency and creativity. However, this changed during Steve Ballmer leadership era covering 2000-2014 with negative implications on company’s market share and stock prices. After assuming the top job in 2014, rebooting Microsoft organizational culture was one of the key tasks for the new CEO Satya Nadella.

Currently, the global technology company is actively placing One Microsoft concept at the core of its organizational culture.  Microsoft organizational culture combines the following three key features.

1. Learn-it-all mentality. Nadella is credited with transforming Microsoft’s historical ‘know-it-all’ culture into ‘learn-it-all’ curiosity.[1] Nowadays, Microsoft corporate culture accepts that no employee can know everything about the industry and their specialty. At the same time, organizational culture at Microsoft encourages its employees at all levels to maintain an open mind towards learning new skills and capabilities that will help them to do their jobs better in a systematic manner.

2. Openness. CEO Satya Nadella told in an interview that anyone should be able to tell him anything and that’s the culture they strive for[2]. Moreover, industry analysts also note that “since chief executive Satya Nadella was appointed in February 2014, Microsoft has become a far more open place”[3]

3. Value for innovation. Under the leadership of former CEO Steve Ballmer, the global technology company was often criticized for the lack of innovations in its product portfolio. Satya Nadella has announced his commitment to change this perception by integrating the values of innovation and creativity into Microsoft organizational culture.

4. Diversity and inclusion. The company attempts to promote the culture of diversity and inclusion to all organizational stakeholders through multiple communication channels. Microsoft declares “we strive to create an environment that helps Microsoft capitalize on the diversity of our people and the inclusion of ideas and solutions to meet the needs of our increasingly global and diverse customer base”.[4]

Microsoft Corporation Report contains a full analysis of Microsoft organizational culture. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on Microsoft. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Microsoft leadership, organizational structure and business strategy. The report also comprises discussions of Microsoft marketing strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.


[1] McCracken, H. (2018) “Transforming culture at Microsoft: Satya Nadella sets a new tone” In The Black, Available at:

[2] Lebowitz, S. (2015) “The CEO of Microsoft has an 8-hour meeting with his leadership team every month” Business Insider, Available at:

[3] Heffernan, M. (2016) “Microsoft has become richer through its culture shift” Financial Times, Available at:

[4] The Business of Inclusion (2017) Microsoft, Available at:

Category: Culture