Cultures of Genius at Work: Organizational Mindsets Predict Cultural Norms, Trust, and Commitment

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2020 Apr;46(4):626-642. doi: 10.1177/0146167219872473. Epub 2019 Sep 10.


Three studies examine how organizational mindset-whether a company is perceived to view talent as fixed or malleable-functions as a core belief that predicts organizational culture and employees' trust and commitment. In Study 1, Fortune 500 company mission statements were coded for mindset language and paired with Glassdoor culture data. Workers perceived a more negative culture at fixed (vs. growth) mindset companies. Study 2 experimentally manipulated organizational mindset and found that people evaluated fixed (vs. growth) mindset companies as having more negative culture norms and forecasted that employees would experience less trust and commitment. Study 3 confirmed these findings from more than 500 employees of seven Fortune 1000 companies. Employees who perceived their organization to endorse a fixed (vs. growth) mindset reported that their company's culture was characterized by less collaboration, innovation, and integrity, and they reported less organizational trust and commitment. These findings suggest that organizational mindset shapes organizational culture.

Keywords: cultural norms; lay theories; mindsets; organizational culture; organizational trust.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Trust*
  • Young Adult