Defining culture but complex concepts doesn’talways need complex definitions. Edgar Schein, one of the most influential voices in theorganisational culture debate, described cultureas the habitual behaviours and assumptions thatorganisations develop when dealing with internaland external factors. Schein points out that whenorganizations deal with different issues, they tendto develop different norms and behaviours. Withthis in mind, we could say that a complianceculture is the habits and mindsets organizationshave developed when dealing with regulation andcompliance.
While the emphasis of this definition is on the actof compliance as opposed to the actualcompliance department, the way people deal withthe latter also reveals how they perceive, think,and feel about complying.