What is Pervasive?

Definition: Pervasive refers to the corporate culture that becomes the second nature of the workforce, leading employees to maintain a positive or a negative attitude with an impact on their performance.

What Does Pervasive Mean?

What is the definition of pervasive? A positive corporate culture enables the leaders of an organization to strategically improve corporate performance and foster a positive climate at the workplace. In this context, it strengthens employee engagement, productivity, and teamwork. In contrast, a negative corporate culture impedes an organization from moving forward and has a negative impact on how employees feel about their work. It often generates distress, low productivity, and high employee turnover. In both cases, however, the corporate culture is pervasive and therefore, difficult to change.

Let’s look at an example.


A few years ago, Company A, a leading manufacturer, was acquired by a mega corporation. The company has gone through restructuring as well as a stiff period of layoffs. As a result, the employee performance deteriorated, people were stressed about losing their jobs, and the negative atmosphere has led to bottom up blame shifting.

Company B is a well-established retailer with a global presence that has recently introduced a new product line. However, due to inadequate market research and following the financial crisis, the new products failed to convince consumers. Hence, the company struggles with declining profitability and high employee turnover.

In both cases, employees react in a negative way to a negative situation at the workplace, which makes them feel insecure. A lack of motivation maintains an unhealthy corporate culture, which is so strong that it cannot be overpowered.

To change a pervasive corporate culture, leaders must be able to find the proper balance that emphasizes more on relationships and less on results. Corporate results will be met if employees feel appreciated. Also, emotional intelligence is important because it enables leaders to effectively deal with conflict and overcome business challenges.

Summary Definition

Define Pervasive: Pervasive means something that influences all activities around it.