This interesting article cites the experiences of employees working in a toxic culture. It details their specific situations and their efforts to bring about change. There are some interesting ideas worth looking at.

Nearly two-thirds (62.5%) of respondents to this week’s … poll say they have worked in a “toxic” work environment, and another quarter (26%) say they have worked in more than one. The rest had something of a caveat – that it depended on what one means by “toxic.” One reader explained, “just thought there’s been a few incidents with a few employees, which I myself wouldn’t categorize it as “toxic,” but the other employees are starting to think it’s “toxic”…
Now we all know that some places are just bad places (indeed, 18.75% of this week’s respondents said that was the essence of their workplace), but asked to describe the source of the toxicity, more than one in five (22%) said it was attributable to a single person – and another 44% said, “Mostly one person, aided and abetted by management who wouldn’t deal with the problem.” That’s right – two-thirds said the problem was down to a single person (and a single person that “management” refused to deal with). As for the rest? Well, they went with “not the whole thing, but the bad elements got all the attention/recognition.”
The sources of the toxicity experienced were varied, but resistance to change (53%) and resistance to new ideas (47%) were top of the list.

Source: Reader Poll: Tackling a Toxic Workplace – NAPA Net