This article provides school leaders with insights into within and beyond-school influences on school collaborative culture. The study examines how social demographics, and school culture prevalent in different school bandings, influence school capacities (principalleadership; shared and supportive leadership; shared values and vision; and collaborative learning). A structural equation model is constructed from 10 Hong Kong schools’ survey data to trace the path influences of the study variables. The results show that hierarchical cultures tend to prevail in lower banding schools, affecting school collaborative culture negatively. In contrast, rule-seeking cultures have a positive influence on individuals with humbler childhood family upbringing. Likewise at the individual level, unlike most risk-takers found to negatively influence school collaborative culture, English childhood home language speakers’ risk-taking values do not have a significant influence on such school capacities. Nevertheless, rule-seeking and risk-taking teachers are as likely to be recruited in schools regardless of school banding. The results have global significance on how broader social hierarchy embeds in leadership relations differentiated by school banding, with an impact on school collaborative culture. School leaders may consider leveraging leadership relations and professional development to promote school cultures that enhance collaboration at different levels of the organizational hierarchy. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).