When discussing the case, “The ordinary heroes of the Taj”, the significant impact of corporate culture on humans and their attitudes and behaviors became clear. Organizational culture refers to a system of shared meaning and values within the members of the organization that distinguishes it from other organizations. Within the well-known hotel chain “Taj” the organizational culture seemed to be strongly influenced by the founder’s Indian origin. The hotel employees treated their guests according to the Indian saying “Guest is God” and employees were trained extensively to increase their autonomy. The importance of traditional values and the cultural fit are major recruiting criteria at Taj. The core value of altruism of the Indian culture is deeply anchored in the organization and allowed for the selfless and intuitive reaction during the riots that affected the Taj hotel. The fact, that even the Taj Boston offers a comparable experience to Taj India proves that the dominant culture and the core values of the Taj chain are successfully anchored and shared throughout their hotels worldwide. The strength of their corporate culture and their intuitive display of altruism for me showed an impressive example of how relevant the communication of and training towards core values is when recruiting new employees.
Therefore, I got interested in how and if other enterprises with less customer-orientation also manage to create a comparably strong culture and promote their main values throughout all layers of the organizational hierarchy. During my research, I found the example of Google. As I am currently looking for internships, I find it really interesting how different companies try to convince young talents to join their company. While some big multinationals rely upon their already existing reputation and do not or hardly invest in attracting new talent, Google even provides promotional videos that are supposed to broadcast Google’s corporate culture. The attached YouTube video presents the first week of several interns at Google.
The company tries to emphasize their core values creativity, teamwork and empowerment of even the youngest employees. In the promotional video, interns and employees or diverse cultures and with completely different backgrounds are shown. It creates the feeling of a truly open-minded company with a very personal touch. The interviews with the different interns show their enthusiasm about Google as a workplace and it creates a very positive company image. It seems, as if passion and no fear of failing but rather being open to learn new things are main characteristics of Google’s working environment. Employees and interns work in very colorful offices, celebrate together and report on many exciting activities they engage in regularly. For me personally, one of the most important aspects is the treatment of the interns as regular employees.
Some of the main downsides that many student interns I know experienced are a lack of responsibility and autonomy as well as the fear of making mistakes. Google however manages to present itself as a true learning organization and creates the feeling of belongingness and imagination as main driver for productivity. The feeling of belongingness is further emphasized by the fact that the interns wear Google T-shirts and caps. This supports the belief that working for Google is more than just a job, but rather a passion.
Even though this video is clearly promotional and it is therefore questionable whether the corporate culture is really as deeply embedded in the company as depicted in this short movie clip, I think that the video provides a good example of what the most important aspects of a positive company culture are. Google is it very successful in creating a positive image of its working environment and manages to infect the audience with the enthusiasm of being a “Googler”.