Organizational Culture Examples

Let’s now take a look at some real-world examples of organizational culture across various industries.


No list of organizational culture examples would be complete without Zappos.

The company is best known for its exhaustive screening process where it only recruits employees who are dedicated to the cause.

Those who are successful must undertake a month of training in a call center where they are instilled with 10 core values that relate to customer service, communication, passion, humility, determination, and creativity. 

Former CEO Tony Hsieh famously instituted several policies to ensure Zappos culture was characterized by productivity and innovation.

One of these was known as “The Offer”, with individuals paid $2,000 to leave the company if they were unhappy after the four-week training period.

Southwest Airlines

The culture of Southwest Airlines is one of its most celebrated assets. It was established by former CEO Herb Kelleher who recognized the link between employee happiness, customer happiness, and profitability early on.

Southwest Airlines’ culture is underpinned by three elements: 

  1. Appreciation – every employee is appreciated via so-called “culture committees” to promote a fun and healthy work environment.
  2. Recognition – this occurs in formal and informal ways. Employees can be nominated for prestigious company awards and milestone anniversaries are also celebrated.
  3. Celebration – employees are encouraged to attend fun and creative events such as Southwest rallies, chili cook-offs, and spirit parties.

The company’s culture is not only successful but extremely difficult to replicate.

It enjoyed a record 44 straight years of profitability before the COVID-19 pandemic and routinely ranks #1 for the lowest number of customer complaints among major airlines.


Creativity and multimedia software company Adobe is consistently featured in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

In 2022, for example, it was ranked #32 among the likes of HubSpot, Bank of America, and Red Hat, Inc.

The company was also considered one of America’s best large employers after a Forbes and Statista survey of 38,000 employees.

Adobe’s culture is based on a people-first approach to business where employees are seen as the company’s greatest asset.

The diverse and inclusive workplace enables individuals to feel comfortable, happy, appreciated, and motivated to bring the best version of themselves to work.

Here are some of the pillars of Adobe’s organizational culture:

  • Commitment to values – the brand is driven forward by employees who embody the Adobe core values of Involved, Innovative, Exceptional, and Genuine.
  • Progressive policies – the company is a leader in pay parity across gender and ethnic pay parity for employees in underrepresented minority groups.
  • “Adobe For All” – this is a vision that enables Adobe to advance its diversity and inclusion objectives. The company strongly believes that employees should be respected and treated equally irrespective of cultural background, race, religion, age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
  • COVID-19 response – at the height of the pandemic, Adobe pledged to protect the health of its employees and, instead of laying off workers, redirected them to different areas of the company where they could best be utilized. The company also offered free meditation apps, counseling, and every third Friday off to address employee fatigue.

Read Also: Organizational Structure

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