How Important Is Culture?: An Inside Look at Keller Williams Realty

Citation
Title:
How Important Is Culture?: An Inside Look at Keller Williams Realty
Year: 
2015
Publication: 
Stanford Closer Look Series
Volume: 
CGRP48
Issue: 
April 16, 2015
Start Page: 
1
End Page: 
9
Publisher: 
Copyright © 2015 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved.
Language: 
English
URL: 
http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/centers-initiatives/cgri/research/closer-look
Select license: 
No License (All right reserved)
DOI: 
PMID: 
ISSN: 
Abstract:

Corporate leaders pay considerable attention to the strategy and finances of their organization but often less attention to organizational features that impact whether their strategy is successful, including the decision-making structure and the incentives, values and culture that motivate individual employees to act in the interest of the firm.

How important are these elements in contributing to financial results?

We examine this question in detail through the example of Keller Williams Realty. Keller Williams is the largest real estate franchise in the world, with over 115,000 agents. It is also a company with a unique economic  and cultural model, embracing organizational concepts such as profit sharing, shared decision making, open books, and extensive employee training. 

We review the company’s operating model in detail and ask:

·        How important is culture as a determinant of economic outcomes?

·        Are culture and incentives the same, or is culture something greater?

·        Are some elements of culture “more important” than others?

·        How are the values and behaviors within an organization influenced by “tone at the top”?

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