Ritz-Carlton's Human Resource Management Practices and Work Culture: The Foundation of an Exceptional Service Organization

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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : HROB100 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Organizational Culture
Case Length : 23 Pages
Period : 1983-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC
Industry : Hotels and Hospitality
Countries : US


Ritz-Carlton was counted among the top luxury hotel chains in the world, and was known for its sophisticated and elegant ambience and culture of service excellence. Ritz-Carlton's commitment to quality is demonstrated by the fact that it was the only hotel company to have ever won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and the only service company to have won it twice.

This case discusses the organizational culture of Ritz-Carlton, and how it contributed to making it a great service company. It presents the different aspects of Ritz-Carlton's culture, such as its recruitment practices, the intensive training program, employee empowerment, and the rituals the company followed to ensure cultural continuity and uniformity.

The case also talks about the cultural shift that Ritz-Carlton initiated in 2006, when it replaced the 20 Basics that had acted as guidelines to employees in providing service, with 12 new Key Service Values designed to make the service more relevant to the early 2000s. Ritz-Carlton's decision to do away with uniformity of décor in favor of matching each hotel's design to its location and surroundings is also mentioned. The case concludes with a question of whether the cultural shift was likely to benefit Ritz-Carlton or put off its traditional customers.


» To examine the elements of the organizational culture of a company known for service excellence

» To analyze the significance and benefits of having a strong organization culture, especially for service companies

» To understand the significance of rituals in keeping organizational culture uniform and consistent

» To study the issues in change management in context of the company under study

» To appreciate the importance of orientation and training for new employees, and its impact on employee morale

» To examine whether strict standards can lead to rigidity in organizational culture and the negative impact that rigidity can have on employees


  Page No.
Ritz-Carlton Tops in Training 1
Background 2
The Quest for Quality Improvement 4
Quality and Service at The Ritz-Carlton 5
HR Practices and Work Culture 6
Cultural Impact 11
A Cultural Shift 12
Exhibits 15

Key Words:

Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Organizational Culture, HR Practices, Service Organization, Employee Orientation, Training , On-the-job Training, Quality Management, Gold Standards, Horst Schulze, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Daily Lineup, Employee Empowerment, Key Service Values

Ritz-Carlton Tops in Training - Next Page>>


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