Companies today are trying everything than can to get a leg up on the competition in their fields. They are dropping their prices to meet the needs of a recession, they're promoting customer service skills in all of their associates, and the larger ones are developing what are known as corporate cultures to instill a general ideology across their international brand.
A corporate culture teaches associates the ideas and concepts that the company would like the brand to represent. These can be a wide range of concepts but for the most part they are similar to goal setting, team work and team building, help the company before helping yourself, fix what you feel is broken. Each company's corporate culture takes a slightly different approach to their own ideologies but the general idea is to train your employees to think like a team and work towards bettering the company as a whole.
Corporate cultures have been around for a long time but they are relatively new to companies. Possibly the first corporate cultures were actually the major religions. The only difference between organized religion and the corporate culture is the addition of God and mythology. Both try to persuade their followers to think alike for the betterment of the group as a whole. A religion is sort of like the whole of society's corporate culture.
The government is also an example of a corporate culture. The United States government is constantly trying to instill specific values in the American people and this is true for every culture out there as well. Each president has their own brand of corporate culture that they weave into the fabric of their speeches and policies as their terms go on. John F. Kennedy's culture is represented in this quote: "Think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." He's trying to instill the do what's best for your company and you will be better off concept in the American people.
Corporate cultures are an interesting new dynamic. Companies are using them to blur the lines between workplace and home by getting into the minds of their associates. A happy and eager associate will speak highly of the company outside of the workplace and the reputation of that company will grow. This is a sought after prize for companies with products to sell or services to provide. A glowing reputation is a great thing to have in this sour business climate.