Thought WSO might find this interesting. The following is from a Slate article about the upcoming Alibaba Group IPO.

The building of the helmsman's [Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma] loyal army started with recruiting. In its early days, Alibaba preferred to hire fresh grads from second-tier schools. Unlike their peers from top schools, these humble kids, eager to prove themselves, did not have the haughty attitude or the audacity to assert their conventionally naive ideas. The company then drilled its six values into these new hires--"Customer First," "Teamwork," "Embrace Change," "Integrity," "Passion," and "Commitment." Every business group was assigned a dedicated HR liaison, known as its "political commissar" (I kid you not), who monitored employees' performances. Every quarter, performance reviews were mandated, with 50 percent based on the employees' adherence to the company's values. Those with bad value scores, even top performers, got fired.


You should check out the whole article if you have time. Really interesting info on the firm's culture, doing business in China, and the changes a company goes through as it transitions from a tech darling to a massive conglomerate.

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Comments (10)


I don't know, the whole concept sounds a little cloudy...

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."

"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent."


what does "inte-grity" mean not too sure

speed boost blaze


2nd tier schools? Blasphemy I say!

In reply to islandbanker


Duff, you would read Slate...

This article originally appeared in the New America Foundation's Weekly Wonk.

It's a good article.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."


I'm always skeptical of these culture first places. I know it isnt true but I always picture them as a Brdgewater esque hellhole where you cant get anything done because you are too busy toeing the party line.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

In reply to happypantsmcgee

While I think you are 100% correct in terms of the culture, I think you are missing the point that these culture first places have employees that self select in. Those that don't fit leave quickly. So you are left with the vast majority of your employees being extremely loyal and cultural advocates.

In reply to ke18sb

Right and my point is I dont know if thats necessarily good as you self select very like minded people so theres limited diversity of thought.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford


I find it quite ironic that Jack Ma claims to be an advocate for entrepreneurship, yet creates a corporate culture that stifles creativity and is basically a bunch of minions


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