South-Western - Management  
Maintaining Common Corporate Culture is Chief Concern for Global Executives
Topic Internal Environment and Culture
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Key Words Global organizations, corporate culture, leadership
News Story

Executives at the world’s biggest companies say their greatest concern as their businesses become more global is the ability to maintain a common corporate culture around the world.

The survey of more than 900 executives, done by Accenture, found that 49% of respondents selected “the ability to maintain a common corporate culture” as their greatest area of concern, followed by “understand local customs and ways of doing business,” selected by 44%. Forty-one percent of respondents selected the ability to “service remote clients effectively” as a major challenge, and 36% selected the “impact of the global economy.” Only 25% of respondents selected “the impact of geopolitical issues” as a major challenge.

Twenty-two percent of respondents said that their organizations are poorly equipped to succeed globally, despite the fact that almost all of the respondents said that their companies are more global today than they were five years ago. Respondents in China and Japan had significantly higher answers to this question (48%).

Only 55% of the executives said that they believe that their organizations are able to develop leaders with the aptitude and skills to adapt to rapid change in the new global environment.

Mark Foster, Accenture’s group chief executive, summed up the survey results by saying “To succeed in today’s global environment, companies must create a strong and diverse leadership team with knowledge spanning disparate markets.” Foster also said that companies must find a way to maintain their core values and corporate identity across countries, especially as work becomes more knowledge-based and is increasingly handled by virtual teams.

Questions
1.

With all of the problems inherent in a global economy, why is maintaining a corporate culture the chief concern for the global executives surveyed by Accenture? Be prepared to discuss your thoughts in class.

2.

Name some of the benefits of having a cohesive corporate culture and some of the difficulties inherent in creating such a culture.

3.

What are some steps that global leaders can take to improve their global corporate culture outlook? Are there any companies that are doing this successfully right now?

Source “Maintaining Common Corporate Culture is Chief Concern for Global Executives,” Business Wire, Jan. 25, 2007, pNA.
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