South-Western - Management  
The Foundation for a Company's Reputation is Often Built on a Strong Corporate Culture
Topic Corporate Culture
Key Words corporate culture
InfoTrac Reference A80900008
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News Story

Klaus Kochs of Volkswagen believes that imposing a consistent culture on a diverse group, or as he sees it, imposing a set of values, is problematic. But an organization has culture whether or not it is directed by management. The difference lies in whether the company's values are consciously selected or the result of random decisions. As the author of this article states, reputation is driven by behavior; behavior is driven by character; character is driven by values. Senior management should make sure that both they and the employees understand the company's values. Companies like Enron show what happens when managers lose sight of the company's values.


Explain the relationship between values and corporate character.


Do you agree with Klaus Kochs, that imposing a corporate culture is wrong, or with the author, who believes it is essential? Justify your answer based on your readings and lectures.

Source "The Foundation for a Company's Reputation is Often Built on a Strong Corporate Culture," PR Week December 3, 2001, p. 9.
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