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Management News

Management News is South-Western's service to provide summaries of the latest management news stories. Review the brief summaries and, for stories of interest, select the full summary.
INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT AND CULTURE
Title  Brief Summary 
Whistle-Blower's Perspective on Lilly Case
Full Summary

What happens when a pharmaceutical company that has taken decades to build a sterling reputation starts to slip, in big ethical ways?  Someone blows the whistle. Eli Lilly & Co. began marketing a powerful drug to elderly people though it had not been approved for that group. It borrowed private patient lists from doctors’ offices, and it counted samples as sales to boost stock prices. So employees spoke up.
(Updated June 2009)

Maintaining Common Corporate Culture is Chief Concern for Global Executives
Full Summary
A recent survey by Accenture of 900 top executives from the world’s largest companies found that maintaining a common corporate culture in the realm of global expansion is their chief concern.
(Updated April 2007)
Corporate Culture Keeps Close to Customer Needs
Full Summary
When pharmacy wholesale giants Amerisource and Bergen merged five years ago, the two companies agreed that the new organization would have an intense focus on the customer. As a result, the forging of a new culture has been a success story.
(Updated November 2006)
Rebalancing Putnam
Full Summary
When Putnam Investments came under fire in 2003 for unethical trading practices, a new CEO took over the reins. Ed Haldeman had a big job ahead of him: not only to fix the trading problems at Putnam, but to change the organizational culture that had fostered that kind of unethical behavior.
(Updated August 2006)
Better Management, Not Better Organization Charts
Full Summary
Merging organizations into giant conglomerates has become a standard American business practice. Designed to capitalize on synergies and change cultures, experience has shown that company cultures tend to stay the same even when an organization chart is merged with another culture's.
(Updated May 2006)
Small Groups, Big Ideas
Full Summary
The unconventional workplace culture at W.L. Gore has become as well known as the company's innovative weather-resistant fabric. Will continued growth and global expansion present a challenge to the practices that have fueled its creativity, like workers collaborating in small teams and a flat organization?
(Updated April 2006)
Another Outsider Falls Casualty to Nike's Insider Culture
Full Summary
Nike is known for its insider culture. Executives with the company often say it takes 20 years to become an insular part of the team there. When William Perez, the chief executive chosen to replace founder Phillip Knight tried to change the way things were done at the company, he was shown the exit after only 13 months in charge.
(Updated March 2006)
Long Island Accounting Firm Nixes Merger with Manhattan Firm Due to Differing Corporate Culture
Full Summary
When two companies consider a merger, the most important factor in the potential success of the merger may be the two companies’ cultures. When cultures are incompatible in their basic tenets, the challenges multiply.
(Updated February 2006)
Study Says Flirtatious Women Get Fewer Raises, Promotions
Full Summary
Despite Donald Trump's infamous advice for female executives to use their physical attributes for career advancement, a new study finds that women who are flirtatious at work receive fewer raises and promotions.
(Updated September 2005)
Have You Heard? Gossip Turns Out to Serve a Purpose
Full Summary
Gossip is usually considered a negative aspect of office life, but researchers say gossip is a central form of human interaction that helps convey important information and allows outsiders to feel part of the group dynamic.
(Updated September 2005)
Flat World Fatigue
Full Summary
Years ago, U.S. employees worked regular business hours with occasional overtime. Now, as technology and communications become global industries, U.S. employees are telecommuting day and night to maintain "world time," which never stops.
(Updated July 2005)
Automated External Defibrillators in the Workplace
Full Summary
Corporations have been paying more attention to safety due to efforts by the OSHA and escalating workplace lawsuits. To maximize safety efforts, many companies are purchasing AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) to supplement CPR emergency efforts. The results of AEDs are impressive, but the added cost for equipment and training may be an obstacle for widespread use.
(Updated July 2005)
Corporate Crunch
Full Summary
When Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry's, some worried that the ice cream maker's unique culture would be sacrificed in favor of a more traditional corporate model with an emphasis only on the bottom line. Five years later, the two companies have seamlessly merged the two diverse cultures with positive effects seen by employees and shareholders.
(Updated June 2005)
The Green Machine; Whole Foods Has Come a Long Way Since Its Hippie Roots
Full Summary
John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods has some very unconventional business ideas for the CEO of a $4 billion company. For example, when an animal rights protestor took over the microphone at a 2003 shareholders meeting, Mackey not only listened to what she had to say, he gave her his personal email address, corresponded with her, and eventually worked together with her to make changes in Whole Foods policies on farm-animal treatment.
(Updated May 2005)
Is Your Company Two-Faced?
Full Summary
When corporate words and deeds don't match, employers may undermine the culture they've worked so hard to develop. Cultural disconnects cause a multitude of problems in a company. Employers have several ways to determine if there is cultural inconsistency.
(Updated September 2004)
San Antonio Firm Improves Workplace by Helping Workers Break Language Barrier
Full Summary
In the late 1990s at Jungle Laboratories, close to 15 percent of its workers were Spanish-speaking with limited English-language skills. This impacted the company in three ways: safety issues, productivity and training, and corporate culture. They decided to do something about it.
(Updated March 2004)
Tight Times A Test For Rah-Rah Firms
Full Summary
Building a positive and motivating corporate culture can be complicated, but keeping it is even more of a challenge.
(Updated December 2003)
The Tattooed Executive
Full Summary
While some companies maintain bans on body piercing and tattoos, others are accepting them as being part of the open-mindedness and innovation they desire from their employees. Once the domain of blue-collar workers, now tattoos are seen on executives, lawyers, and every other level of a company.
(Updated November 2003)
The Foundation for a Company's Reputation is Often Built on a Strong Corporate Culture
Full Summary
The word "culture" is derived from the same root as the word "cult," the Latin "colere," which means to worship or cultivate. It's no surprise some people react badly to the concept of corporate culture, but it is important in directing a company.
(Updated December 2002)
H-P Designs Workshops to Break Post-Merger Ice
Full Summary
When two companies merge, they combine more than their products. How a company handles merging two distinct corporate cultures can have a big impact on the success of the new company. This article explains how Hewlett-Packard is merging its culture with that of Compaq. Employees are required to participate in workshops to get to know each other. This is a good example of how a company's culture affects its success.
(Updated October 2002)
Enron's Dirty Laundry
Full Summary
Just how much the corporate culture at Enron contributed to its downfall is anybody's guess. Rebecca Mark and Jeffrey Skilling were two executives who not only helped create the out-of-control culture but used it to their benefit.
(Updated August 2002)
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