The Character of a Corporation: How Your Company's Culture Can Make or Break Your Business

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9780002559331: The Character of a Corporation: How Your Company's Culture Can Make or Break Your Business

The Character of a Corporation introduces a radical new way of thinking about corporate culture – that elusive component of business – which has the power to destroy organizations, or create a sustainable, long-term competitive edge.

What sets successful companies apart? What explains the commitment of their people, their focus and their fervour? The answer is corporate culture.

Extraordinary performance is the Holy Grail of business. And each year, it seems there’s another management ‘guru’ claiming to have found the hidden path to it. Total quality. Reengineering. Down-sizing. Individualizing.

All of these strategies have value, but often it’s temporary – failing to galvanize the organization as a whole. It is corporate culture which really makes organizations triumph in the long term. And yet corporate culture is the single most underutilized weapon companies possess.

In The Character of a Corporation, world-renowned management experts Gareth Jones and Rob Goffee introduce a radical new way of assessing and harnessing corporate culture. Having identified four distinct types of corporate culture – Networked, Mercenary, Fragmented and Communal – this book advises executives on how to change their culture and answers two vital questions:

– What is your organization’s culture?
– Is it the right one for the business challenges of the 21st century?

In addition, the authors address the ethical issues of ‘manipulating’ the ways in which people relate to one another, and describes what kind of leadership styles tend to emerge in each type of culture.

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Review:

Corporate culture is more than just a way to set the tone at work--it also affects the bottom line. That's why it's critical to understand your company's culture. Authors Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones argue that managers need to know if their business's culture helps or hurts, and how to change it, if necessary. Goffee and Jones know their stuff. As founders of the London-based consulting firm Creative Management Associates, they have helped launch programmes to overhaul corporate cultures at such companies as Johnson & Johnson, Coopers and Lybrand and Hilton Hotels. They have identified four basic cultures, each of which can be good or bad: the networked culture; the mercenary culture; the fragmented culture; and the communal culture. For example, do employees gossip and form cliques? That's the networked culture at its worst, and it's probably creating an atmosphere of distrust and cynicism that can damage the company's future. But networking can also mean open and effective communication--and constructive friendships--that can lead to the sharing of good ideas, all to the company's benefit.

The book includes handy diagnostic tools, so you can describe your own corporate culture. It also suggests ways to bring about change and offers tips on surviving in whatever culture you find yourself. The Character of a Corporation is instructive reading for managers who want to improve performance and for anyone looking to survive and thrive in the workplace. --Dan Ring, Amazon.com

From the Back Cover:

What sets successful companies apart? What explains the commitment of their people, their focus and their fervour? The answer is corporate culture.

'The Character of a Corporation' presents a powerful, practical methodology for assessing and transforming one's corporate culture – that elusive component of business which has the power to make or break a business's long-term success.

Coca-Cola, Disney, Nike and Hewlett Packard all have it: a positive corporate culture that powerful affects their bottom line. Yet corporate culture remains the most under-utilised weapon in business because most companies are intimidated by its intangibility, convinced of its secondary importance to the 'harder' components of their strategic plans, or simply don't know how to assess culture or fix it.

Drawing on fifteen years of research, and offering vivid examples and pragmatic solutions, world-renowned management experts Goffee and Jones explore how a company's 'character' can make the difference between short-term burnout and a sustainable long-term edge.

'The Character of a Corporation' is essential reading for anyone – from senior-level executive to middle manager – who wants to identify and thrive within their company's culture.

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