The Soul of the Corporation: Strategies for Leading in the Age of Identity

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9780131857261: The Soul of the Corporation: Strategies for Leading in the Age of Identity

Understand, Control, and Leverage Your Company’s #1 Asset: Its Unique Identity

 

We live in a new Age of Identity, in which your employees, customers, investors, and
other stakeholders care about who you really are. More than ever, your company’s identity will shape the results it can achieve. The Soul of the Corporation will help you clearly understand your company’s identity, and then take control of it and leverage
it for long-term adaptation and success.

 

Drawing on real-life stories from the world’s most prominent companies, the authors show how identity can be an extraordinarily valuable asset—and how, if not properly managed, it can become a huge liability. Discover how your firm’s identity is related to—and different from—its organizational culture, brand positioning, and reputation. Learn how to diagnose and manage the often unconscious shared beliefs that constitute your company’s soul…how to face the enormous identity challenges that arise in mergers, alliances, spin-offs, and the creation of new brands…and above all, how to lead and inspire in this new Age of Identity.

 

• Master your company’s “I*Dimension”

New tools for leveraging identity for competitive advantage

 

• Manage the tensions that shape your company’s identity

Convergent vs. divergent, internal vs. external, designed vs. emergent, sameness vs. uniqueness

 

• Overcome the dark, dysfunctional side of identity

Minimize narcissism, conflict, drift, and fragmentation

 

• Protect what’s precious, change what needs to change

Managing identity through M&As, spin-offs, alliances, and unrelenting change

 

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About the Author:

Dr. Hamid Bouchikhi is a professor of management and entrepreneurship at ESSEC, a leading European business school based in France. He is interested primarily in the human side of organizations and draws heavily on the social sciences. A native of Morocco who has crossed many geographical and mental borders and collaborated with firms from many parts of the world, Dr. Bouchikhi has developed a sharp awareness of identity and its influence on the conduct of business.

Dr. Bouchikhi’s current research topics are in organization theory, corporate entrepreneurship, and managerial innovation, where he has authored and coauthored several books and articles in French and English. His English works have appeared in the MIT Sloan Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Organization, and the European Business Forum.

Dr. Bouchikhi has been involved with several international public and private-sector organizations through consulting assignments, management development programs, and research projects. He is the founder and academic director of ESSEC Ventures–a center providing training, coaching, logistical support, and seed financing to nascent entrepreneurs in the ESSEC Business School community.

Dr. Bouchikhi has been a visiting professor at Keio University (Tokyo), at the Wharton School (Philadelphia), and at the University of Putra Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).

 

Dr. John R. Kimberly is the Henry Bower Professor and Professor of Management, Health Care Systems, and Sociology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Visiting Professor at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. He is also Executive Director of Wharton’s Global Alliance with INSEAD.

Dr. Kimberly has served as organizational consultant in several organizations in the public and private sectors: the Directorate for Science, Technology, and Industry, and the Directorate for Scientific Affairs of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France; the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress; the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science. His recent professional leadership activities include membership on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Review, the British Journal of Management, and M@n@gement. He is the codirector, with Dr. A. Thomas McLellan, of the Center for the Organization and Management of Addiction Treatment, a joint venture between the Treatment Research Institute and the Wharton School that focuses on the business of addiction treatment.

Dr. Kimberly’s research areas include organizational design, organizational change, institutional creation, health policy, and managerial innovation. His current projects deal with the content and consequences of firm identity, competition and collaboration among health-care organizations in local markets, the structure and mobility of managerial elites, and competition and change in business education. His most recent book, edited with Hubert Gatignon, was The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance on Globalizing: Strategies for Building Successful Global Businesses, published in 2004 by the Cambridge University Press.

He holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and a BA from Yale University. His previous appointments were at Cornell University, the University of Illinois, and Yale University. He has held visiting appointments at Ecole Polytechnique, France; University of Paris-Dauphine; and Ecole Superieure en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC), Paris. From 1998 to 2002 he was also the Novartis Professor of Healthcare Management, INSEAD, and was responsible for designing and launching INSEAD’s Healthcare Management Initiative. He is currently completing a book on the global diffusion of managerial innovation with Professors Gerard de Pouvourville at ESSEC and Tom D’Aunno at INSEAD.

 

From the Back Cover:

“As Emerson said that an institution is the ‘extended shadow’ of a person, Bouchikhi and Kimberly fluidly blend the personal and enterprise-wide perspectives of professional identity to yield both powerful insights and priceless practical tools. Most management books look at the decision maker or at the decision making context. This important book embraces both while eschewing the clichés of corporate culture guidebooks. Anchored in decades of research, compelling current business sagas, and familiar everyday challenges, The Soul of the Corporation uniquely conveys the inextricably intertwined nature of the symbolic and substantive roles of leadership.”

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate Dean, Lester Crown Professor of Management, Yale School of Management, and coauthor of Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound from Career Disasters

 

“In a world of continuous flux and accelerating change, one’s sense of identity becomes more crucial than ever for companies, no less than individuals. In The Soul of the Corporation, Bouchikhi and Kimberly take us on a journey into the psychological world of corporate identity and explore the importance of companies knowing who they are, both in relation to their inner-workings and the outside world. This trailblazing book will prove invaluable to management in their quest to define the essence of their corporate identity.”

Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, author of The End of Work, The Age of Access, and The Hydrogen Economy

 

“Identity is one of the most fundamental yet least understood determinants of organizational outcomes. Bouchikhi and Kimberly’s book provides a fresh and provocative point of view of the determinants of organizational identity as well as research-based insights on how to shift identity over time. This book will be important to both scholars of organizational evolution as well as managers involved in leading change.”

Michael Tushman, Paul R. Lawrence Class of 1942 Professor of Business at the Harvard Business School

 

“A strong Identity is a major asset for a firm, as this book so convincingly illustrates. To manage the Identity (the I*Dimension) is perhaps the most critical top leadership function today. The authors show us how to do this—a must read!”

Dr. Peter Lorange, IMD President, The Nestlé Professor

 

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