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Fish Can't See Water: How National Culture Can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy

Book Description

How national culture impacts organizational culture—and business success

Using extensive case studies of successful global corporations, this book explores the impact of national culture on the corporate strategy and its execution, and through this ultimately business success—or failure. It does not argue that different cultures lead to different business results, but that all cultures impact organizations in ways both positive and negative, depending on the business cycle, the particular business, and the particular strategies being pursued. Depending on all of these factors, cultural dynamics can either enable or derail performance. But recognizing those cultural factors is difficult for business leaders; like everyone else, they too can be blind to the culture of which they are a part.

The book offers managers and leaders eight recommendations for recognizing those cultural factors that negatively impact performance, as well as those that can be harnessed to encourage superior performance. With real case studies from companies in Asia, Europe, and the United States, this book offers a truly global approach to organizational culture.

  • Offers a fresh approach to the effects of national culture on organizational culture that is applicable to any country in any region

  • Based on case studies of such companies as Toyota, Samsung, General Motors, Nokia, Walmart, Kone and British Leyland

  • It describes the origins and nature of the most common corporate crisis and how culture impacts the response to such a crisis

  • Ideal for managers, business leaders, and board members, as well as business school students

A welcome response to the flat-Earth fad that argues we're all alike, this book offers a nuanced and practical view of cultural differentiators and how they can enable or derail business performance.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. CONTENTS
  5. PREFACE
  6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  7. INTRODUCTION
    1. What is “culture”?
    2. The water that we couldn't see when analyzing culture
    3. The long-term view: corporate lifecycles and corporate culture
    4. Interruptions of the lifecycle – when the crisis hit
    5. “Global” companies
    6. Summary
    7. A brief chapter overview
  8. PART I: DEVELOPING THE CULTURAL DYNAMIC MODEL®
    1. CHAPTER 1: CORPORATE CULTURE, STRATEGY AND BUSINESS RESULTS
      1. What is corporate culture?
      2. Corporate culture and strategy: the cultural dynamic model®
      3. The water people don't see: the national influencers
      4. The three levels of culture
      5. The time lag of culture and cultural agility as a competitive advantage
      6. Chapter summary
    2. CHAPTER 2: THE LEWIS MODEL – SETTING THE SCENE
      1. Linear-active cultures
      2. Multi-active cultures
      3. Reactive cultures
      4. Getting things done
    3. CHAPTER 3: NATION-STATE TRAITS AND HOW THEY AFFECT CORPORATE CULTURES IN SEVEN COUNTRIES
      1. The United States
      2. Sweden
      3. France
      4. Japan
      5. Italy
      6. Germany
      7. Great Britain
    4. CHAPTER 4: THE CULTURAL DYNAMIC MODEL® AND THE AUSTIN MOTORS CASE
      1. Introduction
      2. The static cultural dynamic model® – bringing it all together
      3. Work practices
      4. Decoding observed behaviours and vision statements
      5. Mission and vision statements
      6. Identifying the values, assumptions and beliefs underpinning the “cultural universe”
      7. A cultural dynamic and the full cultural dynamic model®
      8. Case study: Austin Motors
      9. Chapter closing
  9. PART II: CASES: THE LIFECYCLE OF A COMPANY FROM INNOVATION TO CONSOLIDATION
    1. CHAPTER 5: THE EMBRYONIC PERIOD
      1. Values embedded during the early years: Apple, Microsoft and Dell
      2. Traits that enable success over the business cycles
      3. Case study: Nokia
      4. Case study: KONE – agility and humility
      5. Case study: Walmart – an American business tackling foreign markets
      6. Chapter close – preview the growth period
    2. CHAPTER 6: THE GROWTH PERIOD
      1. The product line expansion stage
      2. The scale and efficiency phase
      3. Case study: Sony versus Samsung Electronics
      4. Chapter close
    3. CHAPTER 7: THE MATURITY PERIOD
      1. The consolidation phase
      2. Case study: Toyota
      3. Case study: FLSmidth
      4. Case study: P&G
      5. Key lessons from the eight cases
  10. PART III: THE MODEL IN ACTION (LESSONS FOR BOARDS, MANAGERS AND INVESTORS)
    1. CHAPTER 8: WHITHER THE WEST
      1. Whither the West
      2. Golden rules for dealing with reactive cultures
      3. Golden rules for dealing with multi-active cultures
    2. CHAPTER 9: THE CRISIS
      1. Strategy v. competition: being “outplayed”
      2. Problems in execution
      3. Disruption
      4. Success – the success crisis
      5. Time – if you don't move forwards you move backwards
      6. Change of leadership
      7. Navigating a transformation point
      8. Differing cultural performances in times of crisis
      9. Chapter closing
    3. CHAPTER 10: ENHANCING CORPORATE PERFORMANCE IN A MULTICULTURAL WORLD
      1. Seeing the water that surrounds you
      2. Two recommendations to investors
      3. Two recommendations to boards
      4. Four recommendations to management
      5. Implications for countries
      6. Chapter and book conclusion
    4. APPENDIX
    5. REFERENCES AND WEBSITES
      1. Websites
  11. INDEX