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Fish Can't See Water: How National Culture Can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy by Richard D. Lewis, Kai Hammerich

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4

THE CULTURAL DYNAMIC MODEL® AND THE AUSTIN MOTORS CASE

Introduction

This chapter provides the essential overview of the Cultural Dynamic Model®. First, we examine how embedded values impact work practices, and through this influence the artefacts and espoused values and thus ultimately impact behaviour. We complete the Cultural Dynamic Model® by introducing the central concept of a cultural dynamic. This explains how the individual parts of the model interact, and over time may cause the corporate culture to change without anyone intending it to. Finally, we show how you can identify and verify the deeply embedded values and ways of thinking that may be invisible within the organization.

In the detailed Austin Motors case in the second part of the chapter we use this insight to explore how the national traits that helped accelerate Austin's growth in the embryonic period turned against the company and derailed the strategy in the growth period. As we show in the subsequent cases, this dual nature of national traits is often most visible when a company moves from one lifecycle phase to another or a major event or disruption takes place that upsets the strategy and culture balance.

Let's look at a real life example of what we mean. SAP, a major German technology company, was contemplating how best to deploy a new software development methodology called Agile in order to accelerate the pace of innovation in software development. Agile is an interactive methodology, based on the ...

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