On the rocky road to strong global culture
Levy, Orly and Taylor, Sully and Boyacıgiller, Nakiye Avdan (2010) On the rocky road to strong global culture. MIT Sloan Management Review, 51 (4). pp. 20-22. ISSN 1532-9194
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We have studied organizational culture in global companies for 12 years, and we have found that few companies succeed at building an organizational culture that is globally integrated, yet flexible enough to accommodate local variations. One barrier is a headquarters-centric mindset: Companies often approach the process of developing a global culture as a one-way process dominated by corporate headquarters, exemplified by common terms such as cultural transfer and culture dissemination. A second often-overlooked barrier is that thinking about global culture has been too heavily influenced by a model that conceptualizes global culture along a linear continuum ranging from weak to strong culture. Such an approach is too simplistic to capture complex cultural realities in MNCs. Creating a global corporate culture requires breaking away from a headquarters-centric mindset, drawing upon cultural capabilities that exist across the global operations and incorporating diverse cultural values and practices.
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