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Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 48 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 19 March 2018

Herman Vantrappen and Rien de Jong

This article aims to present a novel, powerful and proven alternative for the flawed way in which firms traditionally state “company values”.

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to present a novel, powerful and proven alternative for the flawed way in which firms traditionally state “company values”.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis was made of the value statements of the 100 largest Fortune Global 500 firms. A literature search on company values was conducted. The authors’ field experience with the use of company values was applied.

Findings

A majority of large global companies have stated company values. There is abundant pundits’ advice on how to define, embed and live by company values. Nevertheless, stated company values generally have no impact on performance; worse, they may blow up in managers’ faces, with accusations of hypocrisy. The novel approach overcomes these shortcomings. First, it removes unnegotiable qualities, consigning these to the company’s code of conduct. Second, it no longer states a value as a singular point of perfection but as a position of a cursor on a scale.

Research limitations/implications

This approach looks at a value as a capability, that is, a resource that requires investment and development, one that helps the company to be more effective than its competitors and that its competitors would find hard to imitate readily.

Practical implications

This approach looks at a value as a capability, that is, a resource that requires investment and development, one that helps the company to be more effective than its competitors and that its competitors would find hard to imitate readily.

Originality/value

The article is of value to practicing managers. The approach helps the firm to distinguish itself from competitors in a positive and hard-to-imitate way. It stimulates productive open conversations between the firm’s managers and employees. It leads to statements that both reveal and reinforce the firm’s desired culture.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Herman Vantrappen and Frederic Wirtz

Companies change their organizations continually. When such a change follows a change in company strategy, employees understand why it happens. However, organization…

Abstract

Purpose

Companies change their organizations continually. When such a change follows a change in company strategy, employees understand why it happens. However, organization changes occur much more frequently than strategy changes. Their seemingly haphazard nature breeds cynicism, while it shouldn’t: organization changes are perfectly normal, usually necessary and often for the better. The reason is that an organization design is never perfect. Designing an organization is a delicate exercise that considers diverging requirements, but at some point, you’ve got to decide, and go for the “least bad” design. The article lays out how to explain why such changes and cycles occur.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on their long advisory experience to propose three premises about organization design. They then describe the implications of these premises for managers who need to make and explain organization design changes.

Findings

Premise 1: There is no one-size-fits-all organization. Implication: Beware of adopting organizational hypes thoughtlessly; tailor the design to the specific situation, possibly on the basis of an “organizational health-check”. 10;Premise 2: There are usually good reasons why an organization is as it is. Implication: Beware of following a slash-and-burn approach; consider a gradual approach as the default, possibly on the basis of causal loop diagrams. 10;Premise 3: Organization is more than “structure”. Implication: Beware of isolated, simple-minded changes; include “processes”, “people”, “technology” and “culture”, as explained by various frameworks.

Practical implications

Alfred Chandler famously wrote that “structure follows strategy”. This article demonstrates that “structure begets structure”. Hence it is important for managers not to bungle an organization design change. To that purpose, they should be clear about the desired time to see the impact of the change and about the risk of change-induced organizational chaos.

Originality/value

The article contributes to good management practice by enabling managers to explain well why an organization change, even in the absence of a strategy change, does make sense. Managers’ ability to explain the benefits of change, and employees’ acceptance thereof, is a mark of organizational maturity.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 46 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 December 2020

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 48 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 November 2018

Robert M. Randall

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 46 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 December 2020

Larry Goodson

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 48 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 November 2018

Larry Goodson

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 46 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 March 2018

Robert Randall

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 March 2018

Larry Goodson

Abstract

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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