Finalist in the 2011 National Best Books (Business: Management & Leadership) Award, sponsored by the USA Book News.
Organizational culture is a quiet, but driving, influence on our perception of a company, whether as a consumer or as an employee. For instance, we know Southwest Airlines as laid back and friendly. We think of Google as innovative. To almost every well-known company we can assign a character. It is now well recognized that corporate culture has a significant impact on organizational health and performance. Yet, the concept of corporate culture and culture management is too often tantalizingly elusive.
In this book, Flamholtz and Randle define culture, identifying and explaining the five key dimensions that determine it: a customer orientation; a people orientation; a process orientation; strong standards of performance and accountability; innovation and openness to change. They explain why culture is a critical factor in organizational success and failure—a key determinant of financial performance. Then, they provide a theoretically sound, highly practical, and field-tested method for managing corporate culture—presenting a set of international and domestic cases that show how actual companies have leveraged culture as the ultimate source of sustainable competitive advantage. In addition to well-known companies such as Starbucks, Ritz-Carlton, American Express, IBM, and Toyota, the text presents lesser known culture stars, such as Smartmatic and Infogix.
While other titles on culture have focused too heavily on the organization as a psychological being, or on academic studies of culture as a business lever, Corporate Culture draws on empirics to present a go-to, must-read guide for leveraging corporate culture as a source of competitive advantage and as a means of impacting the bottom line.
About the authors
Eric G. Flamholtz is Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and President of Management Systems Consulting, which he founded in 1978. He also teaches at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of 99 Cents Only Stores. Flamholtz is the author of a number of published books, including Leading Strategic Change and Growing Pains, Fourth Edition. He has consulted with renowned companies around the world.
Yvonne Randle is Executive Vice President of Management Systems Consulting, which she joined in 1983. She is a Lecturer at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She has extensive consulting experience with companies that range in size from small entrepreneurships to multi-billion dollar enterprises. With Flamholtz, she has co-authored several books, including Leading Strategic Change and Growing Pains, Fourth Edition.
"The success of any company is directly predicated on its employees; their dedication, passion, and commitment. Through Drs. Flamholtz's and Randle's work with my organization, we learned how corporate culture can contribute to enhancing our employees' productivity and accelerating our company's growth."
—Fuad El-Hibri, Chairman and CEO, Emergent BioSolutions Inc.
"I have applied the authors' corporate culture model to help numerous industry leaders in China. It's simple, applicable, and has transformed the way that CEOs view the science of corporate culture. Most importantly, it's the only corporate cultural model that I have found to boost profits!"
—Wendy Wu, CEO, New Leaders Group
"Eric Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle provide a new understanding of the need to not just assess corporate culture, but to actively manage culture toward the end of improved performance. In doing so, they create an innovative, uniquely comprehensive framework to guide business leaders."
—Jeff Cornwall, President, USASBE, and Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and the Jack C. Massey Chair of Entrepreneurship, Belmont University
"I would highly recommend Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Assetas a valuable tool for all managers and teams. This book will help one overcome challenges and grow as a leader. The real-world examples provide insight on how to manage corporate culture and create a sustainable competitive advantage that drives results."
—Eric Schiffer, CEO of 99 Only Stores (a NYSE company)
"This book is a scholarly and original milestone in the literature on cultural management in corporations - a 'hot topic' at a time when firms seek new ways to survive and grow. Authors Flamholtz and Randle mine a rich vein of numerous corporate case studies of both success and failure and provide a step-by-step approach to implementing their practical advice and assistance to corporate professionals. It will also rank high in academic appreciation and student course-work."
—Paul Stonham, Professor, ESCP Europe