Trade-Offs in Firm Culture? Nope, You Can Have it All
46 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 7, 2018
A firm can exhibit many “good” cultural values, for example collaboration, integrity, or ambition. Influential theories of corporate culture claim that firms must choose which cultural values to foster because of inherent trade-offs between them. This paper tests this proposition using a new survey of managers (370 firms, averaging 27 respondents each). We find no evidence of trade-offs. To the contrary, we find that firms that score higher on one cultural value also tend to score higher on others. Our findings suggest that any inherent trade-offs are outweighed by the ability of good management practices to help a firm excel across many cultural values.
Keywords: Corporate Culture; Organizational Culture; Strategy Implementation; Management Practices; Survey Design
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