Trying to Change the Corporate Culture of a Multinational Enterprise: General Semiconductor
In your opinion, what actions taken by Ostertag stood the most chance of changing General Semiconductor’s culture? His decision to “replace nearly every member of the company’s senior management team” could have been more effective and beneficial had he only replaced those on the management team who were not upholding and enforcing the values and cultures of the company. The “team-building meeting in which the new management team would decide on the company’s guiding principles” was an excellent idea because it encouraged employee empowerment, but it could have been advantageous to involve employees outside of the management team. Allowing lower-level employees to be involved in developing the new mission statement and the “culture points” (“a list of eight company values”) would have made more sense since these were “centered around goals like ‘quality’, ‘integrity’, ‘good customer service’, and ‘on-time delivery.’” All of these culture points are important aspects of the company and employees should understand these values so that they can make better decisions and maintain proper employee performance. The idea of having the culture points on a small card is wonderful, but as the manager, I would have encouraged them to learn the values in the same manner, but would have rewarded them whenever they “[rattled] off four or five of those values” correctly. Using incentives might displace some of the fear that appears to be common amongst Ostertag’s international employees while still showing “’that this is what everyone here is striving for.’”
Do you think requiring everyone in a multinational firm to carry around a card with the firm’s core values on it can change a company’s culture? Why or why not? I think it could very well change a company’s culture, but only if everyone was “on board” with the changes. Invoking fear is certainly not the way to...
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