There is much debate about corporate culture, but a new research project will attempt to lift the lid on how companies set about creating and monitoring the cultures in their organisations.
The Leadership in Corporate Culture Survey has been launched by Board Agenda in partnership with Mazars, the international auditing and accounting firm. The research and subsequent report is being produced in association with the INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative. It will be the first survey to ask boards across Europe how they establish corporate cultures within their organisations, and whether they are clear on the linkage between company culture and performance
Anthony Carey, a partner and head of board practice at Mazars, said: “Peter Drucker is attributed with the phrase ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. Given its importance to the sustainable success of a business, it should be top of the menu for lunch and dinner as well.”
He adds: “[Corporate culture] is hard to define clearly, but for practical purposes, ‘it’s how people do things around here’, or ‘how they behave when no one is looking’ gets close enough.
“It’s about being ethical but it also embraces the distinctive strengths of the business model, for example being innovative, solutions-orientated or customer-focused.
“Culture is especially important in uncertain times like today, as a business with a healthy culture, and team capabilities aligned to it, has the best chance of having the agility and resilience to seize the right opportunities and survive the unexpected challenges.”
Erik van de Loo, professor of organisational behaviour at INSEAD, said: “Though it is widely acknowledged that aspects of culture and behaviour are major determinants of what happens in and around corporations and institutions, there is still very limited empirical knowledge about the role of boards in all of this.
“To what extent are boards actually focused on monitoring and supervising culture and behaviour, and are they aware of the impact of the culture of the board itself? This survey is a valuable attempt to help to close this knowledge gap. Your participation is strongly recommended and highly appreciated.”