Tailoring Your Strategy To Fit The Cult

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Tailoring Your Strategy to Fit the Culture






hen a company goes global, it often doesn’t realize that its strategy is a product of its own culture. Culture influences every aspect of a company’s strategy, whether at the corporate level or the product/ brand level. For this reason, companies cannot simply convert a national strategy into a global strategy without first understanding the various cultural dynamics at play.
In this article, I will discuss three aspects of global strategy: the company’s mission, vision and identity, brand strategies, and communications. Drawing upon Geert Hofstede’s dimensions of national culture (see Five
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Sticking to uniqueness and consistency in corporate identity can be counterproductive,


op yo Although the concept of the mission and vision are Western inventions, the practice has been universally embraced by companies worldwide. Providing a statement that expresses a company’s strategic intent, its philosophy, values, ethics or operational effectiveness has become standard global management practice. Yet closer analysis of such statements reveals telling differences in content and form across the world.
The mission statements of U.S. companies, for example, tend to be strong statements of identity and reflect the need for consistency, performance, leadership, greatness and growth – values that are shared among cultures that score high on individualism and cultural masculinity, and low on longterm orientation, like the United States does.
So, General Electric states: “Being a reliable growth company requires consistent execution on strategic principles that drive performance every quarter and every year.”
Meanwhile, in collectivistic cultures, such as those found in Asia, social harmony is prized and companies function more like families. What the company stands for is more often expressed as “Harmony with People, Society and the Environment,” as in the case of Toyota. Or “All people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future,” as in

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Tailoring Your Strategy to Fit the Culture



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