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b2b Magazine
18.11.2016 | Елена Смирнова

The second happiness in business

part 1      part 2       part 3        part 4


In this article you will find answers to the questions what is healthy arrogance and why do you need employees who possess it.


Arrogance and corporate culture


The rule of seventy-four: corporate culture is the most important thing in business, say 74 out of 75 experts.


Well-known experts in this field - K. Cameron, R. Quinn, B. Caldwell, T. Goss, D. Cotter and D. Heskett - investigated how corporate culture influenced the successes and failures of the most prominent companies in the United States in the late 1990s. Many of these companies have tried to apply advanced management technologies, but without success. They were gradually losing their positions, which was both frightening and natural for the leadership. The emotional reaction was as follows: "All firms that have achieved success are moving to the stagnation stage. But why did this happen to our company?».


As a result of research, it turned out that even the most advanced management technologies were not effective only because companies refused to change their "strong" organizational culture. Cotter and Heskett invited 75 financial analysts to identify the key success factors of their business. 74 experts out of 75 recognized organizational culture as the main factor of success.



The conclusion of T. Peters and R. Waterman, sociologists and researchers of corporate culture, is also interesting: an important reason for the deterioration of the economic situation of previously steadily profitable and developing organizations was the inability to quickly adapt to changes and new environmental requirements. The reason for this is a strong organizational culture and a habit of success.


K. Christensen writes about the same paradox. The discovery of such a phenomenon as the inertia of a developed corporate culture has become an incentive for a deeper study of the significance of various types of this component. Researchers began to pay close attention to different stages of the organization's life cycle. For example, a sustainable culture will be effective at the initial stage of starting a business, and at the maturity stage, established relationships will become a hindrance. A mature business needs a more flexible model, differentiated, change-oriented and gaining new knowledge. In order to maintain the success of a business for a long time, it is necessary to determine not the type of corporate culture and the mechanisms for its maintenance, but the definition of ways to effectively change its characteristics in response to changes in the business situation. And here the decisive role belongs to employees who have sufficient audacity. Yes, yes. It is very important – will your employees be able to speak openly about the non-constructive, inhibiting elements of the business that they notice?


Edgar Shane also identified a number of characteristics that are important for the successful functioning and development of the business. Updating an established corporate culture requires certain conditions:


  • proactivity, as opposed to reactivity;
  • impact on the environment, that is, its management;
  • excellent adaptation skills;
  • pragmatism, as opposed to idealism;
  • orientation to the future, as opposed to orientation to the present/past;
  • internal differentiation, i.e. controlled heterogeneity;
  • focus on partnership, not just on solving problems;
  • using all the possibilities both for establishing external contacts and for ensuring internal integration.


Shane believes that these fundamental assumptions are necessary, although they are not sufficient for effective adaptation to changes within the company, as well as when interacting with the external organizational environment. Each of these fundamental assumptions is realized only if the interactions within the company are supported by values, behavioral norms and patterns, artifacts and symbols accompanying the mission, goals and strategies of the business.


Author: Alexandra Chekalina