Corporate Culture: The Ultimate Strategic Asset

By Eric G. Flamholtz; Yvonne Randle | Go to book overview

6
Managing the
Performance Standards
and Accountability
Dimension of Culture

Performance standards and accountability is one of the most crucial but relatively neglected (and to some extent mismanaged) aspects of organizational culture. If a company does not clearly define and have effective ways for managing its culture with respect to standards of performance and accountability (quality, customer service, achievement of goals, etc.), employees can come to view anything as good or effective performance. If standards and accountability are not emphasized in the culture, one can hardly expect them to be a focus of actual behavior.1 This chapter addresses how companies can and ought to manage the performance standards and accountability dimension of culture.

Managing the performance standards and accountability dimension has an impact on all other culture dimensions because it identifies company standards of performance with respect to such elements as quality and service; what and how much employees are held accountable for; and who is rewarded for what. Our research on corporate culture shows that the performance standards and accountability dimension is an independent statistical factor, distinct from all other factors.2 This research further supports the idea that the dimension is an explicit part of a company’s culture.

As in Chapters 4 and 5, we again examine and analyze selected companies that have actually achieved success by effectively managing the performance standards and accountability dimension of culture to gain insights into how they did it. Hewlett-Packard, Smartmatic, and Infogix are all technology companies but are distinct from one another in various significant

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