Corporate Culture and Leadership: Keys to Good Strategy
1 Which one of the following is not something
that shapes and helps define a company's culture?
A) The core values and business principles
that executives espouse together with the operating practices and behaviors
that define "how we do things around here"
B) The company's standards of what is
ethically acceptable and what is not, along with the legends and stories that
people repeat to illustrate and reinforce the company's core values,
traditions, and business practices
C) A company's approach to people management
and its style of operating
D)The strategy and business model that the company
E) The "chemistry" and
"personality" that permeates its work environment
2 Which one of the following is not something to
look for in identifying a company's culture?
A) The company's approach to people management
and the official policies, procedures, and operating practices that paint the
white lines for the behavior of company personnel
B) The company's track record in meeting or
beating its financial and strategic performance targets
C) How managers and employees interact and
relate to each other
D) The spirit and character that pervades the
E) The strength of peer pressures to do things
in particular ways and conform to expected norms
3 Which of the following statements about a
strong-culture company is false?
A) Decisive leadership on the part of top
executives, an industry-leading market share, and strict enforcement of
long-standing company policies are all important traits of a strong culture
B) In strong culture companies, senior
managers make a point of reiterating key principles and core values to
organization members; more importantly, they make a conscious effort to display
these principles and values in their own actions and behavior—they walk the
C) Continuity of leadership, small group size,
stable group membership, geographic concentration, and considerable
organizational success all contribute to the emergence and sustainability of a
D) In a strong-culture company,
culturally-approved behaviors and ways of doing things are nurtured while
culturally-disapproved behaviors and work practices get squashed.
E) Senior managers insist that company values
and business principles be reflected in the decisions and actions taken by all
company personnel; moreover, individuals encounter strong peer pressures from
co-workers to observe culturally-approved norms and behaviors.
4 The characteristics of a weak company culture
A) deep hostility to change and to people who
champion new ways of doing things.
B) no code of ethics or statement of core
values, a highly centralized managerial hierarchy, and a big corporate
C) a lack of values and principles that are
consistently preached or widely shared, little co-worker peer pressure to do
things in particular ways, and no strong employee allegiance to what the
company stands for or to operating the business in well-defined ways.
D) no strong sense of empowerment among
company members, little or no top management commitment to a clearly-defined
competitive strategy, and a poor track record in producing good financial
E) All of the above are traits of a weak
5 Which of the following is not one of the four
types of unhealthy company cultures?
A) Bureaucratic cultures
B) Change-resistant cultures
C) Unethical and greed-driven cultures
D) Politicized cultures
E) Insular, inwardly-focused cultures
6 Companies with insular, inwardly-focused
A)are typically opposed to performance-based
incentive compensation and employee empowerment.
B)are prone to be preoccupied with avoiding
risks, are unlikely to pursue bold actions to capture emerging opportunities,
are frequently lax when it comes to product innovation and continuous
improvement in performing value chain activities, and prefer following rather
than leading market change.
C)are typically gung-ho about adapting to
changing market conditions so as to protect the company's culture from
D)tend to resist recruiting people who can
offer fresh thinking and outside perspectives and typically refrain from looking
outside the company for best practices, new managerial approaches, and
E)are typically run by empire-building
managers who jealously guard their decision-making prerogatives; they have
their own agendas and operate the work units under their supervision as
autonomous "fiefdoms," and the positions they take on issues is
usually aimed at protecting or expanding their turf.
7 The hallmarks of a high performance corporate
A)a shared willingness to adapt core values
and ethical standards to fit the changing requirements of an evolving strategy,
use of a balanced scorecard approach to tracking company performance, and a
gung-ho approach to discovering best practices.
B)considerable political infighting that
typically consumes a great deal of organizational energy, often with the result
that what's best for the company takes a backseat to political maneuvering.
C)a "can-do" spirit, pride in doing
things right, no-excuses accountability, and a pervasive results-oriented work
climate where people go the extra mile to meet or beat stretch objectives.
D)charismatic managerial leadership, a lean
management bureaucracy, and a must-be-invented-here mindset.
E)strong inclinations to adopt a wait-and-see
posture, carefully analyze several alternative responses, learn from the
missteps of early movers, and then move forward cautiously and conservatively
with initiatives that are deemed safe.
8 Adaptive cultures are characterized by such
A)willingness on the part of organizational
members to accept change and take on the challenge of introducing and executing
new strategies—company personnel share a feeling of confidence that the
organization can deal with whatever threats and opportunities come down the
pike; they are receptive to risk taking, experimentation, innovation, and
changing strategies and practices.
B)orchestrating organizational changes in a
manner that (1) demonstrates genuine care for the well-being of all key
constituencies (customers, employees, shareowners, suppliers, and the
communities where the company operates) and (2) tries to satisfy all their
legitimate interests simultaneously.
C)a proactive approach to identifying issues,
evaluating the implications and options, and quickly moving ahead with workable
D)a willingness to change operating practices
and behaviors to adapt to new market and competitive conditions so long as the
changes do not compromise core values and long-standing business principles
E)All of these.
9 Which of the following is not one of the
leadership roles that senior managers have to play in pushing for good strategy
execution and operating excellence?
A)Learning the obstacles in the path of good
execution and clearing the way for progress
B)Weeding out managers who are consistently in
the ranks of the lowest performers (the bottom 10%) and who are not
enthusiastic about the strategy or how it is being executed
C)Staying on top what is happening and closely
D)Putting constructive pressure on the
organization and initiate ive actions.
E)Delegating authority to middle and
lower-level managers and creating a sense of empowerment among employees to
move the implementation process forward.
10 The task of top executives in making ive
A)deciding when adjustments are needed and
what adjustments to make.
B)knowing when to continue with the present
corporate culture and when to shift to a different and better corporate
C)being good at figuring out whether to arrive
at decisions quickly or slowly in choosing among the various alternative
D)deciding whether to try to fix the problems
of poor strategy execution or simply shift to a strategy that is easier to
E) deciding how to identify the problems that