Purpose – This paper seeks to enhance understanding of the role and effect of corporate culture as a unique strategic asset on the success of business models. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is a conceptual exploration of several key constructs and their interrelationship. The argument is based on four related notions: that corporate culture is an “asset”; that it is a “strategic asset” in the sense of comprising a source of competitive advantage; that it might well be the “ultimate strategic asset”; and that culture as a strategic asset can be the essence or core of a business model. The paper also uses “empirical examples” of actual companies to study and demonstrate the core constructs and ideas. It also examines issues involving the key dimensions of corporate culture, the measurement of corporate culture, and certain related performance measurement issues. Findings – The paper shows that corporate culture is a strategic asset, which, if managed properly, can be the key differentiating factor in a successful business model. It also shows that when not managed properly, can actually transform into a “liability”. Practical implications – This paper demonstrates that corporate culture is a critical strategic asset because of its role in creating competitive advantage and successful business models. It suggests that corporate culture can also be the single most important source of competitive advantage in business models. Finally, it suggests that practicing leaders as well as investors and academics need to pay attention to corporate culture as a component of business strategy. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the literature and to practice by examining the notion that corporate culture is a strategic asset in depth and examining the relationship between culture as a strategic asset and business models. It also takes steps towards a coherent framework for both scholars and practicing managers to frame and understand the issues involved in the management and measurement of this critical strategic asset.
Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 22, 2012
Keywords: Corporate culture; Assets; Strategic asset; Ultimate strategic asset; Business models; Performance measurement; Organizational culture