Fish Can't See Water: How National Culture Can Make or Break Your Corporate Strategy

  • 5h 5m
  • Kai Hammerich, Richard D. Lewis
  • John Wiley & Sons (UK)
  • 2013

How national culture impacts organizational culture—and business success

Using extensive case studies of successful global corporations, this book explores the impact of national culture on the corporate strategy and its execution, and through this ultimately business success—or failure. It does not argue that different cultures lead to different business results, but that all cultures impact organizations in ways both positive and negative, depending on the business cycle, the particular business, and the particular strategies being pursued. Depending on all of these factors, cultural dynamics can either enable or derail performance. But recognizing those cultural factors is difficult for business leaders; like everyone else, they too can be blind to the culture of which they are a part.

The book offers managers and leaders eight recommendations for recognizing those cultural factors that negatively impact performance, as well as those that can be harnessed to encourage superior performance. With real case studies from companies in Asia, Europe, and the United States, this book offers a truly global approach to organizational culture.

  • Offers a fresh approach to the effects of national culture on organizational culture that is applicable to any country in any region
  • Based on case studies of such companies as Toyota, Samsung, General Motors, Nokia, Walmart, Kone and British Leyland
  • It describes the origins and nature of the most common corporate crisis and how culture impacts the response to such a crisis
  • Ideal for managers, business leaders, and board members, as well as business school students

A welcome response to the flat-Earth fad that argues we're all alike, this book offers a nuanced and practical view of cultural differentiators and how they can enable or derail business performance.

About the Author

Kai Hammerich received his M.B.A. from Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management (with distinction) and his M.Sc. in economics from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Based in London, he is a Managing Director with the international search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. Kai Hammerich has conducted numerous CEO and board-level search, succession and leadership assessment projects for major global companies. He has in-depth experience advising clients on how to align a company's talent portfolio with its overall business strategy and company culture. Kai Hammerich was nominated by BusinessWeek as one of the most influential headhunters worldwide.

In this Book

  • Fish Can’t See Water—How National Culture Can Make Or Break Your Corporate Strategy
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Corporate Culture, Strategy And Business Results
  • The Lewis Model – Setting The Scene
  • Nation-State Traits And How They Affect Corporate Cultures In Seven Countries
  • The Cultural Dynamic Model ® And The Austin Motors Case
  • The Embryonic Period
  • The Growth Period
  • The Maturity Period
  • Whither The West
  • The Crisis
  • Enhancing Corporate Performance In A Multicultural World
  • Appendix
  • References And Websites