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Cultural imperatives for industry-oriented performance

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1 Author(s)
Gordon, G.G. ; Dept. of Bus. Adm., Rutgers Univ., Newark, NJ, USA

The relationships between industry characteristics and the cultural characteristics that are differentially associated with successful performance are explored. While the popular press often associates success with a strong culture or specific cultural characteristics, it is more likely that different industries place different demands upon companies, to which different cultural adjustments are appropriate. Examining different characteristics such as capital intensity, investment payback period, and nature of competition, the author hypothesizes that industries vary in the degree to which they concentrate upon either reliability of product or service, or adaptability to the marketplace as a primary objective. It is also hypothesized that firms with either goal will develop very different cultures in order to meet their challenges. An examination of management survey data from utilities and high tech manufacturers supports the hypotheses. Values that assured wide involvement in decisions and protected the company against radical departures from established procedures were reflected in the utilities. In the manufacturers, on the other hand, were reflected values which facilitated their ability to quickly respond to opportunities or changes in the marketplace

Published in:

Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Jun 1990

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