Do companies with rotten corporate cultures spawn scandals

November 16, 2015 Torben Rick


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The dark side of business – Rotten corporate cultures

Do companies with rotten corporate cultures spawn scandals, like the one this year at Volkswagen where engineers apparently felt at liberty to rig diesel engines to fool pollution-monitoring devices? Or the unconscionable accounting lies at Toshiba, where executives reportedly overstated profits by a stunning $2 billion over seven years? Or the endless numbers of scandals at Deutsche Bank?

 

Do companies with rotten corporate cultures spawn scandals

Corporate culture matters a lot

In a study from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, executives say corporate culture drives profitability, acquisition decisions and even whether employees behave in ethical ways:

 

Executives overwhelmingly indicate that an effective corporate culture is essential for a company to thrive in the modern business world

Among the findings:

  • More than 90% said that culture was important at their firms
  • 92% said they believed improving their firm’s corporate culture would improve the value of the company
  • More than 50% said corporate culture influences productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value and growth rates
  • Only 15% said their firm’s corporate culture was where it needed to be

Leadership needs to spend more time to develop the culture

The paper’s bottom line finding reinforces: Corporate culture is an essential element of success. Let’s hope that the fractured corporate culture at VW, Toshiba and Deutsche Bank opens a new discussion about the importance of corporate culture.

 

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Torben Rick
Do companies with rotten corporate cultures spawn scandals

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