Thursday, September 30, 2004

Job seeking senior executives consider BE important

BE is a major factor for job-seekers at the top of the pay scale, according to a survey conducted by executive job search service TheLadders.com. The survey was held under registered $100k+ executives. Eighty three percent of the survey’s 1,020 respondents said that a company’s record of BE is “very important” when deciding to accept a job offer.

Only 2% of executives responding to the survey said that the company’s record of BE was altogether “unimportant,” and 15% said it was “important, but not a deal-breaker.”

When asked about specific companies, the survey’s respondents showed a mixed response to recent, highly-publicized corporate scandals. While some of the most public faces of corporate malfeasance seem to have hindered their ability to recruit top talent, others have come away with their recruiting functions largely in tact.

“The scarlet letter of scandal haunts corporate misbehavers today,” explained TheLadders.com founder and president, Marc Cenedella. “Our readers, who represent a cross section of the nation’s top $100K+ talent, clearly see the public images of the companies they work for as a reflection of their own credibility in the marketplace. But, we find it interesting that they are also drawing subtle distinctions between what’s an acceptable corporate misstep and what’s an outright reputational disaster.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Should organizational DNA exclude E.?

Recently, consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton used a DNA metaphor to determine the overall culture of an organization. In an S+B article called “The Four Bases of Organizational DNA”, three consultants, Gary Neilson, Bruce Pasternack, and Decio Mendes believe that better execution of B. strategies will be the key attribute of superior-performing organizations in the future.

In order to achieve a better execution of strategy, the four bases of BAH's organizational DNA are:

  1. Structure—What does the organizational hierarchy look like?
  2. Decision Rights—Who decides what?
  3. Motivators—What objectives, incentives, and career alternatives do people have?
  4. Information—What metrics are used to measure performance?

For Curtis C. Verschoor CMA "The absence in this analysis of any mention of Core Values as an important determinant of the culture of an organization is striking". In an article in the September 2004 issue of Strategic Finance, Verschoor has a point when he argues: "It is unwise, however, to ignore how important it is to an organization’s success that its management has the ability to articulate and then infuse a set of core values and the resulting ethical standards and code of conduct throughout the company. Motivation results from expression of the “soft” controls that unify an organization’s ability to perform effectively'. Moreover, "As stated in the COSO Principles, integrity and ethical values are critical to the establishment and maintenance of effective management controls".

International perspectives on CSR and ESR

Although there have been a (small) number of largescale cross-cultural studies on societal values (Hofstede, 1980; Hampden-Turner & Trompenaars, 1993; Schwartz, 1994; Smith, Dugan & Trompenaars, 1996), global studies of ethical sensitivity and unethical B. practices have been even less prevalent.

Carolyn P. Egri of the Faculty of B., Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada, and 23 representants of various international universities are now breaking the silence by announcing the results of a study called "Managerial perspectives on Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Social Responsibilities in 22 countries".

Participants in this study were 5,539 managers and professionals from 22 culturally, economically, and geographically diverse countries who responded to a mail survey.

Amongst the most important results of the study are:
  1. The economic development level in a country and the importance of corporate environmental responsibilities were not significantly related.
  2. The economic development level in a country and the relative importance of corporate social responsibilities were significantly related: managers from countries with a high GDP are more conducive to CSR than those from countries with a relatively low GDP.

Carolyn Egri can be contacted via Tel: 604-291-3456 or egri@sfu.ca