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Case
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Reference no. 404-104-1
Authors: John Weeks
Published by: INSEAD
Originally published in: 2004
Version: 10.2004
Length: 20 pages
Data source: Published sources

Abstract

To explain the role that corporate culture has played in the performance of IBM, this case traces the culture of IBM under four of its influential leaders: Thomas Watson, Sr, Thomas Watson, Jr, John Akers and Lou Gerstner. Particular attention is paid to Gerstner''s impact revitalising the culture and bringing the company back, in some sense, to its cultural roots. Analysts and commentators agreed that Lou Gerstner had created a revolution within IBM, but Gerstner himself mused: ''On one level so much about IBM has changed. On another level very little is different''. This case helps students understand two things. First, the importance of corporate culture: how it influences organisational behaviour and how it impacts performance for better and for worse. Second, how exceptional leaders influence and vitalise culture, shaping its influence for the better.
Location:
Industry:
Size:
320,000 employees
Other setting(s):
1924-2003

About

Abstract

To explain the role that corporate culture has played in the performance of IBM, this case traces the culture of IBM under four of its influential leaders: Thomas Watson, Sr, Thomas Watson, Jr, John Akers and Lou Gerstner. Particular attention is paid to Gerstner''s impact revitalising the culture and bringing the company back, in some sense, to its cultural roots. Analysts and commentators agreed that Lou Gerstner had created a revolution within IBM, but Gerstner himself mused: ''On one level so much about IBM has changed. On another level very little is different''. This case helps students understand two things. First, the importance of corporate culture: how it influences organisational behaviour and how it impacts performance for better and for worse. Second, how exceptional leaders influence and vitalise culture, shaping its influence for the better.

Settings

Location:
Industry:
Size:
320,000 employees
Other setting(s):
1924-2003

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