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International Business Machines – Cultural Analysis

International Business Machines – Cultural Analysis

A business can develop its organizational culture as the main source of competitive advantage. Many corporations that have been successful have developed an organizational culture that aligns with their strategy. Organizational culture helps in modeling the desired behaviors and practices to fulfill the responsibilities needed to achieve a competitive advantage (Sadri & Lees, 2001). IBM is an example of a business whose culture has had a significant impact on its competitive advantage.

IBM has a business-focused culture rather than a people-focused one. In 2003, IBM engaged its 300,000 employees to develop the three values that best describe their business objectives. The company’s values include a dedication to clients’ success, innovation, and taking personal responsibility in all relationships (David & David, 2017). These values show that the company is focused on fulfilling customer expectations but not on developing its internal structure. This is also seen in the organization’s lack of exemplary organizational structure. The advantage that the company gets from the focus on its business is the diversification of products, which increases the business’s revenue streams. IBM has developed a very diverse business model with its revenue coming from different business segments. Thus, the business is able to maintain good performance.

IBM’s culture differs from most countries’ cultures, which focus on the people. Most global companies have shifted towards the development of people-centered cultures. It is believed that nurturing the people making up the organization gives them the resources to work hard and enhance a business’s performance as a whole. Therefore, IBM’s cultural strategy is much different and makes it stand out from a lot of businesses.


David, F. R., & David, F. R. (2016). Strategic management: A competitive advantage approach, concepts and cases. Pearson.

Sadri, G., & Lees, B. (2001). Developing corporate culture as a competitive advantage. Journal of Management Development, 20(10), 853-859.


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International Business Machines (IBM)

International Business Machines (IBM)

Using the International Business Machines (IBM) case study and the text’s discussion on integrating strategy and culture, post a summary of IBM’s culture and how IBM uses its culture as a competitive advantage. How does it compare with business culture in other countries? Revisit the courseroom after your initial posting and respond to the postings of at least two other learners.

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