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The role of culture in the successful implementation of strategy

The Role of Culture in the successful implementation of Strategy

Organizational culture describes a company’s members’ collectively shared values and norms and is a fundamental building block to its design. Employees learn about their company’s culture through socialization, internalizing their values and norms through immersion in the day-to-day operations. (Rothaermel)

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When I worked at Tractor Supply Company, culture was at the top of their list. The store culture, which follows the customer service vision, is critical. TSC believes in customer service and seeks to hire employees who also do. “As a company focused on living out our Mission and Values, Tractor Supply is committed to “work hard, have fun and make money by providing legendary service and great products at everyday low prices.” This mission statement is supported by 10 values – ethics, respect, balance, winning attitude, communication, development, teamwork, change, initiative, and accountability – that drive every business decision we make and the way we interact with our customers and team members.” (TSC)

The socialization process of embedding that culture came through several methods. At TSC, all new employees receive training, which includes their beliefs in customer service and creating a caring environment. In addition, all management members attend additional training to work with employees to promote the store’s culture. Because this is a vital part of driving profit by engaging customers, TSC does hit culture hard. Stores are visited monthly by district managers who also seek information on whether the store is holding to company values and culture.

TSC takes it a step further, and within the customer surveys offered after every purchase, they embed questions that address store climate. TSC uses that data to see if customers feel welcome, receive what they need, and are likely to return to the store. The surveys helped determine if employees were welcoming and how much time they spent helping customers.

Because the retail industry is very competitive, this culture is essential at TSC. It sets them apart and repeatedly brings customers back into the store. I think it’s an influential culture that contributes to the TSC’s competitive advantage over big box retailers that may not welcome customers or spend as much time with them to answer questions.

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Rothaermel, Frank. (2018) Strategic Management: Concepts.. 4th Ed. [Columbia College].

Tractor Supply Company. (2020). Mission and Values.


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The chapter describes the role of culture in successfully implementing the Strategy.

The role of culture in the successful implementation of strategy

The Role of Culture in the successful implementation of Strategy

Consider an employment experience of your own or someone you have observed closely (e.g., a family member). Describe the organization’s values, norms, and artifacts to the best of your ability. What was the socialization process of embedding the culture? Is this an example of an influential culture for the organization’s competitive advantage? Why or why not?

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