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Product Or Service Culture & Corporate Values


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Identifying the main tendency of the organizational culture is more and more important in managing change. Change is often the most important issue that defines a successful strategy from an unsuccessful one. And part of this is whether the envisioned change is feasible.

The focus of this article is on corporate values in relation to the issue of product or service culture. How do corporate values reflect either culture and is there any difference at all?

Below there are two examples of corporate value statements related to either type of company. The first is fully focused on production:

A producer in the wholesale market:

Leadership (. . .in design, building and support of products), Integrity (this is a standard value), Quality (continuous quality improvement), Customer Satisfaction ( is also standard not revealing much specifics), Teamwork (continually learn, share ideas and knowledge), A Diverse and Involved Team, Good Corporate Citizenship (. . . . protect the environment), Enhance Shareholder Value.

Leadership is both possible for product oriented as for service oriented companies, but product leadership is easier (in comparing with rivals) services are more differentiated and therefore harder to compare.

Protecting the environment. . . logical that producer face environmental issues where servicing companies hardly use raw materials and their impact on the environment is less . . .

Another example: producer in healthcare market:

Set highest standards in science and business, Build trust and earn respect, Drive best decisions with . . .best practices, Be accountable, Balance creativity and innovation with business awareness and productivity, Communicate clearly and efficiently. Listen actively and learn, Teamwork. . . .

Producer are often more technological involved (the role of science: car producer versus car maintenance), servicing companies less.

The other (two) example is concentrated on offering services:

The first is offering financial services:

Integrity, Teamwork (. . . . share our skills and resources across organizational boundaries for our clients’ and own benefit), Respect (We value the entrepreneurial spirit of everyone), Professionalism (highest standards, pursue innovation, deploy imagination, open to new ideas and we act decisively and consistently. . . .deliver outstanding quality . . . long lasting and close relation with clients)

Integrity fits the financial service focus. Respect is a standard value, sometimes a cliché, but fits better a servicing approach where diversity is more functional towards the objective of servicing, whereas could complicate the more “strict" production focus.

The best example showing the difference in values is expressed in the following example. This company is offering a location based service. Service center:

values: Friendly (always a positive attitude), Responsive (handle tasks in a timely and efficient manner), Fair (say what we do and do what we say), Proud (take ownership in our work, . . . contagious enthusiasm), Dedicated (exceed customer expectations), Professional (consistently deliver results at the highest standards).

These are values that only match with a service approach: friendliness has no function in a production environment, but is fundamental in a client-centered-approach. Fair is balancing the friendly value to make sure that emotion and ratio are balanced. . .

H. J. B.

© 2008 Hans Bool


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