Why Corporate Functions Stumble

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract A survey of 761 of the largest corporations in North America and Europe showed that the number of corporate functions had increased at about a third from 2007 to 2010. Leaders at three out of four companies believed that their functions' influence had grown. At the same time, complaints about the performance of those functions were increasing. The authors combined their survey data with insights from structured interviews at large European multibusiness organizations to understand why corporate functions so often underperform and what might be done about it. They learned that the performance of these functions may well be related to how they respond to the varying management challenges they face at different life-cycle stages. In "youth," for example, the function may not be seen as valuable by all the businesses. Its mandate may be unclear, its staffing problematic, and its efforts to get up and running overhasty. In "adolescence," the function may have a tendency to expand its activities without due regard for how that affects its relationships with the business divisions. In "maturity," when it is well established and its mandate is fairly stable, it may spend too much time benchmarking and searching for best practices, diverting attention from the needs of its internal clients. In the fourth stage, which calls for change, the function's managers may fall into the trap of looking for opportunities to redeploy their skills rather than acquiring new ones. The authors discuss these and other challenges and offer remedies. [http://hbr.org/2014/12/why-corporate-functions-stumble Online-Version] [https://archive.harvardbusiness.org/cla/web/pl/product.seam?c=36597&i=36599&cs=68ad625f2eb0b64cbca1120dc8370210 PDF-Version]
Authors Kunisch, Sven; Müller-Stewens, Günter & Campbell, Andrew
Journal or Publication Title Harvard Business Review
Language English
Keywords Corporate functions, central functions, corporate headquarters, corporate office,corporate strategy, strategic Management, multi-business firms
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SoM - Responsible Corporate Competitiveness (RoCC)
Refereed No
Date 1 December 2014
Publisher Harvard Business School Publ. Corp.
Place of Publication Boston, Mass.
Volume 92
Number 12
Page Range 110-117
Number of Pages 8
ISSN 0017-8012
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Sven Gunnar Tilo Kunisch
Date Deposited 10 Nov 2014 08:56
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:22
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/236575


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Kunisch, Sven; Müller-Stewens, Günter & Campbell, Andrew (2014) Why Corporate Functions Stumble. Harvard Business Review, 92 (12). 110-117. ISSN 0017-8012


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