Sep 29,2007 00:00 by admin
Core Values and Intercultural Management
Case Study: Nestlé
In 2001, Nestlé was the largest and most diversified food company in the world, with nearly 500 factories in more than 100 countries. In fact, over the period 1867–2000 it surpassed other food manufacturers and purchasers of agricultural raw materials in scale of operations. Over 230,000 people worldwide work in Nestlé's factories, research laboratories and offices. In 1999 Nestlé generated a total income of 4,007 million Swiss francs.
This case study is based on a series of interviews with prominent Nestlé managers engaged in strengthening Nestlé's core values. Niels Christiansen, Vice President, Public Affairs of Nestlé SA, explains that even though 98 per cent of Nestlé operations are outside Switzerland, the company still originated in Switzerland. The corporate headquarters is located in Switzerland. Hence some Swiss cultural values are an integral part of Nestlé core values. Many Swiss values are embedded in the Nestlé General Management and Leadership Principles and the Nestlé Corporate Business Principles. These Principles reflect not only Nestlé's basic corporate values, but some of the 'Swissness' of the company as well. What has been described as the Swissness of the company refers to the pragmatic and resultsoriented nature of the Principles. The Nestlé General Management and Leadership Principles are presented in our case study on communications and intercultural management (see Chapter 2). The box on page 87 reproduces the Nestlé Corporate Business Principles.
NESTLÉ CORPORATE BUSINESS PRINCIPLES
Nestlé is committed to the following business principles in all countries taking into account local legislation, culture and religious practice:
Nestlé's business objective, and that of management and employees at all levels, is to manufacture and market the company's products in such a way as to create value that can be sustained over the long term for customers, shareholders, employees, business partners and the large number of national economies in which Nestlé operates.
Nestlé does not favour short-term profit at the expense of successful long-term business development, but recognizes the need to generate profit each year in order to maintain the support of the financial markets, and to finance investments.
Nestlé believes that, as a general rule, legislation is the most effective safeguard of ethical conduct, although in certain areas, additional guidance to management and employees, in the form of voluntary business principles, is beneficial in order to ensure that the highest standards are met throughout the organization.
Nestlé is conscious of the fact that the success of a corporation is a reflection of the professionalism, conduct and ethical values of its management and employees, therefore recruitment of the right people and ongoing training and development are crucial.
Nestlé recognizes that consumers have a legitimate interest in the company behind the Nestlé brands, and the way in which the Nestlé company operates.
Although core values can be propagated across a multicultural corporation in a variety of ways, Nestlé adopts certain approaches that are characteristic of it. These approaches have been used consistently and for a considerable length of time, even though the company's various Principles have been written down only recently. One important approach is careful and meticulous selection of personnel. This approach has been enshrined in the Nestlé Corporate Business Principles. Potential employees are assessed as to whether they possess the attributes that would enable them to fit into the Nestlé way of life. An assessment is also made of whether they can achieve complete integration into Nestlé culture over time. Nestlé's selection process has been so effective that most of its employees have pursued a lifetime career, spanning at...