Nokia: Values That Make a Company Global

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Nokia: Values That Make a Company Global
By Geraldine Willigan, MBA

Project team Author: SHRM project contributor: External contributor: Copy editing: Design: Geraldine Willigan, MBA Nancy A. Woolever, SPHR Ram Charan, Ph.D. Katya Scanlan, copy editor Terry Biddle, graphic designer

© 2009 Society for Human Resource Management. Geraldine Willigan, MBA. This case was prepared by Geraldine Willigan, MBA, former editor at Harvard Business Review, under supervision of Ram Charan, Ph.D., former faculty member at Harvard Business School, winner of best teacher award at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a regular teacher in executive programs across the globe. The authors gratefully acknowledge the help of Juha Akras, Ian Gee, Antti Miettinen, Arja Souminen, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Hallstein Moerk, Tero Ojanperä and Shiv Shivakumar. Note to Hr faculty and instructors: SHRM cases and modules are intended for use in HR classrooms at universities. Teaching notes are included with each. While our current intent is to make the materials available without charge, we reserve the right to impose charges should we deem it necessary to support the program. However, currently, these resources are available free of charge to all. Please duplicate only the number of copies needed, one for each student in the class. For more information, please contact: SHRM Academic Initiatives 1800 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA Phone: (800) 283-7476 Fax: (703) 535-6432 Web: 09-0353

Nokia: Values That Make a Company Global

Introduction In the summer of 2006, the global competitive landscape in which Nokia was operating was changing at an astoundingly fast pace. Market growth was shifting to emerging countries, mobile devices were being commoditized, handset prices were declining, networks were combining (Nokia had just merged its own networks infrastructure business with that of Siemens, forming Nokia Siemens Networks, or NSN), Microsoft and Apple were making moves toward mobile devices, new technologies were being developed, and new strategic opportunities were arising as mobile phones were becoming the gateway to the Internet. To win in such a fast-paced and intensely competitive environment, the company had to move with speed and do a superb job of satisfying consumers. Decision-making would have to occur at the lowest possible level to reflect the peculiarities of the local markets while leveraging the power of Nokia’s diverse people, its brand, its financial resources, and its technology and design expertise. Collaboration between locals and headquarters and among multiple cultures and partners was paramount. Nokia conducted extensive interviews with people inside and outside the company, including partners and suppliers, to understand how Nokia was perceived and how it might have to change. That research informed a number of actions and renewed the focus on Nokia’s culture and, in particular, its values. From Paper Mill to Conglomerate to Global Brand Nokia, headquartered in Espoo, near Helsinki, Finland, is the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer. It holds some 40 percent of the global device market as of the second quarter of 2008. It operates in 150 countries and had more than 117,000 employees, including NSN, as of late June 2008. It is the top-rated brand globally. Annual revenues for 2007 were $74.6 billion (51.1 billion euros). The company began in the late 1800s as a paper mill, then evolved into a diversified industrial company and was an early entrant in the mobile era in the 1980s. In the 1990s, CEO Jorma Ollila restructured the conglomerate to focus on mobile phones and telecommunications, and Nokia became the technology and market leader, starting first in Europe, then expanding to the United States and dozens of other

© 2009 Society for Human resource Management. Geraldine Willigan, MBa 1...
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