Corporate culture is one of the main determinants of success or failure in a business development practice, because it largely determines how flexible, accepting of change and innovative a company tends to be. Fairfield-Sonn (2001: 36) provided a four-layer model of corporate culture that included cultural artefacts, cultural history, core ideology and core values that helps to quantify and describe the corporate culture of an organization. Thus, Tesco’s corporate culture can be determined from its corporate responsibility statements, which describe its core values and core ideologies as well as some aspects of cultural artefacts.
Tesco’s stated core priorities include:
Ensuring community, corporate responsibility and sustainability are at the heart of our business. Being a good neighbour and being responsible, fair and honest. Considering our social, economic and environmental impact as we make our decisions. (Tesco, 2008) These values have had a significant impact on the way in which Tesco does business, as well as its financial performance. For example, its expansion into California was designed to be not only profitable, but also socially responsible. As in the United Kingdom, American inner cities have a food supply problem wherein there are few large supermarkets and the smaller supermarkets do not have an adequate supply of fresh foods, including fruits, vegetables and proteins (Wankel & Stoner 2007: 223). Because supermarkets are reluctant to build in the inner cities and many residents do not have transportation outside the area, inner city residents do not enjoy an appropriate diet, and suffer health consequences as a result (Wankel & Stoner 2007: 224). Tesco’s corporate culture priorities allowed the company to consider opening stores in areas where native supermarkets were reluctant to go, and to provide services to the area that the local providers either couldn’t or didn’t consider. Thus, they opened stores in underserved regions, not only...
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