International Conference on Management
June 25th, 2011
Keynote – Pitfalls and Lessons Learned in Three Different Multicultural Standardization Programs
Dr. Karin Stumpf is presenting a Keynote at at the 11th International Conference on Management in Madrid, Spain.
Topic is: Standardization across Cultures: Pitfalls and Lessons Learned in Three Different Multicultural Standardization Programs
Many multinationals are looking to standardize their processes with the objective to streamline their costs and also to better compare their subsidiaries.
But aligning the organization across countries proves to be challenging in many ways:
• The independence of the local sites has to be reduced
• Little budget is being allocated for such programs to change management activities
• The expectations and the acceptance of transformation programs differ widely across countries
This leads to struggles between the centralized standardization department and the local organizations. As the expected ROI is only seldom being achieved, questions as to how necessary standardization really is, automatically follow and weaken the program.
Successful transformation and standardization requires a good balance between streamlining and pragmatism, or centralization and laissez-faire. For this, local change agents are critical as they are culturally knowledgeable, enable a trustful relationship across countries and can be aligned to minimal change architectural requirements. Examples from three companies (financial services, media and manufacturing) will be used to describe the pitfalls and lessons learned while standardizing companies.