Bain & Company's Culture: A Case Study

875 Words 4 Pages
To analyze Bain & Company’s culture, I applied Schein's (2004) seminal culture model comprising three interdependent levels: Artifacts, espoused beliefs and values, and underlying assumptions. Artifacts delineate perceptible structures and processes of an organization, while espoused beliefs and values are aspirations for and rationalizations of future organizational behavior (Schein, 2004). Lastly, underlying assumptions constitute “unconscious, taken-for-granted beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings” (Schein, 2004, p. 26). While artifacts and espoused beliefs and values represent equally important levels, it is the underlying assumptions that ultimately provide meaning to behavioral patterns and as such describe organizational culture …show more content…
1.1 Business Model

According to Johnson, Christensen, and Kagermann (2008), a business model comprises the four related elements customer value proposition, profit formula, key resources, and key processes. While this definition is in line with most other definitions, it ignores the fact that all four, and in particular the latter three elements, are based on one underlying element: The organization’s business environment. As such, I focused in my description of Bain & Company’s business model on the element customer value proposition (i.e., the company’s service portfolio) and its extended business environment.

1.1.1 Service
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I adapted Mintzberg's (1994) summary of the main stages of the so-called basic model, the conceptual framework underlying all strategic planning models. The basic model has two related advantages over the model of Ansoff (1987): It delineates the actual strategy planning process in organizations more precisely and its level of granularity provides more clarity to the reader. The first argument is based on the empirical work of Grant (2003), one of few researchers to examine whether and how organizations actually plan. Based on case studies of the planning systems of eight leading oil companies, he argues that while the content and role of strategic planning within organizations’ management systems differ, the strategic planning process itself and its main stages remain unchanged (i.e., the main stages correspond to the ones of the basic model). The second argument is based on Mintzberg's (1994) seminal work on strategic planning. By visualizing the connections between the various diagrams of Ansoff's (1987) work, he clearly presents the “intricacy of the Ansoff model” (Mintzberg, 1994, p. 43). According to the basic model, strategies are not actively developed but rather delineated when they emerge, an assumption quite contrary to the findings of

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