Philosophy (or mission) statements are used to guide individual, team, and corporate behavior and decisions, and to convey the organization’s culture (Ask the manager, 1995). In May of 2001, Dell Computer Corporation was experiencing decreasing PC Margins, frequent layoffs, and a lack of motivation from their employees. This resulted in a meeting between Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell Computer Corporation, and Kevin Rollins, the President and COO of Dell Computer Corporation. Dell and Rollins determined that Dell needed to “find their soul,” by articulating the basic values and beliefs of the company, and creating a set of guidelines for employees became a top priority. The Soul of Dell was developed the following September and
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Dell and Rollins realized that the difference between a good and a great company would be it’s culture and this was something they had not spent much time developing. The development of The Soul of Dell consisted of five major tenets including: customers, the Dell team, direct relationships, Global Corporate Citizenships, and winning. The purpose was to create a statement of corporate philosophy and to provide all employees with an explanation of the company’s basic values and beliefs. While the intention was good, the execution and support for this new way of thinking was deficient.
Conflicting Values and Insufficient Communication
When Rollins developed The Soul of Dell, he hoped that people would refer to Dell as a place where respect, integrity, honesty, and forthrightness was valued. At the same time that this statement of corporate philosophy was being developed, Dell was focusing on doubling company profits by 2005. This goal was based on the old value system that Dell had been operating under and conflicted with the new direction that Rollins was attempting to take the company in. The winning principles of The Soul of Dell called for a sense of passion in all employees in order to win at everything they do, however, the problem the