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On the origin of shared beliefs (and corporate culture)

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  • Eric Van den Steen

Abstract

This article shows how corporate culture, in the sense of shared beliefs and values, originates (often unintentionally) through screening, self-sorting, and manager-directed joint learning. It shows that such culture will be stronger among more important employees and in older and more successful firms where employees make important decisions and the manager has strong beliefs. It further shows how a manager's beliefs influence culture, how culture persists despite turnover, and why the suggested link between culture and performance may be a case of inverse causality. It finally shows that, from an outsider's perspective, organizations may tend to overinvest in corporate culture. Copyright (c) 2010, RAND..

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  • Eric Van den Steen, 2010. "On the origin of shared beliefs (and corporate culture)," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(4), pages 617-648.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:41:y:2010:i:4:p:617-648
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    Cited by:

    1. Hiller, Victor & Verdier, Thierry, 2014. "Corporate culture and identity investment in an industry equilibrium," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 93-112.
    2. Di Maggio, Marco, 2009. "Sweet Talk: A Theory of Persuasion," MPRA Paper 18697, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Charles M. Cameron & John M. de Figueiredo & David E. Lewis, 2016. "Public Sector Personnel Economics: Wages, Promotions, and the Competence-Control Trade-off," NBER Working Papers 22966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Vicente Calabuig & Gonzalo Olcina & Fabrizio Panebianco, 2014. "The Dynamics of Personal Norms and the Emergence of Cultural Diversity," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0514, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.
    5. Alonso, Ricardo & Câmara, Odilon, 2016. "Bayesian persuasion with heterogeneous priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 672-706.
    6. Roland Bénabou, 2013. "Groupthink: Collective Delusions in Organizations and Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 429-462.
    7. Christian Cordes & Peter Richerson & Georg Schwesinger, 2014. "A corporation’s culture as an impetus for spinoffs and a driving force of industry evolution," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 689-712, July.
    8. Marie-Louise Vierø, 2012. "Contracting in Vague Environments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 104-130, May.
    9. Thakor, Anjan V., 2015. "Strategic information disclosure when there is fundamental disagreement," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 131-153.
    10. Michael Kosfeld & Ferdinand A. von Siemens, 2011. "Competition, cooperation, and corporate culture," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(1), pages 23-43, March.
    11. Echeverría, Manuel, 2012. "Value Oriented Organizations with Value Neutral Hierarchies," Working Papers 2012:25, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    12. Morrison, Alan & Thanassoulis, John, 2017. "Ethical standards and cultural assimilation in financial services," CEPR Discussion Papers 12060, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Hung, Chung-yu, 2015. "Heterogeneous agents and decison making within firms," Other publications TiSEM 1a300b4f-7f2a-4554-9d1a-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    14. repec:kap:jbuset:v:142:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3111-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Danilov, Anastasia & Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2014. "Helping in Teams," IZA Discussion Papers 8707, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Cronqvist, Henrik & Low, Angie & Nilsson, Mattias, 2007. "Does Corporate Culture Matter for Firm Policies?," Working Paper Series 2007-1, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    17. HIROTA Shinichi & KUBO Katsuyuki & MIYAJIMA Hideaki, 2007. "Does Corporate Culture Matter? An Empirical Study on Japanese Firms," Discussion papers 07030, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    18. Liu, Xiaoding, 2016. "Corruption culture and corporate misconduct," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 307-327.

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