Penn State Smeal News: Media Coverage 2000-2002
Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal
How Blue Collar Roots Thrive In High-Tech Plants
Healthy corporate cultures can build healthy economics. "Corporate culture is critical to the success of any company at any phase and in any region," says Fairborz Ghadar, Ph.D., William A. Shcreyer chair of global business studies and director of the Center for Global Business Studies in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University , State College, offering a timeline of a company as it relates to corporate culture. "Phase A" sees a new business without a lot of structure, employed by young, nerdish "beards" who may work until 2 a.m., come in late in the morning, and receive stock options as part of their salary. As the company matures, it gets more structured and employees graduate to suits, as well as a 9-to-5 workday. "Phase B" sees the company moving to customer consciousness and a more sophisticated product. Now there's competition in price and cost control. Here is where the crucial part evolves, he says: "Now you need the satisfied workforce that feels it has a say in its destiny or unions can enter with unreasonable demands and companies may move out." Indeed, healthy corporate culture in a region's businesses has the potential to power its economy. Ghadar says northeast Pennsylvania, is much like Philadelphia with all its schools, graduates, and skilled workers who "abruptly move out" because there are no enticing jobs. He offers that the region needs to invest more money in developing new technology and enticing new businesses - like Boston, he says, which invested in high-tech firms that enticed a young, skilled, diverse workforce. As for mature businesses in northeast Pennsylvania - they would do well to invest in training and technology which would make jobs more exciting for older workers. Also, companies need to push product technology up the product life cycle to newer products or more customer focused products, he says. "We do not have an emphasis on technological breakthroughs or highly customer-focused organizations in the region. To make an area attractive to potential employees and employers it must be an exciting, vibrant area to live in," says Ghadar, pointing out: "Look what Pittsburgh did from 1963 to 1997 to make the city more livable. Boston has it, Philadelphia does not appear to have it."
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Penn State's Smeal College of Business offers highly ranked undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, Ph.D., and executive education opportunities to more than 5,500 students at all levels. Featuring academic departments of accounting, finance, marketing, insurance and real estate, management, and supply chain and information systems, the college is also home to major research centers such as the Center for Supply Chain Research, the Institute for the Study of Business Markets, the eBusiness Research Center, the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Center for Global Business Studies, and the Center for the Management of Technological and Organizational Change.
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