James Heskett (1933- )
Harvard Business School professor and expert on corporate culture and marketing strategy (pictured right).
Corporate Culture and Performance
(1992), written with John Kotter (pictured right)
A strong corporate culture (strongly shared values and beliefs within an organization) can
significantly increase long-term profits, if it emphasizes the continual satisfaction of
customers, employees and shareholders.
But effective visionary leadership is vital to overcome any resistance to change that
arises particularly when organizations are:
Key quotes on corporate
Cultures can be very stable over time, but they are never static... New challenges can lead to the creation of
new ways of doing things.
The single most visible factor that distinguishes major cultural changes that succeed from those that fail is
competent leadership at the top
Key quote on the service profit
When employees...begin to interact with customers and their problems and needs, they often begin to value the
interests of customers more highly.
The Service-Profit Chain
(1997), written with Earl Sasser (pictured right) and Leonard Schlesinger (pictured right below)
The “service profit chain” shows the link between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and
profit and must be put into effect by an organization’s leaders and managers:
Employee satisfaction leads to...
Employee retention leads to...
Customer (or external) service quality leads to..
Customer satisfaction leads to..
Customer retention leads to...
Employee satisfaction and retention are dependent on work’s “internal
quality” (people’s feelings about their jobs, colleagues and organization).
Key questions are:
1. How do you measure employee productivity and employee
satisfaction in terms of creating customer value?
2. Is quality of service to customers adequately measured and
3. Are customer needs incorporated to employee selection criteria and
4. Are employees adequately rewarded for customer satisfaction?
5. Do employees know who their internal customers are?
(Internal customers are the employees they serve to eventually satisfy customers)
6. Do employees know who the organization’s customers are?
7. Are employees given adequate resources and support to deliver
8. How do you create both employee and customer loyalty?
(So employees can’t be complacent and resistant to change)
Key quote on customers
Customers don't buy products or services. They buy results.