chapter  1
The importance of the corporate agenda and its links with human resource management
Pages 38

In a recent book on branding and reputation management, John Balmer and Stephen Geyser (2003) perceptively argued that the drive towards ‘corporateness’ was one of the major trends among organizations in developed and emerging economies. This argument reflects the twin problems facing the architects of organizational design – achieving a balance between getting people to cooperate with one another (the corporate agenda) and getting them to display initiative (encouragement of individuality and differences) (Roberts, 2004). Exploring this trend towards corporateness, which we believe to be only partly supported by evidence from Europe, North America and Asia, is the starting point for our book. Let’s begin our examination

with a small sample of this evidence from two cases of corporate America. We have chosen these two since there can be few better justifications for a book on management than the importance of its subject matter to the fate of the world’s most powerful nation and to one of its major corporations. Take a few minutes to read the illustration in Box 1.1, written just after the end of the war with Iraq in 2004.