You are on page 1of 13

TEAMWORK IN ACCENTURE IN FINLAND & GLOBAL

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls

Report Multicultural Teamwork BUS1TN002 November 15, 2010

Abstract Accenture is surely a well-known company for everyone who works in the information technology industry. This report takes a closer look in multiculturalism and how it appears in Accenture. The history part tells mostly how Accenture has taken shape to its current form. The next topic is about political issues and how Accenture has tried to promote multiculturalism. The topic after that is how Communication and culture reminds the importance of English in global organizations. Fifth chapter speaks about religious tolerance in Accenture. Culture and values describes how people from different cultures can agree together and what values Accenture has always had. Even though this report hardly includes information from somewhere else than Accenture·s own sources, it is impossible to deny that Accenture isn·t a very multicultural company.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 1 2 History of Accenture................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 1 3 Multicultural Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 2 3.1 Longpest Analysis in Accenture ................................ ................................ ............................ 2 3.2 Hofstede·s Cultural Dimensions ................................ ................................ ........................... 3 4 Communication and Culture................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 3 5 Religion and Working ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 4 6 Culture and Values ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 5 7 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 6 Bibliography ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 8

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA

Report

1 (10)

1 Introduction
How do people in a multicultural company with different backgrounds, languages, religions, have an optimal working environment and deal with problems caused by these differences? Another part we were also interested in is why a company would welcome people from different cultures and nationalities. The research of the subject contained an interviewing of an Accenture employee and collecting information on various Accenture websites.

2 History of Accenture
Accenture is a multinational company and it is one of the world's largest management consulting, technology consulting and technology outsourcing companies in the world. Accenture was founded in its current form in 1989 as Andersen Consulting but the company's roots go all the way back to 1953 when it was a business and consulting division of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. The company changed its name to Accenture in 2001. The name Accenture supposedly comes from µAccent on the futureµ. The new name was a suggestion by an employee from the company's Oslo office and the company liked the name, because it did not offend any countries Accenture operates in. (Accenture.com 2010) The company's headquarters were originally located in Bermuda, but they have since relocated to Ireland. (Freebase.com 2010) The New York and Chicago offices are the biggest offices in Accenture and are basically the base of operations instead of the headquarters in Ireland. Accenture's organizational structure is split into five groups: communication and high-tech; financial industry; public services; industrial production and trade and basic industries and to four employee groups: consulting; solutions; services and enterprise. They have approximately 200,000 employees in more than 120 countries. In recent years, the company has generated revenues of over US$20 billion every financial year and the number is still on the rise. (Accenture.com 2010)

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA

Report

2 (10)

When recruiting new employees or getting new clients, the decision to accept them into Accenture has never been affected by race or religion or the cultural background of the individual or the country of the client company. Accenture has always been against racism and they have a code of business ethics they operate by. The code of business ethics was just recently revised in September, 2010. In the code the aspects of conduct that are imperative to all employees are highlighted and Accenture is always thriving to better their conduct of business. (Accenture.com 2010) Accenture has also been recognized as a great environment to work in by outside studies. A study by the Great Place to Work Institute has picked Accenture's Finland's office as the best company to work for in Finland in the category of large companies for four consecutive years from 2007 to 2010. (greatplacetowork.fi 2010)

3 Multicultural Analysis
3.1 Longpest Analysis in Accenture Researched on what levels Accenture is being influenced by external environments, local political environment, national political environment and global political environment, and thus changed elements in the organization.

For the political part it became clear that it was influenced in 2009 when Accenture moved its headquarters from Bermuda to Ireland. The reason was that Ireland has a more stable political environment with a legal infrastructure. Also, Ireland has a more sophisticated, well -developed corporate, legal and regulatory environment than Bermuda. The economic reasons for moving to Ireland is because the country has a long history of international investment and long-established commercial relationships, trade agreements and tax treaties with other countries where Accenture does business.

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA 3.2 Hofstede·s Cultural Dimensions

Report

3 (10)

Below you can find the Hofstede·s cultural dimensions that apply to Accenture: The Power Distance (PD) in Accenture is high. In the organization you can see very well that there is a centralized, top-down control. This is needed because of the organization·s size and to control the activities in the company. The Self aspect of individualism and collectivism in Accenture tends to go more to the Individualism, but Collectivism is also clearly present. The organization supports individual growth and thinks that the rights are very important. But the group is also very important because Accenture focuses on teamwork. The traditional gender roles are less present in Accenture and the organization thrives to remove these traditional gender roles by supporting women in the organization so their number can grow in the company and that they can also achieve higher positions. The Long- versus Short-term Orientation (LTO) is also very high on this element. They invest a lot in the future and are very persevering.

4 Communication and Culture
The official business language of the office in Helsinki is English, which is also the language used when communicating with other companies or Accenture offices in Finland and abroad. The reason for this is quite easy, English is considered to be the language of business. It saves a lot of time and money if a company uses only one official language instead of operating in a multilangual environment. (Aro, M. 14.10.2010) One of the requirements for working in the Helsinki office of Accenture is that you speak fluent English. Suprisingly, it is not very important that you can speak Finnish. Because of this you can see that English is indeed very important in a global company like Accenture if speaking the native language of the country where the office reside isn·t even necessary.

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA

Report

4 (10)

Unofficialy employees can speak whatever language they prefere when talking internally. (Aro, M. 14.10.2010) Accenture has made it very sure that all Accenture offices have the same methods of working so that the exchange of information and communication between locations goes as smoothly as possible. For this they have global policies and tools that affect all. With this method they can minimize bad communications and problems caused by different cutural backgrounds. (Aro, M. 14.10.2010) The company is very active in their search for a great diversity and inclusion in Accenture teams all over the world. This is one of their top priorities, because they believe this will benifit them greatly in providing good services and in strengthening their position on the market. Accenture says that if they combine multiple perspectives from their inclusive and global culture with their common values and methodologies, they can differ themself from other consulting firms. Accenture realizes that all people bring distinct experiences, talents and culture to their work, and they capitalize on that diversity collaborating with themselves so that Accenture can help their clients achieve higher performance. (Accenture 2010a.)

5 Religion and Working
It is stated on Accenture´s website that Accenture does not discriminate on the basis of religion (among other things) and that ´ all matters related to employment are decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and business needµ (Accenture a). So it concludes in itself that when Accenture employees work together, they should judge each other on the basis of their skills. If employees feel they are being harassed or discriminated because of their religion, it is encouraged and written in Accenture´s global code of conduct that they have every right to report that forward and one should have no fears about retaliation when doing so. Accenture puts a high emphasis on being able to provide their workers a professional and friendly working environment despite of their background. Accenture sees having different religions as

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA

Report

5 (10)

an opportunity rather than an obstacle and the company thinks that diversity is their key ingredient in maintaining high performance now and in the future. (Accenture b.) Since Accenture is a global company, it is a given that people from different religions will come together in a way or another. To make Accenture an ideal place for people with different religious backgrounds to work together, the company has established networks for religions and believes (among others). These kinds of networks give their employees ways of getting involved and ways to celebrate their diversity: the company´s objective is to make their employees feel they are accepted. For example in UK, Accenture runs activities that educate on the different beliefs employees have and what impact these believes might have and they have also specific interest groups for many different religions such as Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh (Accenture c). In addition to all this, Accenture also provides funding and support for external organizations that have similar goals. (Accenture 2006.) Even though the company puts the most emphasis on the employees´ working skills and professionalism, at the same time, it also does its best to guarantee that their employees have the opportunity to make the best of their personal lives by supp orting them in practicing their individual needs such as religion.

6 Culture and Values
Accenture·s Helsinki -office employs over 1100 people, and since Accenture is a global company, there are employees of about 10 different nationalities (Aro, M. 14.10.2010). People from Scandinavia, India, USA and so on are working together to accomplish common goals. So how do these people with different backgrounds and points of view get along, and what values does Accenture promote so that every employee knows that he/she and his/her work is appreciated. Accenture has six important core values and since its inception, the company has been governed by those values. They are the following:

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA

Report

6 (10)

Client value creation: Accenture aims to enable their clients to become hig h-performance businesses. They also want to create long-term relationships with their clients by being responsive and relevant. One global network: To deliver exceptional service to their clients all over the world, Accenture takes advantage of global innovation, insight, collaboration and cooperation. Respect for the individual: Accenture fosters a trusting, open and inclusive environment so that each individual is treated in a manner that reflects values that the company promotes. Best people: The company wants to attract, develop and retain the most talented employees there are to support their business. They want to challenge their workers, demonstrate a can doµ attitude and uphold a working environment that is collaborative and supportive. Integrity: To gain a status of a reliable and trustworthy company, Accenture says what it means and takes responsibility for its actions. Stewardship: Accenture wants to fulfill their obligation of building a better and more durable company for generations to come. They are helping their people, communities and the global environment to improve and develop. (Accenture 2010a.) "Through the years these simple, yet powerful values have continually guided our decision making as well as our interactions with our clients and each other" (William D. Green, Accenture 2010).
 

7 Conclusions
Our conclusion is that Accenture is indeed a very multicultural company. They welcome people from different cultures and are able to change the disadvantages that a multicultural environment brings into an advantage for the company. We believe that these factors definitely helped Accenture to make an even bigger and better global player on the market. Accenture has definitely done the right thing by choosing this open -minded and multicultural way of approach.

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA

Report

7 (10)

Statistics and results are phenomenal, but our research doesn·t tell everything, because our sources (mainly Mrs. Aro·s interview and Accenture·s websites) don·t specify minor issues from Accenture. It will be interesting to see how the financial crisis in Ireland, the rapidly growing development in Asia and every other global threats will affect to Accenture·s success, but only time will tell«

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA

Report

8 (10)

Bibliography
Accenture career3. 2010. Working here. Teamwork and Collaboration. Quoted 17.10.2010.http://careers3.accenture.com/Careers/Global/Working-Here/TeamworkCollaboration.htm Accenture 2010. About Accenture. Company overview. Our People. Inclusion and Diversity. Quoted 17.10.2010 http://digital.virtualmarketingpartners.com/vmp/accenture/diversity-inclusion/index.php Hofstede Geert 2009. Cultural Dimensions. Quoted 17.10.2010 http://www.geert-hofstede.com/ Accenture career3. 2010. Global Meritocracy. Quoted 17.10.2010 http://careers3.accenture.com/Careers/ASPX/GlobalMeritocracy.aspx?id=en Accenture career3. 2010. India website. Our focus on inclusion and diversityµ. Quoted 17.10.2010.http://careers3.accenture.com/Careers/India/About-Accenture/What-WeBelieve-In/Our-Focus.htm Accenture career3. 2010. UK website µNetworking Groupsµ. Quoted 17.10.2010. http://careers3.accenture.com/Careers/UK/Why-Accenture/CorporateCitizenship/Diversity.htm Accenture. 2006. Global inclusion and diversity. Quoted 17.10.2010. http://www.accenture.com/NR/rdonlyres/3830B8BF-6F48-4817-B6C3C50B7E5455B9/0/111791_Diversity_v17small.pdf
¡

Accenture. 2010. Accenture code of business ethics Quoted 22.10.2010. http://www.accenture.com/NR/rdonlyres/8844F744-C3A8-430B-8E2E17F38164BB71/0/AccentureCodev5_English_219000.pdf

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA

Report

9 (10)

Accenture. 2010. About Accenture (company overview, corporate governance, citizenship, core values) Quoted 22.10.2010. http://www.accenture.com/Global/About_Accenture/default.htm Accenture. 2010. Accenture fact sheet. Quoted 22.10.2010. http://newsroom.accenture.com/images/20020/FACTS.pdf Accenture. 2010. About Accenture. Company overview, Core values. Quoted 23.10.2010. http://www.accenture.com/Global/About_Accenture/Company_Overview/OurCoreValues. htm http://www.accenture.com/Global/About_Accenture/Company_Overview/Our CoreValues. htm http://www.accenture.com/Global/About_Accenture/Corporate_Governance/default.htm http://www.accenture.com/Global/About_Accenture/Company_Overview/Corporate_Citiz enship/default.htm http://careers3.accenture.com/Careers/Russia/About-Accenture/HistoricalFacts/default.htm http://newsroom.accenture.com/images/20020/FACTS.pdf http://www.accenture.com/NR/rdonlyres/8844F744-C3A8-430B-8E2E17F38164BB71/0/AccentureCodev5_English_219000.pdf http://www.freebase.com/view/en/accenture http://www.greatplacetowork.fi/best/list-fi.htm http://www.accenture.com/Global/About_Accenture/Company_Overview/OurCoreValues. htm Accenture a. Careers section, Accenture website. Quoted 16.10.2010. URL: http://careers3.accenture.com/Careers/ASPX/GlobalMeritocracy.aspx?id=en Accenture b. Careers section, About-Accenture, India website. Our focus on inclusion and diversityµ. Quoted 16.10.2010. URL: http://careers3.accenture.com/Careers/India/AboutAccenture/What-We-Believe-In/Our-Focus.htm
¢

Markus Aro Juhani Hynynen Pauli Isakkson Timi Kohonen Jürgen Suls HAAGA-HELIA

Report

10 (10)

Accenture c. About Accenture, UK website. µNetworking Groupsµ. Quoted 16.10.2010. URL: http://careers3.accenture.com/Careers/UK/Why-Accenture/CorporateCitizenship/Diversity.htm

Accenture, 2006. Accenture website. Global inclusion and diversityµ. A report, pdf. file. Quoted 16.10.2010. http://www.accenture.com/NR/rdonlyres/3830B8BF-6F48-4817-B6C3C50B7E5455B9/0/111791_Diversity_v17small.pdf

Interview Mrs. Aro Marita Accenture Finland Helsinki. Records & Information Management Representative - Finland. 14.10.2010. Interview by Aro Markus.

£