Business Goals For A Sustainable World Economy – Beyond Growth, Greed and Quarterly Results, a lecture by Prof. Emeritus Geert Hofstede

A more than 500-strong audience gathered at the SBE hall on Monday 28 October to listen to a talk by Emeritus Professor Geert Hofstede entitled “Business Goals for a Sustainable World Economy: Beyond Growth, Greed and Quarterly Results”.

The talk was followed by a lively Q&A session.

After the lecture, organised by Studium Generale, SCOPE|Maastricht study association and the SBE Alumni Office, all guests, students, staff and alumni were invited to join a reception sponsored by the SBE Alumni Office.

Photo by Sander Oleana, Eye on Eye photography

Business Goals For A Sustainable World Economy

Around 1998, junior managers and professionals in 17 countries rated the importance of a number of personal goals for their country’s successful business leaders. Across countries, dominant goals were growth, continuity, short-term profits and personal wealth. Goal profiles differed among countries however. In the USA profile growth, personal wealth, and short-term results were the most important. The goal profiles of the emerging economies of India, Brazil, China and also Germany showed a longer term view, more responsibility towards society, and less fascination with growth and personal wealth.

Around the year 2000, many people assumed that the success of business leaders around the world would depend on how closely they followed the American example. Hofstede argues that the 2008 economic crisis has upset this naïve belief. Precisely in the country that stood as the world’s model for the goals of successful business, the world economic system collapsed. In the new economic order, other powers will contribute their goals for international business. For academia, the main challenge will be to develop more relevant curricula for preparing future business leaders taking into account these goals.

Geert Hofstede

Prof. Geert Hofstede is professor emeritus of organizational anthropology and international management, UM. From his retirement in 1993 to 2011 he served as an Extra-Mural Fellow of the CentER for Economic Research at Tilburg University.

See also:


Further reading:

Beyond growth and greed, by Alex Mundt 

Lecture review: A sustainable economy demands business commitment, by Darina Bacheva

“Shareholder value – if you deeply reflect on it, it doesn’t mean anything at all”, The Diplomat

“I don’t give a damn about rankings!”, The Diplomat 

The American era is over, Observant 

Goals and strategy, Bob Wilkinson blog 


There are 3 comments

  1. Goals and strategy | bonxie

    […] Geert Hofstede told us about a partly serendipitous moment back in the late 1990s when he asked a group of part-time MBA students in Hong Kong about the business goals they perceived as driving their business leaders. Hofstede commented that it was pointless asking business leaders themselves as you would get largely self-serving answers. His students derived a list of fifteen goals, which subsequently were taken up by colleagues in business schools elsewhere in the world. It enabled Hofstede to compare the perception of business goals across 17 countries from his sample of 1900 rankings. It was fascinating to observe that the USA and Germany came out as polar opposites. (Watch the video.) […]

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