What Makes a Corporate Champion?
Joint research project commencing early 2002
"If your competitor were to have this
knowledge and we did not, then we are history!" AMP
What differentiates extraordinary success from mere
excellence in the corporate world? This question fascinates
our corporate partners.
Great corporations aim to imbue their organisations
with a champion mindset. The world’s largest management
consultancy company, McKinsey & Company, have joined
this ARC funded project which aims to assist realising
this goal by developing a framework to identify and
replicate championship in individuals and organisations.
A multi-disciplinary team will apply quantitative and
qualitative measures to address issues raised from the
Centre for the Mind's existing research. Findings will
contribute significantly to the social and economic
benefit of private and public sector organisations.
It is a mark of the innovation of this project that
there is little previous research in this field, with
the exception of research into championship in sport.
Expected outcomes are refined understandings and application
of championship in corporations, the publication of
reports, a book, refereed articles and a training video.
The two Chief Investigators of What Makes a Corporate
Champion?, Professors Janet George and Allan Snyder,
played a central role in the What Makes a Champion?
The Centre for the Mind developed an interest in the
champion mindset initially with the realisation that
the mind has as much to do with an athlete’s performance
as their physical prowess. Soon after beginning to examine
this phenomenon, the Centre discovered that the sector
most interested in understanding the champion mindset
was the business community.
We differentiate between corporate expertise and corporate
championship in much the same way as a distinction can
be drawn between an expert and a breakthrough scientist.
Much has been written on corporate expertise and corporate
leadership but the study of corporate championship is
comparatively novel. A novelty that necessitates examination
in a world that demands that one corporation be highly
differentiated from another.
Significance and Innovation
This research addresses a significant corporate need
and is innovative in its interdisciplinary and conceptualisation.
The research aims to provide a quantitative and qualitative
basis to assist corporations in realising their goal.
We do this with a highly qualified multi disciplinary
team including two corporate executives, a senior sociologist
and a mind scientist.
The What Makes a Corporate Champion? project has four
- to define the concept of 'championship' in corporations
and identify and understand the factors that differentiate
- to test the reliability and validity of these factors
- to apply these factors in two industry settings
to the development of champions and their relationships
with management and leadership
- to develop human resource management strategies
that promotes championship and evaluates their utility.
The Centre for the Mind with our corporate partners
has access to some of the most successful corporate
champions globally. We study these individuals within
their corporate context and with a view to extracting
those elements which differentiate them from the others.
Interdisciplinary in its scope, the research draws on
empirical and theoretical insights from sociology, psychology
and management. It is a mark of the innovation of this
project that there is little previous research in this
field, with the exception of research into championship
in sport. In the preparation of this proposal, therefore,
the researchers will draw on the findings of the What
Makes a Champion? conference that highlighted social,
economic, political and social factors in the development
of individual excellence across a wide range of cultural,
legal, political, sporting and corporate fields. It
will draw deductively on concepts from its interdisciplinary
territory, such as self authority, achievement motivation,
brain wave states, social class, bureaucracy, power,
profession, leadership, it will take an inductive, theory
building approach to the problem of championship in