Parenting Styles
(Goold & Campbell)

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The Parenting Styles theory of Michael Goold, Andrew Campbell is a framework about the role of the corporate centre in a corporation. It was dealt with in their book, "Strategies and Styles", and several articles. They argue that there are many successful approaches to corporate strategy based upon management styles. Main determinants are the approaches for the planning influence of the centre and the type of control influence exerted by the centre on the businesses within the group. From this they identify 3 generic stereotypes which companies tend to follow. There are other styles but most tend to converge upon one of these three generic styles. Each style is different in its approach, can offer different advantages to the corporation, but has different strengths and weaknesses.

Three Generic Parenting Styles

The three generic parenting styles of Goold and Campbell are:

  1. Financial Control
  2. Strategic Planning
  3. Strategic Control

Parenting Style:

Strategic Philosophy

Role of Corporate Centre

Role of SBU's

Typical # Businesses

Corporate Methods

The detail level of the information in the Corporate Centre

Financial Control Portfolio Financial. The centre aims to provide a better investment performance. Manage strategy against tight financial targets set by centre. Autonomous. Many Diverse Financial (Risk) and Uniform Low
Strategic Control Linkages Centre coordinates and reviews strategy. Sets fairly tight financial & strategic targets. Attempts to create links between businesses to create competitive advantage. Largely develop strategy but coordinated by Centre. Medium Limited Corporate  Scorecard Medium
Strategic Planning Core Competence Centre drives strategy. Around important potential synergies / competences. Strongly coordinating actions and creating linkages between units. They concentrate on implementation and assist with strategy. Low Similar Comprehensive Corporate Scorecard High

Which type of influence/style is best to maximize value creation? The answer is complex but depends and can be determined upon the corporate purpose, history and culture and upon the reconciliation of multiple paradoxes of parenting advantage (control versus empowerment, responsiveness versus synergy, portfolio versus core competence).

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🔥 NEW The New Deal Parenting Style
Yves L. Doz and and Mikko Kosonen seem to be in favor of the Strategic Planning Parenting Style for fast-changing technology companies in their article 'The New Deal at the Top' in HBR June 2007.

Best Practices

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Expert Tips

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Checklist of Parenting Possibilities

Parenting Best Practices, Corporate Strategy, Corporate Governance
In their article “Corporate Strategy: The quest for parenting advantage”, Goold and Campbell suggest following ten place...

What is the Optimal Size for a Corporate Center?

Sizing the Corporate Center
In the HBR of April 2005 on the added value of corporate headquarters, Michael Goold and David Young have investigated w...

An important Notice about Parenting Value!

Corporate Strategy, Parenting, Corporate Governance
Please note that the 4 mentioned influences of a parent over its subsidiaries can all result in both a Creation of value...

How a Corporate Center can impact the Strategies of its SBU's

Corporate Strategy, Business Unit Strategy, Corporate Governance
How can a Parent Company impact strategic decisions of its daughter companies? Some typical issues have been identified ...

What is the Best Location of a Corporate Center?

Corporate Geographic Strategy, Corporate Governance
A somewhat related issue is in what country the Corporate Center should be based. In an article called: "The Rise of C...

How can one Assess the Fit Between a Parent Company and its Businesses?

Corporate Strategy, Parenting, Corporate Governance
In HBR article named "Corporate strategy: the Quest for Parenting Advantage" (1995) Campbell and Goold extend their Corp...
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding Corporate Control (Parenting Styles). Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.

Size, Strucure & Performance

Corporate Headquarters
Paper by David J. Collis, David Young and Michael Goold reports on a survey of the structure and staffing of over 600 co...

Strategic and Portfolio Management and Corporate Organization

Diversification, Corporate Strategy, Portfolio Management, Corporate Center
Presentation about diversification including many graphs and figures for clarification. The presentation includes the fo...

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Compare with Parenting Styles: Parenting Advantage  |  Prahalad  |  Levers of Control  |  Growth Phases  |  Centralization and Decentralization  |  Distinctive Capabilities  |  Organizational Configurations  |  3C's  |  Mergers & Acquisitions  |  Organization Chart  |  Horizontal Integration  |  Office of Strategy Management

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