Parenting Styles
(Goold & Campbell)

Knowledge Center





The role of the Corporate Centre in Strategy. Explanation of Parenting Styles of Michael Goold and Andrew Campbell.


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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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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