IBM: The Corporate Service Corps Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


            The International Business Machines (IBM) has been a global firm which has been operating in more 170 countries. Moreover, the total number of employees working at IBM worldwide is more than 380,000 employees. The total revenues of the company as per the financial statements for the year 2008 indicate that the company accumulated total revenue of more than $100 billion across the world.

            The company is a computer technology and an IT consulting firm that is headquartered in Armonk, United States. The company has a strong foundation where it has been a part of the 19th century also. The company basically manufactures and sells computer hardware and software; it even provides hosting services, infrastructure services and the consulting services to the clients in the international market.

            The company IBM has been famous for being the largest organization in composure and system integrators. It is also one of the most profitable firms in the Information Technology sector. The case “IBM: The Corporate Service Corps” basically looks to focus on the period between 2004 to 2009.

            This was the time when the company IBM was facing increasing pressure in terms of globalization. In such a situation, the CEO of the company Palmisano focused exclusively upon the global integration of the organization. Moreover, he even has this vision where he wanted to globalize the company from the “Bottom up”.

            To actually integrate and blend the strategy he devised, the management introduced The Corporate Service Corps (CSC) which has been a concept that was initiated by the Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs (CCCA).

            The program has been approved by the top management of the company IBM. Eventually, the management of CCA decided that the newly launched program CSC would last for six months in the initial phase. Three months of “pre work” preparation whereas one month working with in the country and finally the remaining two months hall be designated to the “post work”.

            Moreover, the company and the management of IBM was not sure about the response it shall get from the employees, however, 5,500 applications were received by the employees across the globe. However, the company had to find to talent from across the globe to become a part of the CSC program.

            Therefore, in the months between July and October in the year 2008, the CSC program sent a total of 100 employees in 11 teams to the selected countries which were Ghana, Tanzania, Romania, Philippines and the Vietnam. The 11 teams were divided into 2 teams in Ghana, 2 teams in Tanzania, 3 teams from Philippines and 2 teams were sent to Vietnam.

Problem Statement

            The problem that has been identified in the case “IBM: The Corporate Service Corps” is the fact that the company IBM has launched a Corporate Services Corps in the year 2008 where the program has been designed to send top performers and high potential employees to work on an international community service assignment.

IBM The Corporate Service Corps Case Solution

            The program CSC has been introduced in the year 2008 which is the pilot year for the program. A total of 100 top performers and high potential employees across the globe were send to work with the local partners, non government organizations in developing markets such as the Vietnam, Ghana, Tanzania, Romania and the Philippines.

            The case basically looks to assess the situation and the overall operations of the CSC program implemented by IBM. Moving forward in the future, the company looks to consider how CSC should rather fit in with the IBM broader corporate citizenship portfolio and IBM's globalization strategy. Basically, the company needs recommendations as to how the program CSC should be run in the coming year 2009.


            Analyzing the current success of the CSC program, it can be said that the program in its first year has been able to attract the employees, the management and the element of globalization quite effectively and efficiently. Since, the project has been focused on sending top notch employees, high potential employees to developing markets, the team members have been trained according to the needs and wants of the country.

            For instance, the CSC program has been a six month program, employees have to participate in pre work, in company and post work experience. The employees have been sent to Ghana, Tanzania, Romania, Philippines and Vietnam in the initial phase..................

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