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Rugby World Cup final: New Zealand has the management and organisational edge over France, according to Towers Watson


The upcoming Rugby World Cup final on Sunday will see New Zealand face a French team that has consistently overcome the odds to reach the final stage of the competition.

In addition to the All Black’s technical playing skills, New Zealand’s organisational and management culture also indicates they may have the edge over the French in important areas of motivation, organisation and delivery, according analysis to Towers Watson.

The Towers Watson Rugby World Cup Analysis uses a compilation of the company’s employee opinion data that measures key talent management issues. French and New Zealand benchmark data, representing the views of 160,000 employees at over 160 companies, was used to identify the relative strengths in each culture as defined by the Towers Watson manager effectiveness performance model.

According to Towers Watson, New Zealanders have an organisational edge over the French in executing tasks and delivering outcomes in addition to cultural advantages in energising change and developing people.

Executing Tasks – New Zealand 83% vs. France 60%. New Zealand companies achieve higher scores when it comes to their reputation for quality, which may translate into executing better quality play.

Energising Change – New Zealand 74% vs. France 52%. Enjoying a more open approach, the All Black team members are more likely to speak up if things are not working, enabling the game to change direction when needed.

Acting with Authenticity and Building Trust – New Zealand 73% vs. France 47%. New Zealand’s management style, with a greater emphasis on trust and authenticity, could be more effective at encouraging players to give their best on the field.

Delivering the Deal – New Zealand 90% vs. France 55%. New Zealanders are more likely to feel valued for what they contribute which again can drive their engagement on the day.

Yves Duhaldeborde, Organisational Surveys and Insights (OSI) director for EMEA at Towers Watson (and keen supporter of the French team), said: “Assuming these cultural differentiators play out on the field and assuming the leadership style has a significant role to play in determining who wins, our data points to a clear victory for New Zealand.

"Having said that, we should remember that as this is a one-off knock-out sporting event and not the long-term game of organisational cultural improvement. Given the French aptitude for upsetting the odds, already seen on two occasions in this competition, anything could happen on Sunday.”

Angela Paul, head of research for Europe, OSI, Towers Watson said: “We thought it would be an interesting experiment to take our employee opinion research data and apply it to the management and cultural styles of the Rugby World Cup finalists in order to predict a winner. Both countries have strengths in different areas but ultimately our analysis agrees with that of the bookmakers and predicts a home victory for New Zealand.”

The Towers Watson Performance Model comprises four pillars describing the activity of effective line supervisors. Executing tasks; Energising Change; Developing People & Delivering the Deal; and Acting with Authenticity & Trust.

The model was statistically validated using employee opinion data from the firm’s Global Workforce Study in 2010 - an online survey of roughly 22,000 full-time employees in mid-size to large organisations across 28 markets. It is applied in Towers Watson’s employee surveys and consulting practice to measure and facilitate the effectiveness of line supervisors.