The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics Case Series

Norberto Odebrecht, the founder of a pioneering Brazilian construction company, devoted much of his career to developing a set of business principles known as the Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology, or TEO. These principles shaped a corporate culture in which entrepreneurship, creativity and individual authority were cultivated and allowed to thrive. Even as the company diversified and internationalized through key acquisitions in the 1980s and 1990s, Odebrecht S.A.'s leadership remained loyal to its founder's vision. In 2006, the company won a high profile, $1 billion contract for a renovation of Miami International Airport. This case poses questions about how a company can preserve its culture while expanding in and recruiting from the global markets.

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Case id: 110303