In management jargon, a corporation is a company consisting of two or more business units. While each business unit has its own strategy and focuses on succeeding in its own market, to make economic sense a corporation needs to be more than just the sum of its business unit parts. An overarching corporate strategy is needed to ensure corporate value-added.
It is the task of the corporate center, the level above the business units, to drive this corporate value creation process. In carrying out this task, a number of corporate center roles can be played, each with their own activities, instruments and types of value-added.
The 7I Corporate Center Model describes the seven possible roles with which the corporate center can add value to the company. Every corporate center needs to choose which roles they want to play, in what way and with which intensity. The roles fall into three general categories; corporate composition roles determining which businesses should be part of the corporate portfolio, corporate synergy roles stimulating cross-business linkages, and corporate management roles focused on steering the businesses towards optimal performance.
The seven possible roles of the corporate center are the following: