73 11. (2003) Organizational Culture: Creating the Influence Needed for Strategic Success, London UK. The portfolio includes such well-known brand names as Walls, Ben and Jerry’s, Dove, Lipton and Flora, and as can be seen from the few names mentioned, they are both diverse and equally powerful brands and market niches. 7th ed., London: Irwin, McGraw-Hill, pp.12-15. Unilever have therefore developed and implemented a robust series of controls, which enables them to manage and monitor every part of the production process, and also standardise it across their estate. Fabian Garcia was appointed to the role of President, Unilever North America in 2020. Unilever has announced that CEO Paul Polman has decided to retire from the company. Examples of this include working with employees to indentify and implement efficiency savings, and also generating a culture of continuous improvement, which builds a self-perpetuating cycle of success (Judge et al, 2002:770-775). In consequence Unilever have committed to sourcing all of their palm oil requirements sustainably by 2015 (Unilever, 2010d). It would seem from the success and growth of Unilever as a multi-national conglomerate that they have been particularly successful and following these principles and instilling a collaborative approach which harnesses the power and knowledge of the workforce and uses it to further the growth and development of the business (Fayol, ibid). Change of Leadership at Unilever. Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers. Unilever state that their approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility incorporate “business benefits as well as ethical principles” (Unilever, 2010c). Leadership style is important in business. As Maslow’s’ theory suggests, once the basic needs of financial reward for work have been satisfied sufficient to meet the demands of paying bills, then an employee looks for other motivations to come to work, such as feeling valued by their employer, and having their work and achievements recognised. Whittington observed that organisational culture is governed by the social structures created by management level, social class and interest groups, and that trying to cut across these groups in certain localised areas was likely to create excessive tension and achieve very little (Whittington, 2000:185-189). Some of these challenges are outside of their control, however in order to ensure that they remain one of the leading conglomerates in the world they must adapt and respond flexibly to both internal and external challenges. Democratic Leadership. EVP Southern Africa. They suggest that if major achievements which have been made possible by the co-operative work of the team are celebrated and recognised, this will go on to motivate and encourage employees to continue to perform. November 30. Therefore Unilever have explicitly set out to create a management structure, which is capable of making faster decisions and responding more flexibly to external stimulus. Unilever have therefore developed and implemented a robust series of controls, which enables them to manage and monitor every part of the production process, and also standardise it across their estate. Cambridge, MA. ), Handbook of industrial, work and organizational psychology, Volume 2: Organizational psychology. This structure offers them flexibility and adaptability across the globe, and also efficiency in production and distribution. Whilst they are far from bankruptcy, recent years have seen considerable expenditure and challenge for Unilever, which has centred on the considerable number if divestments and acquisitions in order to strengthen and consolidate their global brand portfolio (Morden, 1996:458-496). Although Patrick Cescau formally stepped down from his role following his 60th birthday (the main reason for him to leave the post), he has continued to play an active role in corporate life and now serves as a non-executive director to another large multi-national firm. Accordingly Unilever has created a four-tier hierarchical structure, which helps to funnel information into the business, and allows the senior team to make appropriate decisions based on available data (Unilever, 2010b). It is recognised by scholars such as Atkinson et al (2007:66-68) that there is currently no uniform approach to sustainability or any codified measures of best operational practice. Hanneke was appointed President, Foods & Refreshment on 1 May 2019. Retrieved 18th Nov 2010. This is something, which was acknowledged and addressed by Maslow (1999, cited in Strage), who noted that employees require more than simple fiscal reward to remain motivated. Critics of Taylors’ approach such as Daft et al (2010:26), argue that the forced level of direction engendered by the Taylorist approach de-skills and de-motivates employees who effectively become “machines” who are dehumanised. (2003) Organizational Culture: Creating the Influence Needed for Strategic Success, London UK. Taylor (1999 cited in Matteson and Ivancevich), identified that to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness within an organisation it is necessary to “synthesize workflows” (1999:12-15) to ensure that there is alignment between resource availability and organisational requirements. The ten non-executive directors serve as the “independent element in Unilever’s governance” (Unilever, 2010a) and are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds all having huge experience and expertise in their respective areas. It would seem given that there have been no recent publicised disputes between employees and leaders at Unilever that employees are satisfied with the both the pay and recognition which they receive from the management team. He is a French national with numerous accreditations to his name and an extremely successful history at Unilever. Finally, the three senior corporate officers are responsible for ensuring that the board of Unilever (both executive and non-executive) have all the necessary information to make prudent and timely corporate decisions on both an operational and strategic basis. They are both internal and external to the organisation to help provide check and balance in their operational views and it is interesting to note that the board is very rare in having such a relatively high proportion of female NED’s at 30% (Black, 2003:236-238). Each level within the hierarchy serves a different function allowing the other levels of the organisation to concentrate on their core roles. The growth of Unilever has been characterised by mergers and strategic acquisitions, not all of which have been friendly (Polsson, 2008), and their brand portfolio exceeds 400 and includes a wide range of consumer goods, ranging from foods and beverages to personal care products and cleaning products. Greenpeace (2007) “Unilever admits toxic dumping: will clean up but not come clean” http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/contentlookup.cfm?CFID=6864301&CFTOKEN=96874361&ucidparam=20010620124942&MenuPoint=G-A.Retrieved 9th Nov 2010, Hackman, J. R., & Wageman, R. (2005). (1995) The Limits of Pure Critique’ in H.W. Unilever Management Style. 5.1- Approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility. Critics of Taylors’ approach such as Daft et al (2010:26), argue that the forced level of direction engendered by the Taylorist approach de-skills and de-motivates employees who effectively become “machines” who are dehumanised. Dove (2010) Campaign for Real Beauty available online at http://www.dove.us/#/cfrb/ retrieved 13th Dec 2010. 22 May 2010 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8633455.stm. The collaborative and communicative style of the leaders should be upheld and gently moulded in newer acquisitions to one which is collaborative and co-operative in approach, drawing on the theories of Maslow to help motivate and engage employees in such a way that they provide constructive criticism and feedback on how best to help Unilever develop in the current challenging environment. & Steffen, W. (eds), (2007). According to Unilever, they believe that this structure gives them suitable balance between corporate governance and organisational flexibility. Their ability to perform on their competencies and whether the culture of the organisation supports their chosen strategies or not. Hanneke Faber President, Foods & Refreshment. Each of these theories addresses a different aspect of the employee – management relationship as will be discussed. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/01/wskin101.xml. Patrick Cescau was the former CEO of Unilever and the first group CEO for the company. They are listed on both the UK FTSE 100 and the Dutch equivalent the AXE, and they have 13 brands which generate revenue of over €1 billion per year. The cornerstone of Taylors’ theory was centred on adhering to “best practice” processes to minimise waste and maximise productivity. The Managerial Grid: The Key to Leadership Excellence. They are dual-listed in the Netherlands and the UK, but operate as a single-entity with the same b… They are also the largest ice-cream manufacturer in the world, controlling some 73% of the world’s ice cream production and generating revenue of €5 billion per year alone from ice cream sales in Europe. Whilst they are far from bankruptcy, recent years have seen considerable expenditure and challenge for Unilever, which has centred on the considerable number if divestments and acquisitions in order to strengthen and consolidate their global brand portfolio (Morden, 1996:458-496). During a recent Wharton Leadership Lecture, he … This has been noted and observed by the management team at Unilever, and when their management approach and corporate culture is applied to the Tannenbaum and Schmidt continuum, as cited in Matteson and Ivancevich, (1999), it can be seen that although some level of authority must be applied to ensure consistency of process, many of the Unilever employees have a far greater level of freedom and creativity to offer innovative suggestions for product and process improvement. Spread the love. Miner, J. The structure of the executive team is set out in the diagram below:-, Figure 1:- Corporate Structure of Unilever, adapted from Unilever (2010b). Indeed, palm oil remains a major ingredient for many products toady, and their continued commitment to sustainability and efficient distribution is one of Unilevers’ core corporate strategies (Dhillion, 2007). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. By this they mean that they have continued the work started by Patrick Cescau seeking to align business activity and ethical activity. This has helped their own reputational and brand management and has enabled them to react rapidly to consumer demand, which has served to strengthen their corporate and market position. Analysis of the Organization and Leadership of Unilever, All Channel Network in Business Communication, Annual Report 2012-2013 of Tata Consultancy Services Limited, Probability Chain Network in Business Communication. New York, Doubleday. & Steffen, W. (eds), (2007). Info: 5478 words (22 pages) Essay Furthermore, Gergen (1995) concurs with Hassard and Parker (ibid), in those organisations, which operate in a post-modernist world, should take care to adopt appropriate management styles and techniques, or get left behind their competitors in a rapidly changing world. Unilever have recently won awards for innovation and environmental achievement (Unilever, 2010), which they were keen to share with the rest of the business, as the entire firm will benefit from such a positive approach (Morden, 1996; McGovern et al, 2008). Unilever is characterised by open channels of communication, and there are points which against the Hersey and Blanchard model the leadership style could be regarded as “selling”, this is more to do with the differing levels of maturity in various parts of the business, and particularly in those parts which have been recently acquired. Stefan Cloete. It is a perpetual challenge for Unilever to maintain the interest and enthusiasm of employees who perform repetitive jobs such as those that will be required for a significant proportion of the Unilever workforce. She is a member of Unilever… It is interesting to set the Hersey and Blanchard model against the backdrop of situational leadership, as it seems that the characteristics of Unilever are a mature and confident group of leaders who are happy to delegate tasks and responsibility, and thus leverage the best from their employees (Den Hartog and Koopman, ibid). Organisational culture is complex, and can be influenced by a huge variety of factors as noted by Hofstede (1980) who identified the influenced and effects of multi-cultural workforces within multi-national environments. Considering the size and scope of the organisation it is understandable that they must operate within a defined framework, and as noted by Cummings and Worley (2005:136-138) the sheer size of the company can expose them to the risk of paralysis and stagnation as they are too large to respond flexibly to external challenges. Whittington proposed that organisations in the same circumstances as Unilever would do well to adopt what he described as a systemic approach. Taylor (1999 cited in Matteson and Ivancevich), identified that to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness within an organisation it is necessary to “synthesize workflows” (1999:12-15) to ensure that there is alignment between resource availability and organisational requirements. Simons, H.W. Application of the Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory model (1999, cited in Gabriel et al, 1999) further underlines that the Unilever management style is one of participating and delegating as opposed to “telling” employees what to do. Whilst it is appreciated that management culture and organisational culture is not something that can be changed overnight, as reliance on technology increases and organisations must become more adaptable to survive, it is likely that the current culture will be fit to see Unilever through into the future. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs. Despite the size of Unilever, it is remarkable that they are able to adapt so readily to change at both an internal and external level, and across global boundaries. This has helped their own reputational and brand management and has enabled them to react rapidly to consumer demand, which has served to strengthen their corporate and market position. There are several theories, which can be used to help understand the relationship between managers and employees within an organisation. At this point they have equal concern for both production and people as they recognise that to deliver consistently excellent products they must have committed and motivated employees. 5.1- Approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility. Unilever have been able to make sales particularly profitable and efficient through centralisation of their brand under the “heart” logo, meaning that they were able to manufacture and distribute under the same brand across Europe with minimum customisation for local regions (Unilever, 2010). Unilever is characterised by open channels of communication, and there are points which against the Hersey and Blanchard model the leadership style could be regarded as “selling”, this is more to do with the differing levels of maturity in various parts of the business, and particularly in those parts which have been recently acquired. There are several theories, which can be used to help understand the relationship between managers and employees within an organisation. (1964). This also seems particularly likely given the increasing legislation to prevent employers from bullying their employees and behaving in an inappropriate manner (Miner, 2009). This is closely linked with reward and recognition for work that has been done well or is particularly innovative. Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. Unilever has also built strong links with its subsidiary businesses around the world for its teas and coffees, as much of the raw material required for food stuffs is sourced from African and Latin American countries, such as cocoa, vanilla, palm oil and coffee beans. London, Sage. They are dual-listed in the Netherlands and the UK, but operate as a single-entity with the same board and senior team. This report will consider some of the recent changes and challenges, which have faced Unilever, and provide and analysis of the likely future challenges facing the organisation. This section of the report considers some recommendations to continue to improve employee motivation and engagement by enhancing and improving management practices, and also offer suggestions based on relevant theory as to how the necessary changes can be embedded. 10:05 2018. Application of the Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory model (1999, cited in Gabriel et al, 1999) further underlines that the Unilever management style is one of participating and delegating as opposed to “telling” employees what to do. Paul Polman of Unilever lives, breathes, and exudes this powerful assertion. This is something, which was acknowledged and addressed by Maslow (1999, cited in Strage), who noted that employees require more than simple fiscal reward to remain motivated. As reported in the Telegraph (2008), Unilever searched long and hard for a suitable successor to the position and eventually felt that Paul Polman would be a suitable candidate given his own background, capabilities and skills. They may set strict procedures that they follow precisely, and they expect their team to do the same. Unilever CEO Paul Polman’s decision to retire after a decade at the helm comes amid mounting challenges for the FMCG sector as consumer trends shift and growth becomes increasingly hard to find.. A look across the sector shows that a number of the world’s biggest companies have changed the person at the top in the last couple of years, from PepsiCo to Mondelēz, Nestlé to the … Furthermore, Gergen (1995) concurs with Hassard and Parker (ibid), in those organisations, which operate in a post-modernist world, should take care to adopt appropriate management styles and techniques, or get left behind their competitors in a rapidly changing world. 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