1. Why did Unilever’s decentralized organizational structure make sense from the 1950’s through the 1970’s? Why did this structure start to create problems for the company in the 1980’s?
Because then there was almost no competition in the markets Unilever was targeting, they mostly maintained the largest market share and there was probably not so much international influence from other multinationals.
The structure began to create problems for the company because influencing other multinationals (competitors like Nestlé and Procter & Gamble) started to offer: * global brand products for cheaper price. * reducing cost structure by consolidation manufacturing operation at a few choice location * Executing simultaneous product launches in several national market OR
Unilever decentralized structure work against the company effort to build Global or regional brand which led the company into:
* duplication in manufacturing
* lack of scale economies
* High cost structure
2. What was Unilever trying to do when it introduced a new structure based on business groups in the mid 1990s? Why do you think this structure failed to cure Unilever’s ills? Unilever want to drive down operating costs and speed up the process of developing...
3. In the 2000s Unilever has switched to a structure based on global product divisions. What do you think is the underlying logic for this shift? Does the structure make sense given the nature of competition in the detergents and food business? Either of two linked companies, Unilever PLC (based in London) or Unilever NV (based in Rotterdam). They are the holding companies for more than 500 firms worldwide that manufacture and sell soaps, foods, and other products. The modern Unilever was established in 1929 as an association between the British manufacturer Lever Bros. and several other European soap and margarine manufacturers. Today most Unilever sales are in household products, including soaps and detergents, margarines, cooking...
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