Addendum to Portfolio Writing 6
Peter Browning and Continental White Cap
Peter Browning finds himself in a precarious situation. It is a situation that is more common in today’s environment due to increased globalization and rapid technological innovation. He is tasked to take necessary preventative action to retain White Cap’s profitability in the capping business in an environment of rapid change and increased competition. Browning has recently been successful in turning a non-profitable company around and achieving remarkable results. But now he must improve upon an already successful company. This creates a different set of challenges including creating a sense of awareness and urgency to change, despite being profitable. Other factors contribute to make this a difficult task to accomplish, and they primarily stem from the prevailing culture. However, solutions to the task and appropriate actions can be developed by examining the prevailing culture and deciding which aspects of the culture to change and which aspects to reemphasize in order to develop continuance during a period of change.
White Cap has a family oriented culture that identifies loyalty as its cornerstone. An example of the prevailing culture based on family was witnessed when Mrs. White, one of the founder’s wife, cooked lunch for the company’s employees. Another example of family orientation is the fact that Mr. White would give loans to individuals during inordinate events such as medical emergencies. The establishment of the organization as a family exists heavily today, despite being bought by Continental Can Company. In fact, the cultural effects created by the buyout were insubstantial because Mr. White used his influence to remain aloof from corporate headquarters. Browning recognized that the family oriented culture would constrain his efforts to change the organization. This fact coupled with the company being very successful over the last 50 years are the two...
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