Xerox Case Study
Q1. What kind of strategic planning process (bottom-up or top-down) did Xerox follow for its turnaround? What interference can you make about the effectiveness of this approach?
I would recognize Xerox’s strategic planning process as a top-down one, considering a lot of emphasis in the case is put on the major change achieved by the CEO Mulcahy. This could indicate that many of the ideas regarding cutting costs and regaining growth descended from one person, or a limited number of people at least. And by only including top-management in an overall strategy decision-making could then be defined as a top-down approach. More, I think it is reasonable to believe that Mulcahy’s swift initial action further indicates a centralized decision with minimum input from lower management, there simply could not have been sufficient time for that. However, regarding the resulting growth of Xerox, which did not happen as fast as the cost cutting, it is more reasonable to believe that Mulcahy included more people in that decision process. The task to increase growth is likely to be vaster than to reduce costs, and it probably requires a lot more ideas. But overall, I would still define the whole turnaround as a top-down process, considering the attention one single person is given about it. Mulcahy probably had to step on a lot of people’s toes to fulfill the turnaround, which also is likely to be one of the major disadvantages with a top-down process. Opposite of a bottomdown process, the majority of decision-makers are not included in the planning, which could result in a lacking moral and reduced understanding of the overall goals. Especially in this case, where the new CEO had minimum experience of similar ventures, the acceptance of all the cutbacks was presumably exceptionally low and difficult to motivate for the newly appointed CEO.
2. While Xerox PARC made a number of breakthrough innovations during the 1970s and 1980s, it...