Due date: 7 June 2010 Read the case' Strategic and Organizational Change at Black & Decker' and answer the questions below. Each question carries 25% of the marks for this assignment.
How would you characterize Black & Decker's international expansion during the 1950s and 1960s? What strategy was the company pursuing? What was the key feature of the international organization structure that Black & Decker operated with at this time? Did Black & Decker' s strategy and structure make sense given the competitive environment at that time? 2
How did the competitive environment confronting Black & Decker change during the 1980s and 1990s? What changes did Black & Decker make in its strategy and structure to compete more effectively in this new environment?
By the 2000s, what strategy was Black & Decker pursuing in the global market place? How would you characterize its structure? Did the structure fit the strategy and environment? Why do you think it took nearly two decades for Black & Decker to effect a change in strategy and structure?
[Source of questions: Hill (2009) International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace, 7th edn, NY: McGraw-Hili, 535- 36.]
Your assignment should not exceed 4,000 words and should be typed or produced on a PC. 2 3 Your answer should be in essay form. Use complete sentences. You can provide any statistics, tables or graphs in an appendix for reference. Your answer should clearly show your understanding of the topics. We will look for clear and logical ideas. The completed assignment should be received by your tutor by the due date.
8 890 International Management Strategy
and Organization Change at Black BE Decker
By the mid-1980s, however, this structure was staning to become untenable. New competitors had emerged in the power tool business, including Bosch, Makita, and Panasonic. As a result, Black & Decker's monopoly position had eroded. Throughout the 1980s, the company pursued a strategy of rationalization. Factories were closed and the company consolidated production in fewer, more efficient production facilities. This process was particularly evident in Europe, where different national operating companies had traditionally had their own production facilities. As the company noted in its 1985 annual report, "Globalization remains a key strategic objective. In 1985, sound progress was made in designing and marketing products for a worldwide market, rather than just regional ones. Focused design centers will ensure a greater number of global products for the future . . .. Global purchasing programs have been established, and cost benefits are being realized." During this period, while the company maintained a number of design centers, it cut the number of basic R&D centers from eight to just rwo. The autonomy of individual factories also started to decrease. The factories that remained after the round of closures had to compete with each other for the right to produce a product for the world market. Major decisions about where to produce products to serve world markets Were now being made by managers at ·the corporate headquarters. Even so, national subsidiaries stilI maintained a fair degree of autonomy. For example, if a national subsidiary developed a new product, it was still likely that it would get the mandate to produce that product for the world market. Also, if a national subsidiary performed well,
Known primarily for its power tools, Black & Decker is one of the world's older multinational corporations. The company was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1910, and by the end of the 1920s had become a small multinational company with operations in Canada and Britain. Today the company has rwo well-known brands, Black & Decker consumer power tools and its DeWalt brand of professional power tools. It sells its products in over 100 nations, and has...
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