Herman Miller Case Study
Herman Miller focuses on a growth strategy through innovative products, production processes and reinvention and renewal. They survived the Great Depression and multiple recessions, recovered from the dot-com bust and were able to continue expanding overseas. They adapted to save the company, by introducing new designs. They run their business more on a decentralized structure where the employees are able to have a voice within the company. The company believes in sharing the wealth with their employees with stock options and tuition reimbursements. It was routinely listed on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, including in 2010, and it had approximately 278 applicants for every job opening. Conflict Assessment
Herman Miller’s company has been a successful company, but it has experienced too many profit losses due to economy changes. Through 2006, the company’s leverage ratio was below the industry aver- age and its times-interest-earned ratio was over twice the industry average. Due to the drop-off in business during the recession, the debt-to-equity ratio rose precipitously, from 1.18 in 2006 to 47.66 in 2008. Herman Miller has a strong international presence, but they spent a lot of money on R&D. The company promotes within and promotes employee empowerment, but is there such a thing as “Too much employee empowerment”? Although it is great to set a positive culture for your company is it too much to expect the employees to carry out those values outside of the company into their home lives? Taking risk and spending for the future can be good and bad for the company. The major players or competition identified were Haworth, Steelcase, and HNI Corporation. With competition in mind, the major concerns of Herman Miller is will the strategies that made the award winning company continue the ability to re-invent itself? Will disruptive global, economic, and competitive forces that compel it...
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