The case ‘Sears Changes Again and Again’, highlights the changes Sears, the well known departmental store had undertaken to solve problems and to reinvent itself in order to survive and prosper in the 21st century. The case also highlights how leadership facilitates to bring about changes in the organization to improve from the current state of being. At Sears under different leadership, various changes were made in the organizational structure, strategic business units, product offerings and target customers. Initially, the change efforts were focused on solving problem/improving efficiency. Later the focus was broadened to reinvent itself to survive and prosper in the 21st Century. The case also highlights that change is a continuous process rather than a onetime event. Change once undertaken might lead to good organizational results for a limited time frame after which the benefit ceases as the factors in the environment change. Sears had undertaken various changes; however, the benefits of those changes were limited for a specific period of time, after which another change initiative was required.
Issues/Focus of the case
The major issues/focus of the case mainly revolves around the various change initiative taken by Sears, in terms of leadership, organizational structure, positioning, target market and the promotion theme to solve the problems/improve performance and to survive and prosper in the 21st century.
The case highlights the change in leadership at Sears to improve organizational performance. Sears for the first time appointed an outsider, Albert Martinez as the CEO to improve its degrading performance. Similarly, after poor sales growth under Martinez’s leadership, the CFO Alan Lacy was appointed as the CEO.
The case also focuses on the changes in organizational structure made under the leadership of Martinez and Lacy. Martinez cut down 50,000 employees, flattened the company’s huge