A Decade of Organizational Change at Unilever

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A Decade of Organizational Change at Unilever
A DECADE OF ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AT UNILEVER

7 November 2012

• Originally founded in 1872, and incorporated in 1929, Unilever was facing a difficult time when upon their discovery that the organizational architechture and strategy they were employing was not benefiting the company.

• The company was under a decentralized structure for generations.

o Managers looking for a change

o The decision was to go global

• It was mid-1990 and initial changes were made with minmal results.

o Managers tried again and rebuilt the company from the inside out

o Between 1990-1996 Unilever introduced the concept based on regional business groups

o The groups and divisions coordinated activities in the regions

• It is now the year 2000 a slight change was apparent; however, the company was still behind their competitors. Again, management decides change is warranted

o Unilever decides change the number of brands form 1600 to 400

o Reduce the number of manufacturing plants from 380 to 280

o Management wants all of this completed by the year 2004

• It is extremely difficult to change. The process is compounded when you are a multinational business trying to reshape your thumbprint. That in itself can take years Unilever managed to change and they no doubt are yet continuing to perfect that change. As we can only get better.

A DECADE OF ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AT UNILEVER

Change while yet simple to say is one of the most difficult processes to perform. It takes proper timing if known, and having the best tools to make it happen. When you are a large multinational firm, the task will have challenges. While it took some effort to complete, Unilever, historically one of manufacturings’ oldest multinational firms was facing a reoganizational change that reshaped them for the challenges of the 21st century.

Orginally incorporated in 1929, Unilever’s

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