Dow Chemical

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Dow Chemical Company Pages: 5 (2444 words) Published: October 22, 2014

Faculty of Business Administration
Academic Year 2014-2015
MBA 6503
Organizational Studies
Case Report:
DOW CHEMICAL: INNOVATING FOR SUSTAINABILITY
By
Vi Nguyen
Student # 3503832
Instructor: Prof. Doug Flint
October, 2014
Background on Dow Chemical Company (Dow)
Dow, a multinational corporation based in Midland of Michigan in the United State, was R&D-intensive and diversified-industry leader in chemistries, advanced materials, and agro-sciences with technology-based products and solutions. Dow’s annual sale in 2010 was $53.7 billion with approximately 50,000 employees world-wide. Issues

Immediate issues:
Dow’s vision to be “the most profitable and respected science-driven chemical company in the world” was looking for aspirations and commitments to build on the momentum to drive Dow’s science and people into unprecedented areas of leadership, collaboration, and change. Basis issue:

Dow pursues a two-phase ambitious plan to achieve profitability and sustainability goals. This dilemma hardly reached optimum solutions in short-run as expected by Dow’s top management team and stakeholders. Importance of the issue

As a leading chemical company providing key inputs to various companies, Dow should satisfy the needs of its employees and public on safety, technology-advanced innovation, and environmental conservation. Without an effective strategic plan to address increasing conflicts of profitability and environmental sustainability, Dow’s growth might be impacted and profitability goals could not achieved as expected while the environmental conservation campaigns challenged Dow’s reputation. Urgency of the issues

Depending on the public access to company internal information and education level of surrounding public and employees, Dow should sooner or later solve the problems of environmental sustainability while maintaining high growth to satisfy the profitability expectation of shares’ holders. Analysis

Frame Work and Theories
This analysis is based on the three following motivation theories: Need Theories of Work Motivation:
Need theories specified the kinds of needs people have and the conditions under which they will be motivated to satisfy these needs in a way that contributes to performance. Needs are physiological and psychological wants or desires that individuals can satisfy by acquiring certain incentives or achieving particular goals (Johns, G., & Saks, A. M., Textbook: Organizational Behavior (9th edition), 2013, p159-164). NEEDS → BEHAVIOUR → INCENTIVES AND GOALS

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and Alderfer’s ERG theory suggested that human has different levels of needs as follows:

As far as people in North America mostly satisfied their basic needs, the safety and belongingness or relatedness needs were more in concern. Rapid growth of Dow Chemical associated with a series of controversies that became public in the period 1960s-1980s: Agent Orange and its role in the Vietnam War; the discovery of contamination in the river close to Dow’s facilities in Midland, Michigan; Dow’s denial of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) access to its facilities, and the dioxin and greenhouse gas emission issues (p6). Therefore, these Dow’s disclosed issues with increasing public access to information had led society to demand more accountable, transparent, and responsible. Dow as an organization should meet the needs for security, stability, freedom from anxiety, and a structured and order environment including safe working conditions, fair and sensible rules and regulations, which were described in Maslow’s safety needs above. Belongingness needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs in Maslow’s hierarchy as well as relatedness needs and growth needs in Alderfer’s ERG theory were also raised in Dow’s organization. These needs were at Dow’s stake: shareholder value, corporate reputation, employee prosperity, and finding ways with customers to address the world’s most...
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