Case Analysis: Alfa Laval

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Analysis

Alfa Laval is a leading global supplier of “specialized products and engineering solutions based on its key technologies of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling” (Alfa Laval Group, 2017b). Its mission is “to optimize the performance of (its) customers’ processes”, while its strategy is to “keep things simple and focus on cost-efficient solutions” (Alfa Laval Group, 2017c). Even though Alfa Laval may be categorized against the background of Mintzberg’s theory as a divisionalized form of organization, it fits this structural archetype merely in some respects. Henceforth, the purpose of the following analysis is to point out these divergences in context of their organizational origins and further challenges which the organization faces internally.

Alfa
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Significant diversity throughout its employee base of over 17,000 brings imminent challenges of cultural differences and linguistics (Alfa Laval 2017d). They have undertaken multiple acquisitions which materially heighten the amount of diversity to be handled by the HR department. Typically, the impact of a cross-border acquisition is negative with added communication difficulties, logistic problems and shared assumptions are found much harder to configure (Piekkari 2005). For instance, Alfa Laval acquired Norwegian company Frank Mohn AS in 2017, who withheld powerful market share in the manufacturing of pumping systems and shipping (Alfa Laval Group, 2017a). Piekkari (2005) discusses that combining companies often demotivates existing employees as they feel although relevant management are not transparent enough in the acquisition process and sense a surrender to a higher power rather than a positive marriage of equals. This then results in a decrease in important KPIs such as productivity and job satisfaction, which are often attached to increases in staff
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