Case Chapter 13: a Decade of Organizational Change at Unilever

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Case Summary: A Decade of Organizational Change at Unilever Unilever, one of the world’s oldest multinational corporations, generates annual revenues in excess of $50 billion and a wide range of branded products in virtually every country. Furthermore, Unilever was organized on a decentralized basis, in which subsidiary companies in each major national market were responsible for the production, marketing, sales and distribution in that market. However, by the mid-1990s, this decentralized structure was increasingly out of step with a rapidly changing competitive environment. In addition, Unilever found out that it was falling behind competitors in the race to bring new products to the market, so in the mid-1990s, they began to change…show more content…
Once the countries became more of a union, the marketing strategies also started changing. Why did this structure start to create problems for the company in the 1980s? Due to the fact that it was necessary to convince more than one company it was harder to introduce a product as a single entity. Also the costs of all those separate companies where higher than one single company with multiple brands. 2. What was Unilever trying to do when it introduced a new structure based on business groups in the mid-1990s? It was trying to form a single strong producer that could compete with some of its large competitors like Nestle and Procter and Gamble. These companies have a single strategy and the mother brand runs the show in terms of launching products regionally, nationwide or globally. Also this saved much money because products could be made in one country and be transported to another country with less to no trade barriers. Why do you think that this structure failed to cure Unilever ills? There were still too much brand names connected to Unilever. This caused confusion and also the brand awareness was lower. This was because of the fact that the public was only aware of a certain amount of product, and once in another country the brands deferred from each other. 3. In the 2000s Unilever has switched to a structure based on global product divisions. What do you think is the

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