Herman Miller Case Study Essay

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Case Six: Southwest Airlines
Introduction
Herman Miller has a deep-rooted history as a quality manufacturer of office furniture. The company has been recognized on Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies,” and “100 Best Companies to Word For” lists, as well as Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” list (Shipper, Manz, Adams, & Manz, 2011). Due to the company’s innate ability to reinvent itself, Herman Miller has been able to stay relevant through the years despite the great depression and several recessions over the years (Shipper et al., 2011). With the right planning Herman Miller will continue its tradition of innovation well into the future.
Company Information In 1909, Dirk De Pree was hired as a clerk at The Michigan Star
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Some are part of the museum’s permanent collection (Shipper et al., 2011). Even before other companies recognized the importance of being green, sustainability and environmental stewardship were part of the Herman Miller culture (Shipper et al., 2011). Herman Miller became a founding partner of the U.S. Green Building Council and the Tropical Forest Foundation (Shipper et al., 2011). The company discontinued the use of endangered wood and chose to use wood from sustainable sources instead (Shipper et al., 2011). Some of Herman Miller’s products were recognized for use in buildings attaining a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification (Shipper et al., 2011). Environmental stewardship is just a small part of the values that are important to the Herman Miller culture. (See Exhibit 1.) Each member of the Herman Miller organization recognizes these core values and are held to these standards – from plant worker to board member (Shipper et al., 2011). Herman Miller saw tough times in the early 21st century. Sales fell flat as the dot-com bubble burst (Shipper et al., 2011). Shortly thereafter, the events of September 11th, 2001 caused sales to continue to decrease (Shipper et al., 2011). The difficult decision to abandon the company’s long-standing no-layoff policy was made to keep the company alive. The workforce was cut by 38% and a plant was closed in Georgia (Shipper et al., 2011). CEO Mike Volkema and President Brian Walker

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