Organisational Change and Transition

An Investigation into Richard Murphy’s Change Management at Biscuit & Co Ltd

Essay, 2012
22 Seiten


Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables

List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction

2. Murphy’s Change Management at Biscuit & Co Ltd
2.1. Murphy’s Predicament at Biscuit & Co Ltd
2.2. Improving Murphy’s Change Strategy at Biscuit & Co Ltd
2.3. Critical Evaluation of Murphy’s Efforts to Initiate and Lead Change
2.4. Key Skills for Change Agents

3. Summary

Reference List


List of Figures and Tables

Figure 1 McKinsey 7-S model

Figure 2 Corporate structure Biscuit & Co Ltd (Appendix)

Figure 3 Drivers for and against sustainable change

Figure 4 Positioning of Biscuit & Co Ltd in the Competing Value Framework

Figure 5 Positioning of Biscuit & Co Ltd in Kotter’s change quadrants model

Figure 6 Corporate governance structure for change at Biscuit & Co Ltd (Appendix)

Figure 7 Covey's seven habits model

Table 1 Financial performance at Biscuit & Co Ltd, 1999-2002 (Appendix)

Table 2 Kotter’s eight step model and application in Biscuit & Co Ltd (Appendix)

Table 3 Positive and negative change initiatives Murphy has done

List of Abbreviations

BCL Biscuit & Co Ltd

BSC Balanced Scorecard

CBF Conglomerated British Food CVF Competing Value Framework ESM Eight Step Model

HRM Human Resource Management ROCE Return on Capital Employed

1. Introduction

Change is inevitable for corporations in order to gain and sustain a competitive advantage within global markets. Referring to Peters and Waterman (2004), the McKinsey 7-S model (see Figure 1) provides a valuable basis to identify the current situation within Biscuit & Co Ltd (BCL).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: McKinsey 7-S model

Source: Peters & Waterman (2004)

The McKinsey 7-S model draws upon the idea that organization

effectiveness stems from the connection between hard and soft elements as key drivers for corporate success. Whereas the former part refers to corporate structure, strategy, and systems; the latter one relates to an organization’s style, skills, staff, and shared values (Peters & Waterman, 2004). By the time Murphy took over the position as marketing director at BCL, the situation of the aforementioned key drivers has been challenging.

The corporate S tructure of BCL focuses primarily on production and

manufacturing, thereby neglecting marketing & sales. As Figure 2 (Appendix) displays, BCL is functionally divided into a community and family based hierarchy. The business driver at BCL is a financial management System which roots essentially on accounting and finance with tight cost control to ensure efficient production. BCL’s corporate Style is characterized as a loyal collectivistic one, with a feeling of security and aversion to change. BCL’s staff focuses very much on production and tends to do business as usual. However, the Skills BCL’s workforce possesses is lacking the necessity of marketing & sales. The corporate Strategy at BCL is mainly short-term oriented while ignoring market development. BCL’s Shared Values are regarded as traditional and less innovative but likewise strong and resistant. Obviously, Murphy was confronted with a variety of issues as he started implementing his change programme.

2. Murphy’s Change Management at Biscuit & Co Ltd

2.1. Murphy’s Predicament at Biscuit & Co Ltd

In 2004, after initiating a massive change programme within BCL, Murphy pushed for a new product launch supported by the Board of BCL. Although the product launch seemed to be successful, Murphy’s actions caused massive conflicts between production and sales & marketing and damaged his relationship with Andrew Eastern. Figure 3 displays the most striking drivers for and against a sustainable implementation of Murphy’s change programme, showing the predicament that occurred.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: Case study 408-083-1, Figure developed by the author

The most striking issue, based on the findings (see Figure 3), is that Murphy implemented a change programme that was contradictory to the corporate culture and did not involve permanent status employees.

2.2. Improving Murphy’s Change Strategy at Biscuit & Co Ltd

Possible improvements for Murphy’s change strategy have been derived. As a result, actions that could have prevented the predicament were inferred. Thus, this section:

(1) employs the competing value framework (CVF) to put the

proposed change strategy into an organizational perspective (Quinn & Rohrbaugh, 1983, Hartnell, Ou, & Kinicki, 2011) and

(2) utilizes Kotter’s eight step model (ESM) to structure the change process (Kotter, 1995, 2009).

Biscuit & Co Ltd and its Position within the Competing Value Framework

The CVF underpins the idea that a corporate culture and its values can be categorized into four different types: collaborate, create, control and compete (see Figure 4). The framework moreover, dimensions corporations vertically and horizontally based on their focus on (1) internal integration or external differentiation, and (2) flexibility or stability (Hartnell, Ou, & Kinicki, 2011). Considering BCL’s corporate culture, the company combines an internal focus and stability, between quadrant I and III (†).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 4: Positioning of Biscuit & Co Ltd in the Competing Value Framework Flexibility and Discretion

Clan: Collaborate Adhocracy: Create

Source: Adapted from Hartnell, Ou, & Kinicki (2011), p. 3

As mentioned before, Murphy’s change programme contradicted BCL’s

corporate culture because it assumed that BCL’s employees would be open for change and innovation. It is crucial to identify a corporate culture with its attitudes and `language´ in advance in order to develop a change programme which can be understood by everybody and which considers the workforce as the most striking driver for change (De Wit, 2011).

Kotter’s Eight Step Model to Structure the Change Programme for Biscuit & Co Ltd

After analysing weak spots in BCL’s organisational competitiveness based on the McKinsey 7-S model and its corporate culture with the CVF, this section starts with an evaluation of what change type is required to augment BCL’s competitiveness.

Principally, change can be distinguished based on two different types and related management approaches. First, minor change aims for evolutionary organizational development. Second, major change intends revolutionary organizational transformation (Nadler, 1988, Tushman et al., 1988). In the authors perspective, major change is imperative for BCL to overcome the current challenges regarding the drop in market share, a negative profit margin of 1.74 percent in 2000, and a nearly stagnated ROCE of ca. 15 percent in the years 2001 and 2002 (see Table 1, Appendix). Thus, in order to discontinue current business practices, actions have to be taken concerning multiple levers and levels within BCL.

Once again, it is crucial to consider BCL’s corporate culture to

communicate the necessity for change in the `corporate language´ successfully. Building upon this thought, Kotter’s change quadrants model supplements the underlying analysis for the improved change programme (1990). The model assumes that a change strategy should consider a corporate culture’s responsiveness towards change. Whereas a warm corporate culture is characterized by shared values and understanding about corporate processes, a cold corporate culture is regarded as driven by rules and regulations with tight management control. A warm motivation to change, furthermore, is determined mainly by the employees’ willingness to improve. While cold motivation to change refers to an urgent reaction, for example, to bankruptcy or significant competitive risk. Based on the information about BCL, the author concludes that

the improved change programme should consider BCL as a cold organization which implements change only if middle-management is ambitious and heavily involved to drive the change process. Figure 5 displays BCL in Kotter’s change quadrants model (†).

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 5: Positioning of Biscuit & Co Ltd in Kotter’s change quadrants model

Source: Adapted from Kotter (1990)

As aforementioned, based on the findings about BCL’s corporate culture and its perception towards change, the improved change programme (1) must involve every business layer and employee within BCL and (2) requires a structured approach. The following section is based on Kotter’s ESM (1995, 2009) structure, as it appropriately facilitates change implementation.

1. Establishing a Sense of Urgency

John Southgate firstly recognized a serious decline in BCL’s

competitiveness; hence, he increased the pressure on Andrew Eastern. Notwithstanding, the fact that Eastern and “most employees cared passionately about the future of the company and many recognized the need for change [...]” (case study 408-083-1, p. 4), BCL’s complacency level was comparably high. Possible reasons are, for example, too much `happy-talk´ from middle management and a financial measurement system that focuses primarily on costs. Therefore, addressing BCL’s rather hierarchical corporate culture, Southgate, Eastern and Murphy must join forces to raise the sense of urgency by acting as the `spearhead´ for BCL’s change. Possible instruments to amplify the level of urgency are (1) to claim that employees speak repeatedly to unsatisfied customers, suppliers, and shareholders, (2) to enhance honest discussions about problems through BCL’s corporate newsletters and management which cannot be realized with current business procedures, and (4) to confront employees with benchmarking results of major competitors.


Ende der Leseprobe aus 22 Seiten


Organisational Change and Transition
An Investigation into Richard Murphy’s Change Management at Biscuit & Co Ltd
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
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Change Management, Competing Value Framework, McKinsey 7-S model, Kotter, Kotter’s change quadrants model, Covey's seven habits model, Kotter’s eight step model, Biscuit & Co Ltd, Balanced Scorecard, Human Resource Management
Arbeit zitieren
cand. Master of Science Human Resource Management University of Southampton, Bachelor of Arts International Management International University of Applied Science Bad Honnef-Bonn Alexander Michalski (Autor), 2012, Organisational Change and Transition, München, GRIN Verlag,


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