Management of change – case studies

Executive summary

The two reports in this assignment will surround two respective cases to demonstrate the art of the management of change. In the first report regarding the transgender case in the human resource management, the report begins with providing the justices for the rights of transgender person in the work place and then focuses have been given to the resistances to the change to accept the transgender employees, and the report ends in offering several suggestions to the relative stakeholders in the case. The second report is about a famous M&A case: Royal Edeling, which combines two eminent food brands, one from England and one is from Germany with different cultural traditions and the focus of this report is given to the theoretical analysis with several models to analyze the case and also a similar case of Daimler Chrysler is also discussed. This report ends in the conclusions and recommendations base on the analysis.

Content page

Executive summary 1

Task 1 Report to human resources at Chemical Incorporation 4

The rights of the choose of gender identity 4

The legal rights of gender identity transition 4

Human rights 5

Workforce diversity 5

Resistances to the transgender 6

Fears in experiencing changes 6

Lack of employees’ involvement in the changes 7

Advices to HR on the needed changes to help Michael Thomas 7

Advices to the company as a whole 7

Advices to help Michael Thomas 8

Advices to other employees 9

Advices to senior management 9

Task 2 Report to the director of Royal Biscuit 11

1.Background review 11

The nature of the planned change 11

Review of the similar challenges in Daimler Chrysler 12

Culture clash 12

Integration of management structure 13

Objectives of this report 13

Theoretical analysis of the Royal Edeling 13

Force field analysis 14

Figure 1.0 Force Field analysis 14

Hofstede’s five Cultural Dimensions 15

Conclusions 17

Recommendations 17

Learning from each other 17

Create a global perspective 18

Reference 19

Task 1 Report to human resources at Chemical Incorporation

The rights of the choose of gender identity

Gender change or transition refer to the process by which individuals come to live full time in their preferred gender rather than their birth gender (Inner Discovery Network, 1998).In nowadays, people different gender preference such as gay, lesbian, bisexual are widely accepted in many industries and countries. But employment transgender persons like mentioned in the case at Chemical Incorporation is facing more challenges than the cases of the employment of gay or lesbian, the reasons for these difficulties are many which will be discussed later. But first let’s focus on the reasons that support the gender transition and the employment of the transgender persons.

The legal rights of gender identity transition

In the jurisdiction system of many developed, the protection of the transgender person against employment discriminations are legalized to preserve the equality of everyone in the employment area. The acceptances of employment right of the transsexual employees are very common in the United States than many other developed countries. For example in the states of Minnesota, Rhode Island, California and New Mexico in the United States had amended their state legislations to extend the protection against workplace discrimination to the transsexual individuals and those who are experiencing gender identity disorder (Cadrain, 2004). For example, most recently, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled recently that Georgia General Assembly had illegally discriminated against a transgender women by laying of her while she decide to change her sexual indentify from man to woman (Unknown 2010). And it is the trend in the various legal systems to protect the equal employment right of the transgender employees.

Human rights

A real case happened to Tawni Sheridan, a transsexual woman gives a perfect explanation of the human rights of people to change their sexual identity. Tawni Sheridan started cross-dressing even before she was a teenager but she did not go out the public under 1995. In August of 1995 she began to visit a gay nightclub in Victoria dressing as a woman, and she believed that the club was a good and safe place to start her new identity. But she was told by a “bouncer” not to use the women’s washroom or else she will be asked to leave the club with the reason that the club had the policy that only anatomically correct women were allowed to use the women’s washroom. Later this case ended up with Tawni Sheridan’s victory after The B.C. Human Rights Commission applauds a decision in 1999 of the separate and independent Human Rights Tribunal awarding damages to her (The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal 1999). There are also many similar cases that prove the human rights of transgender persons including the right of being employed with discrimination.

Workforce diversity

Managing workforce diversity is defined as “a comprehensive managerial process for developing an environment (organizational culture) that works for all employees” (Thomas 1991, p10). And this definition certainly provides protection under the cover of the workforce diversity to those who are with different sexual identities. As the former regional manager for logistics in Eastman Kodak Company concluded that the acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) co-workers is a big part of Kodak’s diversity picture (Henneman 2004). But he also admitted the fact that the harassment toward gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) employees are still rampant. And like Kodak, many companies also include the issues of the discrimination of GLBT employees into the diversity training programs design to train all the employees.

Resistances to the transgender

While the support to the equal opportunity in the workplace for the transgender employees are affirmative according to the rights given above, but the motivations for the discrimination against gender transition in the working environment also to some extent make sense if we understand how they are formed, and what is more we need to know what are the resistances in order for use to reduces and even eliminate these resistances to achieve the equality of employment in the working place to the transgender employees.

Fears in experiencing changes

The fears that people will have in experiencing changes no matter positive or negative (some changes are not definite to be positive or negative) are the born nature of resistance. Such kind of fear is more evident in cases in which information is not accessible. The lack of transparent information is one of the most important sources of fear against changes that people will be experiencing during changes. Go back to the case of Michael Thomas in Chemical Incorporation base on the furious reaction that his colleague Jack Melbourne had, it is very possible that before the Michael Thomas turn to the senior vice president for human resources he actually had not communicate with other colleagues around him. And more over, the company had not done a necessary in adding the transgender knowledge into the training programs. And due to this lack of communication of information about transgender knowledge, the born fears to resist the gender transition seem to be understandable.

Lack of employees’ involvement in the changes

One reason why Jack Melbourne was reacting so strongly against the decision is that the decision had been reached without his participation. On one hand, it is Michael Thomas’s right to decide to change his sex identity and be treated in equal with other employees. But on the other hand, it is also reasonable for other employees to require to gradually get used to this change that they naturally could not accept in a sudden. So it is true that Michael Thomas’s choose to change his gender identity should be respected while the other employees should also be prepared to this change instead of getting sudden exposed of it.

Advices to HR on the needed changes to help Michael Thomas

Advices to the company as a whole

In the corporate level, the company should build up the appropriate and relative transgender friendly policies and physical conditions. First of all, the Chemical Incorporation should add the equal employment policy into the corporate article and policy to speak out the company’s viewpoint in protecting the transgender staffs. For example, Lucent Technologies in Ohio had adopted an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy statement which includes a protection treaty for transgendered and intersex employees in 1997 as the CEO of the company Rich McGinn said in EEO policy statement that Demonstrated commitment to equal opportunity is an investment in our people and our future growth (Unknown 1997). Such kind of statement will help create a transgender friendly atmosphere in the company by enacting clear policie. Secondly in term of the recruitment process transgender friendly tactics could also be applied here. For example, the intake form of the new candidate in the recruitment could have a third, a blank option for “sex/gender” to let the transgender persons describe their gender. Thirdly, physical conditions also play important roles in reducing frictions. For example, the use of washing room is proved to be one of most frequent issue that lead to disputes. So in this case for the company the use of single-use restroom rather than Men and Women’s washing room could be a good meaning to avoid direct frictions between the employees.

Advices to help Michael Thomas

To Michael Thomas, because Michael’s colleagues Jack Melbourne actually had expressed outraged reaction to the fact that the company did accept the gender identity change of Michael Thomas and this over reaction mush have led to the discomfort feeling of him. In this case, the introduction of psychology consulting service to him could be of some help if he feels it is necessary and acceptable. On the other hand, if the Michael Thomas agrees, the company could release an internal statement to clarify the sex change of him to make this known. And the statement should refer to Michael Thomas as she to confirm her sex transition. But such radical measures such as sex change clarification statement should only be down with Michael Thomas’s agreement as the privacy of him should also be respected at the same time.

Advices to other employees

To other employees, involvement into the change process will be necessary and effective to the change of accepting the transgender employees as participation can lead both to designing high-quality changes and to overcoming resistance to implementing them (Vroom & Yetton 1973). For example, the company could start a recommendations collection process under the name of “helping Michael Thomas’s sexual transition” to let the employees to participate into the change process. What’s more the education of the employees is also very important. The introduction of the transgender programs in the diversity training course could be of great help. In these programs, the knowledge of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) persons could be learn by the employees to understand the position of Michael Thomas. The most important target of the transgender program is to let the employees feel the same way that Michael Thomas feels and make them treat him like they like to be treated the way if they were in the similar position. And by taking the transgender program the fear of the employees who have been unknown to the transgender issue could be reduced.

Advices to senior management

To the senior management, they will also be put under a lot of pressure as they will be the one the handle the case and influence the outcome of the dispute. First of all, the senior management should have a clear and firm position in supporting Michael Thomas to back him before the great pressure from the peers and society. Some disputes should be anticipated by the management in the process of the sex change of Michael Thomas and the management should not try to neglect the dispute and let them become more serious. Instead the management team should actively try to solve the problems with effort and energy. On the other hand, the senior management is acting as the mediator between Michael Thomas and those employees that hold opposing views such as Jack Melbourne. This means that the managers should keep their door open and let in the different ideas and suggestions on the sex change try to collect these suggestions for further usage later when the company needs to formulate the strategies to implement the change in practice.

Task 2 Report to the director of Royal Biscuit

  1. Background review

With the merger of London based Royal Biscuit and Munich based Edeling GmbH, both famous and beloved brand in the food industry; the deal is called by outsiders as “the merger of equals”. But according to the current difficulties that we are going through especially in the term of enacting the leadership development plan, difficulties are found in the corporate culture integration rather than the technical level. This is because the hard issues had almost been solved before the merger such as the financial performance, market share and reputation while the soft issues are relatively under less scrutiny (Bryan 2008). So before solving the culture differences between the two stylish companies, the merger could not be announced as a success.

The nature of the planned change

Changes that happen to tan organization can be distinguished from the change that is planned by the members within the organization (Waddell, Cummings & Worley 2000 p30). Various theories have been developed to explain the planned changes in the business practices. And in term of the scale of change, the changes planned by the member in an organization can be classified into four scales: fine-tuning, incremental adjustment, modular transformation and corporate transformation (Dunphy & Stace, 1991). And for change of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) practices, they are trans-organizational changes in the corporate transformations level which is such a fundamental change that it was referred by a researcher as the “ultimate change management challenge” (Galpin & Robinson 1997).

Review of the similar challenges in Daimler Chrysler

Now let’s first see the similar difficulties that found in the international mergers and acquisitions practices in the past for inspirations. In year 1998 an also called “merger of equals” happened between two globally influential automobile manufactures: German based Daimler-Benz and United Stated based Chrysler to combine its business to achieve the goal of “profitable automotive production”. But the result is not as cheerful as the fact that the merged entity ranked the third globally in term of revenue, earning and market capitalization (Bryan 2008). Two key challenges provide explanation of the failure that happened three years after the seemingly merger of equal happened. And these two challenges are also encountered by Royal Edeling.

Culture clash

Daimler-Benz like Edeling is a typical German brand with characteristics of the methodical decision making, punctuality, and rule based while on the other hand, the United States based Chrysler encourage creativity, boldness and flexibility. The culture mismatch of the two companies could be described as the mismatch between the typical German culture and the distinguished American culture. Like And as Tony Cervone (2010) commented to the failure of the merger, “In Europe, and particularly Germany, the expectation was that if you tell them what it is you want, then they’ll act that way,” but “We had a much more in-depth way of communicating with employees. And we used every tool we had to communicate with Chrysler people.” And it was the different business cultures in term of different way of doing business that lead to the final failure of the great merger.

Integration of management structure

Under such obvious cultural difference, the integration of the organizational structure also met difficulties. In term of corporate structure, Daimler-Benz is famous for the high authorities in a clear hierarchy with the philosophy of “quality at any cost” while Chrysler is known to have a top down management with relatively flat hierarchy structure with the philosophy of producing “cost-efficient” vehicles. Such structural differences can be seen from the two distinctive decision making modes of the two companies. Daimler-Benz was known for the methodical and centralized decision making process which was in accordance with its tradition while Chrysler made decisions in another way. Under such circumstances, Daimler Chrysler’s German CEO Jurgen Schrempp was reported to have said that “he had always intended Chryslter Group to be a more mere subsidiary of Daimler Chrysler”, and when Daimler Chryslter in the later 2000 decided to build a German management team in Chrysler, this action actually accelerated the demolishment of the merger (Kroll, Carpenter & Wyman 2008).

Objectives of this report

The target of this report is to verify the statement that there is close relationship between the cultures of an organization and the ability of the organization to perform an effective change and provide recommendations to the Michael Brighton, head of HR of Royal Biscuit Company in the merger case of Royal Edeling to help achieve a successful merger.

Theoretical analysis of the Royal Edeling

Force field analysis

Force field analysis is a simple but useful tool to the viability of a decision by looking at all the forces for and against the change (Unknown 2010). For the desired change of the successful merger of the London based Royal Biscuit and Munich based Edeling GmbH, the forces for the change includes: investors of the two companies, customers like to see the merger of the two famous brands as a great example of European togetherness, the governments support the merger with close supervision, senior management were eager to push forward the integration; and the force against the change include: cultural differences of the two companies, different management style, limited of time according to the schedule. The forced filed analysis of the merger is stated below:

Forces for change Force against change





Total: 11 Total 9

Figure 1.0 Force Field analysis

The figure above has listed the current forces that go for and against the effective merger of the Royal Biscuit and Edeling GmbH, by attaching the scores which represent the extent of influence to the change to the forces and the total score of the driving forces weighs over the restraining forces which mean that the change is viable. But the close scores of the two kinds of forces also imply that efforts should be attributed to reduce the restrain forces and increase the driving forces in order to make sure the success of the merger.

Hofstede’s five Cultural Dimensions

Based on the Hofstede’s early study based on large date analysis from more than 70 countries and sequence studies, Hoftede has shown that there are close relations between grouping national cultures and organizational cultures. Base on the studies Geert Hoftede develop a five dimensional framework to access the national cultures (Geert Hoftede 2001) which have substantial influence over the organizational culture. The five dimensions are: Power Distance Index (PDI), Individualism (IDV), Masculinity (MAS), Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) and Long-Term Orientation (LTO). In the case of Royal Edeling which consisted of London based Royal Biscuit and Munich based Edeling GmbH, the analysis of the German culture and British culture many give explanations and further improvement suggestions to the current dilemma that the Royal Edeling had in integrating the two different country origin corporate culture.

Figure 2.0 Hofstede’s five Cultural Dimensions Analysis of Germany

figure 2.0


Figure 3.0 Hofstede’s five Cultural Dimensions Analysis of the United Kingdom

figure 3.0


From the two figures above, according to Hofstede’s study on Germany and United Kingdom, the two European share three dimensions in term of similar scores but the rest two dimensions vary greatly. The first dimension is the Individualism (IDV), and the second dimension is the Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI). Because the British compared with the German one is more focus on individuals and has more tolerance over unstructured situations, so the Royal Biscuit will consider that leadership is more about emotional intelligence and energy rather than cold science. And many other problems showed up in the integration process can also have the answers from the dimensional differences in the result of Hofstede’s study.


From the failure of Daimler Chrysler and the theoretical analysis of both the force field analysis and Hofstede’s five culture dimension, conclusion could be safely reached that the culture of an organization determines its ability to perform a change effectively that need to compromise its culture. And based on this conclusion and the analysis above, recommendations are generated accordingly to help solve the culture differences below.


Learning from each other

As a management professor at IMD from the Lausanne business school once warned the merger between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler that “If they can’t create a climate of learning from each other, they (Daimler-Benz and Chrysler) could be heading for an unbelievable catastrophe” (Unknown 2001) which is proved to be so right. And this warning also offers a good suggestion to Royal Edeling which is to learn from each other. And this target could be achieved by the establishment of the cross culture leaning programs to increase the diversity management in the work place. The bottom line of the cross culture learning program is to create appreciation and respect of the different culture.

Create a global perspective

“Be careful, forget your prejudices, and make business” is the doctrine by holding which the three thousand Finnish companies manage to expand their business in the Europe especially in Russia which had been an enemy of Finland for centuries. As a Finnish business man Pertti Huhtanen adviced in dealing the culture differences, be patient, forget the prejudices, make up your mind but proceed with small steps (Routamo 1999). Companies may have different country origin, corporate culture but doing business is the common thing that share by all business entities, by focusing on the business, the different way of doing business should be accepted under this priority.


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