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Unilever Strategic Management Case Study

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Introduction
This paper is about Strategic Leadership and Organizational Transformation, which is
the most difficult aspect of strategic management of the Unilever Company and provides
justification on how this might be the case. Unilever is one of the world’s top manufacturers of
consumer products, which include food and personal healthcare products. According to DeLong
and Srivastava (2010), Unilever operates in a highly competitive environment with Nestle and
Kraft being the main competitors. In 1999, Unilever started to implement a strategy known as
the ‘Path to Growth’ based on capital efficiency, global buying, operating costs, and brand
focus. However, the main problem was to implement the strategy to achieve the goals and
objectives according to the mission and vision statements of the company (Iguchi & Hayashi,
2009; Stevenson & Hojati, 2007). Typically, strategy implementation is the most difficult part of
the strategic management process because it involves making changes to allow for and to
accommodate the new changes (Aaltonen & Ikävalko, 2002). Change is the core element of
strategy implementation and making the change requires a significant deal of sacrifice,
commitment to hard work from employees, and discipline to change and align the company to
its strategic mission and vision statements (Hubbard & Beamish, 2010).
Strategy implementation
Description of Unilever’s strategy implementation
Unilever’s strategy implementation is based on five steps, which include strategic analysis,
external and internal environmental analysis, formulation of the business strategy, and overall
implementation of the strategy (Aladwani, 2001).

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According to Hubbard and Beamish (2010), once the core elements of the specific strategy and
the mission and vision statements have been written, implementing the strategy begins
(Atkinson, 2006; Hill & Jones, 2007).
The core business strategy must be aligned to the corporate mission statements and objectives
based on the company’s existing business model. Here, Unilever’s mission statement consists
of the values, major goals, and objectives (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 2002).
The mission statement elements provide guidelines to the management and the workforce to
work towards implementing the strategy and to keep the strategy in control to ensure workers
do not deviate from the strategic path (Cravens & Piercy, 2008).
The mission provides an explanation of the existence of the company, and Unilever’s business
strategy to ‘think-global and act-global’, using the cross-market subsidisation strategies (Clark,
2000; Cleland & Ireland, 1999). To effectively address the situation, the company has
formulated finance, acquisition and merger, human resource, product development, and
corporate strategies into the ‘Path to Growth’ strategy.
Hubbard and Beamish (2010) argue that the process of implementation is the most difficult part
because it involves taking actions on different levels of the organisation, which include the
provision of leadership, changing the organisational culture, organisational structure, and
organisational controls to support and accommodate the new changes (Clark, 2000).

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Introduction This paper is about Strategic Leadership and Organizational Transformation, which is the most difficult aspect of strategic management of the Unilever Company and provides justification on how this might be the case. Unilever is one of the world’s top manufacturers of consumer products, which include food and personal healthcare products. According to DeLong and Srivastava (2010), Unilever operates in a highly competitive environment with Nestle and Kraft being the main competitors. In 1999, Unilever started to implement a strategy known as the ‘Path to Growth’ based on capital efficiency, global buying, operating costs, and brand focus. However, the main problem was to implement the strategy to achieve the goals and objectives according to the mission and vision statements of the company (Iguchi & Hayashi, 2009; Stevenson & Hojati, 2007). Typically, strategy implementation is the most difficult part of the strategic management process because it involves making changes to allow for and to accommodate the new changes (Aaltonen & Ikävalko, 2002). Change is the core element of strategy implementation and making the change requires a significant deal of sacrifice, commitment to hard work from employees, and discipline to change and align the company to its strategic mission and vision statements (Hubbard & Beamish, 2010). Strategy implementation Description of Unilever’s strategy implementation Unilever’s strategy implementation is based on five steps, wh ...
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