Jack Welch and Jeffrey Immelt - Continuity and Change in Strategy, Style and Culture at GE

            
 
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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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Case Details:

Price:

Case Code : LDEN040 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Themes

Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Case Length : 22 Pages
Period : 1981-2006
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : General Electric Company
Industry : Diversified
Countries : USA

Abstract:

General Electric Company (GE) was a major conglomerate and one of the biggest companies in the world. One of the factors that was believed to be responsible for the company's steady growth for more than a century was its tradition of stable and long term leadership.

One of the most successful phases in GE's history began when Jack Welch became its CEO in 1981. Welch attempted to make GE one of the top companies in every segment in which it operated. He also supervised several acquisitions that added value to the business portfolio and was instrumental in creating a performance oriented culture at the company. Welch retired in 2001 after 20 years at the helm.

Leadership and Entrepreneurship Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Case Studies

He was succeeded by Jeffrey Immelt, who was chosen by GE's board after a long and careful succession planning activity supervised by Welch himself.

This case discusses the strategic and cultural changes at GE as a result of the change in leadership. It compares GE's strategy and operations under Welch, with those under Immelt. It also talks about the changes in the company's culture under Immelt. The case concludes with a discussion on the challenges facing Immelt, as of mid 2006.

Issues:

  To understand the relationship between leadership and growth in large and diversified companies.

  To study the effects of a change in leadership on company strategy and culture.

  To compare the leadership styles of two leaders of a large business conglomerate and to analyze the effectiveness of their individual styles.

  To understand the interrelationships between leadership style, organizational culture, corporate strategy, and the external environment.

  To appreciate the need for a formal and detailed succession planning system in large companies.

  To appreciate the challenges facing the successor to a charismatic and influential leader at a large global company.

Contents:

  Page No.
An Inauspicious Beginning   1
Background   1
Jack Welch  3
Jeffrey Immelt 10
Exhibits 17

Keywords:

Jack Welch, Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric Company, Leadership, Strategy, Culture, Strategic Planning, Matrix Corporate Planning System, Six Sigma, Honeywell Inc., Motorola, AlliedSignal, Number One Number Two, 4Es of Leadership, Corporate Restructuring, Portfolio Restructuring.

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