Nucor Corp's Organizational Culture

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB036
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1899 - 2003
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Nucor Corp.
Industry : Varied
Countries : North America

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"What Nucor management has been able to do is get workers to identify their own interests fundamentally with those of management, something managers have been attempting to do, not very successfully, since the dawn of industry."

- Ted Kuster, Newsteel Reporter in December 1995.1

"Other companies can buy similar equipment to us, but the culture is ours."

- Daniel DiMicco (DiMicco), CEO - Nucor Corp in 20012.

Nucor - Workers' Paradise

It makes an unusual cover for an annual report; instead of attractive photographs on the cover page, the company puts the names of all its employees on the front and back cover pages. The company is Nucor Corp (Nucor) - the largest producer of steel in North America.

Nucor is known for its culture and its commitment towards employees. In the age of downsizing and layoffs, Nucor has not laid off a single employee nor shut down any of its plants. It is also credited with not reporting loss in any business quarter for last 30 years (1972 - 2002). Both analysts and company sources attribute the company's success to its culture.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

According to company sources, Nucor's recruitment process, reward system and work culture are responsible for the company's success over the years. The Nucor recruitment process focuses on employing people with the right frame of mind rather than people with relevant skill sets. The reward system at Nucor emphasizes fair pay based on productivity.

Further, Nucor also established a fair grievance redressal system which allows any employee to approach the management with his or her complaints. Analysts are of the opinion that Nucor is a perfect example of how a company's organizational culture can influence its performance.

Background Note

The history of Nucor dates back to 1899, when Ransom E. Olds (Olds) established a car manufacturing company called Olds Motor Works. After running Olds Motor Works successfully for seven years, Olds sold the unit in 1906. He established Reo Car Company (Reo), which manufactured trucks and buses in addition to cars. Reo stopped making cars in 1936 and by 1955 formed Reo Holding which merged with Nuclear Consultants Inc to form Nuclear Corporation of America (Nuclear).

Nuclear was originally set up to manufacture nuclear instruments and other electronic gadgets, besides providing expertise in conducting radiation studies. While this business was profitable at the time, it failed to gather momentum. Nuclear then acquired a number of high-tech companies. The company however continued losing money till 1960, when it was acquired by a New York based investment banker.

Nucor Corp's Organizational Culture - Next Page>>

1] Kuster Ted, How Nucor Crawfordsville Works, Newsteel, December 1995.

2] Interview with Daniel DiMicco, CEO - Nucor,


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