SABMiller's Human Capital Proposition - Institutionalizing a Performance Culture

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB085
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2001-2006
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : SABMiller Plc.
Industry : Beverage
Countries : South Africa, USA, Europe

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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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Sabmiller's "Performance Culture"

SABMiller was well known in industry circles for its performance-oriented culture. Its employees were perceived as being achievement-driven and having a high amount of optimism and passion for their brands and the company. SABMiller put great emphasis on the ability of its people to be in sync with the changing requirements of the market and to avoid complacency at all costs. Norman Adami (Adami), CEO and president of MBC, echoed this view, when he said, "The people of SABMiller are restless and never satisfied. Our organisation is characterised by a capacity to re-invent itself and to continuously change within the context of a tough and competitive environment. We are endowed with a healthy dose of self-criticism as well as self-belief."...

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

Human Capital Proposition (HCP)

SABMiller's unique HCP arose from its organizational philosophy that people seek accountability and want to influence outcomes that will shape the organisation. The company believed that its employees "want to practice self-management in an empowering system that is diverse and unashamedly performance driven."

Though SABMiller followed a decentralized business model, with each country managing its operations as independent business units and recruiting and developing talent locally, the company worked toward maintaining a uniform organizational culture through its HCP. (Refer to Figure I for SABMiller's human capital proposition). All employees were held accountable to the corporate goals and strategy and great care was taken to ensure that people got the right job fit.

Analysts felt that SABMiller had probably succeeded more than most other companies in 'walking the talk'.

They pointed out that, though many companies talked about how their organizational culture and their people differentiatied them from others, the claims were largely insincere in most of the cases.

According to the SABMiller, its unique HCP had helped it attract talented individuals with diverse backgrounds. It aimed to be the employer of choice in each country in which it operated. (Refer to Exhibit III for SABMiller's employee value proposition).

Performance Management (PM)

SABMiller's performance culture was driven by its PM system. The culture was deliberately set to enable the company to achieve its business strategy. The PM system provided the framework for all management behavior. It was based on ten basic principles.

The system had top-down goal setting and robust control systems that measured performance against targets. The system enabled people to deliver against actual as well as stretch goals. (Refer to Figure II for the ten principles of the PM system).

Strategic People Resourcing (SPR)

SABMiller attached a lot of importance to its human capital competitiveness and SPR. The main objective of its SPR was to manage people as a core factor of its business success. SPR was the primary force that drove the "People strategy" of its business and information about people was given the same importance as financial information...

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