This final case involves an analysis of strategy implementation at the Kraft Foods Group. You will use the resources you identified in the SLP to gather information about the company and relate that information to your work in the previous four cases.
The Case in this course is an ongoing exercise, meaning that we will be taking an intensive look at one company over the course of our five modules. This term, we are conducting a strategic analysis of the Kraft Foods Group. The best preparation for doing well on the Case Assignments is to complete the Background information reading and the SLP before writing the Case.
Refer to the required and optional reading on strategic controls, the theme for this module.
In Module 5, we will conclude the case study process by researching the Kraft Foods Group's strategic controls and their fit with the company's chosen strategy.
Keys to the Assignment
Step One: Review your Case papers from Modules 1-4 so that you are familiar with the mission, vision, SWOT, strategy, and strategic choices you have identified over the course of the class.
Step Two: Research the structure, systems, people, and culture at the Kraft Foods Group. Use the responses you provided in the SLP as a guideline. You will not be able to get answers to every single question, but you will need to answer at least one or two for each component.
Step Three: Describe the Kraft Foods Group's organizational design, key strategic control systems, primary human resources concerns, and cultural factors, and the effect that these have had on the implementation of the Kraft Foods Group's strategy.
Step Four: In a 5- to 7-page paper, critically evaluate the fit—or the lack of fit—between the company's mission, strategy, and organizational components crucial to implementation. Do these components complement the strategy? Why or why not?
Step Five: What changes would you—as the CEO—make to better assure the success of the company's strategy?
Step Six: Consider the Case as a formal business report that you are developing for the Board of Directors and CEO as the Kraft Foods Group's consultant. This is a professionaldocument. Follow the format below:
Executive summary: This is a synopsis of the main points, conclusions and recommendations made in the longer report. If you would like a refresher on writing an executive summary, check this website: http://www.highendfinance.com/CommercialLoans/Docs/07-4%20ES%20Guidelines.doc
Introduction: State the main purpose of the paper (thesis statement), what you hope to accomplish, and how you will go about doing it.
Main Body: The "meat" of the paper. Emphasize analysis, not just description. Delineate separate topics or sections with headings.
Conclusion: Summarize your paper in the light of your thesis statement.
Your paper will be evaluated using the following five (5) criteria:
Assignment-Driven Criteria (Precision and Breadth): Does the paper fully address all Keys to the Assignment? Are the concepts behind the Keys to the Assignment addressed accurately and precisely using sound logic? Does the paper meet minimum length requirements?
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking and Depth): Does the paper demonstrate graduate-level analysis, in which information derived from multiple sources, expert opinions, and assumptions has been critically evaluated and synthesized in the formulation of a logical set of conclusions? Does the paper address the topic with sufficient depth of discussion and analysis?
Business Writing (Clarity and Organization): Is the paper well written (clear, developed logically, and well organized)? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are section headings included in all papers? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the Keys to the Assignment, or is justification/support instead conveyed through excessive use of direct quotations?
Effective Use of Information (Information Literacy and References): Does the paper demonstrate that the student has read, understood and can apply the background materials for the module? If required, has the student demonstrated effective research, as evidenced by student's use of relevant and quality (library?) sources? Do additional sources used in paper provide strong support for conclusions drawn, and do they help in shaping the overall paper?
Citing Sources: Does the student demonstrate understanding of APA Style of referencing, by inclusion of proper end references and in-text citations (for paraphrased text and direct quotations) as appropriate? Have all sources (e.g., references used from the Background page, the assignment readings, and outside research) been included, and are these properly cited? Have all end references been included within the body of the paper as in-text citations?
Organization Design: Kraft Foods Group's organizational design is a divisional structure. This is an organizational design such that the organization is split up into semi-autonomous units called divisions. Kraft has six divisions namely beverages, cheese, refrigerated meals, international, food service, "meals and desserts", and "enhancers and snack nuts". Earlier there was a grocery division which has now been eliminated. Each unit has an executive vice-president who reports direct to Tony Vernon, CEO. Organization design refers to a formal guided process for integrating people, information, and technology of a company. At Kraft each division has several brands. For example meals & desserts, has brands such as Cool Whip whipped topping, Jet-Puffed marshmallows, Jello, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Shake 'N Bake, Stove Top stuffing mix, Velveeta dinners, and meal kits. The relevant exec VP is responsible for the performance of the unit (1). The divisional organizational structure directly allows Kraft to implement its strategy. The goals and objectives of each division are set in accordance with Kraft's strategy.
Strategic Control Systems: Strategic control systems at Kraft refer to target -setting, measuring performance, and providing feed back to managers. The managers of cost centers at Kraft are responsible for mobilizing resources, carrying out special projects, and assigning/ reassigning employees (2). These managers ensure that projects remain within budgets and the tasks are completed within the timeline of each. At Kraft strategic control is also exercised by checking periodically if the forecasts and other premises on which plans were made are still valid. As these forecasts change plans also have to be changed. The managers, executive VPs, and the presidents are also involved in monitoring unforeseen developments. These may be a new campaign to reduce obesity, a fresh campaign to stop using GMO foods, or an unexpected move by a competitor. These events can lead to a reassessment of the company's strategy. Also, Kraft systematically records and analyzes events within the company and outside that can impact its strategy. It monitors multiple information sources to get vital but unanticipated information. The results of this monitoring are sent to the relevant managers. The strategic control systems enable Kraft to implement its strategy. The information from the environment allows Kraft to change its strategy. The internal information ensures that the strategy is being implemented on time and within budget.
Human Resources Concern: The stress on diversity has led to workplace conflicts. After 2012 split of the company there is strong apprehension among employees that opportunities were reduced. It is perceived that promotions are based on politics and not skill/ability. The employees also feel that there is no work life balance, especially in rural areas. The employees feel that ...
The answer to this problem explains the organizational components crucial to implementation of strategy . The references related to the answer are also included.
S5-Strategic Management Process
The Module 5 Background materials discussed the importance and process of strategy implementation. Four different organizational components were shown to be crucial to successful implementation. With this information, we are now ready to begin completion of the final step of strategic planning—that of strategy implementation and strategy control.
Note: Throughout this course, you should complete the SLP before you undertake the Case analysis. Before you begin the SLP, read the Background materials thoroughly.
Refer to the required and optional reading on strategy implementation, the theme for Module 5.
Session Long Project
In this module, we will be completing our strategic toolkit by researching sources of information about these components as they relate specifically to the Kraft Foods Group.
Your assignment is to find information about the following organizational components discussed in this module as they relate specifically to the Kraft Foods Group. Do your best not to speculate but to find factual information concerning the topical areas below. The following list of questions may help you focus your search (source: Obtaining information about organizational components critical to implementation [adapted from Aaker, D.A. (2001) Developing Business Strategies. Wiley]):
What is the organization's structure? How decentralized or centralized is it?
What are the lines of authority and communication?
What are the roles of teams, committees, and task forces?
How are budgets set?
How is planning done?
What measures are used to evaluate performance?
What are the skills, experience, and knowledge of the firm's employees?
What is their depth and quality?
What are their attitudes about the company and their jobs?
What are the company's values and are they widely shared and accepted by employees?
What are the key norms of behavior?
What are some significant symbols?
What is the dominant management style?
How is conflict resolved?
Keys to the Assignment
Step One: Review the questions above and do some research to see where you could find answers to them. You may not be able to answer all of the questions, but try to find at least one source per component that addresses most of its characteristics.
Step Two: Create a 3- to 4-page list of sources and indicate what information each one provides for each component. Evaluate each source in terms of its objectivity, reliability, and truthfulness.
Be sure to add introduction and conclusion