Case Study: Changes Of Whirlpool Essay Example

 Environmental analysis (PESTEL, 5 forces)


The political changes are likely to influence Whirlpool only insomuch it can affect the markets the company sells to, causing political instability that will wreak havoc in the economy. The company has already sustained, for instance, losses in South America – it can suffer more if the region experiences riots or major political upheavals


  • The organization is affected by the prosperity of people in the markets it targets that will translate into changes in both replacement purchases and level of activity in construction companies
  • Economic activity will affect the relative weight of upscale brands such as KitchenAid as c compared to Frigidaire or Rapor brands


  • An increase in the importance of family values can drive sales up
  • Adolescents leaving home earlier can also contribute to sales revenue
  • Technological
  • Speed of innovation in electronic appliances
  • Possible merging of digital, information, and household appliances technologies
  • Environmental
  • Demands of environmental groups can affect manufacturing
  • Government regulations for environmental reporting
  • Legal
  • Safety issues in production that can cause lawsuits
  • Non-discrimination in the workplace
  • Safety of equipment usage

Strategic capability (CSFs, value chain, resources, and competencies)

Critical Success Factors (CSFs) of Whirlpool are:

  • Operational Excellence
  • Marketing Power
  • The organization has to preserve its advantage in the first, as proficiency in operations will drive its profits even in the face of stagnating or even declining revenues.

On the other hand, it has to realize that in the contemporary market for consumer appliances, it fell behind competitors in terms of building the power of its brands, and now is the time to overcome this drawback.

The value chain of an organization includes:

  1. Suppliers of Inputs
  2. Manufacturing Operation
  3. Sales and Marketing
  4. Logistics
  5. Distribution through Retail

In this chain, the company can increase its capabilities by relocating more production to the suppliers of inputs. Although this strategy has a risk since it makes Whirlpool dependent on other companies, it can also save space in the factory and simplify operations.

  • The core competencies of the organization include:
  • Production of consumer household appliances of high quality
  • Operating throughout the world
  • Building successful relations with distributors

Whirlpool’s resources include:

  • Well-known consumer brand
  • A stable workforce with long tenure in the company
  • The accumulated knowledge of operations and industry

Organizational context (stakeholder analysis, organizational culture)

The list of Whirlpool’s stakeholders will include a large number: employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers, professional associations, suppliers, interest groups including environmentalists, the community, the press, analysts, etc. Prioritization of these stakeholders, relying on the current strategy of Brand Creation should perhaps place customers on top and make their concerns a priority as compared, for instance, with those of employees who have to cater to clients’ demands. In the long run, such prioritization should deliver value to shareholders as well. In general, Whirlpool can identify those stakeholders it wants to:

  • Manage Closely: customers, shareholders
  • Keep Satisfied: employees, suppliers
  • Keep Informed: interest groups, community
  • Monitor: the press, analysts, professional associations
  • Whirlpool’s organizational culture as envisaged by employees seems to be relatively risk-averse. The negative side of it is that it does not encourage innovation and initiative, the thing the management will want to change in the implementation of its new plan that will reshape the strategic thinking at the company. On the other hand, such a change can prove stressful to employees who have got used to working in “small-town” conditions where their environment is more or less safe.

Generation of strategic direction (Ansoff matrix)

Choosing the strategy from Ansoff’s matrix, Whirlpool can follow the strategy of Market Penetration for established markets and Market Development for emerging markets. In markets like the US where it is well-established, Whirlpool’s strategy of brand value creation can be realized by repositioning the brands. They have to be given new distinct images that will permit customers to take a new look at old things. New promotions have to be developed that will target consumers who previously would not have thought of buying a Whirlpool appliance.

The brand value creation strategy can also be useful to Whirlpool in emerging markets where it will follow the Market Development strategy. Whirlpool goods can be introduced into the market in a new light that will parallel the brand image the company creates in its traditional markets. This will single out Whirlpool products from the rest of the market and make them an impressive novelty in these markets.

 Strategy selection & evaluation (suitability, feasibility, accessibility)

  • The strategy of brand value creation can be tested for :
  • Suitability: it can be poorly compatible with the current risk- and change-averse culture
  • Feasibility: the projected cash generation from the increase in brand value can be mapped out in order to see whether this will be appropriate
  • Accessibility: the company can test what marketing promotions and other measures it can undertake to make its brands work

 Implementation (force field analysis, change kaleidoscope)

The force field analysis has identified the following forces for and against change:

Restraining Forces                                                                Driving Forces

Market Stalemate (-2)                                    →   ←  Need to prepare for stalemate (+3)

Culture lacking innovation (-4)                     →   ← Management determination (+2)

Change aversion (-3)                                     →   ← Presence of strong brands (+1)

Emphasis on operational excellence (-1)       →   ← Globalization drives (+4)

The sum of the forces appears to be in balance since the sum of restraining forces equals the sum of the driving forces:


To tilt the balance further toward change, the management can implement training for personnel that will help create greater initiative and reduce risk aversion.

The change kaleidoscope will produce the strategy as a result of the following eight factors:

  • Time: Whirlpool has to move toward change quickly, getting its brands out before the industry stalemate begins
  • Scope: To avoid radical change, the company can choose to realign its existing brands rather than introduce a large-scale transformation.
  • Preservation: Preserving operational excellence is a key challenge.
  • Diversity: There can be differences between management and staff.
  • Capability: Need to strengthen the marketing staff.
  • Capacity: Whirlpool’s healthy profits ($688 million in 1998) enable it to implement change.
  • Readiness for change: There is a need to strengthen this component affecting changes in culture.
  • Power: Power is at this point vested with the management because of the centralized structure, so the management has the power to implement change.

Process of strategy development (intended, emergent)

Whirlpool can choose to follow either emergent or an intended strategy. In the case of the intended strategy, the company can develop a coherent plan of action that will target the development of new brands and value creation through the involvement of the whole organization. The plan can include, for instance, the creation of the marketing plan that will outline product development, promotion, distribution, and pricing strategies; the initiatives to be implemented respectively in Marketing, Financial, Manufacturing, IT & R&D departments; and mechanisms for control of the implementation process. The outcome can be thought of in terms of measurable results, for instance, increasing the market share of Whirlpool brands in the core appliance market from 21.1% to 30% within 5 years. The achievement of these results will serve as a basis for understanding whether the organization has achieved its intended strategy or whether it is going to turn into an Unrealized Strategy.

The emergent strategy can arise out of a set of measures that do not appear as a pre-planned complex, but rather emerge out of incremental decision-making. Thus, Whirlpool can realize a strategy that will help it strengthen its brands gradually over time. In addition, the company can implement measures that will help employees achieve a more pro-change attitude.

 Current strategies (BCG)

The BCG, or the growth-share matrix, separates products into stars, question marks, cash cows, and dogs. The Whirpool brands can be sorted out in the following manner:

KitchenAid: the market share actually declined from 2.9% in 1994 to 2.1% in 1998. However, the market for upscale kitchen appliances is growing; therefore, this brand can be considered a question mark. The company can choose to capitalize on the upscale position of the brand, investing money to increase its market share; alternatively, it can be sold off or used for cash generation.

Whirlpool brands: demonstrate a relatively large market share (about 15%), but the market growth rate is expected to be relatively stagnant. It can be considered therefore a cash cow. Investments have to be modest inasmuch they are necessary for upholding the position in this market.

Roper and others: low market share (4%) in addition to stagnant market makes this product a dog. The case does not mention if it is profitable or not; if it is not, it should be liquidated.

  1. Rivkin, JW, Leonard, D, & Hamel, G 2005, ‘Change at Whirlpool Corporation A (9-705-462)`, Harvard Business School.

Analyse The Macro Environment Of British Airways` Electronic Commerce Analysis

Every company in the airline industry is greatly influenced by a large number of macroeconomic factors, over which the company has no control. The factors of the macroeconomic environment in many ways determine the organization’s success, because they have a deep impact on all of the company’s activities.

Macro environment of e-commerce is influenced by most of the macro factors which have an impact on traditional operations. However, it is slightly different from macro environment of regular operations because it is more dependent on various technological changes and competitors’ innovations. Besides, macro environment of e-commerce is greatly influenced by international factors, because users of Internet are located all over the world and they can buy many products and services online.

British Airways largely depends on macroeconomic conditions not only in the UK which is its domestic market, but also in other countries of the world, because it has customers in various countries. Online services are gaining more and more importance in the operations of the company due to their increasing revenues. British Airways’ performance is greatly influenced by any events which take place in different countries, such as changes of government, downturn of economy, changes in consumers’ preferences and their level of income, change in consumers’ demographics. The company needs to devote maximum attention to the analysis of all of these factors because they have significant influence on tourism and people’s desire to travel by airplane.

PESTEL analysis for British Airways e-commerce is represented in table 1. It is crucial for understanding of the impact of macro environment in which the company functions. The major factors of macroeconomic environment which have a deep impact on the operations of the company include political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors. These factors need to be taken into consideration by the management of the company. Factors which are connected with e-commerce and would not be present in traditional business models are highlighted.


o  Current legislation regulating airlines;

o  European/international legislation development;

o  Government policies regulating airlines;

o  Wars in certain parts of the world;

o  Political prohibition of travelling to certain countries.


o  Changes in taxation which could affect the price of airline tickets;

o  Change in the exchange rate of ?;

o  Changes in the price of oil;

o  Changes in price of Internet in various countries;

o  Changes in consumer income;

o  European economy trends which could decrease the number of passengers travelling by airplanes;

o  Appearance of new competitors offering similar services.


o  Current lifestyles of consumers and possible changes in them;

o  Consumer buying patterns;

o  Consumer demographics;

o  Consumer travelling patterns;

o  Terrorism;

o  Number of Internet users;

o  Number of consumers shopping for airplane tickets online;

o  Number of crimes connected with e-commerce (number of hackers)


o  Competing technology development in airlines;

o  Innovation potential of competitors in airline e-business;

o  Introduction of new technologies in e-commerce;

o  Introduction of new software and hardware to the market;

o  E-security.


o  Ecology;

o  Pollution conditions.


o  Developments in price legislation;

o  Developments in legislation regulating e-commerce and online shopping.

Table 1. PESTEL analysis.

Political factors all have a very deep impact on the e-marketing strategy of British airways. Flights to countries in which political situation is unstable or where a war starts might be cancelled, and these destinations can lose their attraction to customers for a long while. Therefore, it is important for British Airways to concentrate on the most popular destinations of the world and target those customers who are interested in travelling there.

Among the social factors, the number of Internet users and particularly the number of consumers shopping for tickets online are one of the major factors which determine the success of British Airways’ e-marketing strategy. The company seeks to target these people by a personal approach, which includes attention to every customer according to his level of income and his interests. Terrorism is a crucial social factor which greatly influences the number of people willing to travel by airplane. After 9/11 many people stopped travelling by airplane because they were afraid that the airplane would be hijacked by terrorists. This tendency greatly influenced British Airways’ profits. Another crucial social factor is change in consumers’ preferences. British Airways’ management needs to analyze the preferences of consumers all the time in order fine-tune its e-marketing strategy. Changes in consumers’ demographics also influence the company’s e-commerce strategy.

 In economic factors, the most important ones for British Airways’ e-commerce are the price of Internet in various countries and partially the level of income. If the price of Internet decreases in a particular country or if the level of income increases, more people will be expected to travel and use Internet to buy tickets.

Among legal factors, e-commerce operations of British Airways can be largely influenced by developments in legislation regulating e-commerce and online shopping. Environmental factors have a deep impact on the company’s ability to carry passengers. In case of introduction of a stricter environmental regime, the company might have to cut on the number of flights.

Even though all of the mentioned factors have a large influence on the e-commerce operations of British Airways, technological factors are the crucial ones. Innovation potential of competitors in airline e-business, introduction of new technologies in e-commerce and new software and hardware to the market all have a deep impact on the success of the company in the market. British Airways is currently the leader in all of the e-marketing innovations and it pioneers all of the innovative products and services. However, the company needs to take into consideration the fact that other companies might also come up with some innovative tools, which will threaten British Airways’ leadership in the market. The impact of a revolutionary innovation coming from a competitor can be very dangerous in e-commerce because these innovations have an impact of leverage on the company’s profits.

It is important to mark that technological factors of macro environment have enabled the company to become the leader of the industry. British Airways has been successful in winning a large share of the online market due to its revolutionary innovation: it was the first airline to offer online check-in. Even though other companies started offering the same services online in a while, British Airways managed to get a dominating position in the online market due to its innovation. The company was also a pioneer is offering one-stop services to small and middle-sized businesses, by personalizing their online experience. Besides that, British Airways has conducted a large number of online campaigns to attract new customers, such as a campaign jointly with DoubleClick: “British Airways and internet agency, DoubleClick, have signed a landmark on-line advertising deal, spanning 14 countries and four continents with a potential monthly global audience of over 33 million” (DoubleClick Here for British Airways.  Accessed on April 27, 2006 at URL: )

In conclusion, it is necessary to mention that British Airways is a top player in the world airline market due to its well-balanced marketing and e-marketing strategy. By taking advantage of technological factors of the macro environment, the company managed to obtain a large share of the market and achieve success. It is very important for British Airways to analyze macro environment and update its strategies according to changes in political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors. British Airways is currently a leader when it comes to e-commerce and a pioneer of most existing tools. It is crucial for the company to ensure that it remains a pioneer in the market and does not let competitors take the initiative.


1.      Cunningham Michael J. B2B (2001): How to Build a Profitable E-Commerce Strategy. Perseus Publishing (Current Publisher: Perseus Publishing).

2.      DoubleClick Here for British Airways.  Accessed on April 27, 2006 at URL:

3.      Greco Alan J., Ragins Edna Johnson (2003). Customer Relationship Management and E-Business: More Than a Software Solution. Journal Title: Review of Business. Volume: 24. Issue: 1.

4.      Orr Bill (2002). EPN Wants to Be the Payments Backbone of E-Commerce. Journal Title: ABA Banking Journal. Volume: 94. Issue: 12.

5.      Parrish Deidra-Ann (1998). Technology for Business: Set Up Shop on the Web. Black Enterprise. Volume: 29. Issue: 1. August 1998.

6.      Vikas Agrawal, Arjona Luis D., Lemmens Ron (2001). E-Performance: The Path to Rational Exuberance. The McKinsey Quarterly.

Analysis Of ‘Of Mice And Men’ By John Steinbeck

But Mousie, thou art not alone,
in proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley,
And leave us nought but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

To a Mouse,” Robert Burns

Analysis of Of Mice and Men” by:

John Steinbeck.

Of Mice and Men draws its thematic inspiration from the simplistic yet touching lives of two migrant workers during and after the hard times that followed the Great Depression. It is told in a way that makes the characters palpably real without the slightest hint of being too contrived or exaggerated. The writing style in which the play-novelette is told bespeaks the honesty of the narrative that rings throughout the entire story. This kind of honesty earned the novel its place in the literary canon as one of the Most Challenged Books of the 21st Century (American Library Association). However, it has gained infamy among some critics, schools, and literary institutions for its apparent vulgar” and “offensive” language.

In the updated report of the American Library Association, the play-novelette has racked up an impressive resume of several citations from schools and groups who have attempted to remove the book from their shelves due to its profanity and foul language. Recent records show that in the years 2000-2003 alone, five high schools across the country cited the work as challenged because the book contains racial slurs, profanity, violence, and does not represent traditional values” (American Library Association).

Indeed, the work contains explicit material, as can be gleaned from the dialogue and the various sexual and racial suggestions. Yet, precisely because of the forthright and sometimes unapologetic treatment in its writing, the story comes to life at full force with its brute but genuine approach. The author is to be lauded, and perhaps the work should be given full credit as well, for not compromising the integrity of the content for a cleaner and more acceptable version.

The story could not have possibly been told in any other way. If it were to be filtered of its necessary antecedents vis-à-vis its main thematic agenda, in a manner that is scurrilous to the senses, then it would be better that the novella had not been written at all. It would certainly fall flat on its face if the material content were stricken under censure. There is no better way to tell the story than to tell it as naturally and realistically as possible. John Steinbeck achieved this rather cleverly and completely in his novella.

A quick survey of literary syllabi across various educational institutions would show that the book is gaining a strong foothold in schools and other teaching venues. The work is being taught as an important part of American Literature, along with other controversial works of the century such as The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, to name a few. Incidentally, these are the same books listed as banned and challenged (Doyle) as well.

Moreover, there are teaching and study guides available for the work that would allow for a sharper and more profound understanding of its context and characters. For example, The Teacher’s Guide to John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is “designed to assist teachers in moving students beyond the surface story of Steinbeck’s novella” (Reed, 2). Accordingly, the guide serves as a tool to forewarn readers of the mature content of the story, but nevertheless provides a step-by-step process to see past the rough adornments of the work and prepare the class for a great and enjoyable discussion.

Truly, the work is more than just an outburst of stark images and candid language. The substance beneath the surface offers a plenitude of themes and motifs, enabling a better appreciation of modern literature. In brief, the story not only gives a glimpse of the lives of two people making their way through one of the toughest periods in American history, but it also offers a realistic purview of what it must have been like then. We completely enter into the exact consciousness of those who have absolutely nothing, not even a place to stay or ready food to eat. All that they have are dreams and plans for a better future, including visions of finally having a ranch to own and take care of without worrying about where to get their next sustenance and means of livelihood.

At the very start, George Milton emphatically relays his wish to find a way to settle down amidst the turbulent and unstable times to Lennie Small, who, like him, shares the same degree of faith and eagerness of hitting it big someday. George begins to rile Lennie for holding him back with his lack of ambition and somehow by being much an excess of bad luck: “Without you, I could live so easily. I could go get a job and work, and no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month comes, I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want” (Steinbeck, 4). He continues to explode in such a manner of furious anger because Lennie just isn’t getting the same picture he has of great days ahead for both of them. He finally confides in Lennie, as a sign of true friendship in hard times perhaps, “O.K. Someday we’re gonna get the jack together, and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres and a cow and some pigs and…” (7).

The conversation continues with Lennie prodding George to paint and repaint, so to speak, the future that lies ahead for both of them. There is talk of a vegetable patch, a rabbit hutch, and chickens, a fire in the stove when it rains in winter, and of other pleasant things (8). Each time that such fantasy and imagination is let loose, George and Lennie reveal their naturally poignant humor, more like the humility to hope for grand outcomes out of simple desires of their hearts that sort of motivate them every night for the day of work that will soon come in the morning.

Likewise, this routine of seeing themselves in ways they want to has had them convinced of the certainty that these dreams will eventually come true. So much so that George threatens to forfeit Lennie’s place in their imagined lives if he gets them into trouble again (10), and Lennie, for all his innocence and goodness, seems to understand what is at stake and is just as taken with the strength of George’s promises. In fact, later in the story, poor Lennie was so apprehensive with fear at the thought of being shot by Curley for no reason at all, he recalls the pact they made that night and with a face contorted with thought and sadness, meekly says, “If I get in any trouble, you ain’t gonna let me tend the rabbits.” (14).

Early on and until the death of Lennie, his character is marked by rigidity and subservience. He is unable to think for himself, much less act under his own terms, without having to search for (dis)approval in George’s face. His lack of imagination, spineless attitude towards the way he allows others to treat him, unusual ignorance of many of society’s mores, and inappropriate behavior when dealing with people, among other things, lend the notion that a person like Lennie will not survive for long in harsh conditions.

Put more clearly, Lennie’s character as a simpleton produces feelings of both sympathy and exasperation. Despite his physical strength, which has given him a certain advantage over others, his dull mind offsets it. The naivete he constantly shows puts him out of touch with reality and in a position where everything and everyone above will roll down to crush him. Lennie Small symbolizes the meek of the world who are to be destroyed by those who have the power to do so. Curiously enough, his name even suggests his status in the society to which he belongs. Very few understand him as a person in the story. Only George, who has been there for him as a friend and companion since childhood, appreciates and can vouch for his worth in the world (15).

However, the dim-witted Lennie gives the story a gripping climax at the end. His role may be bland and minimal, with no dynamics of change and development whatsoever at different points of the narration, but the treatment of his character is justified with how the story reaches its denouement at the height of tragic drama brought about by the inequities and prejudices in an intolerant community. It is the very reason why the story can be considered a modern-day tragedy in the Aristotelian sense.

This is not so much because Lennie had to die in the hands of his only friend, but because the author makes us understand that the people Lennie symbolizes are eventually brought to the gallows, in a manner of speaking, simply because, by their very nature, they are totally helpless against the perpetual biases of society. In other words, the tragic character of Lennie is doomed for extinction mainly due to the serious flaw of being incompatible and misconstrued within his social sphere. Sooner or later, society is bound to weed out the outcast regardless of how much he tries to stay and avoid it (50).

On the other hand, George has successfully protected Lennie up until circumstances have turned against their grand plans for the future. The certainty of rescission and conclusion has become inescapable. It is the least and last of fortunes towards their friendship that Lennie should not suffer the lynching of the mob, but through the person who understands and cared for him most. The last act of kindness between them, no matter how bitter, was for George to save Lennie from the angry mob by ending Lennie’s life and ensuring his permanent escape from everyone. He hid Lennie where no one can get to him.

George is the exact opposite of Lennie’s character. He is an idealist, a man of action, and definitely a person who understands how the world works. George has the ability to imagine a better future and has the resolve to realize his plans. The effect of his dominant character over the mild-mannered Lennie is such that he turned him (Lennie) into his blind follower and constant companion. Regardless of Lennie’s incompetence and oftentimes string of misadventures that get them into trouble, George is committed to looking after the welfare of his friend with little or no heed for reprisals and risk.

Although George and Lennie went to different places and did things together, George’s character is more developed. He is able to interact with other people and, in fact, did so in order to introduce Lennie to society. George was always at Lennie’s defense whenever the predatory nature of society brought danger too close to their closed and exclusive sanctuary. It would seem that George’s plans are motivated by his desire to protect Lennie from everyone. In order to achieve this, he has to have the resources to cut themselves away from the cruel province of men and be free from prejudice and possible hurt.

However, despite their contrasts, both nevertheless share the same dream of safety, economic security, and social security, where they won’t have to worry about anything. He strongly believes in the stories that he constantly tells and retells to Lennie. It serves both as a pacifier for Lennie and a mission statement for George.

In other words, their friendship is founded on the single aspiration to do well. The novel subtly establishes the dependency of both characters on each other. Upon the disappearance of one, the other is also likely to disappear. The moment George shot Lennie, not only did Lennie die, but also the hopes, dreams, and visions they both had ever since. Perhaps the end is only a fitting conclusion to the truism that all the well-laid plans of mice and men are brought to naught. It leaves one in grief and pain for promised joy.

In hindsight, Lennie and George bring to fruition the travails and reception of John Steinbeck’s magnum opus of modern tragedy in his work Of Mice and Men. The characters and their fates reflect that of the book’s own experiences about the kind of welcome the critics, scholars, and institutions have given it. Inasmuch as the work was largely dismissed as too bombastic and distasteful to the sensitivities of the modern audience, this echoes, as if by a final literary irony, Lennie’s fate of rejection and prejudice.

Fortunately, the work did finally, in fact, catch the attention of the initiated audience and has already been given the proper merit it truly deserves. In its defense are the Georges, so to speak, of the literary circle who recognize the powerful ramifications of the play-novelette on modern literature. It further opened the doors to a more realistic, genuine, and provocative narration of stories that are closely intertwined with historical context. What better way to depict a period of social and political evolution through fiction than a sincere and truthful exposition of reality then and of reality that is to come?

The only trustworthy sources of fiction and literature that seem to capture a certain consciousness at a particular time are those that incisively cut to the heart of the matter to tell a story that is so close to truth and reality, and nothing else—without any restraint or compromise whatsoever.

Works cited.

Doyle, Robert. (2004). Banned Books Resource Guide. New York: American Library.

Association, 2004.

Reed, Arthea. A Teacher’s Guide to the Penguin Edition of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

Men. New York: Penguin Press, 2005.

Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Bantam Books, 1981.

The American Library Association, November 11, 2007.

The American Library Association, October 10.

December 2007

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