Solution HBS Case Study Kent Chemical

6189 words 25 pages
HBS Case Study Solution

Kent Chemical:
Organizing for International Growth

Table of Contents

1 Initial Problems 3
1.1 Introduction & Problem Identification 3
1.2 Link of KCP’s Strategy to Porter’s Generic Strategies 4
1.3 A Suitable Vision for KCP and KCI 5
1.4 Kent’s Fundamental Organizational Challenge 5
1.5 Task Analysis and Role Assignment 6
1.6 Why These Problems Emerged Now and not Earlier in the 1990s 6
2 Unsuccessful Responses 7
2.1 Changes Morales Made 7
2.1.1 The GBD Concept 7
2.1.2 World Boards 8
2.2 General Options for Organizational Design of Kent Chemical 8
2.3 Could the GBD Concept Have Worked? 9
3 Sterling Partner’s Recommendations 10
3.1 New Management Challenges 10
3.2 What Kent got for $1.8 Million 11
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Both stated that organizations get more difficult and complicated to manage once they pursue global growth and thus become larger, more international and more complex. In detail, it is stated that the two dimensions of configuration and coordination are positively correlated, where configuration comprises where and at what scale primary activities of the firm are conducted and coordination defines to what extent and how these activities need to be coordinated (Porter, 1986). The relationship between these two variables is exactly what the case of Kent Chemical Products shows and corresponds to the fundamental organizational challenge lying ahead of KCP.
1.2 Link of KCP’s Strategy to Porter’s Generic Strategies
Porter’s framework of generic strategies include three different approaches a firm can follow in order to be successful. Those are named cost leadership, differentiation and focus. The differentiation strategy, according to Porter, requires special skills and resources such as strong marketing abilities, product engineering, creativity and a corporate reputation for quality or technological leadership. Furthermore, Porter stated that companies following the differentiation strategy pursue to attract highly skilled labor, scientists, or creative people. According to the stated definition, KCP’s chosen strategy can be linked best to this theory amongst the Porter’s three generic


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