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GSP6064 - Leadership and Change Management Assignment - Gulf College, Oman

Produce a reflective account on leadership styles, traits and competencies that were exhibited in the case; evaluate the leadership styles and traits of Unilever; assess how the company will grab the opportunity to win market share by making the brand 100 percent guaranteed environmentally and socially sustainable in the context of the company's culture and the wider competitive environment.

Lipton by Ralf Seifert and Aileen lonescu-Somers



Change is always an integral part of development for both human and community. Change is a variation of a company's strategy or culture, caused by the changes in its structure, technology, the environment of stakeholders. Good management always has a capability to manage changes in the organization's environment, which can be altered in the job designs, authority, relationship, equipment, work framework as well as in people's behavior, expectation, or attitudes. Along with the changes, effectual leadership is one of the most important parts of the general strategy, its success, and sustainability. To handle the problems in a business and take any vital step to any change, it needs a successful leadership to control the effective operations. Good leaders in an organization set creative goals and objectives, thus having a major role to play in the management of change in every business. Lacks of leadership in a business means, the managers are overlooking their responsibilities.

This paper studies the effective leadership and change management to construct the concepts of change management. A brief analytical discussion on the background of the organization, Unilever, has been stated to identify the objectives. An evaluation of internal and external forces of change management is elaborated and the change management in Unilever has been discussed as a reflection on the concepts.


The multinational company Unilever was founded in 1929, merging two companies Margarine Unie and Lever Sunlight. In the early times, the Unilever grew into a company with worldwide businesses. In 2005 a report by the company's global brand development director stated the simulation of the Lipton tea brand with Unilever. The management team immediately realized that it could be a valuable movement towards gaining the full market share, which will be highly sustainable, both environmentally and socially.


The company faced some challenges to make it real, which needed to be resolved. The consumers needed to be informed about the changes to be convincible because Lipton was already from a highly successful background.

Concepts of Change management:

Two major concepts of industrial change management are the "7-S model" and "Bullock and Batten's phases of planned change." The 7-S model helps managers to identify and resolve any complexity in organizational change and the later explores the resources, the managers need to achieve to resolve obstacles. Both of these models were implemented by the Unilever to address the problems occurred during the movement.


Change management is a complex and tricky process that needs cautious planning and thoughtful examination. Objectives illustrate the Change management a clear goal. Bearing in mind the significance of Change Management, the objectives of the thesis are as follows--

  • Critically evaluating the internal and external forces in the organization.
  • To identify changes and barriers and its implementation.
  • To identify and critically evaluate the obstacles within the organization.
  • To identify and discuss the changes by the management team of the mentioned organization.
  • To find the recommended changes in leadership theory to overcome worker's obstacles.

Identification of internal and external forces

The internal and external forces are very vital for every organization. The internal and external forces dominates the total business scenario of Unilever . Unilever's operational area depends on the factors like external and internal factors. Every organization works as a system and there are many internal and external influences dominates the business in terms of their operational activities and business expansion. Unilever works a global brand , and being a global brand the organization also faces a lot challenges from the business environment.

External forces of Unilever

The external forces that dominates the current market strategy and the business performance of unilever are:

Political factors: The global business scenario has gone through a lot of changes and the worldwide economy also gone through a lot rapid changes. Along with the changing perspective of global economy the total global political scenario also has been changed and regulate the Unilever's policy formation and the economic structure of Unilever.


Economic forces: The economic forces dominates the total business scenario of Unilever and change management strategy through proper identification of economic challenges or opportunities. Various elements such as inflation rates of the economy, rapid fluctuation of interest rates, business cycle , tax structures , the import and export duties , financial stability are dominates the total economic market and all theses factors are directly linked to the Uniliver's performance area and for their innovation strategy. The financial stability of the country or nation has a huge effect on an organization. Unilever is no exception , the financial stability denotes the buying power of the customer and also determines the business expansion in a certain way (Moran et al.,2019).

Technological forces: Technological forces such as innovative manufacturing process, computer technology, rising business automation, the technological implication In research and development work are the factors that predominantly linked to the Unilever's operational activities. Advancement of technological implementations play a greater role iin organization's success and failure. With highest amount of using Information Technology Unilever earn a lot creditibilities in the market. The Unilever understand the customer requirement in a better way.

Governmental forces: Governmental regulations and intervention influence any organization in a greater way. The governmental rules and regulations regarding Unilever's production process also hampers and controls the business of Unilever in a significant manner. The factor that primarily dominates the business structure are:

Foreign exchange: Various foreign exchange rates and the currency payment system regulates the Unilever in a greater way. The various restrictions in import and export activities and the problematic trade policies affect the total business in a huge way (Getabelewet al.,2018).

Antitrust laws: Another important factor of governmental policy is antitrust laws. This law determines the unfair practices that the organization follow to manufacture a product. Though the Unilever don't follow any unfair practices but it has a lot of significance in terms of business expansion and operational activities.

Deregulation: Another important factor that dominates the total business scenario is deregulation and Unilever is no exception. Government recently deregulate few factors like insurance , petroleum which has a direct impact on Unilever's business criteria and operational activities.

Protectionism: Another important governmental regulations that dominate the recent structure of Unilever is protectionism. Due to the maximum rate of competition between rival companies government try to implement certain regulations or safeguarding the threatened industries. This factor also play major role in Unilever's business and the area of performance as governmental guidance place the organization in a better place.


Internal forces of unilever

The internal forces that dominates the current position of Unilever are:

Structural changes: Structural changes can be described as the strategic move that improve the overall profitability and gaining a cost advantage. The structural changes can be different in form like job restructuring, decentralization, downsizing . These structural changes play a greater role for unilever's effectiveness and earning profitability (Kulish and Pagan, 2017.).

Changes in the technology: The technological implications and it's changes plays an important role in business expansion and work upgradation (Petrakaki, Klecun and Cornford, 2016.).

Issues with profitability: The issues like earning high profit and losses regulates the Unilever's operational activities and also has a huge impact in Unilever's productivity and loss in market share (Lambert and Enz, 2017.).

Socio cultural forces: The socio cultural forces like community's beliefs and standard of life also regulate the total business of Unilever. The factors like education rate, the standard of life , self beliefs regulate the total business activity of Unilever.

Systematic forces: An organization is structured and made up by systems that are interconnected. The subsystems and the departments are interlinked with the organization and also influence the organizational behaviour of each department. In Unilever, the various subsystems like manufacturing department, the marketing department and the IT department are interlinked with each other.

Application of forces

The forces, that are evaluated in the previous chapter needs to be properly implemented after the identification. Those forces are responsible for any impact on leadership, which causes changes within the company, taken by the management team. Political forces have been implemented on microeconomic policies and relevant elements to change the company's industrial ecology. Economic forces have been implemented to address the issues related to the external economic situations in the current market. All the elements in this factor were identified for the implementation of necessary changes to increase the performance, workflow and the market strategies of the company. The manufacturing process has been developed by identifying all the technological forces. The implement of advance technologies efficiently affected the workflow and production of the firm.The governmental forces of rules and regulations affect a company and Unilever was no exception. The company took necessary changes, created by the change management team, as the Government of UK rules and regulations.The company has a number of competitors as an internal source of market forces. Unilever addressed the issues with the market and the competitors by applying the change in management strategies.The firm has several products and services that are less profitable. In addition, the company was in need of cutting down some of its brands to reach the turnover targets according to the current economic condition of the region and the farm itself.Decentralized units of the company helped in localization and thus the company became capable to capture the local market more effectively, while with the centralized farms, Unilever sustained its better cost management.


Evaluation of the factors hindering the success of change within the organization:

According to the Unilever's annual report of 2018, the factors hindering the success of change within organization such as-

Customer relationship: Unilever is compared with the world's toughest supermarkets like Morrison, TESCO, Sainsbury. It sells the premium branded products by carrying a proportions of hard negotiators. Here's when this organization is ready to make profit in emerging market it fails to maintain a successful relationship with the customers. Whereas its a major factor to build a strong relationship with the customers by well presenting and by available for purchase all the times (Maulana and Wulandari, 2019). It is worth mentioning on the fact that, the customers frequent compete over a private label offerings as it plays a role of obstacles whether customers prefer price led market value than non price characteristics does not valued (Sim, King and Price, 2016).

Sustainability: Sustainability that helps to recognize its customers an importance of the organization, to its consumers also plays an important role in Unilever. But it is also to be noted that, with sufficient profitability and growth those importance are failed to be reflected. According to the company, its past vision was to increase their business in a double format but reduction of the impacts of environment that required to being more sustainable in various way to grow this business. Therefore, making the social benefits in a positive version of Unilever along with the environmental impact set some long term commitments by targeting the specific areas like greenhouse gases, water usage and availability, waste management that play the role as sustainable sources. Finally the acknowledged by the Unilever leadership executive team along with the board (Chiedu, Long and Ashar, 2017).

Supply chain risk management: As Unilever is a global supply chain with their global business, but at the time of profit that often disrupted by the supply chains showed hinder. The policies that were designed to overcome this risk factors planned to deal, deserve sufficient manufacturing along with distribution of the products with the target time. To overcome these management system they confessed to have a potential adverse events like bankruptcy, physical disruptions, industrial accidents etc. Such plans would enable company to maintain security about their products and by sharing the products between their sites along with the substitute products as this organization has already planned to extend their business along with a directly support like a key supplier that find themselves at risk of negative impacts of a Unilever product (Subbaiah and Bharathi, 2017). As an example, Lipton tea came to this organization as sustainable the converted the whole supply change management into sustainable methods and became credible with consumers by telling them about the more or less change at the same time as it was a movement to certify the plantations. In addition, Lipton is a valuable mainstream brand that making it sustainable definitely would affect the tea markets worldwide (Raj and Aithal, 2018).


Identification of the implemented changes by the top management team of unilever

The CEO of unilever Alan Jope said that today's market structure is mainly customer driven. Today the market structure is digitised and the social media plays a major part for business expansion and high productivity. The ever changing attitude and the increasing rate of competition also affects the global brand like Unilever in a greater way. The changes that mainly taken by the top management are:

Customer relationship and satisfaction: Customer satisfaction plays a bigger part in Unilever's management. The Unilever produces a large number of product for wide range of customers. Unilever utilizes the CRM strategy and they start using SAP's my SaP programme. This programme helped to increase the effectiveness of call centre operations and this factor allows the unilever to provide better customer experiences. Through proper database management Unilever top level management are now more focussed on customer relationship and satisfaction. Unilever also launched the toll free number to communicate with the customer related product queries and complaints. Unilever launched a better customer calling tool that helps the organization to resolve all the issues and product related complaints to reach the customers in a closer level (Nyadzayo and Khajehzadeh 2016.)

Changing approach: The top level management of Unilever is also changing the managerial approach . The high level management mainly focuses on the promotion of human resource and climate change. The top level management of Unilever also give a lot of importance on transactional change. The management uses their scales and also restructures the changes or alter the changes as per t0he desired profile on manufacturing and marketing (Durieux, Maltoni and Zhang 2015).

Improving the well being and health: The healthy and wellbeing brands of Unilever like Lifebuoy, Domestos ,Puretit and Vaseline aims to provide better health through theses products. The top level management also try to invent more healthy products like soaps, water purifiers and many more (Machin,Adkins Crosby, Farrell and Mirabito, 2018).

Sustainability: The top level management of Unilever also give a lot of importance on sustainability. Through providing an array of products to various consumers help the organization to sustain in the market for a longer period. The top level management of unilever also wants to build a strong position in social media. Though the management has a digital marketing tool that increase the market share and strong customer base (Sarala, Junni, Cooper and Tarba, 2016) .

Supply chain management: Unilever is the global brand and the products of Unilever has been sold to everywhere. The top level management of Unilever wants to restructure the supply chain management to reach to a broader spectrum so that the customers can fully satisfy the needs of the customer.The top level management also give a lot of emphasize on environmental issues like greenhouse gas, or eco friendly product and also regulates the wastage of the business.

Improving more opportunities for women and change the lifestyles: Unilever management also give a lot of importance on social issues like empowering women and educating the them to break the stereotypes and social norms. The top level management also give a lot of importance in these factors.



As Unilever is committed to its workers by some ambitious plans that turned into passion only by teamwork. By focusing individual teamwork in each day, the workers make a leadership bridge across the intellectual and the cultural borders as every worker is committed to contribute their effort through collaboration, that stimulate the ideas of innovation (Fuchs, Bender and Glen, 2015). When a leader of Unilever shares the strategic information and about the challenges for a beneficial feature that lead the team management during a new assignment. It also helps a worker to reach in expert level in those subjective area. Even in the different area of the different jobs the workers help and demonstrate by achieving a great result. Different ways are helpful to operate this organization out of their comfort zone along with knowing the required goal. The leadership theory of Unilever considered as an asset that helps this organization and their products as a favourite consumers brand worldwide (Wachira and Kariuki, 2018). Effective leadership and the strategic movements of the leader of the Unilever create an importance with innovation by making their workers safe and important. Here Unilever planned for a third party certification of plantations along with the eligible workers according to the factors. After that, Unilever choose the Rainforest Alliance that was a US based international non governmental organization that established the conservation of biodiversity and ensured about the sustainable livelihoods (Artawan, Dewi and Budiana, 2016). In Argentina, Unilever and the alliance become team mate by a local organization named Imaflora which to promote conservation and to help the near about 6500 loosely organised farmers who were experienced in applying agriculture. According to Unilever they felt the effects inside and outside equally and then they thought about the explanation to other markets that accelerated and introduced certified tea out of schedule as a marketing teams in US, Australia and Japan (Anggraini, Astuti and Prasetya, 2016.).


Unilever mainly announced two targets. Firstly, all Lipton Yellow Label and secondly PG Tips tea bags to sell in Western Europe by a sustainable certificate by 2010. Their findings were to sold the tea globally that would be certified with the big suppliers like and tea estates like Kenya. But when they started to work with the small holder from the inside of the country by discovered by the team that some obstacles while complexing from country to country. When those certified tea started to appear in the country like Europe and US, consumers campaign went through under way parallely in Italy this tea attracted various different young customers. In addition, Unilever learnt about the challenges, discovering the eligible partners and adapting the local contexts that are viral. Finally they felt thankful by achieving sustainability on tea that was its proactive stance. Even they showed that, financial benefits implement a mainstream initiative that is possible always.


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