File - Catherine Alvarez MA, RT (R)

Team two has collaborated together to provide a detailed case
analysis of Kent Chemical, an imaginary company, created by
Harvard Business School. The members of the group include
Catherine Alvarez, Shelley Corp, Sieata Duhart, and Nakia Shipp.
Team 2
Nakia Shipp
» The Fisher family founded Kent Chemical in 1917 as a
rubber producer. Today they are one of the largest producers
in lubricants, polymers, fire retardants, and medial
equipment. In the 1940’s, Kent diversified into plastics and
expanding it’s enterprise even further into a global sphere.
With all of their expansions and development into many
different products, they became the largest global specialty
company in 2000. Oversea operations grew with more
stresses, and the subsidiaries felt that management was out of
touch and out of control. With this global disconnect, Luis
Morales stepped in as head of the international division and
worked towards creating a unity between these divisions.
Team 2
Nakia Shipp
» After 22 years of working for Kent Chemicals, Luis
Morales stepped in as the head of the international division
and president. With the 2006 reorganization, Ben Fisher
became Kent’s board chairman. Peter Fisher was named
vice chair, and Angela Perri was named the President of the
U.S. division. The Fishers are from the founding family of
Kent Chemicals and the family still owns ten percent of the
company. Part of Morales new tasks was to collaborate to
create an unified agreement between the different global
divisions. He did this by appointing three global business
directors (GBDs). The first GBD was head of KCP’s
consumer products. The second GBD was head of fire
protection. The last GBD was assigned to the medical
division of Kent Chemicals.
Team 2
Nakia Shipp
The Vision of Kent Chemical
Kent Chemicals vision is to be the most profitable and respected science-driven
company internationally and several places around the world in order to provide
sustainable solutions to its customers. It is through these initiatives that Kent
Chemical is
working to help achieve its corporate vision in being the most profitable and respected
sciencedriven chemical company in various parts of the world for its stakeholders and
The Kent Company is a world leading chemical company in specialty lubricants,
polymer additives, electronics, and medical products. These products are applied as
raw materials in consumer, fire protection and medical plastics products. In order to be
an attractive partner to the corporation’s stakeholders, customers, suppliers, and
employees Kent Chemicals operate in a prolonged, inventive elevated way.
Furthermore, the Kent Chemical Company, strives to continually adapt and meet
market challenges as well as offering the best performing products
manufactured internationally and domestically in a reasonable and containable
comportment. Kent Chemicals desires to transform formulated ideas into real
innovative world class practices by using R&D resources that aid with everyday uses
that improves the quality of our everyday lives and cultural lifestyle.
Team 2
Sieata Duhart
Kent Chemical accepts the
accountability, of a high-performance
culture, by holding itself to high
standards and Kent uses the same
discipline to manage their individual
performance by refocusing on their
international business and operating
processes that include integrity, and
respect for the people that is serve by the
use of their individual product lines.
Kent Core Values are: Integrity,
Teamwork, Performance, and Learning.
The keys to success are three priorities
that should guide decision-making in
Kent Chemicals: Deliver Value, Be Cost
Efficient, Resource Efficiently.
Team 2
Sieata Duhart
Internal Strengths
Kent research laboratory to drive product development:
Scientific expertise to develop products
Central R&D input
High-margin niche household applications (consumer products such as grease-be-gone, oven,
barbeque, stainless steel cleaners, drain openers, rust removers)
Leading supplier of plastics for medical applications and continued to develop surgical
instruments, implantable devices to replaceable joints
Wide range of products
Sold products in almost 100 countries
2007 Revenues $2.2 billion
Technological capability to develop new products through R & D
Continuous strategic growth
Tailored approach to strategy different approach to local demands
Competition that varies by country
Imposed uniform universal solutions on strategically diverse portfolio
As of recently, Kent was able to get them to stop exporting into each other’s markets
Regional staff lacked the market knowledge and detailed technical expertise
Korean subsidiary challenged German subsidiary for fire retardants
Dedicated long term employees
Angela Peri over 20 years of service named President of U.S business
Luis Morales 22 year veteran before named to head of international division
Consumer products GBD 25 year Kent veteran
Team 2
Catherine Alavarez
Internal Weaknesses
Unhealthy culture
•Kent consumer products GBD said, “I don’t care if they see my role as adversary or directive, as long as
they do what needs to be done.” The right leader appointed for the job?
•Project appropriation request blocked by corporate to bring receivables under control
•Coordinating issues with global implications ex. Brazilian subsidiary unilaterally price reducing
Ineffective communication
•Communication either at top levels or front lines
•Communication slow and reluctantly
•Corporate reporting systems inefficient ex. SicherFeuer manager stated the best way to get technical
help and learn about new products was to travel to Kent every 60 days
Break down in leadership
•Nobody coordinating price, product, sourcing decisions globally
•Regional directors did not have the authority to make necessary decisions
Ineffective teams
•Not establishing control was difficult. Long term managers of 20 to 30 years ran circles around them
adapting well to overseas pressures and demands
• Staff second guessed local country managers
•Country managers complained that U.S. colleagues were more critical and less collaborative
Operations overlapping
•Duplicate operations and overlapping activities with overseas operations
•International division regional rather than product-based structure
Team 2
Catherine Alvarez
External Strengths
External Weaknesses
Government funded research for the
fire control market
Developed and won the U.S Food and
Drug Administration approval to hold
intravenous solutions
Relationships with national regulatory
bodies and control agencies
Customers included large global
hospital supply and medical device
Team 2
Catherine Alavarez
Regulatory requirements vary across
Fire protection regulations vary by country
and products have to be adapted by country
FireGard in England and SicherFeuer AG in
Language and cultural barriers
GBD’s did not know their role and
regional directors were not clear how to
work with them
GBD’s lacked credibility and power to get
things done
Long competitive histories and even after
minority positions the companies refused to
cooperate or coordinate activities
Local managers protected their own selfinterest
Competition for power over acquired
companies that used to be minority
Conflicts of interest between local and
regional managers and domestic managers
Complex strategies for three different
types of businesses: consumer products
line, medical plastics line, and the fire
control products
Two unsuccessful organizational changes
under CEO Ben Fisher and now
attempting a third one
Management appointments for GBD
that did not work out
Team 2
Catherine Alavarez
 Competitors with new technology
Biodegradable and bioavailable
plastics for environmentally friendly
 Government regulations
• Codes and standards that could
affect plastics, consumer products, and
fire protection
What is the Primary Issue/Opportunity in this Case Study?
The primary issue in this case study is the fact that the executive leadership is lacking in the most basic
areas that inhibit it’s growth within an industry. They have ineffective teams, an unhealthy corporate
culture, a lack of effective communication, immense language and cultural barriers, and their operations
are overlapping.
How should the organization respond to the issue/opportunity?
See the next slides for the strategy that needs to be addressed and implemented in order to allow for
growth of the company both domestically and internationally.
How can the organization implement and evaluate the chosen strategy?
In the next set of slides we will review the implementation strategies for each goal and objective. The
evaluation of the chosen strategies will be ongoing thru corporate scorecards that will include objective
information i.e.; market share, deliverables etc as well as employee/stakeholders satisfaction and
environmental surveys.
Team 2
Shelley Corp
Promote a healthy working culture/environment
•Foster an environment of trust
•Promote a willingness to tolerate and learn from mistakes throughout entire organization
•Pursue collaboration, integration and holistic thinking
•Allow freedom for risk taking (within limits)
•Nurture an environment of accountability
Enhance effective communication throughout the corporation
•Foster traits of effective communication-consistent, constant and from the top down.
•Reach out to resisters to understand their concerns and address them
•Pro-active communication-develop a weekly/daily company update electronically to track and disseminate
information to the masses.
•Frequent engagement with executive leadership team thru memos, updates etc
•Detail growth plan with teams and solicit feedback, participation and differing points of view
•Utilize technology for meeting across the organization-skype, webinars etc.
Build transformational leadership team
•Implement new organizational chart
•Composition of top management team is of UTMOST importance
•Empower manager and employees
•Identify key internal and external stakeholders and Informal leaders
•Provide mentoring to new recruits
•Recruit top talent from University of Kent
•Ensure entire team is aligned with Morales’s strategies and plans
Team 2
Shelley Corp
Develop effective teams
•Pick the right leader for the right position
•Look for people whose interests are aligned with the overall strategy
•Develop teams ability to form positive relationships with internal and external stakeholders i.e. National
regulatory bodies and licensing agencies.
•Ensure relevant expertise is held by each member of the team
•Include people with sufficient credibility so that employees and management will treat decisions seriously.
•Enlist the support and involvement of KEY people.
Streamline operational factors
•Develop an overseas supply and value chain manager to coordinate and account for products across the system.
•Encourage collaboration across the system to prevent internal competition for growth in markets.
•Prevent duplication of services
Recommend culturally sensitive educational programs for staff
•Promote understanding of multicultural issues and their effect on the success of the corporation.
•Breakdown language/cultural/communication barriers thru sensitivity training.
Differentiate the organization
•Increase robustness of R & D to develop new products and technologies.
•Define core decisions business by business-may have to utilize different approaches to local demands
•Focus on customer needs
•Broaden consumer products-high margin niche household application
•Enhance relationships with large global hospital supply and medical device companies
•Benchmark standards to competitors
Team 2
Shelley Corp
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