Business Case Study: The Herman Miller Inc. Case

4020 Words 17 Pages
Register to read the introduction… case is an exceptionally good case to assign as a part of your module on implementing and executing strategy. It can be assigned at any time following your lecture and coverage of the material in Chapter 10. You’ll find the Herman Miller case to be a very good vehicle for exposing students to effective strategy execution and how core values and a strategy-supportive corporate culture can be deeply planted. The case also discusses the company’s approach to developing cross-functional teams, structuring executive compensation, empowering employees, and compensating employees. The impact of the lingering economic slowdown on the company’s financial performance also provides the opportunity to press class members for their recommendations on what actions are needed at Herman Miller to improve the company’s revenue growth and …show more content…
|Design and Research |3.1 % |2.8 % |2.5 % |2.7 % |2.6 % |
|Total Operating Expenses |28.4 % |24.8 % |22.5 % |23.3 % |24.0 % |
|Operating Earnings |4.1 % |7.5 % |12.3 % |10.3 % |9.1 % |
|Other Expenses (Income): | | | | | |
|Interest Expense |1.6 % |1.6 % |.9 % |.7 % |.8 % |
|Interest and other investments |(.3) % |(.2) % |(.2) % |(.2) % |(.3) % |
|Other, net |.1 % |.06 % |.06 % |.08 % |.06 % |
|Net other expenses |1.4 % |1.5 % |.8 % |.05 % |.6 % |
|Earnings before income taxes & minority interest |2.5 % |6.07 % |11.5 % |9.7 % |8.5 %
…show more content…
dry cleaning, greeting cards & take-home meals); and

ν On-site services (e.g. massage therapy, banking, personal trainers).

Students can readily identify with why these perks are good for employees, but may need a little prompting to articulate why they are beneficial to Herman Miller. These benefits certainly helped Herman Miller attract a talented workforce, but it also helped the firm retain those talents as well. Additionally, the tuition reimbursement helped build the employee’s capabilities. The concierge and on-site services allowed employees to focus on work without unneeded distractions.

Other practices listed in Chapter 11 can be found in use at Herman Miller. Promotion from within was practiced when appropriate. The case offers numerous examples of what Chapter 11 refers to as “Invite and act on ideas and suggestions from employees.” Employees had input on many aspects of Herman Miller’s operations including its product lines, organization structure, corporate giving, and environmental initiatives.

6. Describe the culture at HMI. Would you characterize HMI’s culture as healthy and largely supportive of good strategy execution?

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