Mgmt 599 Herman Miller Case Essay

4020 Words 17 Pages
Case 22 Teaching Note
Herman Miller Inc.: The Reinvention and Renewal of an Iconic Manufacturer of Office Furniture


Furniture manufacturer, Herman Miller Inc.’s, penchant for reinvention and renewal since its inception in the 1920s had resulted in accolades not usually bestowed on firms in mature industries. HMI made Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies” and “The 100 Best Companies to Work For” lists and also FastCompany’s “Most Innovative Companies” list in 2008 and 2010.

The recession that began in late 2007 had taken its toll on the U.S. economy and the office furniture industry that Herman Miller Inc. (HMI) competed in. HMI had managed to weather these turbulent times better than its rivals, but its sales and profits
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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 profitability.

The Student Edition of the Online Learning Center (OLC) provides students with copies of the assignment questions contained in this note. The list of assignment questions leads students through a thorough analysis of the company’s approach to strategy implementation and the three alternatives under consideration by the company’s founders. At the conclusion of the analysis of the case information, students should be prepared to make a strategy recommendation to improve the company’s performance. We suggest that you always direct students to the assignment questions posted on the Crafting & Executing OLC and instruct them to use the assignment questions to prepare for the class discussion of the case. We always instruct our students to read the case once to gain a general understanding of the issues presented in the case and then return to the case to prepare written

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