The involvement of large numbers of employees

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institutionalize the new approaches, and evaluate the effectiveness of the change effort. The involvement of large numbers of employees throughout the change process will significantly increase commitment to the outcomes. VIDEO GUIDE Original Penguin—The Penguin Is Cool Again Munsingwear’s Penguin brand of casual attire, the first to carry a logo, started life in the mid- 1950s and was popular primarily with older golfers. When Perry Ellis acquired Munsingwear and its product lines, it saw an opportunity to revitalize the famous brand. Making the Penguin hip involved a change in the corporate culture as well, however. Discussion Questions and Suggested Answers 155
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Chapter 10: Organizational Culture and Change 1. Suppose you had visited Munsingwear’s offices in 1995. What type of corporate culture would you expect to find, and why? Students may have a variety of answers, as we have limited information about Munsingwear prior to the acquisition. Most will probably discuss how Munsingwear’s focus on older customers was reflected in the corporate culture. Making underwear and knit shirts doesn’t call for lots of creative new designs. Outwardly, the offices were probably very conservative in furnishings and in mood. Corporate decision-making was likely to be centralized, and innovation wasn’t high on the list of desired employee traits. The corporate identity culture was likely to be very strong, staid, and stable—fairly similar to what it had been 30 to 40 years earlier. Also, Munsingwear hadn’t paid much attention to its Penguin line, which had been reduced to just one product. 2. The next year Perry Ellis acquired Munsingwear and the Penguin brand. What steps would you take to identify the differences in corporate culture between the two companies and plan for a smooth transition and integration of new company? Students suggestions may include such strategies as visiting both companies, looking for artifacts that provide clues to the culture of each, and interviewing employees to hear the corporate stories. The management team in charge of the acquisition should determine what works well and what doesn’t. They should also evaluate existing goals, organizational structure, managerial styles, product lines, and employee skills and discover how they contribute to culture. The Perry Ellis’s culture was probably very different from Munsingwear, with many divisions that offer fashionable products that kept up with trends. However, like Munsingwear, Perry Ellis focused on older customers, so there could be similarities. Perry Ellis had greater vision and was more willing to take risks, as the launching of the new Penguin brand demonstrates. When integrating the new company, Perry Ellis management should understand that the new ownership is scary, and the changes will threaten employees. They should communicate every step of the way and make changes in steps, rather than trying to change too much at once.
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  • Spring '10
  • n/a
  • organization’s culture, Perry Ellis, Munsingwear

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