GE is faced with Jack Welch's impending retirement and whether anyone can sustain the blistering pace of change and growth characteristic of the Welch era. After briefly describing GE's heritage and Welch's transformation of the company's business portfolio of the 1980s, the case chronicles Welch's revitalization initiatives through the late 1980s and 1990s. It focuses on six of Welch's major change programs: The "Software" Initiatives, Globalization, Redefining Leadership, Stretch Objectives, Service Business Development, and Six Sigma Quality.
Learning Objective:
To expose students to GE's revitalization efforts, including corporate strategy development, transformational change, management and leadership, and corporate renewal.
Case Study Guidance:
Your task for the assignment is to answer the case study questions. The best assignments will be those that use the tools and learning from the textbook, and clearly identify the issues. Any recommendation made should be STRATEGIC recommendations (as opposed to tactical or minor recommendations).
The case analysis can be submitted as early in the week as you want with the last day to submit being Sunday midnight. Once all the case analyses are submitted we will endeavor to get you back a grade and feedback as soon as possible, but no longer than two weeks.
Finally, here are some hints on doing a good analysis. Applying (but not repeating) the concepts in the book, other assigned readings and webcast, to the analysis of the case. Not rehashing the case facts but demonstrating a point by using case facts and data. Making recommendations that build on the analysis made. Making truly strategic recommendations.

Case Study Questions:
1. How difficult a challenge did Welch face in 1981? How effectively did he take charge?
2. What was Welch’s objective in the series of initiatives he launched in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s? What was he trying to achieve in the round of changes he put in motion in that period? Is there a logic or rationale supporting the change process?
3. How does such a large, complex diversified conglomerate defy the critics and continue to grow so profitably? Have Welch’s various initiatives added value? If so, how?
4. What is your evaluation of Welch’s approach to leading change? How important is he to GE’s success? What are the implications for his replacement?

  • CreatedJuly 26, 2013
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