The paper 'Woolworths Group as an Online Retailer" is a good example of a management case study. Each company has its live-cycle theory; no matter it is a world-wide organization or just a tiny store in a small town. From start-up to expansion, then maturity to divestment; this is an inevitable process that leads Woolworths to a huge unexpected change. The inability of generating profits and to pay the money to debt holders forced the company to close all its stores and after the Barclay brother acquired the company, they decided to launch it as online retail. There were certain external as well as internal drivers such as lack of innovative and quality products, higher prices and lower service quality, lack of effective leadership, change in technology, change in customer needs, etc.
that forced the organization to leave old conventional method doing business and adopting the internet as the new method. These changes can be analyzed under several perspectives such as biological, rational, resource, contingency, post-modern, etc. that initiators of the change had thought in the beginning. There are certain tools that can be applied to manage the change smoothly.
The one that Barclay brothers seem to adopt can be categorized as Kurt Lewin’ s Classical Model to implement the change which says that planned change requires that field forces be freed up, and then restored after the planned change is complete. However, it’ s not that the strategy followed by Barclay brothers, in association with the former board members of Woolworths, is the best one. There are several negatives aspects associated with the current strategy including job loss for employees and negative effect in the health of the companies which were dependent on Woolworths. The ne strategy would have been to close only a few stores that are not providing enough revenue to keep them open and then combine this with the new method of selling products i. e.
online selling. Company Background: Woolworths Group plc was a U. K. based general merchandise retailer, and entertainment wholesaler and publisher. It was started in the U. K. 100 years ago in 1909 as F. W. Woolworth, a subsidiary of the American retailer that was founded in 1879. Its first shop was opened on Church Street in Liverpool which sold a variety of merchandise, from children’ s clothes to stationery and toys.
• "A history of Woolies: 99 years of pic 'n' mix." timesonline.co.uk. November 26, 2008. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/retailing/article5237402.ece (accessed April 19, 2009).
• Carr, D. & Hard, K. Managing the Change Process: A Fieldbook for Change Agents, Team Leaders & Reengineering Managers. McGraw - Hill , 1995.
• Graetz, F., M. Rimmer, A. Lawrence, and A. Smith. "Managing Organizational Change. 2nd Edition." Australia: Wiley & Sons, 2006.
• Manag, J Change. "Change Management." Journal of Change Management, 2009.
• Oliveira, Otávio José de, Serra Pinheiro, Camila Roberta Muniz. "Best practices for the implantation of ISO 14001 norms: a study of change management in two industrial companies in the Midwest region of the state of São Paulo – Brazil." Journal of Cleaner Production, 2009: p883-885.
• Orlikowski, Wanda J. "Improvising Organizational Transformation Over Time: A Situated Change Perspective." Information System Research, 1996: 63-64.
• Robertson, Peter J., Shui-Yan Tang. "The Role of Commitment in Collective Action: Comparing the Organizational Behavior and Rational Choice Perspectives." Public Administration Review, 1995.
• Warren G. Bennis, Kenneth D. Benne, and Robert Chin (Eds.). The Planning of Change (2nd Edition). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969.
• Watson, Tom. December 28, 2008. http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/2008/12/a-goodbye-to-woolworths/ (accessed April 19, 2009).
• "Woolworths to be reborn on the internet after buy-out by web retailer Shop Direct." dailymail.co.uk. February 2, 2009. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1133786/Woolworths-reborn-internet-buy-web-retailer-Shop-Direct.html (accessed April 19, 2009).
• "Woolworths UK closes." ausfoodnews.com. December 28, 2008. http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2008/12/24/woolworths-uk-closes.html (accessed April 19, 2009).