Business Case Studies, HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study, Motorola's Turnaround: Ed Zander's "Culture Strategy"

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HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study

Case Title:

Motorola's Turnaround: Ed Zander's "Culture Strategy"

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Vara Vasanthi, Sauvik Dhar

Industry: HRM / Organizational behaviour


Case Code: HRM0016

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Initially founded as the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation in 1928, Motorola was known for being the first to manufacture the hand-held radio and pager. It was the leading manufacturer of cellular handsets and semiconductor chips. But the early 1990s brought in a number of challenges for the company. The company did not envision the surge in demand for digital products. Although the then CEO Christopher Galvin made attempts to revive the company, the results were not visible. Edward Zander (Zander) was appointed as the CEO in 2003 to bring a new perspective into the company. Zander reorganised the various units and increased the focus on the development of new products. His strategies worked and the company climbed to the number two spot in the cellular handset market with the introduction of the 'Razr' V3 handset. However, questions remain about the company's turnaround and the tough obstacles that Zander could face in the future.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To highlight how a market leader, if it reads the market wrong, can be forced to be a follower
  • To understand Motorola's strategic missteps if any
  • To discuss the need for the turnaround at Motorola
  • To underscore the importance of leadership in managing troubled times
  • To discuss the effectiveness of Edward Zander's strategies to turn the company around
  • To debate on further steps to be taken to defend and enhance Motorola's market position.

Keywords : Motorola; Edward Zander; Razr V3; Cellular handsets; Iridium; Pebl; Slvr; Culture; Restructuring / Turnaround Strategies Case Study; Strategy; Semiconductor business; Seamless mobility; Apple iTunes


  • Company Profile
  • Motorola's Need for Turnaround
  • Ed Zander's Turnaround Strategies

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