Reorganizing ABB - From Matrix to Consumer - Centric Organization Structure (A)

Case Studies | Case Study in Business, Management, Operations, Strategy, Case Study

ICMR HOME | Case Studies Collection

Case Details:

Case Code : HROB032
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 1998 - 2002
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : ABB
Industry : Power, Transportation, Financial Services
Countries : Switzerland

To download Reorganizing ABB - From Matrix to Consumer - Centric Organization Structure (A) case study (Case Code: HROB032) click on the button below, and select the case from the list of available cases:

For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Human Resource and Organization Behavior Case Studies
HRM Short Case Studies
View Detailed Pricing Info
How To Order This Case
Business Case Studies
Area Specific Case Studies
Industry Wise Case Studies
Company Wise Case Studies

Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

<< Previous

The Matrix Structure

ABB was formed on January 5, 1988, as a result of the merger between Sweden-based engineering group, Asea AB, and Switzerland-based Brown Boveri Limited. Both the companies had a history of around 100 years and were major competitors in the electrical equipment market in Europe. Barnevik took over as the CEO of ABB, headquartered at Zurich (Switzerland).

Given the massive size of ABB's operations, the challenge for Barnevik was to create a structural framework into which its worldwide activities could be integrated. Barnevik intended ABB to be "global and local, big and small, radically decentralized but with central control."6 In an attempt to achieve this objective, he created a matrix structure.

The Top Management Level

The matrix structure consisted of four management levels, with clearly defined responsibilities at each level (Refer Exhibit II). The first or top level of the matrix structure consisted of the Group Executive Management (Refer Exhibit III), whose members included the President & CEO - Barnevik, Deputy CEO and eleven ABB Executive Vice Presidents (EVPs).

The primary task of the Group Executive Management (GEM) was to devise global strategies and periodically review the performance of ABB's eight business segments spread over 28 business regions. The members belonged to different nationalities and met once every three weeks to discuss business developments. A few members of the GEM were assisted by the corporate staff in certain specified fields, which included audit, corporate control, corporate development, corporate finance, information, insurance and risk management, investor relations, legal affairs, management resources, marketing, public finance, purchasing and export control, real estate, corporate research, taxes and customs and technology.

The allotment of corporate staff to the EVP'S was based upon the requirements of the business segment headed by them. For example, Lars Thunell, who headed the financial services business segment, was assisted by corporate staff in the fields of corporate finance, insurance and risk management, investor relations, and project finance...

Excerpts >>

6] As quoted in the book, "ABB - The Dancing Giant: Creating the Globally Connected Corporation," written by Kevin Barham and Claudia Heimer.


Case Studies Links:- Case Studies, Short Case Studies, Simplified Case Studies.

Other Case Studies:- Multimedia Case Studies, Cases in Other Languages.

Business Reports Link:- Business Reports.

Books:- Textbooks, Workbooks, Case Study Volumes.