General Electric 1981-2001

Waves of strategic change in the age of Jack Welch and Jeff Immelt pushes organic growth

Summary

Part 1:

The present case study uses the St Galler Management-Model to explore the corporate management of General Electric (GE). Empirically, the study draws on 33 letters to the shareholders from 1981 to 2013. The letters were coded along the 10 value drivers of the St Galler Management-Model. In this part (part A) of the case study the CEO Jack Welch and his three waves of strategic change – a time of intense restructuring – were explored. These are the waves of restructuring and a new positioning (1981-1988), the mobilization of collective energy (1988-1995) and the third wave in that GE has been transformed into a service orientated organization (1995-2001). The case study highlights the excellent capability of GE to constant strategic change and progress.

Part 2:

The present case study uses the St Galler Management-Model to explore the corporate management of General Electric (GE). Empirically, the study draws on 33 letters to the shareholders from 1981 to 2013. The letters were coded along the 10 value drivers of the St Galler Management-Model. In this part (part B) of the case study the data were used to describe the corporate management under the new CEO Jeff Immelt. His term of office was characterized by an uncertain environment. J Immelt responded to it through four strategic fields of actions (active portfolio management, organic growth and innovation, internationalization, synergy management, and customer focus and marketing expertise) in order to steer GE into the future.

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Bibliographic Data

GENERAL ELECTRIC 1981-2001 (PART A): WAVES OF STRATEGIC CHANGE IN THE AGE OF JACK WELCH

GENERAL ELECTRIC 2001-2012 (PART B): JEFF IMMELT PUSHES ORGANIC GROWTH

PART A: Case – Reference no. 314-366-1

Authors: Mueller-Stewens, G. (University of St. Gallen); Glatzel, C. (University of St. Gallen)
Published in: 2014
Length: 17 pages
Data source: Field research

PART B: CASE – Reference no. 314-368-1

Authors: Mueller-Stewens, G. (University of St. Gallen); Glatzel, C. (University of St. Gallen)
Published in: 2014
Length: 22 pages
Data source: Field research

Teaching Note – Reference no. D314-366-8 (German version)

Authors: Mueller-Stewens, G. (University of St. Gallen); Glatzel, C. (University of St. Gallen)
Published in: 2014
Length: 43 pages
Data source: Published sources

Contact person

If the case study is not available at The Case Centre, or if you have any questions about additional material or application of the case study, please contact the author.

Günter Müller-Stewens

Prof. em. Dr.
Ordentlicher Professor em. für Betriebswirtschaft