Releasing the talents of employees
An ICI case study

Page 1: Introduction

This case study focuses on the way in which ICI, one of the UK’s best known companies, has maximised the potential of its people in recent times. ICI has established some clear guiding principles which provide an object lesson for any business which seeks to be effective in today’s competitive business climate. A simple definition of organisational culture is 'the way we do things...
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Page 2: Fluctuations in demand

ICI is a major producer of paints, materials, explosives and industrial chemicals. As a multinational corporation, ICI runs and operates this business on a global scale. Inevitably, its business is subject to intense competition and to fluctuations in demand caused by cycles in economic activity.Along with other modern high-technology corporations, it must make best use of the resources...
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Page 3: The Fayetteville plant

In October 1995, the ICI Films plant at Fayetteville, USA, held a press briefing on its programme to devolve more responsibility to staff. To underline the point, the managers left the room half way through to give line staff the chance to contribute. 'I was thrilled at being able to talk to the press,' said lab technician, Deborah Peterson. 'It goes to show that everyone’s input is...
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Page 4: ICI's Wilton plant

Chemical plants can only be run for so long before they need to be shut down for overhaul. On a plant making hundreds of tonnes a day, the cost of lost production can be phenomenal. In the case of ICI’s PTA plant at Wilton, UK, overhauls have typically taken four weeks at a cost of £200,000 a day. So in 1994, the overhaul team set itself the challenge of halving the shutdown period. It...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Today, businesses like ICI are based on shared interests of stakeholders. Stakeholders include managers, employees, the customers, the community, and of course, the shareholder. It is clear that each of these groups will gain enormously from the success of team operations at ground level. In concluding this case study, therefore, it is helpful to see how shareholders at ICI benefit from the...
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