Thinking global - acting local
A Morgan Crucible case study

Page 1: Introduction

Do you ever think about what goes into a motor car, a power tool or a particular type of domestic appliance? If you were asked this question you would probably look for the technical features of each of the products, against which you can associate some form of tangible benefit, such as fuel-injection systems, ABS, a hammer drill, airbags, the time it takes for a kettle to heat up or the cool-wall...
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Page 2: Building a strategy

When it comes to moving forward during an uncertain period, an organisation must have something to aim for, which is a clear definition of where it wants to go. Strategies are simply the means of getting there. It was important for Morgan Crucible to match its strategic direction with its strengths. This would help it to counter threats from within its business environment and yet also be able...
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Page 3: Business Philosophy

For this rapid process of growth to take place Morgan Crucible had to change the way it operated. In a complex fast-changing business environment, operating at the frontiers of scientific development, they needed the speed and flexibility which enable specialists to take decisions on the ground. The answer was decentralisation.Decentralisation is a philosophy of management which involves the...
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Page 4: Thinking global and acting local

In a business environment which is simple to operate within and static, organisations tend to gear themselves towards operational efficiency by standardising operations and management practices. This whole approach is bureaucratic, suited only to mass production companies. At the beginning of the 80s Morgan Crucible abandoned its mass market activities, such as metal melting, in order to focus...
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Page 5: Organisational structure

When you develop a decentralised organisational structure, providing subsidiary and associated companies with considerable autonomy, you depend more than ever upon your people. The process of change led to shorter and flatter organisational structures, designed to improve the process of communication and create self-management teams. Within the organisation, this reduced the number of layers to...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Morgan Crucible is an example of a business with a humble past which has developed globally over a difficult period in order to win. In the late 1970s its home market was devastated, yet there was a global demand for specialty products which Morgan had the capability to satisfy. This case study epitomises the transformation of a business over a relatively short period of time, to become a world...
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