Managing Political Dynamics Productively

After Xerox had lost half of its market share in the copier business, it should have been clear that change was needed. Yet when David Kearns came to power in the early 1980s, he faced skepticism and resistance. General Motors lost one-third of its market share in the 1980s. Again, however, there was reluctance to change—reluctance to learn from its joint venture with Toyota,1 reluctance to cede control to a new breed of manager, and reluctance to reform the culture. The change that brought John Sculley to Apple Computer and the company to a different product strategy was wrenching, in spite of evidence of problems in the direction of the company. Change and adaptation come only after great internal, ...

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