Maple Leaf Foods: Changing the System
(5 pages of text)
The Maple Leaf Foods (MLF): Changing the System case explores how a major food processor pivoted its vision and operations in an attempt to become the world’s most sustainable protein company. Instead of focusing solely on financial goals, the organization's new purpose clearly recognized MLF’s potential impact on both society and the natural environment. In the anchor case, senior leaders considered the background and progress of this initiative. The supplemental cases (A to E) offer the perspectives of five stakeholders, each of whom is critical to the MLF initiative. Since an organization is part of an open system, these views allow a consideration of how the different parts of the system may experience, and impact, any change attempt.
This case can be used effectively in graduate or undergraduate courses or modules on systems thinking, sustainability, strategy, organizational behaviour, communications, change management, power, politics, stakeholder management, and leadership. After completion of the case series, students will be able to do the following:
- Outline the challenges and opportunities in implementing large-scale change using stakeholder thinking or systems thinking.
- Describe how a higher-level purpose can inform and/or transform an organization’s culture and way of doing business.
- Explain how an organization’s view of its relationship with business, society, and nature can impact its operations.
- Complete a stakeholder analysis related to a major company policy change.
Canada, Large, 2019
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