SABMiller South Africa: Contextual Leadership in Transforming Culture
(10 pages of text)
In March 2017, Ajay Maharaj Bachulal was starting his new position as plant manager at SABMiller plc’s (SABMiller's) plant in Polokwane, South Africa. Bachulal had successfully led change at the company's brewery in another province, and he hoped to be as successful at the new plant. His dilemma was how to approach the workforce in Polokwane, and how to adapt to and make changes within the culture specific to that plant. While both plants adhered to SABMiller’s system, policies, and procedures, Bachulal sensed that the approach of each plant to work and life was different. How would Bachulal's own leadership development process and his efforts to change culture by empowering lower level employees in Polokwane help him in a different province with distinct ethnic compositions, languages, and cultures?
The case is suitable for MBA and postgraduate courses in organizational development, organizational behaviour, leadership, human resources management (especially learning and development courses), or a change management program. Working through the case will give students the opportunity to do the following:
- Discuss and develop insight to contextual leadership to enhance the adaptability of leaders to new situations.
- Analyze and gain an understanding of the principles of and approaches to leadership development.
- Understand the necessary steps to implement culture change.
South Africa, Large, 2017
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