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Web-based case
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Web-based
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Reference no. HR45
Published by:
Stanford Business School (2018)
Format:
Web-based case
Data source:
Field research
Notes:
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Abstract

How can a huge global company simplify its operations? AstraZeneca, a 60,000-employee pharmaceutical giant, faced a 'patent cliff' starting around 2012, and saw revenue and income fall sharply for several years running. CEO Pascal Soriot outlined several major goals for the company, including achieving scientific leadership and renewed growth, and making the company a great place to work. He suspected that complexity was holding AstraZeneca back. But how could he encourage scientists, the drug manufacturing operation, and even sales reps around the world to simplify the way they worked, without creating a new bureaucracy tasked with making the company less complex? This case traces the decision to form a small Simplification Center of Excellence and how the small team that ran it sought to encourage simplification throughout the enterprise in 2016 and 2017.

Topics

Organizational change; Organizational behavior; Corporate culture; Change agents; Change management; Complexity; Cross functional teams; Employee empowerment; Improving productivity; Motivation

Setting

The events covered by this item took place in 2017.

Geographical setting

Region:
World/global
Countries:
United States; China; United Kingdom; Brazil
Location:
Maryland

Featured company

Company name:
AstraZeneca
Employees:
10000+
Type:
Public company
Industry:
Pharmaceutical

Featured protagonist

  • Pascal Soriot (male), CEO

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