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Jeanne Lewis at Staples

Autor:   •  October 7, 2013  •  Case Study  •  2,518 Words (11 Pages)  •  833 Views

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Jeanne Lewis at Staples

Managing Organizational Change

Case Submitted


Jana Navaneethan

Musfique Rahman

Venkat Polavarapu

Date: 05/02/2013


Jeanne Lewis started as a summer intern at Staples Inc, in the Marketing department in 1991. At 1993, she started at Staples as a Marketing Manager for Sales and Forecasting Field Marketing. Soon after, she secured the position of Director of New England Operations handling with 50 stores with budget of 250 millions. Lewis believed that Marketing, which served as both an architect and driver of the Staples brand, would play a critical role in Staple's continued success. She also felt that the marketing department's operating style was not suited for evolving competitive realities. She questioned the department's overall strategy and execution and wanted to initiate action to fix some of the department's structures, systems and staffing. Assessing her leadership style and tenacity in her decisions and her ability to handle such demanding work environment, within a year she was promoted to the position of the Director of Sales for 150 stores on the East Coast. She was promoted again and became the VP and the Divisional Merchandising Manager for furniture and decorative supplies with the budget of 350 millions, right after she earned the position of SVP of Small Business and Retail Marketing. Lewis’ rapid shifting from operations, sales, mechanizing, and marketing taught her lot about Staples culture.

This case study describes closer view of her leadership and management style.


First, preoccupation with the merger caused organizational problems to go unanswered. By the time Jeanne Lewis stepped in to begin making changes, Staples Inc. had gotten off course in terms of growth and profit earnings. Also, Staples’ long-time, loyal employees were comfortable with the old way of doing things, and her plans to get rid of those “old ways” caused apprehension among an already weary staff. This apprehension and lack of trust caused a personal barrier to communications because employees would place their focus on being defensive and distrustful of Lewis, therefore distorting whatever message she was trying to get across to them. Another personal barrier to communication within the company came shortly after the failed merger, when the only remaining member of the Staples’ founding team, director of marketing, Todd Krasnow announced that he would be leaving the company.


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