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Case Study - Developing Leaders at Ups

Autor:   •  April 15, 2016  •  Case Study  •  1,009 Words (5 Pages)  •  584 Views

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Gary Erickson, founder of Clif Bar Inc., brings Gen Xer ideals to fruition in the world through his independence, skepticism, and seeking of balance between work life and home life. Mr. Erickson has, to this day, led his company with the same values and vision since the beginning in 1992. The key values that have been demonstrated through Mr. Erickson’s actions are honesty, creativity, and responsibility. Both his employees and the environment benefit from Mr. Erickson instilling these values in his company.

Hughes et al. (2015) states two types of values; terminal and instrumental values. Instrumental values, as described by Rokeach (1973), are those modes of behavior exhibited through an individual’s actions or choices, while the desired end state associated with those behaviors are considered terminal values. By way of example, a person wishing to become a plumber or an electrician (terminal value) must first complete an apprenticeship (instrumental value) in order to receive proper training and recognition. The story of Mr. Erickson’s founding of Clif Bar Inc. and an analysis of his actions provides a demonstration of several values which can be assessed as important to Mr. Erickson. We see his terminal values, workplace harmony and minimal environmental impact, being achieved via his instrumental values of honesty, creativity, and responsibility.

Over the last 24 years, Clif Bar Inc. has grown from the Erickson Family Bakery into a company that employs 130 individuals. Mr. Erickson has continued to embodies the ideals of a Gen Xer, which as Zemke describes are individuals who are skeptical of institutions and hierarchy (Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy, 2015). The embodiment of the latter was exhibited when Mr. Erickson walked away from a more than $150 million dollar deal, all because he believed that his vision of what the company should become would be compromised (Hughes et al, 2015). He stayed true to himself and his values.

Coombs (2008) further describes Gen Xers as people who desire a fun environment, flexible schedule, the changing/removal of rules, and who view peers as family. The values of Mr. Erickson are very closely aligned with the values of Clif Bar Inc. Mr. Erickson sees his employees as family which he must care for, which is why he asks himself, “What should our company be like for the people who come to work each day?” (Hughes et al. 2015). He answered this question through the addition of several amenities for employees which include a gym, dance floor, personal trainers, hair salon, and game room, among several other additions.

Another program which Mr. Erickson built was the “2080 Program” which limits the number of hours an employee is allowed to accrue annually. Mr. Erickson also encourages his employees to volunteer on company time and counts it towards their 2080 total hours. He has rooted his values for social responsibility so deeply in the company that Clif Bar


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