W.L Gore and Associates Case Analysis

Topics: Bill Gore, Leadership, W. L. Gore and Associates Pages: 7 (2176 words) Published: November 3, 2013


Gore and Associates Team Research Analysis (Intro) – Tomika 2 Pages Prior to exploring Gore's model, one should note that W. L. Gore & Associates is a US-based manufacturer that specializes in making products that utilize advanced materials. The company was founded in 1958 by Bill Gore and is best known for its Gore-Tex Fabrics. Presently, the company boasts over 10000 employees and $3 billion in revenue. The company’s quick growth and market success shows that Gore’s model is certainly something that may be interesting to other corporations. First, W. L. Gore & Associates consistently earns top scores by the Great Places to Work Institute, meaning that the employees at W. L. Gore & Associates are pleased with the company and give it their votes, loyalty and commitment. One of the hallmarks of Gore’s model is the democratic decision making, where the company’s associates have freedom to choose the work they do and make commitments to their colleagues regarding what they will accomplish. The whole model fosters challenge-specific teams, where the employees are free to join or leave their team and re-team with another challenge-specific team. W. L. Gore & Associates does not have any formal managers, yet has democratically-elected leaders, who emerge organically depending on the specific project needs and the qualities that each of the employees possess. There are no “bosses” but there are “sponsors” who assist the junior associates to work more effectively by selecting a team based on their abilities and skills Not only are the employees free to work on the projects that interest them and be leaders of such projects, W. L. Gore & Associates also permits the so-called “dabble time”, or 10% of the employee’s time to be spent on new things, ideas, projects or initiatives. The company prides itself on being one of the only corporations to allow their employees to have time to work on projects that are personally enriching, while also investing in these ideas under the “rapid experimentation” concept as a part of the W. L. Gore & Associates model. This rapid experimentation concept is responsible for the creation of “Ride-On bike cables” and Elixir guitar strings, which captured 35% of the market in 2004. As added compensation, the employees are given stock/shares, which are thought to provide the company with assurance that the staff will give their best efforts to achieve great results. W. L. Gore & Associates’ model permits the employees to choose their work, while the company supports rapid experimentation by linking management incentives towards long-term investment success. Ultimately, the system of “sponsors” helps the employees to navigate the company, learn about its activities, and find the right place to apply one’s skills and abilities. Since the model of W. L. Gore & Associates proved so successful, other companies did not hesitate to apply it to their own standards. For example, Google also allows the employees time to work towards developing new solutions and applications during the official work hours, which resembles W. L. Gore & Associates’ “dabble time”. Many other companies such as Procter & Gamble and Nestle have adopted models similar to that of W. L. Gore & Associates by mandating employees to rotate from one department to another thereby allowing them to learn more about the organization and to apply their skills and abilities where they feel most needed. (Schermerhorn, 2007). Additionally, many companies in various industries include profit-sharing options as a part of the compensation package to link employees’ money to company’s goals and objectives (Robbins, 2005). Finally, one should note that the W. L. Gore & Associates model seemingly provides much freedom to the employees, and links their success to the company’s success through distribution of the corporate stock/shares as a part of the compensation. The model calls for the formal removal...

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