The why and how of effective strategy change: reflections on Thorn Lighting

Barrie Oxtoby (Research Fellow, University of Wales Aberystwyth, UK)
Tony McGuinness (Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Wales Aberystwyth, UK)
Robert E. Morgan (Chair in Marketing & Strategic Management, University of Wales Aberystwyth, UK)

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Publication date: 1 December 2000


Presents a case analysis of Thorn Lighting Limited. The focus of discussion is the Spennymoor operations plant in the UK, whose mission is: “To supply the products required by the market, at the lowest possible cost, consistent with meeting our customers’ expectations on quality and delivery”. The plant employs just over 1,000 personnel and, since 1989, has undergone major organizational and cultural change enabling its market share to approximately double. Much of this has been attributed specifically to the close alignment of Thorn’s HR strategy and its overall business strategy, in particular to a cultural shift based on self‐managed teamworking and decentralized line management. The sustained business success being enjoyed by Thorn Lighting at Spennymoor is a powerful indicator of the company’s ability to create conditions for motivating and aligning people behind commercial goals. It has taken a decade, in a competitive market place, for such a strategy to mature.



Oxtoby, B., McGuinness, T. and Morgan, R. (2000), "The why and how of effective strategy change: reflections on Thorn Lighting", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 24 No. 9, pp. 513-522.

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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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