Analyse the change process during the takeover of Cadbury by Kraft and critically evaluate the management of that change process

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When Kraft took over Cadbury, this was a major change that was disruptive to the Cadbury organisation, which had implications for the all the stakeholders involved. Included in the stakeholders was the UK government, which rebuked the organisation for shuttering a plant that it promised to keep open. The workers felt job insecurity. However, the change was not all bad, as both companies gained market share throughout the world. This essay will examine the changes that were made, including the mistakes that Kraft made, and how the change affected all the stakeholders involved. Cadbury Nature of Change The triggers for change The triggers and forces promoting the change was that Kraft, in September of 2009, offered a takeover for Cadbury, valuing it at the time at ?10.2 billion (Wearden, 2010). This offer was initially rejected. Kraft eventually went hostile without a change in terms, despite the fact that Cadbury upped its sales and profit margins, along with a warning that the firm, Cadbury, would lose its unique culture if Kraft took it over. In the end, despite Cadbury’s resistance to the takeover, Cadbury’s board recommended that the firm be sold to Kraft for ?12 billion (Wearden, 2010). The triggers for change, in this case, was that Kraft wanted to expand its brand, and Cadbury was struggling in the marketplace. In applying the models of change, one of the pertinent models is that of Lewin’s Force Field Model. In this model, an organisation is beset by driving forces on one side and resisting forces on the other. Change upsets the equilibrium of the company, and the driving forces for change are opportunities and threats (Lewin, 1951). The driving force in this case was Kraft’s will to obtain the company, by any means, because it wanted to expand its market share. The resisting forces came when Cadbury repeatedly rejected Kraft’s offers, and, finally, Kraft had to take the company in a hostile takeover (Wearden, 2010). The opportunity that was represented by change was that both companies could gain market share. The threats was that Kraft’s takeover would threaten jobs, and would make workers, and the UK government, feel insecure about the future of the Cadbury company. Another model that is applicable is Lewin’s Ice Cube model. This assumes that there must be a transition state, that is the unfreezing of people’s beliefs – beliefs are frozen, and they must unfreeze for there to be change. The present state is the frozen belief system, while the desired state is what occurs after the beliefs are unfrozen, change takes place, and there is a new desired state that takes the place of the old belief system (Lewin, 1951). This is applicable in the Kraft case, as people in the Cadbury firm had a certain corporate culture and belief system, which is explained below, and they had to learn to adopt a new culture which was imposed by Kraft.