Even if you don't know or have never heard the first thing about Dow Chemical, even if you don't know that the company does $24 billion in sales, and even if you don't know that the Dow corporation has been around for one hundred years, it is entirely possible that you have at least one of their over 2,400 products in your kitchen cabinet, underneath your sink, or in your laundry room. The company keeps their hands in many proverbial cookie jars. While being directly responsible for products like Ziploc bags, Spray'n Wash and Glass Plus, they also manufacture the plastic for the housings of computers and lesser-known products like insulation paneling.
Former President and Chief Operating Officer William Stavropoulos began as a research chemist for DOW in 1967 and went on to become the companies CEO in 1995 (retired 2000). In an interview with Professor Richard Hodgetts, he gave insight on the company's ongoing mission to "improve the quality of life" while leaving the "environment a healthy place".
Stavropoulos' collective-participative decision-making style helped the firm become a better place to work. He believed in communication, which is one of the most important aspects of running a company. Instilling the idea that "the more information people have, the less bureaucracy there will be in the company, the better [on the spot] decisions that people will be able to make", the company invested in 38,000 personal computers, Intranet and training to enhance communication efforts. (Hodgetts) He phased out unnecessary layers in management and cut the work force by 30% all while divesting unprofitable product lines the company had carried for years. From research and development to the balance sheet, Stavropoulos has in depth knowledge about all aspect of the company.
Of course the biggest challenge in restructuring the company was...