Home Depot's Cultural Evolution - A comparison of the Company's Culture
Under ITS Founders and BOB Nardelli
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Case Code : HROB063
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1978-2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Home Depot
Industry : Retail
Countries : USA
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
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"They're a great lesson in how to build a successful
company. They had the best mousetrap, and the marketplace was huge."
- Skip Helm, analyst at William Blair & Co, in 1998.1
"What I'm known for is transferring best practices. That's
particularly important in this economic environment, when you have to maximize
revenues through existing assets."
-Bob Nardelli, CEO of Home Depot, in 2001.2
In September 2004, The Home Depot Inc., (Home Depot), the largest home
improvement retailer in the world, announced that it would hire over 10,000
people with a military background to staff its new and existing stores across
the US by the end of the year. The new recruits would include military retirees
and veterans, as well as spouses of active officers.
The recruitment of military personnel, called Operation Career Front, was a part
of an agreement signed by Home Depot with the US Department of Labor in June
2002, under which the company committed itself to helping provide employment to
current and former members of the US military.
From 2002 on, the website of the US military has had a link to Operation
Career Front, and Home Depot was listed as a prospective employer on the
Recruitment from the defense forces had a dual advantage for Home Depot.
Firstly, it helped the company to pursue its objective of being socially
responsible, and secondly, it provided a pool of talented and hard working
people for its stores. "The U.S. military community offers The Home Depot a
talent pool of highly skilled individuals who have unique knowledge and
character from their military experience, making them ideal candidates for
our national hiring initiative," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and
CEO of Home Depot.3
He also said that most of the military recruits had three to five
years of leadership experience under challenging circumstances,
which would prove to be an asset for Home Depot.
Recruiting for leadership was an important element in the new
culture of Home Depot. While the company's culture until 2000 was
characterized by independence and a strong entrepreneurial spirit,
Nardelli was responsible for streamlining these values and
incorporating them in a new culture that focused on processes. One
of the most important processes as Nardelli saw it, was coaching
people to help them reach their maximum potential.
Home Depot's Cultural Evolution - A comparison of the Company's Culture Under
ITS Founders and BOB Nardelli
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