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Unilever

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Table of Contents Global Networks and Innovation of Unilever Company 3 1. Introduction 3 2. Internationalization strategy 3 3. Visualization and interpretation of the parent-subsidiary network 4 3.1 Betweenness Centrality 5 3.1 Density of Network 7 3.3 Degree Centrality 8 4. Analysis of the organization’s Network 8 4.1 Locational aspects 8 4.2 Activity aspects 9 4.3 Size aspects 9 5. Implications for the innovation strategy of Unilever 9 5.1 Meeting consumer needs 10 5.2 Introduction of new products 10 5.3 Sustainable Innovation 11 6. Conclusion 11 References 12

Global Networks and Innovation of Unilever Company 1. Introduction
Unilever is one of the best companies with its headquarters in London, UK that focus on the wellbeing and health of people by providing products such as affordable soaps, ice creams, household care products and luxurious shampoos (Weingardt, 2007). Unilever has been recognized as a leading provider of brands such as Omo, Knorr, Lipton, Hellmann’s and other trusted local names such as Suave, Pureit, and Blue band. The company has presence all over the world and increased sales gave accounted to increased turnover that hit €53.3 billion in 2015. There are more than 172,000 workers who work for Unilever, and the company has been selected as number one as the fast-moving consumer goods employer, according to the selection of students in 26 countries (Wolf, 2011). 2. Internationalization strategy
Unilever being one of the strongest companies in the world has expanded in foreign markets to access more customers. Unilever being supported by its key brands such as Lux, Rexona, Dove and Sunsilk, the company entered global market by using an internationalization strategy that is commonly referred to as act global and thinks global. This approach is used as the competitive framework in all the countries that the company has a presence and has minimal response to local conditions. The approach has helped the firm in selling the same products everywhere but makes minor adaptation to regional countries where there is a need to do such. The strategy is focused on building global brands and coordinating all the activities of the firm worldwide (MacDonald, 2013).
The global strategy applied by Unilever enables the company to unify its operations and establish a uniform reputation and brand image that can be recognized from country to country.
Unilever has employed cross-market subsidization strategies to win the customers that are likely to be won by the competitors in the global market. This is an offensive strategy that enables the firm to compete in multiple countries where there are other similar brands. The global strategy is also focused on selling the firm's products at a low price that will edge the low-cost local competitors (Wolf, 2011).
All the strategies that have been employed by the company have been deployed in all the countries that it has established itself such as United States, China, Arkansas, Australia which as are just examples (Moreno, 2015). The businesses affected are the soap and margarine firms. Unilever is multinational with operating companies and factories on every continent and research laboratory in: Colworth and PortSunlight, England;Vlaardingen, Netherlands; Connecticut and New Jersey, United States; Bangalore in India; and Shanghai in China. It has subsidiaries in almost 100 countries. Prominent Unilever subsidiaries include Hindustan Unilever, in which Unilever embraces a 67% shares. These strategies have contributed to increased growth of about 5 percent in 2016 that is above the average market performance making the company maintain its position as the third largest distributor of toiletries and cosmetics with a 7 percent market share. Also, Unilever strategy to introduce products into Latin America, North America, and Asia-Pacific has helped in increasing the contribution of the total revenue by an average of 20 percent (Weingardt, 2007). 3. Visualization and interpretation of the parent-subsidiary network
Unilever has subsidiaries in Europe, North America and other regions of the world. Some brands of the company such as Lux soap are sold even in Cambodia and Albania where the corporation does not have any industrial operations of its own. The company has a presence in 75 countries where business is done through one or more operating industries and 500 companies make up the overall Unilever group (Moreno, 2015).
Social network analysis is an ordinary complement to many management consultant offerings valuable perceptions both during the study and execution phase. There are several uses for social network analysis.
SNA can also be used to advance innovation; SNA can be used to determine the level of idea sharing between groups, to help you create an innovation team. This aspect of SNA has been adopted by Unlivier in the project “Socilyzer” which involves identifying and supporting persons in the network, as well as looking at which groups would be more effective if they could converse severally.
3.1 Betweenness Centrality The aspect of betweenness can be perceived in the context of evaluating the extent in which a node is linked to the other nodes, which in turn are linked to others in the network system. Therefore, company network evaluation perceives betweenness as a way in which the extent of a branch or the subsidiary of a company is evaluated on how it is linked to other subsidiaries or branches and the interlinking between these subsidiaries or branches. Fig. 2 shows the measurement of betweenness in Unilever network.
Fig. 1 Betweenness Centrality
In Unilever, betweenness of subsidiaries and associates vary with respect to the products offered by the said subsidiaries or associates. On the other hand, it must be remembered that all subsidiaries and associate companies show some similarities more so in management. This high level of betweenness is best explained in the context of similarity of products offered to consumers. * Organization | * Value | * Hindustan Unilever | * 85 | * Unilever UK & CN Holdings | * 41.5 | * Brook Bond Group | * 25 | * Limited Liability Company Unilever | * 25 | * Simple Health & Beauty Group | * 28 | * Table 1 – Betweenness Centrality Values * As we can observe from table 1, Hindustan Unilever has the greatest value of betweenness centrality. This means that the role of this company within the network is extremely important, as the company’s distribution cover 2 million retail outlets across India and its products are widely available over 6.4 million retail outlets over the country. Besides Hindustan Unilever, Unilever UK & CN Holdings has the second highest value ranked among the top 6, showing its relative importance among the network. Similarly, the other organizations have a common value of above 25, which is considered to be rather high as compare to the rest of the nodes in the network.
3.1 Density of Network
Density, as defined as the measurement of an extent to which nodes within a network are connected, on average, to on another. This value can be derived by using the actual number of ties in the network followed by converting it to a percentage of maximum possible number of ties. The density value will vary between 0 and 1. When the value is closer to 1, is means that the network is dense and the verse says otherwise (Isaf, 2016).

Fig. 2 – Density value
In the case of Unilever network, we can see that the network is very sparse since the value of the density is 0.004 or 0.4% in this case. The possible reason for a small value like this might due to the fact that many nodes are not connected to one another and the value reflected is in form of actual number of nodes expressed in form of maximum possible number of ties.

3.3 Degree Centrality
The degree of centrality measure is used in determining the number of links that operate in the player’s network. In a directed network, the degree of centrality will refer to two separate concepts, that is incoming node’s connections and outgoing nodes connections. This is achieved using multiple centrality measures (Iriani, 2013). Unilever has the lowest degree of centrality because of the many subsidiaries show almost equal number outer nodes. The numbers of nodes vary from one relationship to another. In this case, the index ranges from 1 relationship to several relationships. The nodes are centralized in one network. Therefore, Unilever has some form centralization but differs from substantially from one player to another.

Fig 3. Degree Centrality 4. Analysis of the organization’s Network
4.1 Locational aspects
"A transnational company" is the description of Unilever. The company carries out diverse operations around the globe. Thus, the multinational attribute attached to Unilever is due to the conscious effort by both managers and other staff. During the early years of its inception, Unilever produced soap, processed foods and many other commodities in a couple of countries. The actual practice of locational networking has been useful in making Unilever earn their portion in the marketplace.
The organizational structure adopted by Unilever in the various countries was through trial and error. However, consistency regarding management was evident. Local production and export have enabled Unilever to achieve expansion. Deployment of local managers to the decentralized stores in various regions saw the need for locational networking to maintain a common culture that referred to as "Unileverization".

4.2 Activity aspects
In the modern world, social media is a sure bet when ramping up activity in an organization. Unilever has used the social media platform to support increased search for talent. The recruitment process has also been successfully carried out through social media. Therefore, Unilever has used Activity networking to reduce the cost of hiring. LinkedIn is vastly known for the recruitment and the search for professionals and thus through its in-house business feature, companies like Unilever have benefited when recruiting. The rapid pace of change in technology has seen Unilever invest in social media as the benefits derived far much more than the benefits derived from TV commercials.
4.3 Size aspects
For many years now, networks have formed a core part of business and more so when determining the size of the firm in the industry. Unilever has used networking to determine its capital needs. The shareholders form a network that provides money to the company. Also, the evolution of platforms like retail platform has influenced the size of individual transactions like goods delivery.
The cost-efficiency attached to online retail has seen Unilever increase customer satisfaction. Networking within the organization does not necessarily mean there will be increased revenues but rather letting customers know the firm has their interests at hand. Thus, the realization of the growth of the organization regarding size. 5. Implications for the innovation strategy of Unilever
Through the innovation strategy adopted by Unilever, an increase in sustainability is achieved. The primary impact that the innovation strategy will have on Unilever is meeting the consumer's demand. Also, the environment and the society will be affected positively.
Sustainable Growth
The scope of all Unilever innovations gives an insight into the needs of the consumers. Thus, their primary goal is to develop products that have a purpose attached to them and. Therefore, customers will keep coming for them. The outcomes of these projects will pave the way for a move into new markets, a better way to respond to competitors and thus improving sustainability.
The goods prepared through innovation, either by Unilever, or through its great partnerships that include scientists, specialist businesses, academic institutions, and suppliers play a vital role in Unilever's ambition to better the world. Some of the challenges facing the society include improving health, improving nutrition, and lowering environmental impact, and Unilever will achieve this through such projects.
5.1 Meeting consumer needs
The design team at Unilever in charge of product design are taking the breakthroughs in science to another level by using these insights to develop products that best suit the needs of the consumer. In coming up with stable products regarding storage which includes suitable packaging, least environmental impact, and most of all impress the customer, a perfect formulation is realized.
5.2 Introduction of new products
The research and development team at Unilever gather local knowledge regarding consumer preference, competitor products, and the legal framework when preparing for a product launch. The teamwork by colleagues from the supply chain department and the marketing department ensure the production process of the new product is efficient and meets the consumer demands.
5.3 Sustainable Innovation
The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan gives a blueprint of how the company will realize a doubling effect in the revenue while keeping the consumer interests at hand. Since consumers need products that get more out of their lives, Unilever, through research and development and search for talent has injected a lot of funds to generate sustainable innovation. The launch of open innovation portals by the company will attract foreign ideas that focus on fighting viruses, preserving food, reliable renewable energy among other ideas. Solutions to these issues cannot be achieved internally but by engaging other minds. The transparency of the organization is also evident in the process. Unlike many Multinationals, Unilever has sought help from external experts to create sustainability. Thus, sustainable innovation will be an implication of the innovation strategy of Unilever.
Unilever cannot rely on the global economy to boost its sales but rather through innovations that cost the company a huge investment outlay. The overall earnings per share of Unilever have in the past been much better than the predicted earnings per share. Sales have also shown growth, but the turnover has not been consistent with some drops and jumps. Innovation contributes significantly to these positive impacts. 6. Conclusion
Unilever is one of the best companies in developing worldwide products through the collaboration with the headquarters management with the regional and other subsidiary managers. The headquarter directors offer advice to other managers on issues such as finances, and the company has managed to achieve uniformity in culture of all the products that it sells globally. However, to maintain global competition, enterprise-wide systems, and other innovation can be employed in the network of the firm to increase efficiency and the profitability of the firm (Jones, 2005)
References
Coulon, F. (2005), ‘The use of Social Network Analysis in Innovation Research: A literature review’, Division of Innovation. Accessed: 19 March 2015, from http://www.druid.dk/conferences/winter2005/papers/dw2005-305.pdf
Isaf, J. (2016). How to Use the “Network Density” Formula to Measure the Health of a Community « The Community Manager. Thecommunitymanager.com. Retrieved 27 March (2016), from http://thecommunitymanager.com/2012/10/25/how-to-use-the-network-density-formula-to-measure-the-health-of-a-community/
Jones, G., (2005). Renewing Unilever: Transformation and Tradition. 1st ed. London: Oxford University Press.
MacDonald, R., (2013). Unilever. A Strategic Analysis. 1st Ed. New York: GRIN Verlag.
Moreno, L., (2015). Unilever 40 Success Secrets - 40 Most Asked Questions On Unilever - What You Need To Know. 1st ed. Brisbane: Emereo Publishing.
Sternberg, R, Yokura, Y & Matsubara, H (2013), ‘R&D Networks and Regional Innovation: a social network analysis of joint research projects in Japan’, Royal Geographical Society, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 493-503
Unilever, (2016). Unilever global company website | Unilever Global. [Online] Available at: https://www.unilever.com/ [Accessed 19 Feb. 2016].
Wolf, S. M., (2011). Unilever Case Study. 1st Ed. New York: GRIN Verlag.
Weingardt, C. (2007). Organization Structure and Communication in the Unilever Company. International Studies of Management & Organization, 1(4), pp.377-393.

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...STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT GROUP PROJECT UNILEVER MALAYSIA PREPARED FOR : PREPARED BY : GUNAVATHY A/P NADARAJAN 808473 AHMAD FAISAL BIN ABDULLAH 808465 NORZILA BT MOHD HAIDZIR 805494 JAYAUDIN BIN JAMAUDIN 808481 SUBMISSION DATE : Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Company Background 3. Industry Background 4. SWOT Analysis 5. TOWS Matrix 6. Strategies and Recommendation * INTRODUCTION The Unilever brand, establish in customer goods in millions of homes across 150 countries, is a trusted brand in nutrition, hygiene and personal care. During its record, Unilever has been adding verve to the lives of customers, creating products that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. In Malaysia, the Unilever story began in 1947 with the opening of the first Lever Brothers soap and margarine manufacturing plant in Bangsar. Costing RM 12 million, it was reputed to be the largest factory in the country, with machines that could wrap 124 bars of soap a minute.Manufacturing capabilities expanded as the portfolio of products grew, making Lever Brothers a significant employer of the time. With a presence in Malaysia spanning over 60 years, Lever Brothers, who adopted the global Unilever name in 1994, has played a unique role in bearing witness to the country’s economic, social and political development.  Unilever Malaysia is a private limited company that is 70% owned by Unilever PLC (UK), 23% by Pemodalan Nasional......

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