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Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream, Inc.: Keeping The Mission Alive

3807 words - 16 pages

Ben & Jerry's Case AnalysisGive the history of the company in the case. In this history you should discuss how the company came into the situation presented in the case.In 1977, two friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, decided they were tired of working for someone else and wanted to start their own business. They took a five dollar correspondence course on ice-cream making, rented an abandoned gas in Burlington, Vermont, and started their business with an investment of $12,000 dollars. They began making home-made ice-cream in a four-gallon mixer, and used higher fat, all natural and pure ingredients to produce a richer and smoother product. Soon, the business became successful in ...view middle of the document...

Ben established The Ben & Jerry's Foundation in 1985 that was operated by employees. The Foundation donated grants to charitable organizations. The company contributed 7.5 percent of pre-tax profits to the Foundation in an effort to balance profits with community enrichment. Ben believed in "caring capitalism" and wanted to keep a concept of linked prosperity for the company ("Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream: Keeping the Mission Alive,").The company's growth continued to expand, and Ben became less interested in the aspects of running the business. Fred "Chico" Lager was hired in 1982 as general manager, and by 1986 Chico was doing all the management of the company. Ben began to notice that the original social mission of the company was beginning to be lost due to the growth. Chico established a mission statement and helped to create a better understanding of the mission throughout the company. When Chico began to wear from the stress of running the business, he decided to leave for a six-month trip. Chuck Lacy then took over management of the company ("Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream: Keeping the Mission Alive,").The company's salary policy was on a 5-to-1 ratio, meaning that the top level pay can only be five times the lowest level pay. This policy began to become a problem in recruitment and retention of quality level management. As the company expanded, many of the management and staff believed this policy to be a hindrance in continued growth and hurt the company in competition ("Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream: Keeping the Mission Alive,")."Ben & Jerry's is dedicated to the creation and demonstration of a new corporate concept of linked prosperity. Our mission consists of three interrelated parts.Product MissionTo make, distribute and sell the finest-quality all-natural ice cream and related products in a wide variety of innovative flavors made from Vermont dairy products.Social MissionTo operate the company in a way that actively recognizes the central role that business plays in the structure of society by initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life of a broad community: local, national and international.Economic MissionTo operate the company on a sound financial basis of profitable growth, increasing value for our shareholders and creating career opportunities and financial rewards for our employees.Underlying the mission of Ben & Jerry's is the determination to seek new and creative ways of addressing all three parts, while holding a deep respect for individuals, inside and outside the company, and for the communities of which they are a part ("Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream: Keeping the Mission Alive,")."Provide a short discussion of the key management of the company. In this section you should talk about any beliefs or values or philosophies of these individuals, which are important in understanding how the company operates or why the company is facing a decision or a problem in the case. Also...

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