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Jack Welch’s Leadership at General Electric Company Case Study

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Updated: Jun 30th, 2020

Case Summary

The targeted case study examines the achievements and leadership strategies used by Jack Welch of General Electric. Jack’s leadership style resulted in new business models, organizational cultures, leadership practices, and initiatives. Such practices eventually made GE successful. The case study indicates that Jack Welch had implemented the best strategic initiatives to make the firm profitable. He also introduced new models such as the Six Sigma Quality Initiative (SSQI) to deliver quality products to every stakeholder. Jack Welch’s successor will have to work hard to retain GE’s performance. The decision to introduce Jack’s fourth strategic initiative is a major challenge affecting the company. The e-business initiative requires a complete change that can support or destroy the company. However, the company has real business capabilities that can make it successful. The implementation of an e-business model will not be something easy for Jack’s successor. Welch’s successor might be unable to support GE’s business performance. Many stakeholders are worried, “if Welch’s successor could generate the 23 percent per annum total shareholder return” (Bartlett & Wozny, 2005, p. 1).

Major Issues Affecting General Electric

Several issues are notable in this case. To begin with, Jack introduced his famous “Work-Out and Best Practices” strategy to make the company successful. Welch’s transformational leadership style encouraged more employees to interact with one another. He restructured the company by doing away with bureaucracy. He introduced “a new cultural change, thus giving every employee a voice” (Bartlett & Wozny, 2005, p. 4). The company was able to address the issues affecting its employees. He also introduced a new training program to empower every employee.

The above approach eventually made GE successful. However, Jack retired without achieving most of his goals. Jack Welch wanted GE to implement a new e-business model. This business model required a new organizational change. New workplace culture is also required to support the use of modern technologies (Sosik & Jung, 2010). Welch’s successor should be aware of the issues facing the company’s future. The managers at the company are also unaware of the best strategies that can support General Electric’s business model.

Alternative Courses of Action

The managers at General Electric can use different strategies to support the company’s trajectory. The company’s managers should borrow a lot from Jack Welch’s leadership model. This model has the potential to support the best organizational culture. The newly-created culture will also ensure every employee uses modern technologies. The company will be able to deliver quality products to its customers. A new organizational culture can also address existing challenges (Bartlett & Wozny, 2005).

Jack Welch used a peoplefocused culture in an attempt to gain a strategic advantage. For instance, he encouraged “every manager to make appropriate decisions without affecting the performance of different individuals” (Bartlett & Wozny, 2005, p. 8). A new culture emerged, thus making every employee comfortable with the working environment (Bartlett & Wozny, 2005). This approach made it easier for Welch to introduce the best business models. Such practices would eventually make GE successful. Welch’s new culture gave GE a strategic advantage. This development made it easier for GE to become profitable. This argument explains why his successor should use similar strategies. The CEO should encourage every employee to use new technologies.

A new managerial approach can also make GE successful. For instance, Welch’s successor can embrace modern leadership models. The continued use of social media networks and other platforms can support the needs of different stakeholders (Simons, 2011). This approach can make GE a leading competitor in its industry. Managers should tackle every challenge professionally. The strategy will ensure the newly-implemented e-business model supports GE’s future goals.


General Electric should use different strategies to address the above issues. Every manager should borrow a lot from James’ achievements and initiatives. Jack Welch retired after making GE a successful multinational firm. He used the best leadership strategies to mentor, empower, and support different employees (Sosik & Jung, 2010). Jack Welch also collaborated with different stakeholders to implement new changes. He liaised with different friends and business partners to introduce new business models. Jack’s leadership style can encourage more employees to produce innovative products and services.

Welch believed that his company possessed the right tools and infrastructure. Welch was optimistic that GE would emerge successful in the future. The agreeable fact is that Welch’s achievements made GE profitable. This fact explains why his successors must work hard to support the company’s reputation (Simons, 2011). That being the case, effective training efforts can produce competent leaders. Such leaders will support the company’s future goals.


In conclusion, this case study encourages Jack’s successor to replicate the best practices and ambitions. Every new change or strategy requires constant commitment and dedication (Sosik & Jung, 2010). Jack’s successor should, therefore, use the above ideas to introduce the best e-business model. The above recommendations will eventually make General Electric successful.

Reference List

Bartlett, C., & Wozny, M. (2005). GEs Two-Decade Transformation: Jack Welch’s Leadership. Harvard Business School, 1(1), 1-25.

Simons, R. (2011). Human Resource Management: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities. New York, NY: CRC Press.

Sosik, J., & Jung, D. (2010). Full Range Leadership Development: Pathways for People, Profit, and Planet. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.

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