Semler has a unique strategy, that of empowerment. The importance of ethical values in relationship with workers is a critical part of this success story. He sincerely believed that each of his employees had the biggest stake in his business and they needed assurance of the safety of their jobs. He used this leverage to ensure their loyalty. This move secured the future of both the employees as well as the company.
Maslow (1954) argued that workers achieve their best only when they are recognised for their accomplishments by peers as well as their superiors. Pay does matter but self actualisation is the ultimate motivation. This was the value that Semmler understood well and made the basis of the change he brought about. He used empowerment as the tool for motivating the employees and made them share the responsibility of managing the company by delegating power to them.
Empowerment is a tool that is to be employed with the concept of participation with responsibility for consequences. It was introduced and implemented throughout the organisation in a phased manner. Hierarchy was broken down as this is a great barrier towards emancipation and self actualisation. A change plan was crafted to bring every worker into the management loop recognising his ability to contribute towards improvement in operations and the bottom line.
It is essential to change according to the environment and evolve strategies to survive intense competition. Porter (1980) had suggested that competitive advantage is what keeps a firm; alive and later argued that when a firm becomes different by offering value, quality and some attributes through which it offers some uniqueness then it will become an above average performer in its industry (Porter 1985). But to arrive at this stage the firm must make difficult choices. Porter (1996) then redefined strategy to be a combination of differently performed