The critical evaluation of Steve Millers approach to the challenging of leading BRL Hardy “to become one of the worlds first truly global wine companies” Introduction The two major wine companies in Australia in the late 80's of Thomas Hardy & Sons and BRL, both felt the need to merged in order to achieve economies of scale, increase production capacity, merged distribution channels, exploit best managerial potential and attempt to expand globally among many other reasons. The Merger was realised in June 1992 and by September in the same year BRLH became publicly listed.
Steve Millar, a former Managing director at BRL, the appointed the chief Executive Officer of BRLH, stated out important issues that are paramount to the company's growth, he mentioned the poor financial state of both companies inherited by the merger, the poor management and need for expansion. He adopted a decentralized managerial approach in an attempt to change managerial style and company culture, which is an organisational structure that reside authority to manager in lower levels in the hierarchy and also to top hierarchy managers (Hills and Jones, 2009). Decentralization involves the delegation of authority to an organisation branch, employees at lower levels in a way that management decision can be made without approval from the top level of the organisation. While the Centralized approach resides authority in managers at the top echelon managers to make urgent and vital decision (Hills and Jones, 2009). This decision approach adopted by the C.E.O is to help each division of BRLH focuses more on their local jurisdiction, to motive and make lower managers more responsible in taking vital decisions. Although Millar was a strong advocate of decentralization which he adopted, the overall management decisions making in BRLH was more of a Centralized approach, because all important decisions taking by BRLH branches globally required approval from the centre which was the top management level, there was no free decision making authority in lower managers which wasted time and resources as there was always a need to seek go ahead from the top.
I suggest and recommend that it would have been easier for lower managers at subsidiaries and even at Reynella if they were given strong authority to make constructive decision. For example: Stephen Carson realised the company's core competences having critically analysed situation, was a supporter of retaining and promoting Australian brands dominated by quality former Hardy products in the UK, but such major decision was not made by lower managers initiative, though authority delegation was encouraged but major decisions like this rest in top echelon management, except a manager prove themselves through a significant achievement that is paramount to the company's growth. This made implementation difficult and time wasting, led to rivalry among managers in the company, created favouritism thinking among managers, The top echelon management should have allowed Carson based on is credential to make important decision that will aid the growth of the Company rather than reporting to Davies who later reports to Millar, this process makes communication difficult and decision make slow. Millar also adopted the Uppsala model in developing is management and production strategy evident by is domestic turn around and launching international stages of his strategy, by doing this he gave room for expansion globally but focussed mainly on domestic growth, he also aimed at increasing the popularity of their brand in foreign market. Uppsala Model is a study by Johanson and Weidersheim- Paul in 1975 about four Swedish companies expanded globally (Johnson and Turner, 2010). This has developed into framework overtime and explains how firms establish themselves in their domestic market and then start to move overseas. Uppsala model explains four