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(Revised from original 2007 version)
Unilever as a "multi-local multinational" 1945-1979
Explores the opportunities and threats to Unilever's global business in 1978 based on the commercial and political challenges faced by three of its subsidiaries, Lever Brothers in the United States, Hindustan Lever in India, and United Africa Company in West Africa. Management faced several problems: criticism of multinational companies, anti-trust legislation, expropriations, and rising competition from international and local rivals. Focuses on developing a new global strategy for a company that placed a premium on a consensual management style and local autonomy.
Keywords: Business Divisions;
Multinational Firms and Management;
Jones, Geoffrey G., and Stephanie D. Decker. Unilever as a "multi-local multinational" 1945-1979. Harvard Business School Case 808-025, September 2010. (Revised from original August 2007 version.)