Herman Miller Inc.

Herman Miller Inc.

prepare ONE case analysis from a group of cases that will be discussed in class during the semester. Each case will have a list of several assigned questions specific to the case for students to answer. These assigned case questions are posted on Blackboard under “Assignments.” The individual case analysis must be submitted at the start of class on the day the case is discussed. Case analyses will not be accepted late.
This is an individual assignment so you may not discuss it with anyone else nor may you use content prepared by others. No outside data (beyond the information provided in the case) should be used in preparation of the case assignment. It must be submitted through SafeAssign.
This is not a research paper. Therefore, students do not need to follow MLA/APA Style formats nor cite paragraphs from the textbook. However, students MUST follow a business style format included below for their case analysis submission. Not following these guidelines will reduce your final score by one letter grade.
Individual Case Analysis FORMAT Guidelines:
– Cover page with the case name and date.  Number all your pages.
– Length of 7-8 pages, double-spaced, justify, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, 0.75’’-inch margins all around.
– Write your name on a separate page at the end of your analysis. This allows me to grade your assignment with objectivity.
– Include the number of the case question being answered, but DO NOT type the case questions in the body of your paper. Do this instead: (1), (2), (3)
– May contain no more than 5 exhibits or tables regarding your analysis, but the main findings from those appendices must be included in the body of your paper. Exhibits and appendices do not count towards the page length of your paper. Needless to say that the cover page & final page with your name does not count either!
– You must submit your case through SafeAssign the same day you turn in the printed copy of your case to your instructor.

All too often, students are given a project with a step-by-step process from start to finish.  “Do these steps exactly as I say and you’ll get full credit.”  While there’s nothing wrong with that, students rarely get an opportunity to think outside of the box.  There is also the added disadvantage of never being able to do further study on a particular aspect that happens to interest you.

This project is intended to let you investigate any topic that is relevant to buildings, and then use your own talents to convey to the rest of us what you’ve learned.  Are you a good writer?  Then write a paper.  Are you an artist?  Draw some sketches or build a model.  Like photography or video?  Go take some pictures or movies.  Do you talk a lot? (I know some of you do…)  Do a presentation or go interview some industry professionals.  You get the idea.

Working alone or in teams of two, create a proposal for your project and submit to me for approval.  Most likely, I’ll let you run with it but if it’s not relevant or challenging enough I may ask you to change some things.  The proposal (this sheet) is due by the date above, with a final due date and schedule to follow.

1.    Some of you took this class because it’s required, and some chose it for an elective.  Either way, you’re studying this subject because you have some kind of interest in it.  What interests you most about buildings?  What are you curious to learn more about?  The answer to this question will be the topic you choose for your project.

I mostly interested in how these buildings are designed, the design date of these buildings, and how these designs reflect a specific culture. I also impressed by the modern and mysterious building. I would like the lighted that are put in in a creative way. I admired the highest buildings that are raised to sky. The ceilings that are designed in different mathematical shapes are very interesting.

2.    Everyone has their own individual way of learning.  Some people learn best by reading, some by taking notes, and others through hands-on activities.  In what way do you learn best?  The answer to this question will be the method or media you use to convey what you learned about your topic.

I learned through readings, using hands on activities, making research, and watching documentaries.
3.    How will you know if you did well on the assignment?  What are your goals?  Create a rubric for me to use to grade your project.  Below is a template to help you get started, but feel free to change it as much as you want.  Use the rest of the page to create your own.  NOTE:  Total must add up to 100.

CRITERIA                           RANGE OF POINTS POSSIBLE

Criteria #1: The topic is appropriate and relevant    20     18     15     12     10     8     5     3     0
Criteria #2: The examples and personal experiences are included
Criteria #3: The methods that are used to reflect the knowledge of the topic
Criteria #4: The topic is written in a clear and organize way
Criteria #5: the purpose of the assignment is achieved

The topic would be presented in a research paper.

If you are struggling with creating a rubric, just Google “how to create a grading rubric” and you’ll find a ton of information.  The rubric

Just a few sample ideas to help you brainstorm:
1.    Volunteer on a Habitat or other non-profit type of construction project, like a church or community organization and do a presentation on what you learned
2.    Do a case study on a local or iconic building and relate it to the information in the text
3.    Build a physical mock-up of a particular building system, like a foundation or a wall, or do one in a software program like Sketchup
4.    Do a poster session
5.    Write a research paper
6.    Make a how-to video or your own version of a This Old House episode or DIY show
7.    Create a game for students to play in class
8.    Do an interview with an architect, engineer, or contractor and create a video
9.    Do a presentation on anything that interests you
10.    Anything else…you are limited only by your imagination!


1. Describe Herman Miller’s strategy. Is there evidence it has produced a competitive advantage and good financial performance? Explain.
2. How have the company’s values shaped its strategy and approach to strategy execution? Provide illustrations of how these values are    reflected in company policies.
3. How     you describe HMI’s financial situation? How does its performance     compare to prior years? The competition?
4. Until 2003, HMI offered lifelong employment. How did    this practice affect the    company’s ability    to staff the organization with managers and employees capable of executing the strategy? How did this practice build the organizational capabilities required for successful strategy execution?
5. Do non-monetary incentives facilitate strategy execution at HMI? Explain.
6. Describe the culture at HMI. Would you characterize HMI’s culture as healthy and largely supportive of good strategy execution? Explain.
7. What recommendation would you make to Herman Miller’s CEO Brian Walker to improve the company’s current financial performance? Does    the company need to radically alter its strategy because of poor economic conditions? Should it improve its approach to implementing the strategy to reduce costs and improve efficiency?    Explain.