Spreading the culture @ Torfs

This case is available at The Case Centre with reference no. 414-076-1.

The case describes the evolution of a Belgian, family owned retail company named Torfs. The first part of the case takes place in the year 1949, a year in which Torfs was only a small town shoe store. It describes a day out of the life of the first employee of Torfs, Suzanne. With this story the authors want to emphasise the close family culture within the store and the effect this has on motivation, work attitude and the all important customer service.

The second part of the case gives a summarised evolution from the year 1955 until the present. In this evolution, three phases can be distinguished: the early expansion led by the original founders, the entry of the second generation and the transfer to the third generation. In this third phase, emphasis is put on two major changes in strategy and their effect on business results. Those effects are the source of the broad problem definition of this case: How can you achieve the family and customer oriented culture, described in the first part, throughout a growing decentralised organisation? This problem definition is specified by means of more detailed case-assignments that lead to topics like culture, recruitment & selection, growth, employer branding, retention, training & development, and leadership. The case is complemented by a visual support that represents the evolution of the company, this by means of several evolving indicators.

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