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Xerox: Leadership and Organizational Behavior in Action

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Xerox: Leadership and Organizational Behavior in Action

Project Proposal

July 17, 2011

Tiffany Q. Mitchell

Keller Graduate School of Management

Introduction:

The Xerox story goes back to 1938, when Chester Carlson, a patent attorney and part-time inventor, made the first xerographic image in the US. Carlson struggled for over five years to sell the invention, as many companies did not believe there was a market for it. In 1959 the Xerox brand became an instant success with the introduction of the first photocopier. Today, Xerox is the top distributor of cut sheet paper, black and white printers, copiers, digital and printing presses and consulting services and supplies. Xerox employees more than 50,000 personnel in many countries and maintains its highly technological savvy business sense by employing in its Xerox Palo Alto Research.

Problem Statement:

In an effort to reduce costs, restructuring and downsizing have affected almost every organization in many different areas. However, recent research suggests that there are costs for these organizations in terms of their impaired ability to perform long term. Many companies have shown poor leadership when trying to capitalize on technological breakthroughs for example Xerox (Hampel and Martinsons, 2009). Throughout this research, I will identify problems faced by leading document management company, Xerox, as a result of a change in the leadership and work culture. This case explores in detail the problems that arose during the tenures of Paul Allaire as well as Rick Thoman. This case also mentions briefly the steps taken by the once dominating company to bring back the company to its former glory and restore employee confidence.

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