Adnams – A Living Company’s Leadership


In most cases, effectiveness of leadership determines the extent to which a company can perform in the target market and utilize its resources to maximize its profits. Different situations require specific leadership styles that allow addressing specific corporate issues and organizational concerns. In case of Adnams, a company where the importance of the organizational spirit is equated to the corporate performance, the approach to leadership is unique and grounded in the pursuit of excellence as the main driving force behind the employees’ performance (Holten & Brenner, 2015). The described philosophy of leadership allows the organization to gain competitiveness in the context of very stiff and tight competition, which implies that the unique philosophy of the organization is worth appreciation and praise.

Assess the Effectiveness of Company’s Leadership

When considering the advantages of the leadership framework used by Adnams, one should mention that it recognizes the company’s flaws and acknowledges the necessity to address them, but at the same time allows utilizing the organization’s assets to their maximum capacity (Verity & James, 2013). The specified approach toward leading an organization can be deemed as a combination of the transformational and situational approaches since the leader evidently strives to boost the levels of employee engagement, at the same time remaining flexible in the environment of a highly competitive market. For instance, Andy Wood, the company’s CEO, defines his leadership style in the following way: “He does not believe in ‘white charger leadership’: ‘Instead, I want to celebrate others and push them to the front’” (Verity & James, 2013, p. 1). The proposed strategy can be deemed as very efficient since it gives its leader the full control over the organizational processes, simultaneously encouraging employees to develop autonomy and engage in corporate decision-making, thus acquiring the sense of organizational ethics.

Moreover, the approach used by Adnams and its leaders to lead the team of its employees can be characterized as highly invested in the process of innovation. According to the case details, the firm has been in pursuit of innovative solutions since the day of its conception, which suggests that its organizational philosophy and leadership approach are built on the concept of incremental innovation as well (Verity & James, 2013). Thus, the firm can inspire its staff members to evolve, thus increasing their motivation to perform better.

Basis of Company’s Competitive Advantage and the Potential Challenges to Its Strategy

Entering the beer market and retaining its position of the top beer manufacturer within it has never been easy for Adnams due to the high competition in the industry and the high availability of the raw materials for the production of the drink. Therefore, creating an additional advantage that could elevate the firm above the rest of the competitors and turn it into a household name was required. To the credit of Adnams’ leaders, the approach toward increasing competitiveness turned out to be extraordinarily successful. A combination of innovations and internal connections, as well as increasing inclusivity, has made Adnams particularly influential in the target field, allowing the company to build a valid competitive advantage.

However, the competitive advantage that Adnams boasts in the beverage market is also quite complex, consisting not only of the introduction of regular innovations into the company’s production process but also building a well-developed system of relationships with its key stakeholders.

Arguably, several elements could be added to the current approach toward increasing the competitive advantage of the company. Specifically, one might have to consider the incorporation of product diversification into the list of the approaches toward propelling Adnams to the top of the global market. For instance, the use of new beer flavors and production technologies could allow rebranding the company’s production line and revitalize its appeal to both its current customers and potential ones. However, the proposed idea will require redistributing the corporate resources to boost the performance of the R&D department and change the current supply chain management (SCM) framework, including the introduction of new partners, namely, suppliers (Capello, Caragliu, & Fratesi, 2017). Therefore, the expenses that Adnams is likely to sustain in the specified scenario will be quite substantial. As is, the firm has been doing comparatively well, yet the existing approach driven by innovation needs to be integrated into every facet of Adnams’ operations.

What Growth Strategies Might Company Pursue?

As stressed above, the company has been showing excellent performance results, yet it could use additional tools for increasing its competitiveness and overall appeal to its customers. The current innovation-driven approach could be used to focus on the performative aspects of the company to increase its assets, such as the tasks associated with product promotion, innovation, and rebranding. The described change in the direction of the organization’s development may allow the firm to gain the attention of new customers and potential investors.

In addition, Adnams will require rapid expansion into the global economy in order to gain more traction in the target industry and attain a greater number of clients. The specified process will require considering opportunities for restructuring its HRM approaches, including the options for outsourcing and experience sharing. Moreover, Adnams may need to consider redesigning its risk management approach so that it could meet the challenges of the rapid corporate growth and the expansion into the global beer industry (Cha, Yi, & Bagozzi, 2016). For instance, business risks linked to the integration of the company into a new market will have to be considered closely. For this purpose, Adnams will also need to invest in market research to locate the demands of its new audiences and cater to them respectively.

Moreover, product and customer diversification will need to be incorporated into Adnams’ set of strategies for corporate growth. In order to embrace a larger range of potential buyers, the firm will need to update its approaches toward information management and ensure that collaboration remains an essential part of the organizational culture. Moreover, the focus on cross-disciplinary problem management should be seen as the key toward successful decision-making. Finally, the set of corporate values has to be updated to ensure that the needs of every stakeholder and especially those of customers and employees are met.

Finally, the current framework for managing organizational and production-related issues requires change. The recovery of the innovation-driven approach has to be acknowledged as a necessity for Adnams since its leaders point out the lack of ideas as its primary concern:

We need a framework – we need to steer … but at the same time we need our people to bring their own intelligence to the business and for us to reinforce the great behaviors that they already display in their work. (Verity & James, 2013, p. 611)


Therefore, the incorporation of a vision that will guide the organization to new opportunities for growth will be needed. By establishing the corporate philosophy that will encourage its employees to set the bar for quality higher with every new achievement, Adnams will gain a tremendous competitive advantage. Therefore, the organization will have to pursue innovation not only in its manufacturing but also product and customer diversification, as well as management, leadership, and communication.


Capello, R., Caragliu, A., & Fratesi, U. (2017). Modeling regional growth between competitiveness and austerity measures: The MASST3 model. International Regional Science Review, 40(1), 38-74. doi:10.1177%2F0160017614543850

Cha, M. K., Yi, Y., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2016). Effects of customer participation in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs on the CSR-brand fit and brand loyalty. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 57(3), 235-249. doi:10.1177/1938965515620679

Holten, A. L., & Brenner, S. O. (2015). Leadership style and the process of organizational change. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 36(1), 2-16. doi:10.1108/LODJ-11-2012-0155

Verity, J., & James, K. T. (2013). Case study. Adnams – A living company. New York, NY: Pearson.

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