Unilever South Africa: Contextual Leadership of Culture for Inclusive Growth
On December 5, 2017, Tony Mun-Gavin, the business unit head for Personal Care at Unilever South Africa, was leading an immersion experience for new team members in the Soweto township of Johannesburg. The immersion was part of an effort to continuously embed a culture of inclusive growth with new employees, and it aligned with the corporate social responsibility commitment of the parent company, Unilever Pty. Ltd. Mun-Gavin faced a conflict in marketing the company's personal care brand, Lux, which had always been associated with glamorous female celebrities but that was no longer in line with the company's commitments to sustainability, inclusive growth, and women's empowerment. His team had to work to re-position the brand to celebrate the diverse roles of women in the 21st century. Would the re-positioning work, and would it be consistent with the company's goals of embedding a culture of inclusive growth and ensuring sustainability across the organization? Caren Scheepers and Natalie Van der Veen are affiliated with University of Pretoria.