Clarke Building and Supplies Limited: Navigating Culture, Control, and Change
Clarke Building and Supplies Limited was a multi-generational family-owned building supply and contracting company headquartered in the western region of the island of Newfoundland, Canada. After the death of the company's founder and chief executive officer, it fell to the founder's son to take the helm of the company. With his engineering background, this son noticed inefficiencies and lax controls within the company. He was especially worried about the possibility of a more tightly run national store entering the market and outcompeting his family's business. Complicating any decision to tighten operations was the community culture of the business, which included many long-time employees, friends, and family members. He could see that there were issues in the company, but he lacked the business acumen and distance to separate symptoms from causes and develop a plan to keep the company healthy and strong for generations to come. He knew he needed to achieve buy-in from the managers so he could implement any solutions he devised. Ryan Stack is affiliated with Queen's University. Bertrand Malsch is affiliated with Queen's University.