Business Administration & Management

Innovation and Change Management as Organizational Competitive Strategy

Innovation and Change Management as Organizational Competitive Strategy

(A Study of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc)




Companies, like any living organism, must become a learning organization that changes and adapts to suit their changing business environment. In today’s dynamic business environment, many organizations are increasingly realizing that globalization is making the world smaller and more competitive. A change in one aspect impacts another immediately.

However, when you do not practice change management that looks after the future, the future will not look after you. The tendency for successful companies to fail to innovate is just that: a tendency when too much interest is been put on current business, it’s hard to look ahead. Within the past few decades, business organizations have operated in such a complex and dynamic political, economic, technological, and social environment, that for any business organization to remain in existence, it must watch out for these environmental factors.

Thorpe (1999:217) stated that the economic situation today is one of increasing uncertainty and ambiguity. We are living in a world where many of the original ground rules no longer apply. Foreign competition has grown and technological change was destined to change our social fabric in ways that would require a quite different response from that which has gone before.

Change projects fail more often from a lack of effective change management. Teams that ignore change management cite this as one of the “most important lessons learned” during their project. Teams that use management techniques have reduced turnover and the lobs of valued employees.

The truth has been established that management change can be as certain as possible that the environment in which their organization operates and the company itself will go through many changes over time. If managers had control over these factors, one would argue that they keep the same and operate a business, but in the case is not so, companies usually operate in an environment over which they had little control. “Technology is continuously changing, competitors are trying new things and customers change their preferences and demand different products” (Robbins 2002:577). Employees change attitudes towards work that are not fixed because of things that happen in people’s lives outside the workplace.

All managers, regardless of country or sector, are facing unprecedented demands and challenges. All managers need the skill to cope with dramatic and unpredictable change, and all managers must be able to maintain the highest standards of performance corporate and individual while their employees cling to an increasingly frenetic organizational Roller Coaster (Mabuabuchi, 1999:11).

The issue now boils down to the fact that management changes must either do something about their business organization or become obsolete. The problem now is one of innovating or dying. To survive, changes must be effectively absorbed and innovation must become the watchword.


The investigation here covers Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, Benin City which has experienced a near-total collapse as a result of a negligent attitude to the forces of environmental changes. Globalization, the emergence of communication and information technology, and changes in technological, social, and cultural demands are some of the forces that are affecting the environment outside and impacting the organization within.

Despite all these efforts, managers have failed to realize that if these changes are not properly managed, there is potential for high turnover. They are faced with a much more turbulent and technological world in the external environment.

It is therefore pertinent for managers of Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, Benin City to know that it is suicidal for organizations to remain static. They have to forego keeping an internal orientation and attempt to change dynamically as the environment changes. The environment is now busy, clogged, and dense with opportunities, and threats, it is uncertain and dynamic.


Based on the problem that propelled the researcher to write on the topic, it is the broad objective of this study to determine the appropriate way in which management change and innovation, as a business survival strategy should be carried out in Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, Benin City, as this would provide a scheme for proper incentives, motivation and more importantly, showcase the employees who are due for promotion. In achieving these, the following sub-objectives serve as channels:

1. To assess the management change and innovation in Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, Benin City, and discover the forces of the dynamism and complexity of the contemporary business organization.

2. To examine the importance of innovation and a highly technical and creative business mind in coping and contending with the forces that pose a threat to organizational survival.

3. To ascertain their strategy by reducing the use of change management techniques thereby reducing turnover and the loss of valued employees.


For the sake of the authenticity of this study and the validity and reliability of the findings and conclusions thereof, some basic hypothesis are put forth to be tested.

Hypothesis One

Ho: Change and innovation do not enhance organizational competitiveness.

Hi: Change and innovation enhance organizational competitiveness.

Hypothesis Two

Ho: Innovation and creativity do not enhance organizational growth.

Hi: Innovation and creativity enhance organizational growth.


This research is strictly carried out on management changes and innovation, therefore concentrating on complex and dynamic political, economic, technological, communication, information, and social environment, that for any business to survive, it must watch out for these environmental factors.

The investigation covers Nigerian Bottling Company Plc, Benin City.


However, as expected in an exercise of this nature, the study is not without its inherent limitation. The researcher would have dropped this investigation for another one when she began to consider financial involvement in transporting from time to time to the organization to gather information, and no responses were obtained to some of the items on the questionnaire because the respondents felt such items of information were confidential to the organization.

Secondly, managers openly turned down the interviews, while others do not give the true and correct information.

Finally, it is the researcher’s extra effort to gather the materials, data, and information required for this study and as a result of these, not all the materials and information needed were available.


This research work will help organizations and managers understand the benefits that innovation and change management which most organizations have neglected and ignored in the past. Understanding this on the side of the organizations will allow them to rethink and work towards qualitative innovation and change management to enhance and increase the performance of the organizations.


BUSINESS: It is defined as all legal, profit-directed economic and commercial activities that provide goods and services necessary to a nation’s standard of living, (Borne and Kurts, 1976).

 MANAGEMENT: This is defined as functional stress i.e. it comprises organizing, planning, directing, controlling, and staffing in other to achieve their aim in an organization, it is defined by Henry Fayol.

INNOVATION: It is the ability to apply the creative solution to problems. It acts as an effective tool to manage change in the organization.

STRATEGY: It is a comprehensive plan for accomplishing an organization’s goals.

CHANGE: It is an alteration of an organization’s environment, structure, technology, or people; because change is an organizational reality, handling it is an integral part of every manager’s job.

SURVIVAL: It is defined as an organization that has been in existence despite the challenges, difficulties, and threats facing them.

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT: It is the way of approaching business opportunities and challenges. It is a comprehensive and ongoing management process aimed at formulating and implementing effective strategies.

MANAGEMENT CHANGE AND INNOVATION: It is a unique approach to adapt the philosophy and nuances to change facilitate change management. Initially, after the change has been effected, there is resistance to change, primarily because people have the fear of the unknown.


The Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd is one of the biggest companies in the non-alcoholic beverage industry in the country and is the sole franchise bottler of The Coca-Cola Company in Nigeria.

The company serves approximately 160 million people by producing and distributing a unique portfolio of quality brands, bringing passion to marketplace implementation, and demonstrating leadership in corporate social responsibility.

NBC Ltd started operations in Nigeria in 1951. Based in the city of Lagos, they operate 13 bottling plants across the country. In addition, they channel products through 59 warehouses and distribution centers.

The company employs about 4,800 people and indirectly supports the jobs of up to more than a million more in our value chain.

The company aims to be our customers’ most preferred supplier, and conduct programmes to support more than 450,000 customers who sell our products to consumers.

The company is part of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Group, one of the largest bottlers of The Coca-Cola Company’s products in the world, and the biggest in Europe. Coca-Cola Hellenic operations span 28 countries, serving more than 570 million people. The company is headquartered in Athens and listed on the Athens, New York, and London stock exchanges.

The company produces, sells, and distributes a wide range of beverages, most of which are trademark products of the Coca-Cola Company. The company product’s portfolio consists of:

  • Leading brands Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola light, Fanta, and Sprite.
  • Local brands such as Schweppes, Five Alive, Limca, and Eva.

The company continuously reviews opportunities to expand our product portfolio to offer consumers in Nigeria an increasing range of choices. Every measure is taken to ensure that the company’s products are of the highest quality.

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