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Managing Change in the Computer Industry: The case of Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems - Teaching Note


Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Publication Year



Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems (SNI) was formed in 1990 through the merger of Nixdorf and the computing division of Siemens. The complexities of integrating two companies with two very different cultures, combined with a worldwide recession and massive technological and market changes in the industry, produced a constant flow of red ink from 1990 to 1994 when Gerhard Schulmeyer was brought in as the new CEO. By 1997 the results were impressive: the firm had returned to profit, its organisation has been reshaped and employee commitment and morale were on the rise. This case traces this turnaround from the perspective of three different managers - Schulmeyer, at the top, as the overall leader of the transformation process; Robert Hoog, a divisional director, as he builds on the "top-down" forces to curve out the change agenda within his own division; and Klaus Karl, a young software engineer and team leader within Hoog's division, as he tries to both respond and contribute to SNI's radical change. Overall, the case illustrates the interactions among a top-down, a bottom-up and a middle-up-down change process and the roles of top middle and frontline managers within each of these interacting processes.

Topic List

Managing Change, Leadership


Information Technology

Publication Event Date


LBS Case Number




Publication Organisation Size

12 billion DM Revenues in 1996

Project Funder



Ghoshal S

Available on ECCH


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