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Discuss About The Handbook Of Virtue Ethics In Business And Management.

Distinctive Features

Innovation plays a vital role in the business world. It is the important work that every organization has to go through to ensure the longevity of the company (Hakansson and Waluszewski, 2008). In the fluctuating environment, the organizations need to be prepared and ready for any type of changes occur which could be economic, societal and political changes (Prajogo, 2016). W.L is the best example of an organization that has had to go through many transitions over the last fifty years.

W.L Gore &Associates is a company which has adopted certain new strategies to grow the business and able to compete in the market for over long years. It is the major pioneering and productive company in the business world (Grant, 2016). The company is having the population of 8500 associated with the revenue of $2.5 billion. The company is located in 24 countries in global. It is highly Technology Company which is having more than 1000 different fluoropolymer products. It has a wide variety of company structure which brings together a network of other company and external look of being represent as a well put together organization (Harder and Townsend, 2017). The organization is divided into four divisions that have a separate mission and targets but do work together occasionally. The four division of the company is unique enough that creates a multitude of opportunity over investment and they can handle the swing of the industries (Center, 2016).

In the following context, there will be a detailed discussion on the activities and organizational structure of the company that made the company distinct from other companies that create a great impact on the organization positively and negatively. There are different approaches which are mostly used by the company which is based on identifiable principles and the way other companies should also adopt the management and organization of W.L Gore.

The major distinctive feature of Gore organization as well as management is the structure of the company that eliminates the hierarchy and bureaucracy which suppress adaptation and creativeness. The company has adopted the ‘lattice structure’ that is known for a complicated arrangement. There were no titles, ladder, or the conventional structure in the organization (Kerr, 2014). The company of Gore has only a sufficeint titles in the company. The main purpose behind the less number of the title was because it was essential by the laws of incorporation. In the ‘lactic structure’, the individual uses a straight line of communication without any hierarchy barriers (Gronning, 2016). The structure does not include any intermediary for communication which delivers a chance to the associate to work out their own problems. The associates have no static or allocated authority that is a key asset because some of the people among the company cannot handle that other will state them the way to do a particular task. There are some points that made the distinctive features of W.L George’s organization and management which are explained below (Maxwell, 2016):

  • Autonomy of Scaling

Management Approach

The management of George organization is based on the task force model that was something used in his former company DuPont.  The team of the organization was small and cross-functional which have a clear goal and outside of any formal hierarchy (Bolman and Deal, 2015).

  • Sponsors

In the organization of George, there is the absence of boss and managers. In the place of them, they have sponsors and leaders. Every individual in the organization has allocated one or more sponsors. The role of the sponsors is to guide and help that made the employees succeed. It is done by mentoring, giving feedback and connecting with others (Merrill, 2015).

  • Concept of CEO

The company WL Gore & Associates does not have a concept of CEO. The CEO is not appointed by the board, rather selected by peers. They have a belief that the appropriate decision is not taken by the senior leaders rather most impactful decision at Gore that are made by the small team.

  • Concept of Leaders

The leaders of the company have a position of authority because the leaders have followers. Leaders advise the associates of consequences of an action rather than to be there as managers or supervisors. It makes the associate be more responsible for their individual compensation, which works as a major strength.

  • Policy of Organization

The organization has a belief that all individuals in the organization will be given the same benefits as the other employees because the company has a firm position which is based on non-discriminatory standards of the workforce hiring. (Slintak and Tuckova, 2016).

  • Pay Structure

The company does not believe I cutting pay and layoff which has been played an as high degree of the tool of being nonmotivating for employees morale. The organization adopted the system of temporary transfers and voluntary layoffs.

  • Direct Communication and Relationship

Direct communication and Relationship is one of the core values of Gore. It encourages the associates to form relationships with people inside and outside the unit of organization, vendors, suppliers, and customers (Salovaara and Bathurst, 2018).

Bill gore created a company that believes in guiding principles and beliefs which helped them in taking better decision making in all the activities they were involved with. Due to the principles and beliefs, only bill gore was able to create a big organization and gave them worldwide recognition. The distinctive feature of Gore in organization and management represents a reliable management to the great extent which is grounded on following recognizable values and beliefs. (Smith, Lewis and Tushman, 2016):

  • Fundamental beliefs

Advantages and Disadvantages

 It is the basic beliefs that WL Gore had in his system that every individual is responsible and accountable what all work he does in the company and everyone should work what is right for the business. W.L Gore has a broader thinking perspective which helps in decision making and company has a long-term vision in doing everything due to which company doesn't have to sacrifice its short-term goals.

  • Guiding principles

Every employee put their best foot forward in achieving the targets as it helps the organization to grow at a faster pace and have the strong market control against the competitors. And if any employee had done a certain mistake, employees would be trained and guided for the future reference so that same mistakes are not repeated and everyone could have some leading out of it.

  • Bottom of approach

 The Gore does not follow the concept of the company of manager rather a company of teams. Through the lattice system, the leadership of employee teams from the bottom up seem to be working for them. Without the hierarchal structure of leadership, the company has earned $2.5 billion in the year.

  • Management by wandering around

 The team and associates of the organization are in continuous communicating with teams of others and projects of company which are apparent at all level.

  • Divisional structure

The organization has a divisional structure by product or services which are structured into four division, fabrics, medical, and industrial and electronic, each with recognized leaders. There is a specific business unit with the divisions and each division are based on different group of products. This type of tactic is majorly used when the products of the business differ substantially. It reduces the requirement of top management such as the structure of Gore and requires a skilled workforce (Coppin, 2017).

  • Lattice structure

It is also recognized as individual accountability structure which is free from traditional supervision. All associates become front-runners which are grounded on the ability to earn the respect of their peers and to attract groups. It is based on interconnection among individuals of the organization. The associates in the organization are accountable for their own assignment and meet commitments (Shipper, Manz and Stewart, 2014).

The organizational structure of the Gore plays an important role in the business and in the life of associates. There are certain advantages to adopting organizational structure and management in the organization. The advantages are explained in below points (Vince and Pedler):

Flexible environment

In the Gore structure, the organization has no power play. There are no bosses or manager in the company with the absence of a chain of command which create a flexible environment for the associates to work more efficiently and effectively.

Resolution of Issues and Problems

In the organization of Gore, the communication channel is more open for the associates. The associates do not need to follow hierarchies, which help in the resolution of issues and problems of the associates prominently and effectively.


The associates in the organization do not have a manager or supervisors instance the associates have sponsors, who help them to guide in the company. This approach helps the associates to work in an efficient way and appropriate monitoring of performance could be done, as the department work in teams.

Enhance Leadership Quality

The company provide training to the associates to enhance the leadership quality and establish a cooperative education program that gives a natural feeling of leadership among associates. It helps in to boost the confidence level among the associates.


The supportive environment encourages associates to work and contribute to the creativity of the individual which improve the efficiency of the associates and motivate the employees to contribute towards the growth of the business organization.

Innovative Ideas

The company of Gore encourages the associates to share original or innovative ideas and the associates are allowed to put themselves in a place where they achieve.

Professional environment

The concept of a small working team adopted by the Gore Company provides a more professional environment in the organization. The team was recognized to produce a finish goods and which was to complete to given task that involved teamwork. The performance level of associates was at high quality and it also enhances their ability to become a prolific leader.

Increase productivity

The organizational structure of Gore provides a free environment to the associates in the working process. It gives more bureaucracy that allows the associates to increase the productivity of work more efficiently.

Boost Confidence level

In the organization structure of the Gore, the associates had decided, what they need to work on and established their own target to achieve the desired goal. Which help to boost up the confidence level among the associates.

There are also some disadvantages of approach which is used by the Gore. These points are explained below (Chao, 2018):

Hold Accountability

There is the absence of a leadership role on the organization structure of Gore. Therefore, some of the problems occur which hold by the associates that would directly affect the performance of their job.

Lack to form Compensation

The management would not able to manage the amount given to the associates as a reward or bonus equitably because the performance is by team moreover; there is the absence of hierarchy structure. It would be tough for the management to decide the amount given to the associates.

The absence of job title

The absence of job title in the structure of an organization creates an absence of knowledge among the associates, about their role and responsibilities in the organization.

The absence of Boss or Manager

When the orientation of associates is from a structured environment then it would be difficult for the associates to distinguishing with whom they need to share their issues occur during the working environment and with whom the associates are accountable.

Impact on performance

The organizational performance of the Gore is totally based on teamwork, therefore; there would be the possibility of lack of coordination among the associates and the one with low skills generate direct impact on the performance of the team.

Absence of Guidance

In the organization of Gore, the associates themselves needed to work on and if any issue occurs during the work, the only person they responded to is the other worker or themselves. There are no leaders that can provide guidance to the associates while occurring the issues.

Lack in establishing performance standards

The evaluation of performance is an essential element for the development of associates in traditional organization thus, lattice structure in the organization lagging in the important steps to form standards of performance of the associates.

Adjustment Issues

In the organizational structure of Gore, every associate treated as supervisor therefore, the employees with a background of mechanistic model, which consist of having supervisor would not be used to Gore’s organizational structure and must take time to adjust.

Yes, it can be transferable to other companies if they are ready to make changes in their current system and start working or adapting to the approaches which W.L. Gores have.

The organizational culture of the organization is based on teamwork. In the team-based environment, teams are organized which grab the opportunities and develop the leaders. The organization adopted certain major principles to enabling the corporate culture. These are explained in below points (Ransbotham and Kiron, 2017):

  • Freedom

The organizational structure of Gore provides freedom to their associates to achieve their own objective and goals in a possible way. The ideas of the associates are encouraged by the organization and focus on the mistake with a view as a part of the creative process. The other companies need to give freedom to their associates as the freedom is defined as being empowered to motivate each other to enhance the knowledge, scope of responsibility and skills which help the associates to work more efficiently in the organization.

  • Fairness

Fairness is associated with freedom, in the organization of Gore, every individual sincerely tries to be impartial with each other with the suppliers, with the customers and another individual with whom the organization is doing business. The organization structure enhances the quality of fairness among the associates. Other companies should adopt such an environment in their own company which increases the coordination among the associates of the company.

  • Commitment

The organization of Gore believes in commitments rather than assignment. Gore has a belief that if an individual is passionate about their work, then the individual is going to be highly motivated. The Gore does not believe imposing command rather than believe on commitments. Therefore, other companies should believe in commitments rather than command.

  • Waterline

In the Gore organization, every associate consults with each other before taking any action which helps the organization to be in the waterline.

  • Believe in employees

 Gore has always had a vision of thinking out of the box which helped the company to treat his employees well. He always believes in employees should be passionate enough towards their job that everyone should enjoy while working instead of boredom.  

  • Employees should have Values

Each and every employee should have their own values which should be in sync with companies which help both employee and organization to earn more.

  • Long-Term Approach

Mr. Gore always believes in long-term approach in terms of investments in product and technology which is the main goal of the company. By doing so, company creates it value and vision that what he is aiming at and where the company sees itself.

  • Ability to take the risk

When Gore decided to take a new building for the expansion of business he didn’t stop there, Gore strived for each and every aspect related to it. He had the vision and focus which help him to redefined leadership, the way of allocating work, how to bring best out of every employee. Performance management system was assigned for individual goals and companies goal. Bill gave the employees the freedom to take a risk and experiment new things and if anything went wrong proper coaching and counseling were done. Better communication and workplace facilities were provided by Bill to his employees (Chilton and Lau, 2015)      

  • Passionate for work

 Gore was passionate towards his work which gave ample opportunities to experiment on various things which helped him to gain success and due to this Gore had always a competitive advantage. Recruiting the right people at the right place and time helps the organization to grow at a faster rate. Bill has always looked for resources that are inspiring and passionate for work (Manz and Dillon, 2015).  

  • No Hierarchy or boss judgment

In the organization of Gore, there is no hierarchy system which made the environment more flexible because the associates are not required to lean on the decision of the upper level. They can take the decision quickly. Thus, other companies can adopt this philosophy.

  • Work in a small team

The Gore follow the concept of a small team in the working organization, the responsibilities are divided into a small team that enhances the performance of the individual and as a team. This approach can be transferred to other companies that help to enhance the performance of the company.

Businesses or possible company type that can adapt the management approach of Gore are as follows:

  • Field of Medical companies
  • The Engineering firms
  • Designer or Production teams
  • Technology and Research and Development Departments

These are the possible companies to adopt the strategy of Gore management; other cannot survive with the high demand and competitiveness only a few companies can cope with big decision and commitments


Managing an organization effectively and efficiently is not an easy task for every individual it required skills and Coordination amongst the team and all the employees should work in sync with a common goal. It requires regular monitoring, as organizations have various factors such as Internal & external which impacts business overall performance. These factors at times tend to change the strategies and plans according to the need of the hour.

A Skilled and experienced part of managers helps an organization to build its pillar strong, which in return to have success over a period of time and it can overcome the risky situations easily. The future of management will see a different kind of challenges and opportunities for which business needs to be ready to Hard and Good times.

W.L. Gore ideas and techniques have successfully evolved the business with profitability and have created a brand value. One of the most important strategies that company has brought up is to reduce the work-life stress as facts reveal that over seventy percent of employees working in business started that they would stay in such organization wherein Culture and the environment is good. W.L. Gore has embraced this strategy from early which helped the business to be successful.


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Prajogo, D.I. (2016) The strategic fit between innovation strategies and business environment in delivering business performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 171, pp.241-249.

Harder, J.W. and Townsend, D.R. (2017) WL Gore & Associates. Darden Business Publishing Cases, 7(9), pp.1-9.

Center, F.O.R. (2016) Career history. Cell, 734(147), pp.654-4564.

Gronning, T. (2016) Working Without a Boss: Lattice Organization with Direct Person-to-person Communication at WL Gore & Associates, Inc. London: SAGE.

Kerr, J.M. (2014) Reimagine the Organization—The Expressway to the Future. In The Executive Checklist. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Maxwell, G. (2016) Case Study Series on Work-Life Balance in Large Organizations. London: SAGE.

Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T.E. (2015) Think—or sink: Leading in a VUCA world. Leader to Leader, 2015(76), pp.35-40.

Merrill, P. (2015) Under Construction. Quality Progress, 48(8), pp.14.

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Salovaara, P. and Bathurst, R. (2018) Power-with leadership practices: An unfinished business. Leadership, 14(2), pp.179-202.

Smith, W.K., Lewis, M.W. and Tushman, M.L.(2016) Both/and” leadership. Harvard Business Review, 94(5), pp.62-70.

Coppin, A. (2017) Organisation Structure and Design. In The Human Capital Imperative, 14(9), pp. 45-49.

Shipper, F., Manz, C.C. and Stewart, G.L. (2014) WL Gore & Associates: Developing global teams to meet twenty-first-century challenges. In Shared Entrepreneurship, 19(105), pp. 267-284

Vince, R. and Pedler, M. (2018) Putting the contradictions back into leadership development. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 39(7), pp.859-872.

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Ransbotham, S. and Kiron, D. (2017) Analytics as a source of business innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 58(3) pp142.

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