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By: Gupta, V; Perepu, I;

2006 / IBS Center for Management Research


The case describes Tesco's 'Steering Wheel' strategy and explains how it enabled the company to emerge as the largest retail chain in the UK. In 1997, Terry Leahy took over as Chief Executive Officer of Tesco. He aimed to make Tesco a 'Value Retailer'. Leahy named the strategy he wanted to adopt as 'The Tesco Way', which comprised of: (1) the company's core purpose; (2) values; (3) principles; (4) goals; and (5) the Balanced Scorecard. Tesco adapted the Balanced Scorecard approach to meet its own requirements renaming it the Steering Wheel, which had four quadrants - operations, people, customers and finance. The case highlights the approach of implementing the Steering Wheel strategy in Tesco and the benefits reaped by the company after implementation. This case is designed to enable students to: (1) analyse the core components of the Steering Wheel and examine how it transformed Tesco into one of the leading players in the global retail market; (2) study the importance of goals and strategies in guiding an organisation; and (3) examine how the vision and belief of a leader can change the fortunes of a company. This case is aimed at MBA/PGDBA students and is intended to be part of the strategy and general management curriculum. The teaching note includes the abstract, teaching objectives and target audience, teaching approach and methodology, assignment questions, feedback of case discussion and additional readings and references.