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[Excerpt] Hostess Brands, an American company established in the 1930s, specialized in baked goods including the long established Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, and Wonder Bread. In November of 2012, Hostess management filed for bankruptcy, blaming the unions and workforce for the financial fiasco. While the organized workforce’s unwillingness to bend to management’s demands may have been a tipping point in the Hostess failure, it was clearly not the main issue. Hostess’s unwillingness or inability to change over time was what really led to the company’s downfall. According to Forbes contributor Adam Hartung, the “obvious problem was that leadership kept trying to sell the same products, using roughly the same business model, long, long, long after the products had become irrelevant.”[1] . Points which should have invoked change for Hostess include: changing consumer tastes, nutritional considerations, and the reality that Hostess’s product costs were higher than the prices that Hostess was able to sell the product for[2]. Because change didn’t happen, 18,000 jobs were lost and an iconic American business failed.


Suggested Citation:
Hanson, S. (2013, October 14). Change management and organizational effectiveness for the HR professional. Cornell HR Review. Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site: