Sample Case Study Paper on Machiavelli’s Principles in Business

Niccolò Machiavelli was a renowned political philosopher and an Italian diplomat writer
during the Renaissance period. As a father of modern politics, he was a representative in the
Florence republic and was responsible in diplomatic and military affairs. His literary works range
from poetry, comedies and some carnival songs written in the Italian language. From 1498 to
1512, the Medici was out of power and Machiavelli became the secretary of the Second
Chancery of Florence Republic. In 1513, Machiavelli wrote his most famous book The Prince
that brought him the reputation of an atheist. Throughout his book, he uses his quotes to inspire
people to be of success to fulfill their dreams in life. The success of a company is achieved by
applying different strategies and principles. Most of his works and teachings have been applied
in the real business world. The Coca-Cola Company is of the world’s most valuable and
successful beverage company in the world. This essay examines how Coca cola Company
adheres to Machiavellian teachings and the outcomes of following or rejecting the principles.

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In his book The Prince, “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to
look at the men he has around him” (Machiavelli 74)


Machiavelli suggests that the effectiveness of leadership depends on the team that leaders
build around them to support their visions. Recruiting intelligent or effective leaders is at the
core of the success of any business.

Apply to business

Machiavelli’s principle is relevant to the business environment. Any business that expects
to achieve its strategic goals must be ready to build effective teams that are conversant with their
areas of specialization. This principle calls into effect several factors that businesses must be
conscious of when developing business management teams. While employees might fit into this
description, the fact that Machiavelli talks about people ‘around’ the leader implies the
management team that will be responsible for executing the vision and mission of the company


A successful business must endeavor to hire the most competent and experienced
managers. According to Machiavelli, an effective ruler should be forthright in hiring men who
have a track record of successful execution of business tasks in line with organizational goals.
The incompetence of the management team would point to an equally incompetent prince.
Competence can be accessed through an excellent academic and professional performance track.

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Perfection in a manager’s area of specialization is central to building a successful business
management team.


Great business managers take responsibility for the management of their departments.
They are willing to make decisions that grow the brand value of the company while remaining
focused on the strategic goals. A company that recruits managers that are responsible for running
the affairs of their department will undoubtedly build the reputation and goodwill of the
company in the public eye. On the other hand, recruiting irresponsible individuals to fit into the
decision-making organ of the company will result in a lack of action that would lead to failure
and disrepute. It is for this reason that Machiavelli recommends businesses to be on the lookout
for the most responsible individuals to fill critical management positions.

Objective hiring policies

Machiavelli demands business organizations to be judged by the kind of leadership they
can attract and hire in their business. There is an immediate requirement that business develops
human resource policies that specify how the organizational management team should be
recruited. In modern business organizations, competition is forcing several businesses to cease
operations. Business success begins with ensuring that the hiring policies guarantee the
recruitment of the best and qualified candidates in the industry. A business hiring process that is
influenced by selfish interests that undermine the overall goal of the business is bound to weaken
the competitiveness of the organization. The hiring policies should align directly with the needs
and expectations of the organization.

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Foster team cohesiveness

The Prince should invest in fostering team effort. The unity of purpose is crucial in
ensuring that all parts of the organization pull in the same direction. The focus of the
organization should be on investing in the efforts that will enhance the chances of the team
getting off on the right foot. Various strategies can be implemented to ensure that there is esprit
de corps within the rank and file of the organizational leadership. These activities include hosting
retreats to build solidarity, staying attentive to new ideas and responding to them respectfully,
and communicating planned organizational changes and seeking the input of all major
stakeholders. Consistent assessment of the team goals is vital in keeping every stakeholder
focused on the organizational goals. Furthermore, organizations can satisfy Machiavelli’s
principle by holding regular meetings to discuss any pressing issues.

How Coca Cola Company implements this Machiavellian Rule

Coca Cola is at the forefront in attracting the most competent and experienced employees
within its organization. The company factors educational qualification as well as the working
experience and notable achievements of potential candidates for its management team. The team
mixes expatriates with local managers in the host countries. The company’s managers are
responsible for running different franchises and reporting to the headquarters in the United
States. Managers are required to subscribe to the organization's ethical code of conduct that
ensures every manager is keen to live according to the organizational values and culture. Coca-
cola Company holds regular team-building activities for its management team and fosters an
exchange of knowledge and skills among its management team to enhance team spirit.

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According to Machiavelli, “It is essential that in entering a new Province you should
have the goodwill of its inhabitants” (Machiavelli, 83).

Translation: when venturing into a new market, it is essential to know the kind of
customers in the market, their demands and expectations.

Application to business

Machiavelli advises princes that when entering into a new business market, one needs a
disciplined process to accurately assess the opportunity and potential for business growth.
Moreover expanding business in a new field is an effective way of growing a business and a
prince needs to define the market. A company has to identify the type of customers he wants to
sell his products to, their needs and common interests. In addition, a company has to consider the
location, culture, and demographics of its target customers. The concept of Machiavelli requires
the company to perform market research when venturing into new markets. This involves
understanding the market growth rates, competitions from other companies, demand and any
potential barriers that may hinder entry in an undefined market.

Based on the Prince's quote, the decisions made on entering a new market require an
assessment of internal capabilities such as the number of core competencies that a company can
leverage. A company needs to know infrastructure the sales distribution channels and the time
when market considerations exist. From the quote, after completing market research, it's
important to prioritize the potential new markets. Depending on the strategic business fit and
ability to reach customers, a company now has to ponder on any market gaps where they can fill

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and withstand competition. The value of goods to be delivered the prices should also be
determined. Machiavelli argues that once a company has known its inhabitants, that are ones a
company has selected a desirable market, they can start investing. Besides, investing is achieved
by developing an appropriate business plan, work plan and the case for investment. Venturing in
an entirely new market requires one to put into consideration partnerships or joint ventures.


This leadership principle can be applied to the Coca-Cola company business.
Importantly, before Coca-Cola ventures into new markets the company corporate with local
companies as they have a majority share. Because Coca-Cola adopts local strategies, it has been
able to reach local people in any market. Coca-Cola Company goes as far as producing products
depending on the culture of people and their local interests. For instance, Asian countries prefer
sweeter beverage unlike the Japanese or other cultures. In the book The Prince, one needs the
goodwill of inhabitants .This reflects in coca-cola company where the company has equipped its
managers with the necessary skills in the globalization of new markets.

Coca-Cola Company has succeeded by adhering to the Machiavellian principle. The
company has done thorough market research before venturing into a new country. The company
has also changed the formula of drinks to suit customers' needs. On the other hand, Coca Cola
Company produces quality products and a diverse range of products which has helped to fight
competition and improve its global business. Coca-Cola Company has been successful at the
entry stage by considering available cost, risk, and predictability which have helped it achieve
success in the market. Statistically, the revenue growth rate of 15.31% is ranked at an overall
position of number 1250 in the third quarter of 2019.

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In the Prince, Machiavelli states “He who becomes a Prince through the favor of the
people should always keep on good terms with them; which it is easy for him to do since all they
ask is not to be oppressed”(Machiavelli, 34).

Translation: when a company chooses its leader, the leader must create a good
relationship with employees and should not inhumanely treat them.

Machiavelli in his philosophical quotes argues that a company has to hire a manager who
can show the way and make a difference to the success of the company. A good leader must
possess good leadership qualities. Some of the qualities of a good leader include: A leader should
be a role model for employees. It’s important to inspire employees by setting good examples.
How a manager reacts to situations matters a lot. When a company experiences problems the
employees will look up to the manager on how they react to situations. If a leader handles the
problem well, the employees are likely to follow you. According to Machiavelli, a leader should
think positively and this is shown through actions. This can be achieved by staying calm
whenever there is pressure. A leader should think positively and stay calm during pressure.
Whenever a mistake arises employees should be corrected well. A manager should not issue
threats to employees or shout at them. Instead he should instill discipline by following the laid
down disciplinary measures.

A leader needs to be compassionate towards employees. By this, a leader needs to
understand his employee's problems be it health or family issues which can affect them at the
workplace. Employees should not leave in fear as they will not get the best out of themselves.

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Words have power therefore an employee needs to be spoken to well by the bosses. A good
leader should also motivate employees by giving incentives for a job well done and improving
the remuneration package as well. According to Machiavelli, leaders should nature talents of
their employees by allowing them to bring out their ideas as they can be innovative to business.
Good leaders also promote their employees from one level to another so that the employees are
not demoralized by staying at one level over a long period. Managers should also desist from
micromanaging their subordinates instead they should focus on delegating tasks and monitor
their performance in a human manner. Treating employees well helps a manager to gain respect
from subordinates and this will make them perform better and achieve the company’s goals.

Application in business model

Coca Cola Company has applied the Machiavelli’s principle of leadership in managing its
employees. The company has focused on diversity and inclusion of its employees. People with
diverse talents foster performance in a company and this has seen Coca-cola excel. Coca Cola
Company has ensured that their employees know their performance goals and this helps
management identify the gaps which need to be filled by training. Managers also allow
discussions on employee performance against the set objectives and goals. Payments and
rewards keep employees happy. At Coca-Cola Company, the employees are paid fairly and this
helps the company in retaining its workers. Similarly, Coca-Cola is one of the companies with
the best compensation packages in the world. Coca-cola also offers pensions, healthcare and
holiday packages to its employees. Coca-cola Company equips managers with skills and
knowledge on how to lead employees well without mistreating them. In Machiavelli's, quotes

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employees need to be treated well to work well. The company has also provided training needs
to its employees on how to foster growth and achieve its goals in the global market.

Coca-cola has adhered to Machiavelli’s principle which has led to the success of the
company. Its employment policies ensure that their employees have a free and fair working
environment. These policies have also ensured non-discrimination at the workplace and
everybody from the management gets an equal opportunity. Employees have freedom of speech
and can, therefore, come up with innovative ideas for the business.

Even though the Prince was documented several years ago, Machiavelli’s principles have
remained relevant in business models. Today most companies have implemented the strategies in
their corporate businesses like Coca-Cola Company. Much of Coca cola’s success is credited
with Machiavelli’s principles and its one of the world’s best-performing companies in terms of
revenues. Statistically, the company recorded $37.27 billion U.S dollars in operating revenues in
the year 2019. Due to its manifestation of adaptation and adherence to the principle, it remains
successful. However, in today’s business models, some companies have rejected Machiavelli’s
rule as it hurts their companies

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Works cited

Machiavelli, Niccolò, George Bull, and Anthony Grafton. The Prince. London, England:
Penguin, 2006. Print.

Post, James E., and Shawn L. Berman. "Global corporate citizenship in a Dot. com world: The
role of organisational identity." Perspectives on corporate citizenship. Routledge, 2017.

Kauflin, Jeff. "The world’s most sustainable companies 2017." Forbes,(online) Available at:<
https://www. forbes. com/sites/jeffkauflin/2017/01/17/theworlds-most-sustainable-
companies-2017 (2017).

Keegan, Warren J. Global marketing management. Pearson India, 2017.

Afeni, Temitope Olukayode. An investigation of organizational culture of enterprise, on the
example of the “Coca-Cola Company. Diss. 2017.

Ling, Xiaojing. "Customer Relationship Management: Case study Coca-Cola Company." (2017).

Cola, Coca, and Cadbury Schweppes. "The Coca Cola Company." Human Rights Policy (2014).

procurement on organizational performance of manufacturing firms in Kenya: A case ff
Cocacola Company." The Strategic Journal of Business and Change Management 4.3
(2017): 85-102.

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