Leadership remains as one of the most remarkable models that strongly brings about positive organizational change through moderation of organizational operations, motivation and creation of best working environment.
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On the other hand, organizational behavior is a term used to denote how manpower in an organization runs the daily process of production towards meeting the set goals and objectives. According to Griffin and Moorhead (2012), it encompasses application of specific knowledge by management and employees in an organization towards generating a holistic outlook internally and externally (page 4). This paper analyses the case study of Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy and Mather in terms of the current leadership structure.
According to Griffin and Moorhead (2012), leaders in organizations have increasingly become aware of the need to create change for the sake of being actively involved in the change process (page 518). In the case study of Charlotte Beers, her appointment at the Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide in 1993 improved the performance of the company as she improved the asset base of the company, created groups, enhanced brand stewardship, improved client service and crafted a vision for the company.
However, toward the end of 1993, the problem of power balance was seemingly affecting the operations and unity of the company’s management structure. As the company was moving into the following year, it was faced with the challenge of team work among workers.
Lack of team work is a critical challenge that may greatly affect the realization of goals. This was the case with the company in 1994. In his publication, Al-Rawi (2008) indicates that teamwork is a critical component in a business since it enhances performance (Page 93). Contingent theory of leadership reflects on the emerging issues as an important factor in defining the ability of a leader at the team or management level to achieve established objectives.
Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide Company have been able to carry out their operations effectively in the year that has ended due to leadership that encourages team building. However, as true as Al-Rawi’s argument on teamwork may be, it is imperative to note that despite the effectiveness of team work, it is also prone to numerous conflicts that are both functional and dysfunctional.
The leadership at Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide Company will need to address this challenge by dealing with the functional conflicts that impact on the success of the team via creation of awareness. Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide Company management organization structure has undergone major reviews that have pushed it towards decentralization and greater responsibilities to workers and the business environment.
A shorter hierarchy that Beers developed allows the company’s employees to have direct contact with their top management and contribute to long-term planning. The company is run through multidivisional structures that allow localized touch with regional cultures as well as the immediate environment.
In a bid to reshape the roles and structure of the company, Beers reorganized the business operations into local and international units and sought to promote greater association of all employees with their departments. Through teamwork, the top management and members of the company were able to make their contribution with ease and have felt sense of value for services they offer.
Besides, in conjunction with all stakeholders, Beers organizational design seeks to redefine the mission and vision of the organization to incorporate the new objective devoid of discriminative practices and poor working environment. The new culture embraces a greater sense of openness to reduce possible fears of sabotage.
Participatory leadership involves inclusion of other stakeholders in decision making at different levels. This kind of leadership creates a platform for middle level managers and lower level employees to communicate and have their views ingrained in an organization.
Upon her arrival at Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, Beers indicated that she wanted to ensure that the organization staff felt engaged. In her first meeting with thirst for change group, Beers started by engaging the staff in a puzzle that required them to come together and craft how they would revive the company, restore its customers and improve performance.
Participative leadership nurtures all stakeholders to ensure that their decisions are correct and effective. Having previously employed team work model with great success, Beers should embrace the same to make the groups complaining of power balance and lack of effective communication feel part of the decision making organ and thereby support change in the organization.
Indeed, Beers’ intention when establishing local and global strategies was to carefully change the culture of the business and enrich it by enhancing performance and making all workers and top management responsible for organization growth and decisions making.
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Unlike other leadership styles such as autocracy where a leader believes that he/she always make correct decisions; Beers leadership was different as she always sought to involve all top management personnel. Beers appears greatly worried over the lack of consensus in decision making on matters related to the company. Beers should bring together the different leaders, assist them to understand the importance of working as a team and solve the areas of conflict to minimize resistance.
According to Dunn, Dastoor and Sims (2012), transformational leadership seeks to achieve positive change by carefully ensuring that the vision is shared and all stakeholders moving in the same direction (page 46). Transformational leaders therefore, seek to change their organizations to a new status by motivating their subject, reevaluating their organizations’ visions and enriching their cultures.
Upon entry at the Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, Beers was convinced that rapid transformation was needed in rejuvenating the ailing organization. She pursued this in several ways. She first sought to motivate employees and the top management and guided them towards the needed change. As the company gets into the following year, Beers should create teams, encourage team work, and define the problems that affect the company as well as models of addressing them.
Motivation is central in transformational leadership because it acts as a special driver for employees to achieve different objectives. In Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide case, Beers should motivate her employees by ensuring to work in teams and follow the organizations mission. Besides, she should create a platform that will ensure all workers feel part of the process to rejuvenate the organization. Motivation will ensure progress and reduce resistance, factors that will bring to the organizations better rewards.
Although brand stewardship and crafting of a vision came much later after Beers had joined the organization, it was a major reflection of her transformational leadership. Dunn, Dastoor and Sims (2012) posit that transformational leaders should keep on redefining their visions in ensuring that their focus remains on track at all stages (page 47).
Beers should involve employees and the management team of the company in reviewing its mission and underlying values to make all stakeholders conversant and devoted to them as well as to encourage teamwork.
Beers’ situational leadership comes out through her ability to assess the prevailing situation and seek the best mechanism to help her achieve the expected objective. There is no one leadership style that is suitable for all leaders. However, a prevailing situation determines the best strategy to use. Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory and posits that situational leadership creates a highly flexible and dynamic system for the leaders to relate with their environment and employees.
Situational leaders must understand the prevailing status of their workers and employ the correct method that elevates them to achieve target results. In her initial meeting with the middle and top managements, Beers realized that the business had major problems such as meeting the needs of customers and inherent drive towards achievement of the mission.
Beers situational leadership style has been witnessed in the manner in which she sought to incorporate his roles in order to create a smooth plane where employees of the company can work comfortably to realize preset goals. While considering expansion for Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, Beers appreciated that the organization in its present form needed to expand to other areas of offering expertise.
However, such a system could only be affected when there is unity and team work which are key pillars in enhancing performance. In the coming year, situational leadership calls for a kind of leadership which offers direction when employees have low competences or commitment.
The effective operations of my team and the feed back received from the tasks and goals revealed the various strengths we have as a team. One of the strengths we have is strong team management skills which helped the business to grow in the year that ended and which will replicate cohesion and cooperation especially at departmental level.
Bedsides, the management team has increased knowledge about management and production was evident with continued understanding of linkages between the market demand for efficiency, product quality, teamwork and motivation of employees.
Organizational behavior to agree with Bititci et al (2006) could be summed up as an approach that seeks to change the dynamics an organization culture and replacing it with one that is based on continued performance, teamwork and progress (page. 1326) There is need to embed teamwork and improve performance standards especially for the top management team.
Besides, our team has increased competencies in the areas of operation to boost performance. Our success as a team in operations has been attributed to the manner in which we attends to details such as research and collection of information, provision of clean and high quality products and services, and the logical manner through which his tasks and services are performed.
Our weakness is found in decision making which sometimes is rush when faced with challenging situations. The impact of rush decisions is that it affects our profitability and sustainability. However, despite the weakness, my teams capacity enables me to bring key stakeholders together especially in different teams. Besides, I have special consideration for diversity that allowed the top management to openly and professionally support the decision to promote rewards at the team and personal level.
First, there is need to evaluate other companies and how they arrive at their decisions. This will help to address the problem of lack of consensus when planning to make key decisions. Though considering teamwork was an effective method of promoting goals achievement, failure to understand the needs of the local companies and the problem of power balance will impact on business operations and lock out other viable options brought about by teamwork.
I will then seek experts input to help me understand how to address the problem of balance of power and lack of teamwork in order to reduce resistance. The expert will also help me with previous workable examples which I can modify or use to develop specific model for business operations.
I will consider seeking further training on key management issues especially in decision making and team building. Either through online learning or participating in seminars, I will seek to improve my communication skills at all levels.
Though possible communication faults with local employees could be attributed to bureaucracy in the company, it is no doubt that there is need to treat them equally with the bigger international companies. I will ensure balance of power to enhance decision making and increase motivation through understanding their current status and focusing on addressing their demands.
During the year that ended, employees had expressed the need for greater involvement in the management. Involving them in decision making is valid and appropriate as it will elevate employees into the management by establishing and empowering the existing teams in making important decisions.
From the discussion, it is evident that leadership forms the foundation upon which organizations are anchored to create inherent understanding of all stakeholders while using individuals, teams and organization’s objectives for sustainability. The leadership by Beers has seen Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide grow to greater heights in terms of performance and profitability
Al-Rawi, K. (2008). Cohesiveness within teamwork: The relationship to performance effectiveness – case study. Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, 1(2): 92-106.
Bititci, U. S., Mendibil, K., Nudurupati, S., Garengo, P., & Turner, T. (2006). Dynamics of performance measurement and organizational culture. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 26(12): 1325-1350.
Dunn, M. W., Dastoor, B., & Sims, R. L. (2012). Transformational leadership and organizational commitment: A cross-cultural perspective. Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 4(1), 45-60.
Griffin, R. W. & Moorhead, G (2012). Organizational behavior: Managing people and organizations. Mason, OH: Cengage learning.