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Summary of the Case
The Nickelodeon Company has been known for quite a while as one of the leading entertainment organizations, particularly the entertainment companies, whose target audience is children. In the 21st-century globalization era, the company has decided to conquer the Latin American market; the process of becoming the preeminent force within the specified market seems to have been going quite successfully so far. However, in the course of the new strategy implementation, the company leader has faced a range of organizational issues, specifically, the lack of room for the initiative in the executive team: “Some complained to Swan that the executive team was not let in on the creative process sufficiently early for their input to have an impact” (Hill, 2008, p. 7). In other words, the company has been facing serious issues in promoting its services to the target audience, and the factors enhancing the development of these issues emerged both from the conflict between the organizational culture and the Latin American environment and the inconsistency of the organizational and marketing strategies adopted by the company (Sosik & Jung, 2010).
The strategy that Swan used can be defined as the authoritative one. According to the existing definition, the authoritative leadership approach presupposes that the company leader facilitates a very close connection between the departments of the organization and provides efficient and consistent information transfer among the company members. However, as far as the decision-making process is concerned, the staff is provided with very little independence and mostly supply color commentaries in the process of decision-making.
A closer look at the subject matter, however, will reveal that the adoption of a more pliable set of organizational behavior principles can hardly be viewed as a silver bullet against the issues that the organization has viewed for providing its services to the Latin American audience. To be more specific, the air of protectiveness, which the company leader’s strategy seems to contain, needs to be removed.
The design of an approach tailored to the needs of the Latin American audience and, at the same time, allowing for sustaining the company’s values and traditions may become the watershed moment that will define the further evolution of the organization.
The marketing issues also provide major reasons for concern, according to the case study details. Indeed the approaches that served their purpose impeccably in other areas proved to be restricting the creative liberty of the company’s marketing team and appeared to be rather inefficient in the Latin American market. Nevertheless, compared to the concerns related to the internal conflicts, the problems of integrating into the target market and attracting the Latin American audience seem minor. Also, one must give Swan credit for filtering the content of the channel and bowdlerizing the list of cartoons available for the Latin American children (for instance, expurgating the Ren and Stimpy show, which is known for its violence and dark sense of humor, does seem a very sober move from the organization).
Alternate Course of Actions
Since the Nickelodeon Organization is at the threshold of losing its audience in Latin America due to the conflicts within the company, it will be an adequate decision to focus on the internal processes of the organization at present. Indeed, on a second glance, the marketing issues, though also posing a palpable threat to the success of the company, are not as drastic as the situation regarding the coordination between the company’s departments. Herein the necessity to reconsider the responsibilities delegation principles and the leadership strategy adopted lies.
As it has been stressed above, getting the company’s priorities straight is the key task for Swan at present. Reconsidering the management strategy is the first and the most significant step towards adapting to the new environment and working in the global context, which Swan seems to understand quite well. At present, Swan seems to have deviated from the concept of employee satisfaction and takes the performance of the company into account when entering the new market. As a result, the organizational behavior issues leave much to be desired at present; more to the point, when abandoned, the issue may eventually grow into a significant drop in motivation rates and the following deterioration of performance quality. The outcomes of the specified phenomenon may be disastrous; thus, the principles of leadership and organizational behavior must be revisited.
Entering a new market is a challenging task that presupposes securing the company environment from the influence of new negative factors. White Swan’s policy regarding the promotion of Nickelodeon in the Latin American market is perfectly reasonable from the perspective of customer satisfaction. It lacks the employee orientation element. Thus, Swan must integrate a range of approaches enhancing the staff’s performance; specifically, the inclusion of incentives and financial rewards, as well as the change in the leadership approach, must be viewed as an adequate solution. Once Swan gets the company’s priorities in line, the Nickelodeon organization will gain more chances for succeeding in Latin America.
Hill, L. A. (2008). Tarn Swan at Nickelodeon Latin America. Harvard Business School, 9-400-036, 1–25.
Sosik, J. J. & Jung, D. I. (2010). Full range leadership development: Pathways for people, profit, and planet. New York, NY: Routledge–Taylor & Francis Group.