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Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A merger proposal Coursework


Introduction

This is a course work on an analysis of a merger. So what is a merger? A Merger is an integration of one business with another and sharing of control of the combined businesses. It is a common way of expanding a business.

Stockholders of the two companies are allowed to keep equal interest in the new company (Business Link, 2011). It usually happens between two former competitors and is considerably managed by investment bankers who transfer ownership via stock sales (Brainz, 2010). In this case, we shall look into the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A Merger Proposal.

Background Information

Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A merger proposal was a proposed merger of two organizations; Utah Symphony and Utah Opera, with the voting on whether to merge or not by the boards of the two organizations scheduled for July 8, 2002. The outcome of the voting would have been very important for the general director of Utah Opera, Anne Ewers for she had been requested to lead the new merged entity if the deal went through.

This paper will show how motivational concepts can be used to enhance organizational performance. It will also determine how power and influence can be used to achieve organizational objectives. The course work will equally demonstrate how conflict management concepts can be used to improve organizational performance.

It will achieve this by reviewing the various human interactions, cultural and organizational, that can emerge during the merger process in the “Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A Merger Proposal” case study. Conclusively, the course work will help Anne Ewers think through issues that may result from the merger process.

Most specifically, the course work will illustrate how Bill Bailey, chairman of the board of the Utah Opera Organization, might use one theory of motivation to oppose or support the merger, how Scott Parker, chairman of the board of the Utah Symphony Organization, might use one theory of motivation to convince Mrs. Abravenal to support the merger.

It will also describe Anne’s positional power in relation to her personal power, how Anne could use her positional power to successfully lead the merger efforts and how Anne could use her personal power to empower Keith Lockhart.

Similarly, the paper will discuss influence tactics Anne could use to persuade the Opera’s full-time staff and artists under contract to endorse the merger. It will additionally present a potential issue with the musicians that, if not resolved, would jeopardize the continuing organizational performance. In conclusion, the course work will recommend how Anne could deal with the issue.

Motivation and Organizational Performance

In this context, we will look into how Bill Bailey, chairman of the board of the Utah Opera Organization, might use one theory of motivation to oppose or support the merger and how Scott Parker, chairman of the board of the Utah Symphony Organization, might use one theory of motivation to convince Mrs. Abravenal to support the merger.

Motivation is what drives us to act. There are different types of motivational theories: Intrinsic, extrinsic, drive, needs, investment model, and expectancy motivational theory e.t.c. Motivational concepts give individuals in an organization the power and strength to face adversity and personal challenges.

Bill Bailey might use the needs theory of motivation to support the merger by denoting the financial strength that the merger will have, recognizing the financial stability of opera and the flexibility that the business model will inherit from this stability.

By pointing to the superiority of the merger to be formed, it will be easy to convince all the stakeholders involved that the merger will be better placed to meet their objectives and desires, be they career wise, making profits or expanding wide (Delong & Ager, 2005).

He may also use another theory to oppose the merger by highlighting the rigidity of symphony finance and registering the Opera’s concern that they would lose its identity by merging. On the other hand, Scott Parker will use the needs theory to convince Mrs.

Abravenal to support the merger by explaining that the merger will help in alleviating some financial pressure Symphony was experiencing and completely solve the problem of recruiting a quality CEO because Anne Ewers from Opera would take up that position after the merger.

This will likely go a long way to cut down on unnecessary expenses which would have been incurred by Utah. It will be important to point out the rich experience and capability of the Anne Ewers therefore showing that the vacant of a CEO will be filled in an effective manner by a highly qualified person.

Motivational concepts have thus been used to enhance organizational performance in this case where Bill and Parker confirm that the merger will satisfy their needs.

Power and Influence in Organizational Objectives

In this context, we will look into Anne’s positional power in relation to her personal power. We will also show how Anne could use her positional power to successfully lead the merger efforts and equally use her personal power to empower Keith Lockhart.

Anne Ewers positional power can be demonstrated in the following circumstances: she was hired to lead Utah Opera in 1991, she had been a general director of the Boston Lyric Opera, she served as assistant director to the San Francisco Opera and Canadian Opera Company, and a stage director for more than 60 opera productions.

This positional power is very significant in her personal power in that she had used it to build an endowment fund, increased the number of productions from one to three. This has helped her earn an early reputation, success in annual turnovers, opera productions and fund-raisings.

In this case, Anne could use her positional power to lead the merger efforts because other board members from the two organizations noted that she was a good listener, very energetic, had great potential, competent, capable, an evaluator, a solicitor and had resounding experience in leadership. All these characteristics are significant in leading the challenging merger objectives.

Being a good listener will help her to become aware of all the challenges affecting all the stakeholders in the merger and consequently addressing the challenges effectively. The position of a CEO requires energy to appropriately ensure that all running as expected. Anne Ewers is quite energetic and is in a good position to serve the merge as the responsibilities are already increased.

Personal power has three sources: referent, prestige and expert. In case of Anne Ewers she can be said to enjoy referent, expert and prestige sources of power. Her career is filled with much exploits and is, so far, very successful. Her personal power will therefore give her great leverage in making negotiations and interaction with other authorities in the merger.

She could also use her personal power to empower Keith Lockhart by being a good role model to him. Her good listening and mobilizing skills could empower Lockhart to greater heights as he represents the artists and as they work together for the good of the merger and reporting to the board.

Her expertise in leadership will become useful in empowering Keith. Having being a leader in more challenging scenario than Keith, Anne Ewers will offer him useful tips on how to execute various functions.

Conflict Management Concepts in Organizational Performance

In this case, I will present a potential issue of conflict with the musicians that, if not resolved, would jeopardize the continuing organizational performance. Conflict occurs when individual(s) cannot meet their own self-interest. However, there are many ways of resolving conflict like: creating sound management system, discussions, frequent communications, good planning and setting goals (National Science Foundation, 2005).

The musicians formed the most critical position in Symphony and in the proposed merger and such they were a point of concern in the merger. The musicians had issues with the board and management of Utah Symphony, specifically in the way they handled their salaries and thus felt that the merger discussions would worsen their salary terms hence did not support the merger.

Thus, if this issue is not resolved, the organizational performance would be thrown into jeopardy. Anne can deal with this issue by signing a memorandum of understanding with the musicians in the form of a binding contract that will not affect the upward trend of their remuneration, and that is not open to alterations by the board of the new merger.

Influence Tactics Anne could use to Persuade the Opera’s Full-time Staff and Artists

The support of the full-time staff and artists in the new merger is very essential and mandatory. However, they had refused to endorse it and consequently, set out their points and guidelines to the discussions regarding the merger. As of such, Anne as the CEO must seek their endorsement to the merger lest it fails. The influence tactics that she can use to persuade them endorse the merger are: rational persuasion and inspirational appeal.

By using rational persuasion, Anne could explain to the staff that supporting the merger would finally benefit them as the merger will be in a better position to offer better salary and allowance package to them. She could also use inspirational appeal by showing them that with a merger their careers are headed to a bright future since the opportunities to raise in ranks would be increased.

She could also personal appeal and assure them of an effective fundraising, a collective-bargaining agreement and the protection of their rights. Anne could also introduce incentives to the staff package and guarantee better working conditions.

To the full-time staff, Anne could introduce a retirement benefit scheme for them and a promise to appreciate retention and promotion of employees upon the success of the merger. She should foster excellence in artistry and pay for value of work done.

Conclusion

A merger is signed with an aim of expanding business and getting more markets and profits with fewer costs. It brings together competitors in the same field and market, but each entity retains their share capital. However, the establishment of a merger is not an easy ride subject to the many interested parties involved.

It will be hard to convince some executive officials of both entities to forfeit their positions in favor of the limited newly created positions of the merger that cannot accommodate all. This was best illustrated in the case of Keith Lockhart, Leslie Peterson, who eventually resigned.

It is equally hard to get the support of all parties concerned. Some officials will go against the idea, staff and employees will be reluctant to endorse the merger as they view the eminent loss of their jobs, and even the general community may oppose the merger with valid reasons. It, therefore, requires sober, competent and focused minds to negotiate and actualize a merger.

And so, for the case of Anne and the proposed merger, she should incorporate good ideas like those of Chase Peterson and wisely tackle the issues of the musicians, full-time staff, the community and doubting managers for the smooth running of a new merger if it succeeds. Conclusively, for an improved organizational performance, good management and support from all stakeholders is very significant.

References

Brainz. (2010). What Is a Merger? Brainz. Retrieved from:

Business Link. (2011). Mergers and Acquisitions. Business Link. Retrieved from:

Delong, T & Ager, D. (2005). Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A Merge Proposal. Allston, MA: Harvard Business School.

National Science Foundation. (2005). Dealing with conflict. National School Boards Association. Retrieved from:

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IvyPanda. (2019, May 31). Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A merger proposal. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/utah-symphony-and-utah-opera-a-merger-proposal-coursework/

Work Cited

"Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A merger proposal." IvyPanda, 31 May 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/utah-symphony-and-utah-opera-a-merger-proposal-coursework/.

1. IvyPanda. "Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A merger proposal." May 31, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/utah-symphony-and-utah-opera-a-merger-proposal-coursework/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A merger proposal." May 31, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/utah-symphony-and-utah-opera-a-merger-proposal-coursework/.

References

IvyPanda. 2019. "Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A merger proposal." May 31, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/utah-symphony-and-utah-opera-a-merger-proposal-coursework/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'Utah Symphony and Utah Opera: A merger proposal'. 31 May.

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