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Affecting Change Essay

1670 words - 7 pages


Affecting Change

Affecting Change
In the University of Phoenix “Leadership in Action” simulation (2002), Smith & Falmouth (S&F) is a tele-shopping and mail order company with a new e-tailing department, S&F online (UOP, 2002). Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Irene Seagraves appoints me as Chief Operating Officer (COO) to lead the team to a 100% growth target within 9 months (University of Phoenix (UOP), 2002). This paper discusses the established methods of control within the department between myself, the managers—Project Manager James Argyle, Logistics Manager Brian Kervor, Marketing Manager Adam Searle—the ...view middle of the document...

He has a vision and is task oriented with a hands-on approach (UOP, 2002).
The marketing manager’s interests are in line with the vision of the department. He is an extrovert with both people-oriented and task-oriented skills as he works well under deadlines and in an extrovert who interacts well with managers. He lacks team interaction skills especially since the web development team often interprets his approach as intimidating (UOP, 2002).
According to the simulation, “the influence held by employees differs from those prescribed by the organizational hierarchy.” (UOP, 2002). The leaders have strong influence over the teams, with no alliance with the COO except for the marketing manager whom the COO has influence over (UOP, 2002). Interaction between the COO and the employees is thus far limited to formal office interaction, or instrumental compliance where the “motivation for the behavior is purely instrumental” (Yukl, 2006). The only way to shift employee loyalties is to gain the trust and respect of the most influential individuals in the group, particularly the project manager and the logistics manager (Yukl, 2006).
Two types of control currently being used in the department are referent power and expert power, both of which are types of personal power (Yukl, 2006). Referent power comes from “the desire of others to please an agent toward whom they have strong feelings of affection, admiration, and loyalty (Yukl, 2006). All three managers have people oriented skills and are friendly and trustworthy, traits that lead others to carry out their promises (UOP, 2002). Expert power is derived from “task-relevant knowledge and skill,” which “provides potential influence over subordinates, peers, and superiors.” Currently, the teams depend on the marketing manager, project manager, and logistics manager for advice (UOP, 2002). The COO is also dependent on the marketing manager as a source of knowledge during the transition, since the marketing manager is the only one affiliating himself with the COO at the moment (UOP, 2002).
Resistance to the new leadership has created a situation where the COO is going to have to use a great deal of proactive influence tactics (Yukl, 2006). According to Yukl, “When target resistance is likely the agent may need to use a proactive influence tactic such as rational persuasion.” In other words, until the COO gains the trust and respect of the department, requests to get things done will have to come from legitimate power where the power stems from the formal authority of being appointed as COO (Yukl, 2006).
The current culture of the department and organization is closely aligned with the manufacturing firm that Robbins & Judge (2007) refer to as “Organization B.” S&F is a fast growing proactive firm that does not fear changes or innovation with a new department geared towards cornering the online market and a vision towards the future (UOP, 2002). Its growth targets are competitive and the leaders are...

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