“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” As the famous American author and keynote speaker, Stephen Covey, has aptly defined the two needed things that would jumpstart an organization in order for it to run as smoothly as a well-oiled machine, effective leadership and effective management is more than simply carrying the name of ‘head honcho’ in the company. People tend to follow leaders that are well-rounded and well-informed, leaders that are charismatic and driven, leaders that know for certain what they are doing.
Mr. Lee Kun Hee, as the new leader of Samsung Electronics on 1987, after having replaced his late father in ...view middle of the document...
Lee’s father who is Mr. Lee Byung Chull- and one that was highly hierarchical and inward-looking. Perhaps because of the time period or the norm in the society, Mr. Lee Byung Chull’s management style was one wherein the whole company down to the tiniest bits of details in its operations was completely dependent to his decisions. The company is one whole machinery and he is the sole operator, to quote the article: “ from the one man rule of his father…he had charisma and was respected, his words were absolutely final”.
The huge change that has transformed Samsung has been single-handedly spearheaded by the third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung- Chull, Lee Kun Hee
Judging from the description of the earlier management of Samsung Electronics, the company was run in a highly bureaucratic environment. It has clear division of labor which is to be expected from a product-oriented manufacturing company and a very clear hierarchy of authority which undoubtedly can be traced to Mr. Lee Byung Chull. In all fairness, considering the heights wherein such leadership style took Samsung in 1987, Mr. Lee Byung Chull’s ways has served their designed purpose.
Earlier studies of the Theories in Management suggests that Max Weber, its formulator, defined a bureaucratic organization as a workplace wherein effective decision-making, resources control, and worker protection directives can be efficiently implemented in order to accomplish organizational goals. Furthermore, Weber viewed a bureaucratic organization and its elements as solutions to problems or defects within earlier and more traditional administrative systems. Likewise, he viewed these elements as parts of a total system, which, combined and instituted effectively, would increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the administrative structure. However, what Max Weber failed to take into consideration is that such clear-cut system where everything is in hierarchical order is bound to result to a highly-traditional and rigid organization which would be slow to respond to the ever-changing environment.
Perhaps what Max Weber failed to realize as faults in his bureaucratic organization was also Mr. Lee Byung Chull’s blind spot. His highly-hierarchical leadership in Samsung may have helped the company in its earlier years but apparently, what has worked decades ago is refusing to take hold in the present time. The organization’s highly-bureaucratic setting made it almost inflexible to the fast-changing demands of the technological goods market. As the article suggested, the present Mr. Lee himself was brave enough to admit that their company failed to perform at least at par with its major competition in the market such as General Electric, Sony, and Philips.
Luckily, admitting to his company’s faults and knowing the competition enough- as what Sun Tsu suggested in his writings regarding the Art of War- is what made Mr. Lee Kun Hee take the first step in jolting Samsung awake from its metaphorical...