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Category: Business

Autor: anton 24 December 2010

Words: 2607 | Pages: 11

Running head: Leading Change Paper

Leading Change Paper: Managing Across the Organization

James Boyles

University of Phoenix

Leading Change Paper: Managing Across the Organization

In the simulation, Managing across America the class explored the effects of power and influence on a company’s growth and development. This paper will discuss the opportunities and challenges for the Good Sport Company.

The Good Sport Company is based in Coral Springs Florida .The company manufacturers fitness equipment such as treadmills, bikes, steppers and rowing equipment. Jason Poole, ex-basketball super star formed the company over 15 years ago, Jason is currently the chairman of the board for his company.

Marvin Wallace has been for the last 4 years, the chief executive officer for Good Sport. The company has been very successful at marketing its exercise equipment to Hospitals. Good Sport needs to grow and expand their operation to other markets in order to realize continued success (Simulation, 2006)

Good Sport Organization

Organizational structure is the way in which the interrelated groups of an organization are constructed. From a managerial point of view the main concerns are ensuring effective communication and coordination (Daft ,2004) At Good Sport company effective communication and coordination was a very low priority for management.Another reason that contributed to the ineffectivity of the Good Sport company is the nature of its organizational structure.The Good Sport company operated in a functional structure. This type of organization is structured according to functional areas instead of product lines. The functional structure groups specialize in similar skills in separate units. This structure is best used when creating specific, uniform products. A functional structure is well suited to organizations which have a single or dominant core product because each subunit becomes extremely adept at performing its particular portion of the process. The funtional structure can be productive and efficient, but lack flexibility and communications. Communication between functional areas can be difficult because each unit acts independent of the organizations overall vision if any.

An organizations culture is the values and practices shared by the members of the group or company. Company culture, therefore, is the shared values and practices of the company's employees. Company culture is important because it can make or break the company. Companies with an adaptive culture that is aligned to their business goals routinely out perform their competitors. Some studies report the difference at 200% or more (Heathfield, 2006) results like this for organization, the culture is important to figure out, then decide what it should be, and move everyone toward the desired culture. The problem at Good Sport was that each subdivision on the 2nd tier had its own culture for example, members of the sales division adopted an informal attitude about most things,In contrast the production department was very formal about most things,and they disliked interferences from other departments.

Good Sports functional structure was much like its culture because niether was adaptive to the needs of the organization.The structure at Good Sports lacked the inherent flexibility and communication processes required for a succesfull company.The culture at Good Sport was not adaptive,they were divided because of the lack of one vision and common goals.At Good Sport the structure and current culture did not support the development of the company.Unfortunately, current leadership at Good Sport uses power and politices to get things accomplished,these tactics produce fear and reduces support and cohesiveness among employees.In the benchmarking studies company structures that encouraged communications and adopted “open-door” communications methods were usually very effective at sharing one company vision with the team.The bench marking studies also developed organizational cultures that empowered employees and united them under one vision.

The power structure at Good Sport consisted of 4 tiers of management first starting with the chairmen of the board Jason Poole,owner.The 1st level consist of Chief Executive officer. The 2nd level has four units each headed by a V.P. The first is the Production unit , second Research and Design , third Sales and finnally the Finance department.Management at Good Sport often used their positional power and politics to accomplish short term gains and further support their agendas. As stated earlier the functional structure is not very adaptive and flexible, communications is not a very high priority either.Under these conditions, when conflict arises or decisions have to be made management appeals to the various stakeholders short term gain by using organizational politics and political tactics to accomplish their goal.The unfortunate thing is that the goal could be personal or corporate.Employees since the desention and lack of unified leadership because of this poor environment employees mimic their leaders lack of style and become very nonchalent,this in turn produces a poor company culture.When promoted to executive management one action item would have included developing a new vision for Good Sport, and implementing strategies to bring some level of cohesiveness among the various units.The goal would be to change the organization to have a more adaptive culture,then employees can focus on the need for change and support the leadership and organization as well. At Good Sport each of the company units operarated as if it were a separate entity of the company.One company should operate with one vision in order to realize the vision.

Change management is a structured approach to change in individuals, teams, organizations and societies that enables the transition from a current state to a desired future state. The change referred to in this context includes a broad array of topics. From an individual perspective, the change may be a new behavior. From a business perspective, the change may be a new business process or new technology. From a societal perspective, the change may be a new public policy or the passing of new legislation. Successful change, however, requires more than a new process, technology or public policy. Successful change requires the engagement and participation of the people involved. Change management provides a framework for managing the people side of these changes. The most recent research points to a combination of organizational change management tools and individual change management models for effective change to take place (Hiatt,2006).

In order to help the organization deal with change and resistance to change the following 5 key concepts must be disscussed and explained to every employee.

1) Educate-have several scheduled educational training sessions,at which any questions can be addressed from the employees to clear up rumors or any other misunderstandings.Trainer will discuss with employee the new company vision, goals and objectives and how the employee can help the organization make the vision a reality.

2) Improve communications-all managers must have an “open-door-policy” be availible for employees to discuss issues and concerns.Encourage giving and receiving feedback at all level in the organization.

3) Trainer will discuss guidelines for new empowerment actions,available for all

employees.Employees have been empowered to make decisions and changes

to ensure G/O s.Trainer will also discuss and emphasize companies commitment

to the employees and organization.

4) Trainer will also discuss the new employee rewards program,employees can be

Recognized and rewarded two ways,by management every quarter,employee must explain how to help the company make the vision reality.Rewarded by management and /or peers for job well done.

5) Offer softskill training sessions for all employees,coaching for success,

giving and receiving feedback ,and motivating dynamics.

Hopefully, these strategies will help Good Sport deal with any objections to change and resistance.

Good Sport is a company that needs direction and vision. They need to implement some major changes in order to ensure the future success of the company. Good Sport has become stagnant in its growth and leadership methodology. As the new CEO at the Good Sport Company, the new vision must be established and shared with employees this will better align the company with the opportunities of the current and future markets or environments. Another key concept critical for Good Sport is empowerment. Empowerment involves the employees in the decision making process. One of the characteristics of this empowerment-nurturing context is inclusion. Empowering leaders invite an atmosphere of inclusion across all levels of the organization by making sure that everyone has a voice and that voice is heard, this induces employee commitment. This is in contrast to those leaders who include in the decision-making process only people who are like themselves and exclude those who are different. While the disempowering leader fears dissent, empowering leaders see it as a source of objectivity and innovation. They understand that they cannot become a learning organization unless new ideas are allowed to penetrate the decision-making processes. Such leaders resist the urge to exercise their positional authority to resolve tensions created by conflicting ideas. For them, power is not a tool to be used upon others; rather, it is understood as "reciprocal forces within a tension-filled network of relations."In reference again to that higher principle, these leaders believe that the process itself will eventually resolve the tension but with a solution far superior to one that could have been declared through the use of positional power (USACE,2006)

In order to ensure Good Sports success a transformational leadership style would be the best fit for the organization.Transformational leadership incorporates vision and empowerment leadership concepts.Transformational leaders have an unswerving commitment as much as anything else that keeps people going, particularly through the darker times when some may question if the vision can ever be achieved. If the people do not believe that they can succeed, then their efforts will be in vain. The Transformational Leader seeks to infect and re-infect their followers with a high level of commitment to the vision. In contrast, transactional leadership seeks to motivate followers by appealing to their own self-interest. Its principles are to motivate by the exchange process. For example, business owners exchange status and wages for the work effort of the employee. In the political environment, politicians may exchange favors or government jobs for votes. Transactional behavior focuses on the accomplishment of tasks and good worker relationships in exchange for desirable rewards. Transactional leadership may encourage the leader to adapt their style and behavior to meet the perceived expectations of the followers. Transactional leadership practices laissez-faire type style, this was a common style management used by Good Sport.Laissez-Faire managers exercise little control over his /her group, leaving them to sort out their roles and tackle their work without participating in the process him/herself (Simulation, 2006).

Good Sport needs a change, the change that transformational leadership would bring.

Transactional leadership behavior is used to one degree or another by most leaders. However, as the saying goes, “if the only tool in your workbox is a hammer…you will perceive every problem as a nail”. A leader should not exclusively or primarily practice transactional leadership behavior to influence others! Here are a few common problems of those who do so. Some use transactional leadership behavior as a tool to manipulate others for selfish personal gain. Good Sport placed too much emphasis

On the “bottom line” and by its very nature is short-term oriented with the goal of simply maximizing efficiency and profits? The leader can pressure others to engage in unethical or amoral practices by offering strong rewards or punishments. Transactional leadership seeks to influence others by exchanging work for wages, but it does not build on the worker’s need for meaningful work or tap into their creativity. If used as the primary behavior by a leader it can lead to an environment permeated by position, power, perks and politics. The most effective and beneficial leadership behavior to achieve long-term success and improved performance is transformational leadership (Ford, 2006)

As CEO for Good Sport I would encourage and foster the development of self-directed work groups and teams. In order to ensure buy-in and commitment the group or team would develop their own strategy of operation this will go a long way in the big picture. In order to resolve conflict issues I recommend conflict management method .I would allow team to find best method for them to use. The goal of this style is to use communication and clarification to reinforce roles and procedures.


In the simulation, the Good Sport Company definitely had a great deal of room for improvement. Leaders my use their power and political influence to manipulate situations in the best interest of the individual and not necessarily in the best interest of the organization. Under this management style organizations do not reach their potential. Senior leadership must create a vision for the overall organization, without vision the organization becomes segmented and un-united, employees lose commitment and concern for the organization. Leadership needs to be flexible for various situations. Transformational leadership is ideal for organizations on the move. The Good Sport Company can succeed with transformational leadership with vision, and empowered and committed employees.(see table 1 for leadership characteristics)


Daft, R. L. (2004). Organization Theory and Design (8th ed.). Mason, OH: South-


Ford, R. (2006) Organizational learning, change & power: Toward a practice-theory

framework. The Learning Organization 13(5), 495-524. Retrieved April 30,2007

from Emerald Journals

Heathfield, S. M. (2006). Employee empowerment. Human Resources: About, Inc.

Accessed April 30,2007 from

Hiatt, J. 2006. ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government and the

Community, Learnng Center Publications, Loveland, CO

Simulation, Good Sport 2007 University of Phoenix .edu

USACE (2006). Learning organization: Empowerment. US Army Corps of Engineers.

Retrived April 30,2007 from from

Table 1

Leadership comparison/contrast

TransformationalLeaders TransactionalLeaders






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