Critically Analyze The Role Of Leadership Management Essay

Leadership is very important to organizations especially to management perspective, to manage well the leadership could help company to achieving successful business. In the high competitive environment in nowadays, in order to have successful management of organization, organizations need to know the importance of leadership and the role of leadership in achieving sustainable organizational change. Leader is a person who in charge or as a change agent could manage an organization or use his ability to make the process of organizational change more effectively and successfully. Organizational change is a demand of the day and it is the needed power for organizations to survive in today’s competitive environment. In nowadays, organizations are well understand the signification of the matter, and are serious to prepare themselves both in the existing and future trends to get the level of sustainable success, but it’s very complex and challenging for organizations to achieve the process of organizational change. Due to leadership has a central role in evolution and cultivating an organization, thus, a very effective and highly competent leadership that is well competent to understand the most desirable shape of an organization and undertake the issue of organizational change in most appropriate way is high demanded in the process of organizational change. The analysis of literature reviewed was highly recommended two approaches of leadership in the demand of the process of organizational change which are visionary leadership and charismatic leadership.

The main purpose of this research paper is to evaluate the role of leadership in achieving sustainable organizational change, the importance of organizational change and use the selected two approaches of leadership to evaluate how the leadership works in the Apple Inc, and how do these two leaderships could affect the organizations.

2.0 Literature Review

2.1 The leadership and its importance

Refers to Berger and Luckmann, 1966, leadership like other social phenomena, is socially constructed through interaction, emerging as a result of the constructions and actions of both leaders and led. Research done by Kristina, 2009, leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Additional research which has done by Sansom, 1998, the leadership of an organization is instead, an ability of management to get and protect the company benefits by realizing employees need and company targets and bringing them to work in a better environment to achieve the common goals.

After knowing the definition of leadership, author going to discuss on the importance of leadership in organizations. Refers to the research done by Chris, 2010, organizations are built on leadership and when there is good leadership in place, a company will succeed in all activities that it undertakes, retains employees and experiences growth. In fact, no company or organization can survive and thrive in the lack of efficient organizational leadership. One of the key elements in organizational leadership is maintain a delicate balance between understanding employee needs and organizational goals. An organization with the right leadership elements will have employees whose are satisfied with working in the organization and who feel that their work has contributed to organization growth. It must treat its employees as the most vital part of the entire system and instead of just a workforce it must treat them like assets. Leadership is very important to organization because it helps establishing direction to organization, developing a vision of the future, often the distant future, and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision, and leadership could help organization in aligning people, to communicating the direction by words and deeds to all those whose cooperation may be needed so as to influence the creation of teams and coalitions that understand the vision and strategies, and accept their validity (Barbara and Stephen, 2010).

In the case study, the leadership of Steve Jobs built Apple Inc to the world’s most valuable company in 2011. Refers to Case study, the company started off as “Apple Computer”, best known for its Macintosh personal computers (PCs) in the 1980’s and 1990’s, despite a strong brand, rapid growth, and high profits in the late 1980s, Apple almost went bankrupt in 1996. Then Jobs went to work, transforming “Apple Computer” into “Apple Inc” with innovation non-PC products starting in the early 2000’s. In fact, by 2010, the company viewed itself as a “mobile device company”, in the 2009 fiscal year, sales related to the iPhone and the iPod represented nearly 60% of Apple’s total sales of $43 billion. Apple Inc could not have todays successful without the good leadership of Jobs; he controlled and managed the company well to lead company achieving high revenue every year. Steve Jobs leaded his employees went out to the limitation of the normal PC industry, to focus on the different high technology products in the related area, the innovation power which Jobs built still has high market position for Apple Inc today.

2.2 Role of leadership in organizational change

Effective leadership is always required to bring effective changes (Kennedy, 2000). Successful organizational change depends on leaders who has direct authority with people going through the change-to support and execute change in their span of influence. Refers to Reardon, 1998, radical changes require private acceptance and it is a role of senior leaders to aware people to realize the need of change and therefore to create willingness to relinquish old style of working in favor of new ones. Another researcher Kotter, 1995, said that the effective leaders have clear and straight vision about future and the successful change needs to have a clear picture of future, without vision the successful changes are very difficult, thus, it is very important for the leaders to communicate the vision. Drucker, 1995 regards leaders in an organization as the life-giving elements in every organization in that without managers, organizations cannot possibly function properly without good leadership. Thus, a strong link is noted between a leader’s efficiency and organization performance. Another additional research done by Wasim and Imran, 2010, the organizational leadership has a central role in evolution and cultivating an organization, it can help the member of an organization and working teams to face the challenges and to work for organizational goal in a worthy way.

Steve Jobs plays an important role of the leadership in Apple’s organizational change, he leads Apple went out from the almost decline situation to such successful IT company today. Follow Steve Jobs back to Apple, in August 1997, Apple announced that Microsoft would invest $150 million in Apple and make a five-year commitment to develop core products, such as Microsoft Office, for the Mac Jobs abruptly halted the Macintosh licensing program. Apple’s 15 product lines were slashed to just four categories-desktop and portable Macintoshes, for consumers and professionals. Other restructuring efforts involved hiring Taiwanese contract assemblers to manufacture Mac products and revamping Apple’s distribution system from smaller outlets to national chains. Internally, Jobs focused on reinvigorate innovation, and Apple pared down its inventory significantly and increased its spending on R&D.

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Refers to the research done by Kennedy, 2000, effective leadership is always required to bring effective changes, Jobs has the full authority with staffs and outsiders in the ongoing processes during the organizational change. According to another research done by Kennedy, 2000, effective leaders should have clear vision for the future development of organization, for example, Jobs laid out his vision for the Macintosh in what he called the “digital hub” in 2001, in which could attract these customers who entrenched in a digital lifestyle such as using digital cameras, portable music players and digital camcorders, and Jobs believed that Apple’s control of both hardware and software could be one of the unique strength for Macintosh to manage all these digital things. Because of the great leadership of Jobs, 91% of PCs priced $1,000 and above in the US market were sold by Apple (Case study). Therefore, the leadership plays an important role in the organizational change, and the effective leadership could bring company with effective organizational change and increase revenue.

2.3 The evaluation of organizational change

2.3.1 The importance of organizational change

Organizational change is defined as the adaptation of new ideas or behavior by an organization with many perspectives on strategic change and organization development (Halkos and Bousinakis, 2012). The role of the manager or a team of leaders is crucial for the change. Those changes range both from technological to structural change and from psychological transitioning to organization downsizing (Choi, 1995). Organizational changes including both operational and transformational change. Refers to Liberatore et al, 2000, transformational change involves redesign and renewal of the organization often not made by the effort of a management science modeling. Organization change occurs in many forms, such as introduction of new technologies, new products, new process of administrative systems or any procedure new to an organization (Baker and Wruck, 1989; Zhou et al, 2006).

Nowadays business trends are changing rapidly and quickly in the globe and the organizations that do not change cannot survive (Hage, 1999). In the high competitive environment of today’s business, organizations are facing both internal and external pressure that they must make changes in order to success in the industry. It is also very important for the organization to manage the demands and expectations of the customers, employees and management; therefore, there is always a need for change to meet these expectations (Wasim and Imran, 2010).

2.3.2 The organizational change of Apple Inc

According to Hage, 1999, organizational changes mean that organizations are undergoing and or undergone transformation, it may be define their success story or any type of experience or failure, the organizational change is the set of different actions that results shifting in directions and or processes that affect the way in which organizations work before. Some research paper wrote that organizational change cannot be separated from organizational strategy, or vice versa (Burnes, 2004; Rieley and Clarkson, 2001). Researcher Graetz, 2000, also suggested that against a backdrop of increasing globalization, deregulation, the rapid pace of technological innovation, a growing knowledge workforce, and shifting social and demographic trends, few would dispute that the primary task for management today is the leadership of organizational change.

2.3.3 Summary

As the research done by Wasim and Imran, 2010 mentioned that the internal and external forces are important to organizational change. For example, in Apple’s case the external forces such as the competitive of IBM Company – Apple’s competitive position changed fundamentally in 1981 when IBM entered the PC market. Because of the IMB PCs not only gained more market share, but they also emerged as the new standard for the industry. Apple responded by introducing the Macintosh in 1984, the Mac marked a breakthrough in ease of use, industrial design, and technical elegance; however the Mac’s slow processor speed and lack of compatible software limited sales. Thus, in a result of this, Apple’s net income fell 62% between 1981 and 1984, sending the company into a crisis, and this could be the internal pressures to Apple itself. Both the internal pressure and external pressure pushed Apple must make some organizational change in order to save the company and to have long term business.

Therefore, Apple has introduces the iMac in August 1998 which priced $1299 all-in-one computer featured colorful translucent cases with a distinct eggshell design and also supported “plug-and-play” peripherals, saved Apple from crisis, because of the successful iMac, Apple’s sales outpaced the industry’s average for the first time in years, Apple posted a $309 million profit in its 1998 fiscal year, reversing the previous year’s $1 billion loss.

Apple as a good example of successful organizational change company, it has changed in response to technology, legislation, competition and consumer demand. One of the company’s strategies after organizational change is to provide customers with high quality and high technology products since the consumer demand is changing with technology in the recent years such as iPad and iPod. Another successful strategy is the digital hub strategy, Apple’s shift towards a digital hub strategy was initiated by the debut of the iPod in 2001, followed by the iPhone in 2007, and then the iPad in 2010 and these product lines set Apple on a path toward becoming a full-fledged digital convergence company.

In a summary of the above analysis, the two approaches of pressures pushed Apple Inc to go for organizational change, and after the changes done, it helps Apple Inc to reach good revenue and successful business. Apple Inc has made some strategy changes, they shortage their business into only four categories, and also refers to the research done by Graetz, 2000 which mentioned in the 2.3.2 section, the rapid pace of technological innovation, a growing knowledge workforce are the primary task for the leaders in the organizational change process, for example, in the leadership of Steve Jobs, Apple Inc has innovated some new high technology products such as iPad, iPod, iPhone and retail pathway. For example, Apple Inc not only wanted consumers to look at the eye-catching Macintosh designs, it is also wanted people to directly use and experience Apple’s software, the Apple retail experience gave many consumers their first exposure to the Macintosh product line. Another successful example of Apple Inc because of the organizational change of Apple Inc is iPhone, the first iPhone was introduced in 2007 with many competitors such as Samsung, Nokia, HTC and etc, within two years, the iPhone went from zero to 30% of Apple’s total revenue, in terms of global Smartphone’s sales, the iPhone was the biggest growth story, capturing more than 14% of the market. From the two successful examples of Apple Inc in the organizational change could see that the suitable organizational change could help organizations with increase revenue and success business.

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3.0 Analysis of case study

3.1 Visionary leadership

Visionary leadership refers to the capacity to create and communicate a view of a desired state of affairs that clarifies the current situation and induces commitment to an even better future (Kathlee and Vincent, 2003). Colton 1985 described a visionary leader as one who “established goals and objectives for individual and group action, which define not what we are but rather what we seek to be or do”. The visionary leader inspires, challenges, guides and empowers. The reason why the Steve Jobs leadership is the visionary leadership is because Jobs truly added value, his evangelical zeal to show people the future potential of the product, this is vision as foresight, and has caused Jobs to be dubbed the ‘priceless proselytizer’ (Uttal, 1985) and the ‘missionary of micros’. His visionary capacity as a promoter was also widely recognized and appreciated within the company, and Jobs is outstanding in his merging of foresight and imagination into the genius of the proselytizer.

Visionary leadership has been discussed since many years back by few different researchers, Murphy, 1990 provided some insights into the nature of visionary leadership, he concluded that “more effective principals have a clear sense of direction for their schools that they are able to clearly articulate”, and the visionary leader focuses on fewer coordinated objectives around which staff members’ energy can be mobilized. Refers to Frances and Henry, 1989, an alternative image of visionary leadership might be that of a drama, Peter Brook, 1968, the legendary director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, has suggested that the magic of the theatre lies in that moment when fiction and life somehow blend together. It may be brief, but it is the goal of playwright, director, actor and audience, the result of ‘rehearsal’, the ‘performance’ itself, and the ‘attendance’ of the audience. Brook, however, finds these words too static, and prefers the French equivalents ‘repetition’, ‘representation’ and ‘assistance’, all of which, coincidentally, have special meanings in English. Kotter, 1996, also discuss that without the vision of leaders the motivation level of organization people may go down and their activities become meaningless which can prove worst for an organizations at the later end, he further said that “vision plays a key role in producing useful change by helping to direct, align and inspire actions on the part of large numbers of people. Without an appropriate vision, a transformation effort can easily dissolve into a list of confusing, incompatible and time consuming projects that go in the wrong direction or nowhere at all”.

In the case study of Apple Inc, the visionary leadership of Steve Jobs brought lots of revenue to company, for example, Jobs came up with the great vision that the personal computer should become a “digital hub” for managing all of a user’s music, videos, photos and content in 2000, thus, Apple Inc got into the personal device business with the iPod and then the iPad. Thanks to the great vision of Jobs, iPod with its sleek design, simple user interface and large storage, it soon became “an icon of the Digital Age” in the words of one writer, and the first iPod stored up to 1,000 songs while other company’s MP3 only can store hours of songs, by 2010, Apple reportedly held more than 70% of the MP3 market in the US. When other competitors still using normal music players which can only store hours of songs, Jobs made their vision to have some device which could upload and download digital songs, thus, the iPod was released with simple and nice design and could store up to 1,000 songs. The successful visionary leadership helped Apple Inc increased company market share in the industry and also increased the revenue for company. The other successful vision of Jobs made when he lead Apple Inc was the innovation of the product between a Smartphone and a laptop computer which named iPad, the iPad could either connect to the Wifi or customers could buy a premium iPad which can use with 3G services, and also iPad could run almost all the iPhone apps. More than 450,000 iPads were sold during its first week on the market which brought to Apple Inc with good profits. Jobs commented that, “It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world-it’s going to be a game changer”. The successful of iPad released in the industry had lead other competitors to enter into the tablet market, it had produced immediately competitor responds such as HP said it would make a Wintel-based tablet, and Dell planned to ship an Android-based tablet.

3.2 Charismatic leadership

Charismatic leadership theory is a popular and much researched approach to understanding effective leadership (Hughes, Ginnett and Curphy, 2003), Kippenberger, 2002, stated charismatic leaders are seen to have a powerful vision, a great deal of self-confidence, a strong conviction that they are right, and an assertive, even dominant, personality, this makes them highly effective in crisis situations or periods of significant change, but it can also make them potentially dangerous-especially if they choose the wrong vision. Steve Jobs is a strong charismatic leader, as a charismatic leader, he is highly inspirational, likes using stories to motivate, and his passion for perfection is inspiring, and when relying on behaviors that emphasize the directive style, Jobs does not hold his ideas about the direction of a project or someone’s ideas on how to resolve a problem. Steve Jobs had a great leader way of interacting with his employees, he could be greatly kind, rewarding and motivational, in a mean while, and he could also be cruel, despondent, demanding and thankless. His interaction with suppliers, other companies, and customers was equally unpredictable, no one ever knew that to expect from him, and the employees and suppliers are all most willing to follow his idea and what he asked them doing.

Charismatic leadership theory was expanded by a number of researchers who have produced complementary, yet somewhat different, conceptualizations of charismatic leadership (House, 1977; Sashkin, 1988; Trice and Bever, 1986). Each of these theoretical offerings links a leader’s influence; improved follower motivation, satisfaction and effort, and charismatic leadership can operate either as an individualized or a group level phenomenon depending on organizational context (Avolio and Yammarino, 1990). Shamir, House and Arthur, 1993, suggested that the effects of charismatic leadership on followers’ motivation are mediated by the increased salience of collective identities in followers’ self-concepts. Other researchers have done the similar research on the charismatic leadership as well and they have recorded that the performance and effectiveness of charismatic leaders is theorized to lay, at least in part, in their ability to inspire followers to work towards a vision rather than motivating followers with rewards and punishments, in particular, charismatic leaders tend to use specific communication strategies to inspire followers and implement social change (Shamir, Arthur and House, 1994; Fiol et al, 1999; Emrich et al, 2001; Bligh, Kohles and Meindl, 2004).

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In the case study of Apple Inc, the grate charismatic leadership of Steve Jobs had pulled company from crisis and leaded Apple Inc to become one of the most successful companies in the industry. For example, Steve Jobs always use stories to inspire and motivate people in his work, he is able to build the culture and promote his vision and mission for Apple Inc, and he used stories that made his employees feel they were making a difference in the world. Jobs said he wanted to make a dent in the universe with this company (Young, 2005). This is the mission he instilled in his employees and gave them a sense of purpose and devotion that continues to this day. The charisma leader ability made employees to work together and efficiency, and enhanced the productivity and revenue for the company.

The other example is Steve Jobs wanted every products which he developed need to be perfect, such as during the development of iPhone. The initial design has the glass screen set into an aluminum case, one Monday morning Jobs went over to see Ive, “I didn’t sleep last night”, he said, “because I realized that I just don’t love it.” Ive, to his dismay, instantly saw that Jobs was right, “I remember feeling absolutely embarrassed that he had to make the observation,” he says. The problem was that the iPhone should have been all about the display, but in its current design the case competed with the display instead of getting out of the way. The whole device felt too masculine, task-driven and efficient. “Guys, you’ve killed yourselves over this design for the last nine months, but we’re going to change it, we are all going to have to work nights and weekends, and if you want, we can hand out some guns so you can kill us now..” Jobs told to his team. Instead of balking, the team agreed. Same cases happened many times in the new product development, any small design or material Jobs did not like, he would tell his team “No” and change everything again even it needs to take more times to working on it, he did not care as he needs the products to be perfect, and because of his idea and suggestion were fully reasonable, employees agreed to change it and Jobs would worked together with his team to ensure the new perfect products could deliver to customers on time. Also because of his charismatic leadership ability the first iPhone-a revolutionary 3.5 inch touch screen interface placed commands at the touch of users’ fingertips without a physical keyboard and its entire system ran on a specially adapted version of Apple’s OS X platform, successfully sold about six million units over five quarters, this brought Apple Inc with very good revenue and the market position in the smart phone market.

4.0 Conclusion

In a summary the analysis in this research paper, the leadership plays a significant role in the organizational change, and the type of leadership which Steve Jobs used in the Apple Inc are visionary leadership and charismatic leadership. Refers to Wasim and Imran, 2010, organizational leadership has a central role in evolution and cultivating an organization, it can help the member of an organization and working teams to face the challenges and to work for organizational goal in a worthy way, and the role of a leader is also very prominent while addressing the change issue for organizations. And in the case study, the great leadership of Steve Jobs helped Apple Inc to reached high revenue and good market position. Therefore, organizations need to pay attention to the importance of leadership during the organizational change, good leadership could bring organizations successful organizational change and business, and ineffective leadership could result in fail on organizational change.

Both visionary leadership and charismatic leadership are important for organizations, vision is a mental image of a possible and desirable future of the organization (Bennis and Nanus, 1985; Lyerly and Maxey, 2000), there do not have any leader without vision, and the visionary leadership are very important for organizations development, leaders need to have a clear visionary image on how the future development of organization, otherwise, the organization will face decline. Such as in Apple Inc, Steve Jobs had the clear vision of how the future development of Apple Inc, which market and products organization need to develop, without the successful visionary leadership of Jobs Apple Inc could not reach today’s success and market position.

Charisma as a relationship between an individual leader and one or more followers based on leader behaviors that engender intense reactions and attributions on the part of followers, a charismatic leader may enchant the subordinates, as a result, the subordinates are likely to follow a leader who is charismatic (Wu and Wang, 2012). The charisma leadership of Steve Jobs pulled Apple Inc out from crisis, he pushed perfection on every product which he created, to ensure the quality and design of the product could perfect to be delivered to customers. The way he interactive with his employees made employees were all willing to follow his suggestions and instructions, only all the followers could work together, then the productivity and efficiency of work could be done, Jobs as the great charismatic leader leaded Apple Inc to reach today’s performance. Therefore, leaders need to have the charisma ability to lead organizations, and organizations need to have the charisma leadership to ensure organization could have successful business and performance, in a final result, could reach high revenue for organizations.

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