Social Influence- Organization Behavior - Case Study Example

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 This essay discusses potential dangers of having one super-powerful leader of an organization. Also, it analyses the Harpo case identifies a single power center in Oprah Winfrey and offers the dilemma of whether the company can survive in the absence of Oprah…
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Social Influence- Organization Behavior
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Social Influence- Organization Behavior
The Harpo case identifies a single power center in Oprah Winfrey and offers the dilemma of whether the company can survive in the absence of Oprah. This identifies potential dangers that Opra ought to deal with in order to ensure sustainability of the organization.
Potential dangers of having one super-powerful leader of an organization
While a single super-powerful leader may have benefits to an organization, it has diversified disadvantages that yield both long-term and short-term dangers. One of the dangers of a single super powerful leader is threat to long-term sustainability. The powerful leader may command respect and loyalty from stakeholders such as employees, consumers, and investors and this has the effects of undermining potentials of other leaders in an organization. This is particularly true if the super-powerful leader becomes the organization’s brand, as observed in the case of Oprah Winfrey. Most stakeholders may therefore support the organization because of her presence and image and should these fade, the stakeholders would withdraw their support irrespective of the nature of a new leader.
Another danger of a single super-powerful leader in an organization is limited room for growth of other leaders. This is because of actual lack of growth opportunities as the leader assumes most responsibility or because other leaders may feel inferior and shy away from assuming challenging responsibilities. Another potential danger of the arrangement is negative effects of inefficiencies of the powerful leader because such inefficiencies may go unchallenged, and the effects uncorrected. Since it is associated with centralized management, a single power center is likely to threaten advantages of decentralization such as high level of commitment and communication among employees (Gupta 138).
Possible strategies to ensuring Oprah’s succession
Winfrey might ensure her succession through three strategies: rational persuasion, inspirational appeal, and consultation. Rational persuasion might help her to convince stakeholders that perceived power gap between her and other leaders is not real. In succeeding in this, Oprah might ensure that all stakeholders, especially other leaders in the organization, are acceptable and have equal opportunities to succeed her. This might also develop a sense of equality between her and other leaders to make the leaders acceptable should her personality fade or she leave the organization. Inspirational appeal is another effective way in which Oprah might ensure effective succession because of possible effects of grooving new leaders who can rise to take her place and, like her, develop their own brands that command audience. Inspirational appeal is also likely to influence stakeholders to the sense that any person can succeed in her power position. Consultation has the effects of learning a business environment and developing cohesion. It might therefore bridge perceived power gap between Oprah and her subordinates to promote the subordinates’ ability to succeed her. A true leadership succession plan is however not possible in these circumstances because the power center appears to be psychological (Alonso).
Concerns that Oprah Winfrey should have in terms of influencing employees around her
One of the set of concerns that Oprah should have in terms of influencing employees is awareness that could involve awareness of the organization’s internal and external environment, awareness of personal potentials to influence, and awareness of every employee’s leadership potentials. Employees’ awareness is also significant. Oprah should also consider applicable conceptual models for nurturing employees because of the situational applicability of models. Applicable tools and techniques are another set of concerns that are applicable to Oprah in influencing employees (Class Notes).
Works cited
Alonso, Sheryl. “Influence tactics of leaders”
Class notes. “Social influence”
Gupta, Meenakshi. Principles of management. New Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd., 2009. Print. Read More
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