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Final Project Essay

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To turnaround an unprofitable company, Joan imposed new management ideas despite her father’s business practices and culture. With her leadership, Joan will lead and motivate Invitations Inc. employees, and the company will become more profitable. This leadership void threatens Invitation’s Inc “sustainable pattern of customer focus and profitable growth” (Millikin 9). Invitations Inc. needs to continue the momentum and motivation to accomplish growth. Replacing Joan with as the new CEO by use of a search committee represents the obvious solution to the problem. However, this assumes a replacement could and would be Joan’s equal, including leadership and management style, vision, and knowledge. Garrett could allow Joan to transition the leadership role to a replacement of her choice, with approval of Invitations Board of Directors, after a mentoring and trial period. On the other hand, Invitations Inc. could negotiate with Garrett to extend Joan’s stay as CEO to ensure the status quo. This would allow Joan to continue her successful leadership and strategies, or run the company as CEO of Invitations Inc, while decreasing redundancies and increasing operating efficiencies.

Analysis of the Alternatives Search committees often replace the traditional hiring of upper management and leadership. The committee must define present conditions and develop a consensus of criteria used in evaluating candidates, including the leadership qualities needed at this stage in the company’s revival plan. Next, the committee can identify, screen, and interview candidates. Afterwards, the committee can recommend candidates to the board for consideration and their eventual decision (Poston 1). Alternatively, if one exists, Invitations Inc. should implement their succession management plan. Evaluation criteria are critical to the search committee. To build consensus, the committee should examine the past and the present to understand the future. With her recent success and credibility, Joan might become a benchmark for the search committee. An examination of Joan would reveal her background and multicultural experiences, which have enabled her to embrace the cultural differences between her dad and her. She fervently believes that “cultural conflict, if paced and channeled correctly, could provide opportunity for rapid innovation” .

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In hindsight, as the case suggests, Joan recognized the primary need to focus on corporate culture without passing judgment, recognizing its pros and cons. As an example, Joan confronted her dads method of performance evaluations and employee advancement. In US, factors like age, education level, and years of service to an organization determine career advancement. Except for those whose actions reflect poorly on the group and its members, seniority is the key factor for recognition and promotion. This paradigm often resulted in delays to the decision making process in an effort to achieve consensus,” thereby impeding the company’s decision-making (Millikin 3). To address these corporate cultural issues, Joan successfully balanced eastern collectivism and teamwork with western individualism. First, to develop a trust with employees, Joan displayed her strong interpersonal skills; she was the first manager to walk around the entire company and meet every employee in person (Millikin 5). Next, she developed systems for employee opinions and recommendations instead of hiring outside consultants.

She also exposed managers to unfamiliar cultures, different areas of the business outside their boundaries, and more information through transparency and cross-functional teams. Nevertheless, she demanded personal commitment within the team environment by demanding accurate work, playing off the strength uncertainty avoidance (Millikin 8) Joan felt could use adjustment is the extent to which the people focus on the past, present, or future. Joan recognized that Invitations Inc. employees did not have a sense of urgency about the future, a potential bankruptcy. It makes sense for employees not to worry about such financial matters when the government bails out large employers. Thus, after careful detailed analysis, Joan recognized management did not have a vision for employees to follow. Therefore, he developed a long-term plan focusing on profit and listening to the customer. By mixing the cultural norms, Joan capitalized on the strength of the Invitations Inc. employee. As a leader, she understood cultural behaviors while appreciating their differences. Her cultural sensitivity coupled with her people skills helped turnaround the company.

These skills and decision-making ability are not mutually exclusive to Joan’s normative decision model, which assumes decision-making styles are learnable. Therefore and a possible near-identical substitute could exist. One major problem with search committees are the significant amount of time and effort necessary by the members, who are often upper management, might produce less than ideal candidates (Poston 1). Although best practices exist for search committee, Joan’s replacement might not harmonize with the company. The replacement might undue the corporate cultural changes under Joan, reverting to old habits, or tip the balance of cultures too far in the other direction. According to the case’s timeline, Joan would continue as CEO of Invitations Inc. for as long as needed. This could be time spent by Joan to mentor a successor of her choice. Joan should follow the succession management system, if one exists, to find the future leader for the company.

If such a system does not exist, Joan will need to follow a similar process to that of a selection committee: identify, screen, and interview candidates, and make the recommendation of a candidate to the Board of Directors. There must be full confidence and trust in Joan’s decision by the board and the company, and in return, Joan needs to be fair and as objective as possible, using the same criteria and documenting all steps during the selection process. During her time with the company, Joan stablished relationships with other managers and leaders, some of high-quality, some of low-quality. According to the Leader-Member Exchange model, “those followers with high-quality relationships are in the in-group (Nahavandi 87). Applying this model would assume Joan’s in-group enjoyed her attention, support, confidence, respect, and more favorable job performance ratings, often leading to promotions. Remember, Joan moved away from the cultural norm of the seniority promotional system to a pay for performance system.

Moreover, Joan might know those in the in-group intimately from non-work related social networks. Since she developed employee-based programs to eliminate the hiring of consultants, using the in-group as a pool of replacement candidates seems the most logical. However, should Joan feel her option, the entire company, are not suitable, she could use this time to search outside of the company, maybe her personal in-group. As part of Joan’s selection criteria will be support for her change management principles, including establishing cross-functional teams to address silos; focusing on key basic metrics of quality, cost, and customer satisfaction; ensuring transparency and communications that connect all levels of employees across the company.

Additionally, Joan believes the CEO should align employees with company goals and strategies through the leader’s vision, which initially would be the revitalization plan established by Joan. Once Joan chooses her successor, she can personally groom and mold this individual. However, as Fiedler and his Contingency Model suggest, leadership effectiveness is a function of the match between a leader’s style and the leadership situation (Nahavandi 70). Essentially, Fielder proposes the leader cannot change his style but can change the situation. As such, unless Joan wants significant change within the company, she should not tolerate candidates lacking the core values necessary to meet leadership needs, like respect for employee buy-in.


From these definitions, it should be clear that leadership and management are related, but they are not the same. A person can be a manager, a leader, both, or neither. In the company, there are many different activities, the manager and leader would have different function in the activities. On create an agenda, the manager needs to planning and budgeting. The manager establishes detailed steps and timetables for achieving needed results. The manager needs to allocate the resources necessary to make those needed result happen. The leader needs to establish the direction. The leader develops a vision of the future, often the distant future, and strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision. On develop a human network for achieving the agenda, the manager needs to organizing and staffing.

The manager establishes some structure for accomplishing plan requirements, staffing that structure with individuals, delegating responsibility and authority for carrying out the plan, providing policies and procedures to help guide people, and creating methods or systems to monitor implementation. The leader needs to align the people. The leader communicates the direction by words and deeds to all those whose cooperation may be needed to influence the creation of teams and coalitions that understand the vision and strategies and accept their validity. On executing plans, the manger needs to control and solve the problem. The manager needs to monitor the results vs. plan in some detail, identifying deviations, and then planning and organizing to solve these problems.

The leader needs to motivating and inspiring. The leader needs to energize people to overcome major political, bureaucratic, and resource barriers to change by satisfying very basic, but often unfulfilled, human needs. On outcomes, the manager needs to produces a degree of predictability and order and has the potential to consistently produce major results expected by various stakeholders. The leader needs to produces change, often to a dramatic degree, and has the potential to produce extremely useful change. Joan and her father will need to establish a knowledge of the above to strengthen their relationship.

Works Cited

“Face Value: The $10 Billion Man.” The Economist – World News, Politics, Economics, Business & Finance. The Economist Newspaper Ltd, 24 Feb. 2005. Fonda, Daren. “CARLOS GHOSN, RENAULT: He Did So Well, Lets Give Him Two CEO Jobs – TIME.” Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews. Time, 1 Dec. 2003. Moffett, Sebastian, and Mike Ramsey. “Renault CEO’s Image Takes Hit.” MarketWatch. Wall Street Journal, 12 Apr. 2011. Millikin, John P. The Global Leadership of Carlos Joanat Nissan. Publication no. A07-03-0014. Thunderbird, 2003. Muller, Joann. “The Impatient Mr. Joan- Forbes.com.” Information for the World’s Business Leaders. Forbes, 22 May 2006. Nahavandi, Afsaneh. The Art and Science of Leadership. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. Poston, Muriel E. “AAUP: Presidential Search Committee Checklist.” American Association of University Professors.

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