1. The Seven Questions
For the first question, the quality of the decision is very important because it will ultimately decide the profitability of Son's company. The two major competitors, AT & T and Verizon already have a large control of the market. Sprint and T-Mobile are less profitable and considerably small ventures (Yao, 2014). They do not have the ability to compete effectively on their own. Hence, the acquisition would give them a stronger market position and the resources needed to remain competitive. The decision is, therefore, important since it determines the future of Sprint in terms of competitiveness. The second question asks for sufficiency of information that is not available at the moment (Rigolosi, 2005). The rationale is that the deal is still in its preliminary stages and anything could change at any moment. The companies are yet to draw a contract that would provide all the information needed for Son to make an informed choice. There is also uncertainty about the position of the regulators from the Department of Justice. They may not accept the deal due to its impacts on the technological market. For instance, the merger will give the consumers limited choices and may lead to the rise of prices (Gelles, D., & Michael, 2014). At the same time, it could be an opportunity for technological advancements in aspects like 5G networks. It is all dependent on how the regulators will interpret the impacts of the merger. Given the uncertainty of the lack of a contract or information, a decision at this point would not be a high quality one. Indeed, the companies have terms that both have agreed upon but the lack of a legally binding agreement makes them void. The third question premises on whether or not the problem is structured (Stanford, 2007). There is the presence of structure since Masayoshi Son owns a majority of Sprint through an entity known as Softbank. He would, therefore, be in a position to control most aspects that take place. The presence of a structure also emanates from both companies recognizing the usefulness of a merger. The same means they are eager and would agree on terms more easily, which would prevent confusion. Moreover, some companies like Deutsche Telekom that control T-Mobile want an option out of the deal. The same means that they will not oppose an acquisition and thus facilitate orderliness after the merger.
The fourth question regards subordinates. The subordinates in both Sprint and T-mobile do not have a significant role in the decision-making process. The owners are the main control agents of big decisions, which means that acceptance from the subordinates is not very significant (Gelles & Michael, 2014). However, the subordinates may have issues with changes in organizational structure and leadership. For instance, the CEO of Sprint Dan Hesse has suggested that he may resign following the merger (Gelles & Michael, 2014). Should anything change, the top leaders in the two firms may resist because of the decision about who will take over. The answer to the fifth question is that the subordinates will accept the decision. They understand the importance of the merger to their lifeline in the company. Moreover, to answer the third question, the subordinates have the goals of the organization in mind. They understand the need for competitiveness and are likely to support the decision that Mr. Son will make to enhance the same. Lastly, the subordinates would agree with the decision to merge the two companies because it enhances their position. Indeed, it will come with many changes, but most are positive in terms of the profitability of the company (Gelles, D., & Michael, 2014). For instance, T-mobile has 73 million loyal consumers who will expand Sprint's market share. The subordinates may benefit in terms of increased salaries.
2. Decision-Making Style
Given the answers and the Vroom-Yetton diagram, the decision-making model in this case is Autocratic Type 2 (AII) (Vroom, 1976). The rationale is that Masayoshi Son will ultimately make the decision alone. While there are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the decision, its quality is only applicable if it takes place now. The rationale is that competition is looming and there is need for the two companies to enhance their position in the market. Mr. Son needs to make the decision now before other companies become interested in merging with T-mobile and offer better terms so as to acquire its large consumer base. The urgency of this situation means that Mr. Son will not have enough time to consult everyone in his team and take note of their opinions before making the decision given the financial status of his company. Additionally, the decision is most notably beneficial to his whole team. There is likely to be limited resistance with the autocratic model because all the stakeholders understand the essentialness of this decision (Rigolosi, 2005). They understand the need for the company to be competitive, increase its consumer base, and gain more resources to position itself as an innovative entity. All of these benefits make the subordinates and stakeholders in general less crucial to the decision-making process because of the presence of universal acceptance. Moreover, the structure of Sprint makes it impossible to include many teams in the decision-making process (Yao, 2014). Mr. Son may consult as the majority owner but he still reserves the right to make the final decision. He will ask his team members about the regulators, the perception of the consumers about the benefits and threats to the merger, and the overall long-term goals of the company that it would meet. Aside from this, he will make the final decision about whether or not to sign the merger. The position, therefore, indicates the use of the Aristocratic Type 2 (AII) leadership as showcased in the diagram (Rigolosi, 2005).
The Vroom-Yetton model is very useful for big decisions that companies' executives have to make. It provides a series of questions that can affect every decision and ensures that the answers guide an executive to the right model. The seven questions are specific to the concerns that every executive needs to have for them to make a big decision. They then lead one to the appropriate model that will have the highest level of success depending on their situations. I believe that the usefulness of this model lies in its uniqueness to every company situation. The question meets the specific situation that every company exemplifies as opposed to being a one-size-fits-all type of model. Because of this, the executives can make decisions that only pertain to their companies and what they want to achieve (Stanford, 2007). Indeed, I will recommend other executives to train on the usage of this model that can make the decision-making process quite easy (Rigolosi, 2005). They will be able to break down every facet of their decision in ways that lead them to the most appropriate model. However, I think that the model could improve on its inference of teams. One question I kept asking myself is; what teams are important given that Sprint and T-mobile are very big organizations? Are we factoring in the feelings of all the employees or other executives along? A leader in a big organization may face a conflict that emanates from the definition of teams and whose opinion matters the most. In some instances, consumers are also part of the team. There can be a difference of opinion in different teams that would make it impossible for the leader to determine the one that matters the most.
Gelles, D., & Michael J De La, M. (2014, Jun 05). T-Mobile and Sprint zeroing in on merger. New York Times
Rigolosi, E. (2005). Chapter 6: Diagnosing the task. Management and Leadership in Nursing and Health Care : An Experiential Approach. New York, NY, USA: Springer Publishing Company, 2005.
Stanford, N. (2007). Decision making. Guide to Organisation Design: Creating High-Performing and Adaptable Enterprises. Profile Books/The Economist, London, GBR, pp. 225-231.
Vroom, V. (1976). Can leaders learn to lead? Organizational Dynamics, 4(3), 17-28.
Yao, D. (2014). Moody's: Sprint/T-Mobile merger faces negative free cash flow until at least 2018. SNL Kagan Media & Communications Report
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