Every organisation experiences change differently. However, despite the size, geographic location, or industry, one thing that is clear is that every organisation must undergo change. Therefore, change is not only inevitable but also a desirable aspect of business life in the current world. Leaders are expected to lead the change through their leadership styles that are not only adaptable but can also help to effectively respond to the internal and external issues influencing the organisation. The following are the leadership approaches applicable in Microsoft Corporation:
Creativity is one of the key leadership approaches that are used to define managers in tech companies like Microsoft Corporation. Richards (2018) explains how creativity contributes to effective leadership in achieving organizational change. According to Richards (2018), creativity enables the leader to pull information from different sources and apply it in new and innovative ways that facilitate problem solutions. Further, Richards (2018) explains that creative leaders can effectively manage the organisation during the change because they open to contributions from both external and internal sources. According to Salem (2018), leadership is a critical element that determines the company's success and effectiveness. As Salem (2018) explains, there are two types of leaders; transaction and transformational leaders. A transformational leader begins by realigning the existing culture with new vision, values, and norms. This is the key element that defines the Microsoft Corporation's leader, Satya Nadella. Nadella is a transformational and creative leader who recognizes the importance of revitalization, creating a new vision and bringing in institutional change in the firm. As Baesu and Bejinaru (2013) explain a leader is a promoter of change in the organization. As a leader, one has to customize management styles based on organizational features and behaviors. In Apple Inc. Corporation, the change in leadership after the death of Steve Jobs was expected to reduce the performance of the company. But, since Cook took over the company, his creativity has resulted in significant changes. For example, during his tenure, Apple has designed and brought in new features of iPhones, Macs, and iPads among other key products (Meyer, 2018). The success of organizational change is influenced by various factors. However, primarily, the success depends on the leader's capability to creatively cooperate with the employees and other stakeholders to effect change. Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft Corporation has strived to engage employees and other stakeholders because he understands the role that they play in successful implementation of his visions for the firm.
It is important for any leader who wishes to effect a change in the organisation to be a strong communicator at every time. However, open communication is even more crucial at the time of change (Richards, 2018). Salem (2018) tries to compare the leadership strategies adopted in Microsoft by the past and current CEOs. According to Salem (2018), Satya Nadella, the current CEO, has tried to maintain open communication with the employees through the focus on the people. Unlike his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, Nadella has adopted a collaborative approach of introducing new changes that he believes will help the firm improve its profitability and competitive advantage in the market. In Apple Inc. Corporation, open communication has been a key strategy that the company management uses to engage with customers and employees. As Meyer (2018) explained, even though Apple has been known with secrecy as part of its organizational culture, employees are encouraged and motivated to get involved in the company's activities. According to Alagoa (2015), the nature of the environment in which business organizations operate today is dynamic. However, this dynamism comes with various challenges that require not only a focused leader, but also an open communicator who can engage and involve everyone affected by the change.
Employees are the first group of people in an organisation that is affected by any change. Therefore, to reduce the resistance to changes in the organisation, leaders are advised to adopt a management approach that will make the stakeholders accept the change. Alagoa (2015) explains that bringing changes in the organisation is never easy or simple because most people will automatically resist the changes. In this case, leaders are required to adopt approaches that will ensure collaborative leadership. Open communication skills would be preferable and effective leadership approach that Nadella would use to effect the changes he wishes to bring in Microsoft Corporation. Nadella believes that Microsoft Corporation requires a culture that would allow constant renewal of individuals. This involves transforming the competitive style of his predecessor, Steve Ballmer. During the time of Ballmer, about 71% of the workforce was actively disengaged. Based on Leader-member exchange (LMS) theory, Alagoa (2015) explains the leader-follower relationship in organizations. According to Alagoa (2015), LMX theory focuses on the types of relationships that exist between the leader and his or her followers as well as the associated behaviors of both stakeholders. In the case of Microsoft Corporation, Nadella has demonstrated an interest in enhancing his relationship as a leader with the followers who are employees of the company. He intends to change his followers' perception and behavior through reorganisation of the company. Also, based on House's Path-Goal Theory of leadership, Alagoa (2015) explains leaders who advocate for organizational changes focus on meeting their subordinates' satisfaction. Employees are key stakeholders in an organization. Nadella realizes this as well as he starts to encourage creativity, stimulate intellectuality and results-oriented competitive culture in Microsoft Corporation that his predecessor, Ballmer, did not use during his tenure (Salem, 2018). In Apple, on the other hand, Cook has tried to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Steve Jobs to maintain a good and close relationship with the employees. As Meyer (2018) explained, Apple's corporate culture is based on Steve Jobs' tradition which maintains and reinforces the relationship between the organisation and the employees.
Comfortable with Ambiguity
Leaders who lead change in the organizations successfully are believed to expect ambiguities or the unknown when they take office. Richards (2018) explains that a leader who can effectively implement a change in the organisation is one who understands that change is uncertain. Unlike many leaders who like the work environments where status quo remains, Nadella has shown his commitment since he took office that he wishes to change the organizational culture through enhancing openness and collaboration, improving value for innovation and diversity in the company. The same features are also seen in Apple. Contrary to many opinions and expectation that the company would fall after the death of Steve Jobs, Cook took over with the ambition of taking Apple to the next level of development. Based on Lewin's force field model of change management, Connelly (2017) explains that whenever there is a change there are two forces that are working to keep the equilibrium or the status quo in the organization. The two forces are the driving and resisting forces, which must be considered. The effectiveness of the leader's approach depends on his or her ability to understand that organizational change is uncertain. Nadella has shown that he is unlike many leaders who wish to continue to maintain the status quo in the firm. His flexibility and vision to open up to new inputs are clear enough to demonstrate his understanding of the uncertainty of the work environment changes. He understands that he cannot implement changes on his own, but with the help and inputs of other stakeholders, especially employees. Based on the Lewin's force field model, Nadella is striving to a successful change by strengthening the driving forces and weakening the restraining forces. Encouraging innovation and creativity as well as diversity is just but a few ways that Nadella has shown his commitment to reduce the restraining forces and support the driving forces. Salem (2018) explains that Microsoft Corporation hits a fresh bottom with the new CEO Satya Nadella taking charge of the company at the time the firm needed urgent change. In Apple Corporation, Tim Cook has also demonstrated effortless commitment to make the company better even if he cannot reach where Steve Jobs was. As Shaughnessy (2013) explained, since Steve Jobs left the company, Apple's share price has gone down. Cook has also led to some significant changes that have been game-changing in the company. For instance, the integration of A7 chip in iPhone 5S is one of the changes that have occurred during Cook's tenure in Apple (Shaughnessy, 2013).
Leadership and Organizational Change
Nadella's approaches can deliver the organizational change. As Alagoa (2015) explains, organizational change is a process, which starts at a point and continues up to some point before the success can be realized. From these approaches discussed, Nadella's commitment to effect changes that would ensure more profitability and improved work environment for employees as well as enhanced customer experience is a clear indication and demonstration that he is committed to managing the change. Alagoa (2015) explains that a leader is defined by key characteristics such as competencies, emotional intelligence, and social intelligence, and interpersonal skills that can ensure that he effectively implement changes in the organisation. In Apple, Cook's leadership skills have enabled him to create top-notch excellence among employees (Meyer, 2018). Cook's excellence is focused on product design and development, which has contributed significantly to the company's growth strategy.
Effectiveness of Leadership Approaches
Therefore, organisational change can be effectively implemented with relevant leadership approaches. This report has highlighted the important leadership approaches, variables, and effectiveness of the leader's characteristics in Microsoft Corporation. The key leadership approaches discussed in context with the Microsoft Corporation and Apple Inc. Corporation's change management includes creativity, comfortable with ambiguity, and open communication. Compared to his predecessor, Steve Ballmer who focused on aggressiveness, Satya Nadella, the new CEO of Microsoft Corporation, has demonstrated his commitment to encouraging innovation, creativity, stimulate intellectuality and results-oriented competitive culture in the company. Based on this analysis, Nadella is a transformation leader who recognizes the need to revitalize, create a new vision and institutionalize change in Microsoft Corporation. Tim Cook is also a transformational leader who took the company through the tough times. It is obvious that after the death of Steve Jobs the company's competitiveness reduced. But, through his leadership abilities, Apple re-emerged in the market with new innovations such as the A7 chip and advancement of the iPhone 5S model (Shaughnessy, 2013). As a process, leadership needs to influence others in the organisation to understand and accept the changes envisioned. Therefore, Nadella's collaborative approach to effect organisational changes facilitate collective efforts to achieve shared organisational goals.
Alagoa, H. (2015). Leadership Approaches for Effective Organizational Change: The Case of Henry Anderson Consulting Engineers A...
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