Leadership in an Organization – Term Paper


This paper is going to talk about leadership at Global Delivery Direct (GDD). It will begin with a background of leadership in a profit making organizational context. The remainder of the paper is divided into Part 1 and Part 2. In Part 1, the purpose of a structure and the executive leader’s role in creating organization structure will be explained. Also, a reason will be given as to why a leader and not the manager is the best-placed person to determine the organizational structure. This will be followed by an identification of a structure which is ideal for GDD. And Mail on Wheels. In Part 2, research findings will be presented on the merger of two companies: FedEx and Kinko. The organizational culture of the two companies would be identified including the problems which occurred due to the merger. This will be closely followed by an explanation of the problems FedEx and Kinko faced. Finally, a discussion will be made on how Rockfish, the manager, can avoid the same mistakes encountered by FedEx. 

What is organizational leadership


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Organizations undergo many changes in a bid to respond to market forces. While some changes involve market expansion, other changes involve product diversification, restructuring of the organizational structure, and so forth. Certain market forces may result in the merger of two or more companies. Mergers and acquisitions take place many reasons. Mergers create winners as well as losers in both individual staff and corporate levels. One culture replaces another culture and on company outweighs another while power struggles prevail. However, the key to successful mergers and acquisitions, like any other successful company endeavor, largely depends on the leadership. Leaders are expected to provide good directions when it comes to mergers. Often, companies merging have been operating under different leadership, organizational culture, organizational structure, products, geographical locations, and so forth. Bringing people who have been operating under totally different workplace environments may be a difficult endeavor. For example, managers from the merging segments often have divergent interpretations of strategies for the company. As a result. Their priorities and operational plans do not necessarily match. Ashkenas, Francis, and Heinick (2011) pointed out that during mergers, leaders need to immediately come up with an integration plan and a governance structure that is different from the usual instruments or running the business. 

Roles of a leader in an organization

Part 1

The executive leader has a great role to play in the creation of an organizational structure. This is because as an effective leader, the leader needs to not only bring all people together but also enable them to work together with an objective of achieving a common goal. The executive leader is involved in major organizational strategies. To succeed in these organizational strategies, one of the best way is to use an organizational structure. A leader needs to establish a communication strategy and vision for the company. An executive also needs to motivate people so that they can work collaboratively to solve organizational problems. For a leader to be successful, organizational structure is the best tool. A leader, therefore, must be involved in the creation of an organizational structure. 

The purpose of an organization structure is to show the chain of command or structure of hierarchies within an organization. An organizational structure is a useful tool for management because it helps organize the workplace. It guides all organization staff since it shows the official relationships for reporting that govern the organization’s workflow. With an organizational structure, it is possible to add new positions in the company. As a result, an organizational structure helps in improving the operational efficiency of the organization since it provides clarity to all employees in the organization. The absence of a formal organizational structure will create confusion among employees since they might have difficulty knowing who to officially report to in various circumstances. The absence of organizational structure will also make it difficult to know who is to be held responsible for what. A leader is involved in the creation of the overall vision for the whole organization. A manager is involved with implementing strategies which contribute toward the achievement of organization goals and achievement of the company;s mission. A leader uses the organization structure to communicate the vision of the company. It is, therefore, important for a leader to be in charge of designing company;s organizational structure.;

Organizational Structures

Model1: Flat organizational structure. Advantage: easy decision-making, removes excess layers, improve the speed of communication, and improves coordination. Disadvantages: management can easily lose control, .strain work relationships, employee retention difficult, power struggles, role confusion, less motivation, and hindered growth.;

Model 2: Divisional structure.; Advantage: allow team focus. Disadvantage: allow office politics.;

Model 3: Holacratic organization. Advantage: increase transparency, agility, and efficiency. Disadvantage: circles down knows little about the circles above and overall big picture, decisions are funneled down.;

Model 4: Flatarchies. Advantages: Advantages: Focus on innovation, fewer bureaucracy Disadvantages: requires formation of new teams every time it is required.;;

Model 5: Matrix structure. Advantage. Provide flexibility as well as more balanced decision-making. Disadvantage: complexity which can make employees confused.

Model 6: Project structure.; Advantage:; Provides teams with a strong sense of identity thus creating a strong team culture. Disadvantage: works only best in big projects.

Model 7: Line organizational structure. Advantages: tends to clarify and simplify authority, promotes faster decision-making process, and simple to understand. Disadvantages: leads to an overload of key persons, and neglects specialists during planning.;

Model 8: Hierarchical organization structure: Advantages: the clear authority of work, clear lines of communication. Disadvantage: when it grows big: slows down decision-making, slow communication, tunnel vision.;

The best organizational structure that fits the merger of GDD and Mails on Wheels is a divisional organizational structure. This will serve the purpose of the merger because the company intends to expand within and outside the US. This imply the company will be operating in many geographical areas.; The information will be flowing from the company;s headquarters down to the respective divisions located in various regions or countries. There will be a supervisor for every region and staff working under the supervisor. All supervisors will be reporting to the CEO at the headquarters.; In information can also flow from the regions to the company;s headquarters. To create a competitive advantage, the two companies will need to have to reassign supervisors. Supervisors for the GDD will need to be trained before deployment. Supervisors from Mails on Wheels will be deployed to head GDD staff so that they can train them.;

Types of organizational cultures

Part 2

FedEx and Kinkos had different organizational cultures during the time of the merger. At Kinko, there were very few professionals who were supervising a vast number of semi-trained staff. FedEx was different. FedEx was run by professionals and all staff was highly trained. The cultural differences made it hard to bond both companies. Most employees would work for a short time at Kinko and end up building their careers at FedEx. At Kinko, employees speak badly about management. For example, employees complained of slashed training budgets, store closings, mass firings, and policies which discouraged good customer care. It was also reported that store managers ran the stores the way they look it fit. As a result, there was no consistency in service provision. Customers could not get the same level of service in different stores (Deutsch, 2007). Organization culture at FedEx is different from Kinko;s organizational culture. At FedEx, employees are highly engaged. At FedEx, employees are highly valued. They are regarded as the foundation of success and keys to the future of the business. FedEx empower its employees and employees work as a team. FedEx also believe in diversity and inclusion, safety, supplier diversity, innovation, and continuous improvement (FedEx,n.d.). FedEx applies the same standards to all its branches, and a customer expects to get the same quality service in a different branch. FedEx runs recognition programs where it rewards its employees under various aspects: quality drove management cup, service award, CEO Safety Award, Humanitarian Award, purple promise award, Bravo Zulu, and five-star award (FedEx, n.d.). These awards motivate the employees to deliver exceptional services.; This contrasts with the situation at Kinko.;

The culture clash encountered during the merger of FedEx and Kinko are similar to the culture problems faced between the merger of and GDD and Mails on Wheels. GDD do not offer their customers the best of time and services. The directors of GDD are engaged in other activities, and they are not involved directly in customer care. At Mails on Wheels, the CEO is highly committed to providing their customers the best of time and service. Mails on Wheels also offered personal service to their customers. Something which is lacking at GDD. Further, Mials on Wheels create an atmosphere of friendliness. Both employees and the customers feel highly valued. Employees were provided with a van to transport then to and fro workplace. While there appears a well-designed organizational structure at Mails on Wheels, there appeared to be a clear organizational structure at GDD. A clear organizational structure helps the CEO to communicate the company;s vision to all the organization;s staff. Lack of a good organizational structure makes communication of company;s vision difficult.;

The issue of cultural change can be best implemented with Schein;s view on culture (Renando, n.d.). Schein presented culture as a series of assumptions which include assumptions about external adaptation, managing internal integration, and deeper cultural assumptions. Based on Schein;s cultural perspective, culture has many facets and changing is not an easy endeavor. Schein pointed out that these assumptions are driven by groups and individuals who have a great influence on organizational processes. To implement a successful cultural change, there is a need to begin by changing the leaders either in character or replacing them physically. Changing one;s character might prove hard, and the only option is to replace them. According to Say (2013), there are six factors to consider when building a great company. This include assign an owner to the culture change, leadership sets the right tone for change needed, devising a sound organizational structure, engage all employees, priority and focus to work as a team, and always communicating. Totsi (2007) pointed out that a company intending to change culture ought, to begin with, an assessment of cultural gap. Once cultural the gap has been identified, the next step is to design operational values which are linked to the bottom line and indicators of success.;

To avoid the cultural problems which occurred at FedEx and Kinko;s merger, Rockfish need to take a deep understanding of Schein;s perspective on culture and cultural change. Rockfish should begin by coming up with a clear organizational structure which clearly shows the relationship between employees and reporting. Rockfish should also come up with a vision and mission statement which is in line with what it wants to achieve after the merger. Rockfish should consider replacing all the leaders or managers of various sections since it will be very hard to change their character. It is also very important to train not only GDD;s employees but also all employees on what the company;s strategy.; Rockfish should spend some resources to train employees on aspects of customer care, teamwork, and excellence. To motivate the employees, Rockfish should consider offering incentives to employees for meeting the company;s goals. They can introduce various categories of awards to ensure all employees get an opportunity to shine in their respective workplaces. Most important, the merger should not be rushed but carefully thought out.;


Ashkenas, R., Francis, S., ; Heinick, R. (2011).; The Merger Dividend. Harvard Business Review, August 2011. Retrieved from: https://hbr.org/2011/07/the-merger-dividend

Deutsch, C.H. (2007). Paper Jam at FedEx Kinko;s. The New York Times, 5 May 2007. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/05/business/05kinkos.html

FedEx. (n.d.). Recognition programs: We Reward Loyalty and Recognize Excellence. Retrieved from: http://about.van.fedex.com/our-people/recognition-programs/

Renando, C. (n.d.). Organizational culture defined, courtesy of Edgar Schein. Retrieved from: http://www.sidewaysthoughts.com/blog/2010/11/organisational-culture-defined-courtesy-of-edgar-schein/

Say, M. (2013). How to Build a Great Company Culture. Forbes, 4 October 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2013/10/04/how-to-build-a-great-company-culture/#715851ba3ab2

Totsi, D.T. (2007). Aligning the Culture and Strategy for Success. Performance Improvement, 46(1), 21-25.;