Influence methods are a concept about management systems. The principal issue around influence processes is of great value to an organization and determines the way a business entity is run. The fundamental role of top management teams is to lead by example and influence employees towards a particular goal. This paper gives a brief summary of different influence methods, compares the different leadership styles of Andre Jung, CEO Avon, Indra Nooyi, CEO Pepsi and Brenda Barnes, CEO Sara Lee. Related articles in the study of influence methods suggest that they are a powerful tool in management.
Introduction The concept of influence processes gives management teams and CEO’s the opportunity to undertake major management decisions that shape organizational mode of business operations for improved performance. Challenges in providing solutions to the day-to-day management problems transform the general behaviour of top management teams in their understanding of practical solutions to these problems. Individual personalities, cultural values as well as management experiences, all significantly contribute to how leaders understand and approach management issues.
Resource Allocation First, the influence of resource allocation gives leaders an opportunity to gain a big advantage on handling affairs of an organization. Schein (1983) demonstrates that allocation of organization’s resources is a way through which upper echelon leaders gain significant impact to an organization. Resources such as technology, labour, and even money form the driving engines of an organization. Allocation of resources within an organization involves making decisions on how they are spent.
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An example is a case where financial directors make decisions on purchasing and the installation of a new manufacturing plant to boost manufacturing output at the expense of other segments of the organization. This implies that a large fraction of the organization’s budget is channeled into handling a specific objective of the organization. Factors that affect allocation of resources as an influence process include organization’s vision and mission, long and short-term objectives, cultural values of the upper echelon management and personal management experiences.
Direct Decision Direct decision making process as the second influence process deals with undertaking major decisions on behalf of other staff members with the aim of achieving the mission. Management systems bestow control of organizational affairs to the upper echelon and as such major management decisions that impact big on the performance are in their hands. The mission and vision of an organization determines the management path taken and decision made thereby directly indicating the levels of priorities of issues.
Direct decisions influence process also takes note of the relationship that exists between the upper echelon and other management cadres. Relationship in an organization determines not only how these major decisions are made but also take note of tools and techniques of affecting them. In addition to the ability of leaders to affect the mission, vision and strategy of an institution- upper echelon leaders have a direct relationship with the management, which plays a vital role in shaping (or re-shaping) strategy, dictating decision making and setting the climate or structure of the organization (Nahavandi,2006)
The style of management, role of each and every individual and allocating responsibility in an organization are as a result of direct decisions. Leaders must undertake flexible decisions that conform smoothly to the organization’s missions and visions. Reward Systems Apart from the above, both informal and formal reward systems play a pivotal role in reshaping the behaviour, management systems and understanding on the part of employees. Nahavandi (2006) explains that reward systems have a significant impact on culture of an institution or its employees.
It is common for top management teams to appreciate the role played by employees in contributing to the achievement of set targets. Rewards come due to strict observance of organization’s mode of business, honesty, punctuality, diligence, responsibility roles, certificate of appreciation and even cash incentives are forms of rewards that motivate employees and thereby improve performance. A very common form of reward is instances of bonuses given to sales representatives who accomplish the talks of achieving specific sales target.
Selection and Promotion of other Leaders Leadership influence method of selection and promotion of other leaders involve the techniques of giving important management assignments and projects to an individual that will set tone for a shift in an organization culture. Other examples in this process include promoting individuals to join the upper echelon class, giving them opportunities to handle complex assignments, issue policy statements on behalf of the organization and make major direct decisions.
Such management styles give a chance for one to strategically position himself on being the leader of a department or the CEO. Instances in which such selected individuals successfully accomplish these tasks soften accelerate further their rise along the management ladder. Role Modeling The general behavior or individual personality or the concept of role modeling influences the culture of an organization. A leader, who is devoted to fulfilling a specific organizational objective, influences other employees towards such a goal.
A good example is to improve the level of sale of particular new product. Efforts and resources are directed towards thee achievement of such a goal and as such employees behavior are influenced. Cultural, ethical and social behavior of a leader normally transforms the general communication and behavior of other employees. Becoming a role model involves putting less consideration on prestige that comes as a result of leadership roles at the expense of achieving set targets together as a team.
Personal involvement and considering them as members of the same team goes along way in enhancing quality relationship. It acts a strong influence method in leadership management systems that top echelon members apply to strategically direct the organization’s mode of business operation. Analysis of Influence Methods Andrea Jung Andrea Jung, the CEO of Avon, has a history of undertaking major direct decision that has influenced Avon’s position in the cosmetic and beauty industry.
She recognized the need to institute major reforms such as the need to not only appreciate the role of sales representatives but also work together with them. Experience building and maintaining a powerful and storied brand, but also expanding it internationally in up-and-coming markets is her successful management traits according to Hesseldahl (2009). Resource allocation on her part involved a decision to invest and 60 million dollars in building Avon’s website that would take into consideration sales representative as well as customers.
Reward systems on her part involved raising e– representatives earning direct orders and 30 -50 percent on orders they deliver directly to customers (Hesseldahl, 2009). Jung promotes Avon’s sales products in china as a role model to Chinese young women. Following her Chinese origin, Jung made appropriate use of this to improve sales and appeal to the large customer base in china. She is also a common figure in major women events such as social forums and has lead Avon’s role in philanthropic efforts such as donation in breast cancer initiatives.
Indra Nooyi Indra Nooyi is a widely known role model for women who is also a frequent speaker in several women leadership forums and a great fun of NY Yankees. The Pepsi CEO is known for her risky investment undertaking in resource allocation such as putting emphasis on baked whole grain snacks and vitamin enhanced water. Direct decision involved in her management style constitutes resolutions to spin off pizza Hut and KFC in 1997 with the objective of achieving a lean operation system.
The Indra Nooyi’s concept of “performance with purpose” rewards innovative approaches to problem solution on the part of employees. This includes strategic promotion of the individual who make positive impacts on achieving the goals of the organization. Further influence methods revolve around activities such as purchase of Tropicana Bottling business and investing in $ 13 million merger with Quaker Oats Co. Brenda Barnes The CEO of Sara Lee has made major direct decisions such as tightening operations and moving Sara Lee headquarters out of downtown Chicago to suburban Downers Grove.
She had instituted careful resource allocation in Sara Lee such as efforts to brand its products, unique response to customer demands and acquisition of strategic investments. She is a role model who left job in 1997 as CEO of Pepsi Co. North America to spend time with family, a decision that made headlines allover the world. Furthermore, Barnes is armed with a network connections ranging back from her previous positions that include serving as the president at Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Director of Avon. She is a keen observer in talents and rewards creative employees.
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