LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE APPROACHES: CASE STUDY NIKE INC.

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Introduction

The significant features of any organisation management in the world today relates to the structuring a particular task around a team of employees. Scholars have proven the structure of work around a given group of individuals who work as a team to be a fact of institutional life (Acker 2012, p. 412). Most firms are currently, using the reconstruction of groups within the organisation to achieve a high-level performance for the betterment of the whole management system. Furthermore, the successful operations of these teams within the organisation substantially lies on the type and leadership change strategies that are at the disposal of the team to support the management to efficiently utilise the available resources (Burnes 2004, p. 977).

The current business environment is dynamic, requiring the organisation to use sophisticated materials and leadership techniques to achieve their organisational goal (Cerni, Curtis, and Colmar 2014, p. 26). Leadership within an organisation plays a significant role in determining the direction of the company with regards to the success in the short-term and long-term. Some researchers have explored the influence that a transformational leader has on the overall performance of the organisation by using skills to enhance team building and adaptation in a dynamic of the business environment (Huczynski 2011, p. 68). Some aspects of the leadership have considerably impacted on the success of the business organisation.

Researchers have employed the traditional leadership models to help understand the role of leaders and how they influence organisational change when there is need to transform the whole institution (Barton and Ambrosini 2013, p. 721; Giltinane 2013, p. 36). Even though the success of an organisation significantly depends on leadership style available at the company’s disposal, the approach to leadership change adopted also affects firm’s achievement of the goals (Calegari, Sibley, and Turner 2015, p. 31). The changing approach that an organisation can take will significantly affect the team building spirit, success, morale of the staffs, as well as effort put forth to accomplish particular institutional objectives. Consequently, this paper will focus on the leadership and change strategies that organisations can adopt to achieve individual targets and goals of the institution (Derecskei 2016, p. 104). I will use a case study of Nike Inc. to address the issues associated with leadership and change that any business organisation can adopt to achieve success when circumstance demands.

Change

Change is an inevitable process that every organisation and its management should be ready to embrace to remain competitive in the market. Scholars have outlined some factors that can cause a change to transpire within a community or society. These factors may include the changing economies, new technology, and tools as well as improving consumer perception and demands. However, some of the internal factors that can trigger change and transformation of a business organisation entail high turnout of personnel, manufacture of new services and goods, innovation acceptability as well as the appointment of managers. If an organisation readily accepts the change it can bring a positive outcome to the entire organisation; however, if the change turns out unsuccessful it may result in discontinuity in management structure (Burnes 2011, p. 446; Huczynski 2011, p. 63).

Leadership

Leadership is one essential factor that will promote the success of an organisation in a business world that is ever-growing competitive. There are various styles of leadership that an organisation can adopt which include democratic, autocratic and laissez-faire just to mention a few. Leadership stems from three broad perceptions which include the type of behaviour linked with particular people, attributes of a person as well as the tenancy of situation (Neiva, Odelius and Ramos 2015, p. 324). Transactional and transformational leadership are some of the strategies employed by most managers in the current business world to achieve a competitive edge over the other companies (Almandeel 2017, p. 109). Scholars have supported the use of transformational leadership in most institutions because they feel it has the motivational power and hence can inspire others to follow a particular direction. Therefore, transformational leadership style can be useful when establishing a path followed by junior employees when influencing change measures within the company.

Nike Inc.

Nike Inc. is one of the US multinational corporations that engages in the development, design, manufacturing as well as international marketing and selling of clothing, sportswear accessories, footwear, and facilities. The company has its head office in Beaverton at Oregon in Portland metropolitan region. Nike Inc. supplies sports apparel and shoes and is one of the biggest manufacturers of sports equipment making revenue of approximately US$ 24.6 billion each year. With the current competitive business environment, Mr Knight the Director of Nike Inc. has created a strategy to implement leadership and change approaches towards achieving their long-term goals (Wang et al. 2016, p. 1204).

Nike Inc. competes with other multinational corporation such as Adidas, Reebok, Phat Farm among others. The company decides to implement some of the leadership change strategies to compete effectively in the market amidst the challenges facing multinational corporations globally. Studies have revealed that leadership and change are some of the factors that can significantly influence the failure or success of the business (Almandeel 2017, p. 112).

Transformational leadership theory has applied to Nike Inc. allowing it achieve its short-term and long-term goals. Transformational leadership entails all the changes required by an organisation to accomplish its long-term objectives (Wang et al. 2016, p. 1202). Additionally, leaders who have the aspect of transforming their juniors have the capability to inspire and allow them to follow the vision of their bosses. Transformational leaders provide opportunities for their juniors to show their skill, ability and consider responsibility for new ideas within the organisational environment (Hussain and Hassan 2016, p. 412).

Nike Inc. has been using this theory and model to build on a good framework for the development of the junior employees towards achieving a sustainable and competitive advantage over their competitors. Developing the skills of staffs through adequate and efficient leadership and change approaches is a milestone improvement for the organisation to attain its purposes. Also, transformational leadership provides the platform for a smooth transition from one aspect of organisational management to another. These types of leaders have a significant part to play especially when it arises in a bid to transform the personnel component of the organisation towards a predetermined goal.

Change within Nike Inc. can have either positive or negative outcome to the whole structure creating complexities within the management system of the company (Shanley 2007, p. 539; Sorensen et al. 2016, p. 307). If this happens within the enterprise, then it can have devastating results affecting its operations, performance, and energies towards achieving a particular goal (Haslam, Eggins, and Reynolds 2003, p. 83).  However, to prevent the occurrence of these uncertainties within Nike Inc., the management has invested in offering leadership programs to their employees to help them understand their roles notably when there is change crisis (Iveroth 2010, p. 136). Furthermore, Nike Inc. as a global and leading producer of sports apparels it is working towards being competitive in the market. Therefore, it has established strategic management procedures to help it compete by applying all the necessary and essential leadership and change theories to help them stay ahead in the market.

The management of Nike believes in establishing high-performance leadership that integrates all the systems within the firm. The approach utilised by the Directorate provides Nike Inc. with the capacity to link all the business strategies, setting goals, rewarding, development, and performance evaluation. By using some identified assessment techniques, they can recognise particular talents and abilities of their employees and provide them with the best legal framework by assigning them mentors to help them build their skills.

Nike Inc. management believes that change with an organisation can never start at the lower level of the institution. As a result, they have put major strategies and policies to ensure leading begins from the top of the chain, by dividing the management into departments to make the process simple and easier. Also, the management organises the weekly meetings which help them to brainstorm on the issues that may affect the performance of the company and hinder it from achieving their short-term and long-term goals.

Mark Parker is the current CEO of Nike Inc. he commenced the task after his appointment in 2006. Mr Parker has been one of the managers and leaders with rather supportive ideology on his employees. Even though some theorists have thought of this kind of leadership style as unproductive, some believe that it is a method that builds a good relationship between the manager and their juniors within the organisational setting. Parker is one of the leaders known in the world of business to support their teams and employees towards finding answers to specific problems within the organisation. This type of leadership style employed by Mr Parker has upheld Nike’s competitive edge for over an extended period. His motive to encourage innovation and creativeness among employees has heightened the ability to accept change in the organisation by all personnel.

Recommendations and Conclusion

As a recommendation to Nike Inc. change is an on-going process that will require any organisation to put up the needed equipment and strategies to help it meet the challenges associated with change. Through change, Nike Inc. can quickly assess the available resources and materials to address the effects of change within multinational corporations. The first step that Nike Inc. can pursue in future to address any adverse effects of change is to increase the commitment and trust of employees (Miller-Vaz 2016, p. 77). Increasing the responsiveness among employees through educations and encouraging weekly meetings with all the personnel of the company can considerably influence their performance particularly during change crisis.

The company should employ various theories and concept of leadership to make the internal business environment more competitive which results in high performance of the staffs. Appropriate application of the leadership principles such as transactional and transformational will significantly increase the production capacity of each employee within the firm (Ofoegbu, Clark, and Osagie 2013, p. 67). Secondly, the management of Nike should raise awareness among their staff on the importance of creativity and innovation in a company that is ever competing for sustainability in the market (Zhang, Liao, and Yuan 2016, p. 1223).

Through creativity, employees can easily influence change within the organisation management by designing new products and services or improving the existing technology which will be on the brighter side to the company’s production. Mr Parker, the CEO of Nike has done excellent work in creating a legal and an innovation-supportive technology within the firm. Parker encourages his juniors to strive and find solutions to particular problems they face in the company. Even though leadership strategy is focused on motivating employees to actively participate in innovative processes of the company it also creates the ability of the institution to adapt to business environment changes quickly.

Thirdly, Nike management board needs to increase awareness and understanding among their personnel and workers to positively accept changes within the organisation setting. The managers should provide them with the principal elements that will keep them alert of the necessary diversity within the company and help them to avoid being rigid to change (Pollack and Pollack 2015, p. 52). Scholars have revealed that there is always a lower tendency among individuals who have knowledge concerning a particular issue in an organisation to act resistance to change.

Consequently, creating awareness to employees about particular trending changes in the market will make them less resistant. Also, Nike Inc. should always sit with their employees who may be opposing the change because they fear to lose their source of income and advise them on the necessity of the change. Finally, by utilising the model, the management claims that through involvement and participation of all members of the organisation significantly reduce fear while encouraging the commitment of employees to the company. Some scholars have exposed that if workers within an organisation are less scared, they remain less resistant to the change or forced to accepting changes because they have an idea of what is going on (Sorensen et al. 2016, p. 310).

Additionally, the research supports that individuals will always have a fear of the unforeseen events within or outside the organisation. Mark Parker is an exceptional leader who works around innovation and creativity. He expects employees to use various problem-solving techniques to critically assess the impact of a given solution to the general performance of the company. The effect of such type of leadership is high-performance leadership legal framework that will encourage and support the commitment of employees to innovation and creativity to develop and design change strategies. Innovative and creativeness makes change inevitable as employees are working to prove their worth in the organisation for rewarding and compensations.

In summary, change takes place in any setting, and it is an inevitable process that nobody can stand on its way. Besides, it is an integral part of society, community, organisation or body that calls for adequate management of all its aspects, challenges and its driving forces. Both the internal and external factors experienced within a business environment have the capacity to trigger a change in any organisation. However, resistance is one common obstacle that changes the experience. As the need for change becomes raised within a firm, a section of workers always remains reluctant to accept the change for fear of losing benefits they acquire from the organisation. The extent to which a change strategy will continue to be resisted significantly depends on the type of staffs within the organisation.

Additionally, the efforts made by the organisation to raise awareness among the employees can also determine how long the resistance on change can go. The leadership type that an organisation has a considerable influence on the change in the market or within. There are different styles of leadership which include democratic, autocratic and laissez-faire that an institution or society can utilise. Leadership stems from three primary perceptions which include the type of behaviour linked with specific people, attributes of a person as well as the tenancy of situation (Pfajfar et al. 2016, p. 433). Transformational leaders provide opportunities for their juniors to show their capability and consider responsibility for new designs within the organisational environment. Nike Inc. has been using this theory and model to build on a good framework for the development of the junior employees towards achieving a sustainable and competitive advantage over their competitors.

The management of Nike supports establishing high-performance leadership that integrates all the systems within the firm. The approached utilised by the management provides Nike Inc. with the capacity to link all the business policies, setting goals, rewarding, growth and performance assessment. By using some identified assessment techniques, they can recognise particular talents and abilities of their employees and provide them with the best legal framework by assigning them mentors to help them build their skills. Nike Inc. management believes that change within an organisation can never spring at the lower level of the institution. As a result, they have put appropriate procedures and policies to ensure leading begins from the top of the chain (Nitta et al. 2009, p. 464). Consequently, change has several factors that drive it and the attitude of employees has a remarkable impact on the performance of the entire organisation regarding the change initiator.

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