William “Bill” Bailey is chairman of the board for the opera. Bailey is in a position of power to influence others (mainly the Board of Directors) to either support or oppose the merger. While there are multiple theories that could be used, I believe that the best is Vroom’s Expectancy theory. This theory “holds that people are motivated to behave in ways that produce desired combinations of expected outcomes.” (Kinicki & Robert, 2013) Vroom’s theory has three factors: Valence, Expectancy and Instrumentality. Valence, or rewards, refers to the directions which people embrace with respect to the outcomes. Expectancy (performance) is the different “expectations and levels of confidence about what they are capable of doing.” (Vroom’s Expectancy Theory, n.d.) Instrumentality (belief) refers to the “perception of employees whether they will actually receive what they desire, even if it has been promised by a manager – the perceived link between first order and second order outcomes.” (Vroom’s Expectancy Theory, n.d.)
In using this theory, the reward for the Utah opera would be to remain financially stable during the downturn of the economy and less public/private donations coming in. The expectancy in this is whether they choose to support or oppose the merger with the Utah Symphony, which is looking to strengthen their finances with a merger with the opera, though in theory this would strengthen the bottom line of both organizations. The instrumentality in this theory is for the opera to continue to have success. In using this theory, Baily is going to have to emphasize that each organization has different financial considerations. The Utah Opera’s model allows for a very flexible performance schedule, and the cash flow of the organization is very healthy as well. The Opera is able to scrap projects and performances that have not received enough funding to make it profitable. Contrast that to the Symphony which isn’t as flexible.
The symphony has a business model that that has high expenditures (contractually obligated to pay full time pay to 83 employees), does not have much flexibility with the performance schedule, and very little assets. After reviewing the business model for the Utah Symphony, receiving the letters of opposition from the community members, as well as Mrs. Abravenal (the widow of Maurice Abravanel who spent 32 years as the conductor for the Symphony and for whom the Symphony hall is named), Baily would have convinced the Opera’s Board of Directors to oppose the merger considering all the evidence presented. The Board of Directors desire for the Opera to remain financially stable, even with the downturn of the economy (valence), would lead them to oppose (more than likely) the merge with the Symphony (expectancy) thinking that merging with the Symphony could make the Opera financially unstable (instrumentality). A.2 One Theory for Scott Parker to Convince Mrs. Abravanel Scott Parker is the Chairman of the Board for the Utah Symphony.
Parker’s position allows him to be in an influential position with Mrs. Abravenal and motivate her to not oppose the merger with the Utah Symphony. One theory that Parker can use is Adam’s Equity Theory. Equity theory explains “how an individual’s motivation to behave in a certain way is fueled by feelings of inequity or a lack of justice.” (Kinicki & Robert, 2013) Adam’s Equity Theory is an “awareness of key components of the individual-organization exchange relationship. This relationship is pivotal in the formation of employees’ perceptions of equity and inequity and the manner in which people respond to these perceptions.” (Kinicki & Robert, 2013) For the individual-organization exchange relationship, there are two main things – the inputs and outcomes. Scott Parker needs to motivate Mrs. Abravenal to support a merger with the Utah Opera.
For Parker to motivate her, he needs to ensure her that doing so would be fair to the Symphony and would not harm the Symphony in anyway. One thing that he could point out to her is that while her husband fought for and was able to obtain full year, salaried contracts for the musicians, now with the weakening economy, these contracts could actually be harming the symphony. He could also offer the Opera as a comparison to her, by detailing how the Opera artists are have fewer performances, less pay, and no contracts. When compared to the Symphony musicians, the Opera artists do not enjoy the same equity as those with the Symphony. Scott Parker could play up the inequality since Mrs. Abravenal’s husband was extremely passionate about being able to provide the musicians with full time pay and professional status (input), and she would more than likely be motivated to support a merger if that meant that the Opera artists could have the same, equal opportunities that the Symphony musicians have (outcomes).
Something else that Parker can point out to Mrs. Abravenal is that currently the Utah Symphony is at the top end of the Group II symphonies, which had an average annual endowment of $8.8 million. She has stated publicly that her husband would never be ok with second billing, but currently the Symphony is second to the Opera which operates with a bigger budget. If the two organizations were to combine, both would see an increase in budgets, as well as could see an increase in their endowments which could allow the Utah Symphony to move into Group I status. A3. Describe Anne’s positional power, personal power and how they relate Anne Ewers is the general director of the Utah Opera. Prior to coming to Salt Lake City, Ewers had served as a director or assistant director at three previous companies, as well as the stage manager for over 60 productions. Being that she has climbed the ladder and held various positions at different operas gives her quite a bit of power. This power allows her to direct others as well as make decisions.
A true leader will have both personal and positional power. Ewer’s positional power comes from her being the general director, a title that she has earned from her hard work throughout her career. This power allows her to have a certain degree of control over the opera and also demands respect from those within the organization. Her title could be removed, thus would end her positional power. For example, if Ewers were to leave her position as the general director of the Utah Opera, she would no longer have any power (positional) within the organization. Ewer’s personal power though is based on her personality and character traits that allow her to appeal to others. These traits are all internal and include intelligence, honesty, skills, experience as well as her expertise in her field. All of these traits make her who she is and are all internal and therefore impossible to take away.
Regardless of her positional power, her personal power is what lets her earn respect from those that she leads. If Ewers were to allow her positional power to inflate her ego, regardless of her personal power, she would lose respect, the same as if she were not an honest and trustworthy person, she would lose her personal power and then her positional power would not be as influential. If the merger were to take place, Ann Ewers would become the CEO of the combined organizations. As the CEO, she would have to use her positional power to make decisions. One way she could use her positional power is to gather different leaders from the various areas of both organizations and bring them together and come up with a plan to successfully integrate both organizations and combine them into one entity. Ewers would also need to develop a new organizational chart for the newly combined organizations and submit it to the board of directors for their approval. There times that a CEO must make a decision without being able to gather input from others.
In order for the combined organization to accept these decisions when they have to be made, Ewers would need to draw up on her personal power to help her get buy in from the employees. A3a. Discuss how Anne could use her positional power to successfully lead merger efforts If this merger happens, Anne Ewers will assume the role of CEO of the combined organizations. As the CEO she would be responsible for making unilateral decisions that are necessary to keep the organization running. In order for Anne to be successful, she will need to user her positional power to develop a plan for the successful integration of the two organizations, as well as a solid foundation for the newly integrated organization. To start with, she will need to identify key individual who can help make or break the new organization, such as Keith Lockhart who is the music director and Leslie Peterson, the daughter of Utah Opera founder. If Ewers can define the role of these key individuals, it could help make the transition much smoother, while at the same time giving them some control.
She will have to gain the support of these two individuals as they hold quite a bit of power in their respective organizations. Having both on board and supportive is vital to the success of the newly merged organization. Ewers will need to rely on Lockhart to guide the musicians through the transition, while she will need Peterson to help guide the artists at the Opera. If she delegates some of the decision making to them, it will help Peterson and Lockhart to each feel like a valued member of the new organization, while at the same time Ewers still holds the ultimate decision making power as the CEO. Anne Ewers will also need to develop and implement a new budget for the combined entities, and submit it to board of directors for final approval. Her previous success in retiring debt, increasing endowments and increasing financial reserves makes her the right person to develop the budget. The budget will be key to the success of the newly merged organization.
She will need to give the board of directors as well as current and potential new donors reassurance that she is looking out for the financial well-being of the new organization. A3b. Discuss how Anne could use her personal power to empower Keith Lockhart after the merger Anne Ewers has proven to be extremely knowledgeable in the Opera industry thanks to her years of working as costume designers, stage directors, assistant directors and directors. She has shown herself to be a very capable leader who is extremely smart, honest, and charismatic. These traits give her quite a bit of personal power to use to help empower Keith Lockhart after the merger. To empower Keith, Anne will need to give him a clearly defined role in the organization as well as some power with that position of authority. To start with, Ewers will first need for Lockhart to trust her and her commitment to the organization.
To achieve this, Ewers should share her vision for the new organization and where she sees his role in the organization going forward. As stated in the brief, Lockhart’s biggest objection is around him now reporting to Anne Ewers and losing his role of power as the musical director. As the CEO, it is not possible for Anne to do everything, and as such she will need to rely on others who have more experience in certain areas to guide her. This could be a great role for Keith Lockhart to still be a musical director for the symphony and still having power. She needs to make sure he feels valued and ensure that his expertise and opinion are needed as a key decision maker in the combined organization. Ewers should let Lockhart know that he has the ability to set the course of this new organization and his input is greatly needed to help set goals, address issues as they arise and be an advocate for the symphony since that is where his expertise lies.
A4. Discuss a potential issue with the symphony musicians that could have a negative impact The biggest issue facing not only the symphony, but the combined companies if the merger goes through is that the symphony musicians are a unionized body. The musicians have guaranteed contracts for pay and benefits that are protected by the collective agreement. The collective agreement calls for significant increases in salary over the next two years – 12.9% the next year and 6.8% the year after. With the symphony not bringing in as much in donations as previous, and their performances also not as profitable the big increases in salary is concerning for the financial well-being of the organization. Some symphony musicians might fear that the proposed merger could lead the board of directors to open the current agreement and renegotiate the salary increases.
This could lead to opposition to the merger and potentially a strike. If the musicians were to strike, this would be extremely harmful to the organization since without musicians there is no symphony, and the symphony accompanies the opera. Both the opera and the symphony depend on the musicians to perform which leads to profits for the organization. This gives the musicians group organizational power and strength. A4a. Recommendation for Anne to mitigate the issue One way for Anne to mitigate the musicians opposition since they would be concerned about the agreement being reopened is to approach the board about guaranteeing the musicians salaries for the final two years of the agreement.
Once the board approves this, Ewers could then advise the musicians that their contracts will be honored as written, including salary increases, and the board will not seek to re-open the agreement. While this decision could be costly due to the amount of salary increases, it is a necessary cost to ensure the Opera and Symphony have musicians for the performances. If the musicians were to strike, while the salaries would not be paid out, the amount of money that would be lost from having to cancel performances would likely outweigh the cost of the salary increases. A strike could also be a public relations nightmare, even once the musicians came back, and could impact future donations.
A5. Discuss at least two of the organizational influence tactics Anne could use Anne has 11 years under her belt as the general director of Utah Opera, in addition to her previous years spent at other organizations in various roles. As the director of Utah Opera, Ewers has proven herself to being a capable leader who is energetic and shows great amounts of enthusiasm for the opera. Given this, Ewers finds herself in a great position to persuade the board of directors and staff at Utah Opera to supper the merger between the opera and symphony. She can utilize tactics such as inspirational appeals and rational persuasion. Being that Ewers is also a member of the opera, her opinion is trusted and respected by the board and staff. Using rational persuasion, she can give facts that explain why the merger is in the best interest of the organization, in a logical way. She should remind them that given the downturn of the economy, ticket sales and donations could decline which would greatly impact the organization.
Rationally explaining that with a merger, potential donors would no longer have to choose either the opera or the symphony to donate to, and both organizations would benefit from the shared fundraising, which could make the foundation of both organizations stronger. One of the fears among those in the opera would be that now Ewers has to answer to both organizations and would she still fight as hard for the opera. Given that she has spent her entire career with the opera, she should reassure them that she will continue to safeguard the identity of the Utah Opera throughout the transition.
Anne could also use inspirational appeal with the staff and board of directors. By merging with the Utah Symphony, it would lead to a larger organization with a higher budget and more financial backing which could thrust the opera into a top arts organization. With the merger with the symphony, it could lead to more artistic potential since the symphony and opera would now be one entity, instead of competing entities. By generating excitement and enthusiasm from members of the opera, Ewers could then work on securing the staff’s commitment to the newly combined organization.
Kinicki, A., & Robert, K. (2013). Organizational Behavior. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2015, from Motivation at a Glance: An ISchool Collaborative: https://sites.google.com/site/motivationataglanceischool/vroom-s-expectancy-theory