The Rise And Fall Of Carly Fiorina

1641 WordsNov 26, 20157 Pages
Much is made of the impact of leadership on an organisation. Theory has moved on from the idea of born leaders and specific traits that deliver effectiveness, to behavioural approaches and a distribution of the function through the organisation. ‘The Rise and Fall of Carly Fiorina’ (Johnson 2008) details Hewlett Packard’s recruitment of a celebrity CEO who took the organisation away from 60 years of distributed leadership, to implement an autocratic leadership style. This essay examines the case study and discusses elements of leadership and leadership failure. The continuum between task oriented and relational leadership is examined in the context of the scenario and a contrast is drawn between the autocratic leadership style employed and transformational leadership. While hindsight suggests the match between Hewlett Packard and the incoming CEO was hopelessly flawed, there is reason to blame Fiorina’s lack of emotional intelligence for a style completely at odds with organisational culture. Leadership is about inspiring the confidence and support of people needed to achieve organisational goals, a dynamic relationship between leaders and group members and the facilitation of contribution (DuBrin 2016, p. 3: McShane and Von Glinow 2013, p.351). Kotter (1992, p. 102) draws a distinction between management and leadership, saying the former deals with getting things done while the latter decides what to do and why, but in practice they overlap and complement each other.
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