As the chairman of the board of the Utah Opera, Bill Bailey is in a position of influence to motivate the Opera’s board of directors to oppose a merger with the Utah Symphony by employing the use of Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. This theory suggests that people are motivated by three distinct determinants; valence (reward), expectancy (performance), and instrumentality (belief). Vroom believed that motivation is a result of the level to which a person desires a reward (valence), the analysis of the probability that the effort put forth will deliver the desired performance (expectancy) and the belief that the performance will result in the attainment of a reward (instrumentality). In the case of the Utah Opera, the most desirable reward (valence) would be remaining financially solvent in spite of a weak economy. The required performance (expectancy) is to support or oppose a merger with the Utah Symphony to strengthen the financial standing of both organizations.
The belief in the attainment of the desired outcome (instrumentality) is the continued success of the Utah Opera. In order to motivate the Opera’s board of directors using these factors, Mr. Bailey would need to emphasize the vastly different financial considerations of the two programs. Contrasting the Utah Opera’s business model offering flexibility for performance scheduling, as well as the organization’s cash reserves, and tangible assets against the Symphony’s contractually obligated business model lacking any flexibility, high expenditures, and little or no assets to speak of would be of significant importance.
By concluding his assessment of the proposed merger with exerts from the letters of opposition written from the community and Mrs. Abravanel, Mr. Bailey would present enough logical and factual information to convince the Opera’s board of directors to oppose the merger. In consideration of their desire for the organization to remain financially solvent in spite of the weak economy (valence), the board of directors for the Utah Opera would more than likely oppose a merger with the Utah Symphony (expectancy) believing that such a merger with the Symphony would weaken the financial strength of the Opera (instrumentality).
As the chairman of the board of the Utah Symphony, Scott Parker is in a position of influence to motivate Mrs. Abravanel to support a merger with the Utah Symphony by employing the use of the Adam’s Equity theory. This theory suggests that people are motivated to act a certain way because being fair and just is of great importance to them. Inequity and injustice are held in relationship to personal satisfaction based on an individual’s perception of inputs and outcomes. Adams believed that an individual perceiving themselves as either under or over- rewarded would become distressed and be motivated to take action to restore balance or equity in a relationship. In the case of the Scott Parker, in order to motivate Mrs. Abravanel to support a merger between the Symphony and the Opera, he would have to appeal to her strongly reported desire to be just and fair like her husband. One such case could be made if Mr. Parker were to point out that the full year, salaried contracts her husband fought to win for the musicians in the Symphony could be threatened by the weakening economy and the threat of a deficit looming.
A negative equity situation for the artists involved with Opera could also be offered as a comparison. With lower pay, fewer performances, and no contracts, those involved in the Opera lack equity to the wages, standards, and employment security enjoyed by Symphony musicians. Mrs. Abravanel, knowing how passionate her husband was about securing full time professional status and pay for the symphony musicians (input), would likely be motivated to support the merger as means to secure the contracts and pay for the Symphony and create an equal opportunity for the Opera artists(outcome).
Additionally, highlighting the fact that the symphony was in the high end of Group II of symphony orchestras in the U.S. based on endowments and expenditures could also compel Mrs. Abravanel to support the merger. Carolyn Abravanel herself publically stated that her husband “would never take second billing to anyone.” Being in the lower of the two groups put the Symphony in a second billing situation. A successful merger would produce a higher combined budget and as well as larger endowments creating the likelihood that the Symphony could achieve Group I status and eliminate yet another negative equity situation for the Symphony.
Anne Ewers is a seasoned professional with a history of successful leadership within various Opera organizations around the country including the Utah Opera. Having worked her way up the ranks from a stage-director to be the general director of the Utah Opera, she earned a great deal of power. Power grants leaders the ability to direct the actions of others and make decisions with a degree of authority. A leader retains both positional and personal power. Anne’s positional power stems from the title she has earned. The title commands respects and gives her a degree of authority over others. It is based on external factors and can be removed. For instance, if Anne were to be removed from her position as the general director of the Opera, she would lose her positional power within the organization. On the other hand, Anne’s personal power is compilation of her good characteristics and traits that help her appeal to others. It is based on internal factors such as intelligence, ethics, trustworthiness, charismatic nature, confidence, skill level, experience, and expertise.
These things are part of who Anne is as a person, and therefore cannot be taken away from her. No matter what rank or title Anne has that gives her positional power, she cannot earn the respect and devotion of the people she leads without her personal power. The judicious use of positional power will enhance personal power and vice-versa with personal power and positional power. However, misuse of either will result in the reduction of both types of authority. Through the merger Anne would become the CEO of the integrated programs. As the CEO certain decisions would have to be made using her positional power. One example of this might include working with other leaders of the combined organizations to create an integration plan and a new vision for the combined programs and then implementing it with the artists and musicians. Another instance where the use of positional power would be appropriate for Anne to use would be for her to draft an organizational chart for the combined organization and take it to the board for approval.
There are times decisions have to be made by a leader without passing the buck. To be an effective leader, Anne will need to have followers. This is where the influence of Anne’s personal power comes into play. Anne will have to wisely assess events on a situational basis while at the same time considering the needs, motivators, and emotions of the people involved. By being thoughtful, honest, and fair she will earn the trust and respect of the people she leads. One example of how Anne might use her personal power might be found in how she chooses to listen to and address the concerns of Keith Lockhart. As the music director for the symphony he would be reporting directly to Anne Ewers. Being accustomed to having more person control than the new organizational structure allows will require some adjustments on his part. By listening intently to Keith and seeking his input where appropriate Anne has a greater chance of earning his respect, trust, and loyalty.
In the potential merger, Anne would become the CEO of the integrated programs. With this position comes the power to make unilateral decisions necessary to operate the organization. To successfully lead the efforts as the proposed CEO, Anne Ewers should use her positional power to develop an integration plan and a solid structure for the new, integrated organization. By defining the roles of key individuals such as Keith Lockhart and Leslie Peterson, Anne could maximize their effectiveness in the merger, satisfy their need for control, and ensure a smooth transition. Gaining the support of the leaders in both entities is a vital to the cohesive success of the merger. Anne will need them to guide the artists and musicians through the transitional process By delegating some her own authority to each of these leaders Anne has a greater potential to make them each feel valued and important without actually relinquishing any real overall control.
Due to the nature of her position, Anne will retain the final decisions in all business activities. As the CEO, Anne should also use her positional power to establish a workable budget the financial framework to support it for the board of directors to approve. Her shrewd business acumen, successful fundraising abilities, and a knack for creating financial reserves despite budgetary constraints will grant her expertise in this area. A well laid out financial plan than includes a detailed fundraising campaign is a pivotal portion of the success of the integrated organization. The board of directors and potential donors will need reassurance that the financial well being of the new conglomeration is secure. Anne Ewers will need to provide that in order to prove she was the correct choice for the CEO position.
Anne Ewers has acquired a vast skill set and knowledge base through her years of experience working in the opera industry. She has proven herself to be an ethical, intelligent, trustworthy, confident, and charismatic leader. This compilation of traits and characteristics grant her a great deal of personal power to draw upon in order to empower Keith Lockhart after the merger. In this case, empowerment means Anne will need to give Mr. Lockhart power and official authority. She will first need to gain his trust and commitment. To achieve this Anne can share her vision for the combined organization and his role in it with him. Mr. Lockhart’s primary objection to the merger centered on his having to report to Mrs. Ewers in the new management structure. His own loss of power was a blow to his ego. As the CEO, Anne can transfer some of her positional power and authority to Mr. Lockhart to offset his negative feelings and make him feel valued.
She can do this without diminishing any of her overall power or control. Using her personal power, Anne will also need to make Keith Lockhart feel like he is valued and needed as key decision maker in the integrated organization. She will need to emphasize that his participation as a leader is vital to the success of the merger. Mr. Lockhart has to know that he has the power to help set the course of the new entity. His input will be used to set goals, address issues associated with the merger, and to define the course of the symphony. In essence, Anne will need to convince Mr. Lockhart that he has the necessary power to guide the symphony into the future.
As a unionized body, the symphony musicians have contracts for wages and benefits protected by a collective agreement. This agreement calls for significant salary increases in each of the next two years. With some musicians fearing that the merger could lead the board of directors to reopen the current collective bargaining agreement as a means to renegotiate the expected salary increases and other terms, opposition to the merger and/or threat of a strike are potential issues at hand. A strike could be detrimental to the organization since there would be no symphony without the musicians, and the same musicians play for the opera. The bottom line is that both entities in the organization depend on the musicians to produce income. This position offers the group organizational strength and power.
To mitigate the potential issue of opposition to the merger and/or threat of a strike with the musicians, it is recommended that Anne ensure the security of the musician’s contracts as written with the board of directors. With the board’s agreement, Anne could then approach the musicians with a guarantee that the current contracts will stand as written without any threat of renegotiation. Although this is a costly solution, neither the opera nor the symphony is in a position to operate without musicians. In the long run, honoring the contracts is most likely less expensive and detrimental to the new combined entity than a strike would be. The public relations ramifications could result in a more costly backlash than even the immediate monetary losses if it were to impact future donations.
With eleven years of proven leadership and a reputation for being energetic, enthusiastic, and capable, Anne Ewers is in an excellent position to persuade the Utah Opera staff to support the merger. By employing the use of soft tactics such as rational persuasion, and inspirational appeals, Anne is more likely to be influential with them. As a member of the Opera team herself, Anne is trusted and respected by the staff. Through rational persuasion Anne has the opportunity to logically explain the facts as to why the merger is good for the opera. Reiterating that the downturn in the economy and declining ticket sales would most likely impact the organization could be a starting point. Anne needs to explain that by no longer competing against the symphony for funding; both organizations would stand to gain a stronger footing.
By promising to safeguard the Opera’s identity through process Anne could also ease their fears and gain their acceptance. Given her enthusiastic nature and proven track record for successfully guiding the opera, Anne could also make an inspirational appeal to the staff. As part of a larger entity with a solid economic backing, the opera could become a tier-one arts organization. Expanding the artistic potential of the opera would also elevate the status of the organization to be more in line with the symphony. This level of recognition could prove to be very meaningful to all those involved with the opera. Building enthusiasm for the merger as the way to achieve this type of recognition would help also Anne to garner the staff’s commitment to the process.