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The merger process Essay

A1. Bill Bailey Illustrate how Bill Bailey, might use one theory of motivation to support or oppose the merger.

Background: There are two perspectives when talking about theories of motivation; Content Theories and Process Theories. These two theories can complement each other instead of compete as alternatives. Content theories deal with “the what” of motivation. They try to explain the forces which drive human behavior by fulfilling physiological and personal needs. They look at deficiencies because of the belief that if the need is met, people will not be further motivated to meet that need. Physiological needs include basics such as food, safety, and affiliation. Personal growth needs follow second after physiological needs have been met. These needs include self-esteem, purpose and self-actualization.

Process theories go somewhat more in depth to explain motivation. They deal with “the how” of motivation. How did a specific process lead to an outcome of motivation? This information is important because it can show how the process may be measured and then replicated. It provides a way to explain how to motivate for change.

One theory of motivation Bill Bailey might use is the process theory known as the Expectancy Theory. Kinicki & Kreitner (2010) tell us the Expectancy Theory was developed by Victor Vroom in 1964 to produce a systematic explanatory theory of workplace motivation. Vroom ascertained that the motivation to behave in a particular way is determined by an individual’s expectation that the action will lead to a particular outcome and it is multiplied by the valence (preference or attractiveness) the person has for said outcome. In other words, “The Expectancy theory holds that people are motivated to behave in ways that produce valued outcomes” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2010, p.223). The three components of Expectancy theory are: 1.Expectancy: The belief of the person that her/his effort will result in attainment of desired performance goals. 2.Instrumentality: The belief of the person that she/he will receive a reward if the performance expectation is met.

3.Valence: The value of the reward according to the person. (E.g. is the reward attractive to the person?) Even though the record shows Bill Bailey agreed to approach the opera’s executive committee about the possible merger, based on this theory, I believe he would oppose the merger. Using the Expectancy component of this theory, he could congratulate and remind the opera group that their high level of performance was achieved by their high level of effort. These efforts were demonstrated through use of a flexible business model which kept the opera operating in the black as well as providing funds in reserve. Operating with a small permanent staff of 23, the flexible business model provided the liberty to hire additional staff and performers only during the weeks they were in season and in accordance to the size and needs of the specific opera being performed. The opera was also able to eliminate projects which didn’t reach their fund-raising goals.

Mr. Bailey could reveal how this is very much in contrast with the symphony. With a 52-week schedule the symphony employed 33 full-time staff and 83 musicians year-round with a full time salary. The efforts put forward by the opera company resulted in the attainment of their desired performance goals to perform and be financially sound. Factors which influence expectancy perceptions such as self-efficacy; previous success at the task; information necessary to complete the task; and good materials and/or equipment with which to work; are all present in the opera’s current situation. Mr. Bailey could explain how this merger would take most if not all these factors away. The opera would not be self-efficient because they would be part of a bigger company. The symphony had not had success at being financially sound. The newly joined group would be moving into new territory where there is not much information or precedence because as maintained by Delong and Ager (2004) mergers between major opera companies and symphony orchestras in the U.S. have been rare.

The newly merged company may be able to find different ways to meet the goals to perform and be financially sound, but the opera would not be able to put their same previously successful efforts to use if the merger became a reality. The second component of the Expectancy Theory is Instrumentality. Instrumentality is an action or outcome which is dependent on performance. Mr. Bailey could point out the fact that the opera’s ability to perform is “instrumental” on its ability to make money. In contrast, the symphony is in financial trouble. Without a solution they will not be able to perform. If the opera merges with the symphony, the same may be true of the opera. The last component of the Expectancy Theory is Valence. The Valence component of this theory is demonstrated by the degree of attractiveness or reward presented by the merger.

Bill Bailey should remind the opera company that even though it would increase the status of the opera by merging with the symphony into a tier-one arts organization, the trade-off is that the opera would lose its own identity in the process. This model was chosen because the “Expectancy Theory can be used to predict motivation and behavior in any situation in which a choice between two or more alternatives must be made” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2010, p.223). It follows reason that given the facts of the two alternatives of whether to merge or not, Bill Bailey could use this theory to oppose the merger.

A2. Scott Parker Illustrate how Scott Parker, chairman of the board of the Utah Symphony Organization, might use one theory of motivation to convince Mrs. Abravanel to support the merger.

One theory of motivation Scott Parker might use is the content theory known as McClelland’s Need Theory. As previously mentioned, content theories explain the forces which drive or influence human behavior by fulfilling physiological and personal needs. In McClelland’s theory three needs are identified: The need for achievement which includes the desire to accomplish something difficult; the need for affiliation which includes maintaining social relationships and wanting to be loved; and the need for power which includes the need to influence, to teach, or to encourage others to achieve. All three reasons could resonate with Mrs. Abravanel. Recognizing her influence, Scott Parker knows that if he could motivate Mrs. Abravanel to support the merger, she could greatly help him persuade others to support the merger as well. Scott Parker could capitalize on the first component of McClelland’s theory, the need for achievement, to motivate Mrs. Abravanel through her shared pride in her husband’s achievements.

“Achievement-motivated people prefer situations in which performance is due to their efforts rather than other factors, such as luck” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2010, p.216). Maurice Abravanel definitely overcame difficulties when he advanced the orchestra from a part-time community ensemble to a renowned, world-class symphony. With Mr. Abravanel’s guidance the symphony orchestra was one of the first from the western United States to have international tours and he also obtained several recording contracts under highly esteemed recording labels. Overcoming the financial difficulties threatening the symphony would, even though it is a different type of achievement, be a major success. An achievement which with her support Mrs. Abravanel could further and continue the triumph her husband had achieved. In comparison with the projected 2001-2002 surplus of the symphony’s $2,042, the opera had a projected surplus of $473,002 (DeLong & Ager, 2004).

With the prediction that financial decreases would continue and musician pay contracts and obligations would continue to come due, without a significant influx of funds the Utah Symphony may need to close down. Mrs. Abravanel could have an achievement of her own if she becomes part of the financial resolution which protects a future for all that her husband had achieved. The second component of McClelland’s Need Theory is the need for affiliation. Usually, this can mean avoidance of conflict because of a fear of being disliked. This however is not the case for Mrs. Abravanel. She shows she is not afraid of speaking her mind, facing conflict and being disliked for her stand. She wrote an open letter to the community which publicly announced her opposition. Still, Scott Parker could make factors of this component work to his advantage with Mrs. Abravanel. Her husband spent 32 years with the orchestra.

Mrs. Abravanel’s continued interest in an affiliation with the symphony is verified by her open letter to the public and shortly later by her speaking out in an interview. Scott Parker might appeal to her love for all her husband had achieved and Mrs. Abravanel’s continued interest in the symphony’s future success. Her long standing relationship would make a strong desire for her affiliation with the symphony to continue. The last component of McClelland’s Need Theory is the need for power. There were many in the symphony with concerns that with the present general director of the opera, Anne Ewers, becoming CEO of the merged company, the symphony would take on a less significant role and turn into “an appendage of the opera,” (DeLong & Ager, 2004). Along those lines, Mrs. Abravanel stated that her husband “would never take second billing to anyone” (DeLong & Ager, 2004). Scott Parker would have to assure Mrs.

Abravanel of plans to keep the symphony’s musical director, Keith Lockhart, in control of the artistic vision for the symphony. In other organizations of this type, the CEO and the music director report directly to the board and not to each other. Finally, he could tell Mrs. Abravanel that neither is more important than the other. Mr. Lockhart and Ms. Ewer are both essential to the union and either one had the power to veto the merger if unable to agree to the final arrangements. A3. Power Describe Anne’s positional power in relation to her personal power. Positional power and Personal power are two of the five bases of power as described by John French and Bertram Raven (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2010). Positional power is a power which is external to you. That is to say it comes from a set of external factors.

Because of this it is something which can be taken away or you can lose. Also known as Legitimate Power, Positional power comes from your job, your position, your role in the organization and can include status and reputation. Phatak (2012) summarizes legitimate power as the set of rights which a leader inherits as a result of his position in a power structure. Often there is an unspoken opinion that this is the only qualification one needs to be a leader. While Positional power provides certain opportunities to the leader it is important to recognize the difference between holding the position and leading in a position. Anne Ewers gained positional power by holding several prestigious positions and through increasing her good reputation. Directing operas earned her early reputation when she successfully served as stage director for over 60 Opera productions across the US and abroad. Following that, she served as assistant director to the San Francisco Opera and later the Canadian Opera.

Just prior to joining the Utah Opera, she served as general director of the Boston Lyric Opera. While there she established a penchant for business when she retired a $450K debt inherited from her predecessor, built an endowment fund and increased the number of opera productions from one to three. Through these many endeavors, Ms. Ewers gained a well-deserved reputation for a keen sense of business and an outstanding artistic talent. Personal power, also known as Referent Power, is a power which is internal to you. That is to say it comes from within. It is something which cannot be taken away. It is your can-do attitude, your charisma, your persistence, your knowledge, your intelligence, your character, resilience, confidence, etc.

Anne Ewers was known among the executive committees at both the opera and symphony for being energetic, enthusiastic and capable. The challenge of leading the merged organizations and the effort necessary for the integration to be successful was exciting to her. The relationship between these two types of power for Anne Ewers is that one helped her achieve the other. In his article on balancing positional power and personal power Abayasekara (2013) tells us “The interesting thing here is that when personal power is used wisely, it increases your positional power. When positional power is used wisely, it increases your personal power”.

It is because of her personal power, her ability to be competent and successful and who she is, that she was able to take on the challenges and gain those new and higher positions of power, i.e. what she does. Competence is knowledge and it increases with use. New positions helped her gain more competence, knowledge and experience. This in turn allowed her to take on bigger challenges, continued to grow her confidence, experience and knowledge, making it possible for her to take on even bigger challenges, increase her stature, and so on.

A3a. Positional Power Discuss how Anne could use her positional power to successfully lead the merger efforts. With Positional power comes a formal recognition of one’s position. This provides several advantages in leadership roles. Positional power allows leaders to be decisive and give directions that people accept. However, because many mistakes have been made with blind obedience to position, a better use of Positional power, one that Anne Ewers would likely use, is to use her privilege of authority to get people to listen to her. From there she would still need to use her influence; not to command or control but to partner with them. She could open an exchange of ideas on the process and strategic plan. Good leaders are open to others’ opinions and ideas. They understand that learning can go both ways. Last, change is hard for many people. A good leader will take them through the process by informing and getting people ready.

This formal position gives the leader access and control to allocate resources of the organization. Ms. Ewers would have the resources of the full time staff at her request. They could help her document and research with fact finding and focus groups. She would have the resource of the board of directors for guidance. Ms. Ewers would have access to privileged information. She would know the ins and outs of the financial status and contracts. She would know the supporters and who the people of influence are and she would have the ability to draw from the time and experience of others involved. She could enlist their help to be a sounding board, give advice, campaign and provide support for the merger with the opera, symphony and in the community. Another element of Positional power is status.

Status is a comparison or a varying degree of privilege or esteem. It’s the degree to which a person is respected, well-regarded and admired by others. Ms. Ewer’s status was increased by others holding her in high esteem. This is in contrast to someone who tries to lead with a position of power, but has not gained the respect or esteem of those they are trying to lead. That sort of influence is short lived and can only be taken so far. People don’t follow those they don’t respect. If this was the case with Ms. Ewer, she could expect the privilege of people listening to her. She could also expect access to resources of the opera and symphony. She would however, be ineffectual to lead and effect change. The high level of respect felt for Ms. Ewer and the value and admiration placed on her opinion served to increase the status of her positional power and amplify her ability to have influence over others.

A3b. Personal Power Discuss how Anne could use her personal power to empower Keith Lockhart after the merger.

As previously stated, Personal power, also known as Referent Power, is an internal power and comes from within an individual. Several characteristics of Personal power were mentioned. One of them is personal attraction otherwise known as likeability or charisma. Charisma often draws people in. Just like with famous people and actors personal power can come with a type of hero worship and/or the desire to be just the object of worship. Individuals can see themselves in you. Your attention to them can make them feel pleased. A good use of this attribute for Anne Ewers in working with Keith Lockhart would be an extension of this positivity. Mr. Lockhart felt it was his responsibility to protect the symphony’s interests and that he remain in control. By showing her respect for him and placing value on his position and his ideas (influence sharing), Ms. Ewers could strengthen their relationship.

Involving him in the decisions, partnering with him (power sharing), (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2010, p.446) with an open and willing spirit to accept his input, Mr. Lockhart could become an extension of her leadership. Additionally it could increase her ability to influence and lead Mr. Lockhart. Ms. Ewer’s empowerment and respect for Mr. Lockhart would make him more confident, resilient and successful. To convey she understood that he would remain as the head of the symphony (autonomy through structure) would increase Mr. Lockhart’s personal power as well (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2010). In addition to making known the company’s financial needs, he knew he it was going to be necessary for him to communicate his place and status in the organization.

In communicating with his supporters he needed to be clear about how the organization would be restructured and to define the need for two types of leadership; one for artistic vision and the other for finance and the purpose of the organization. With his increased status and the importance of his support, Mr. Lockhart would be instrumental in helping to bring the two cultures together. With a good relationship and good communication Mr. Lockhart could benefit from Ms. Ewer’s personal power of knowledge and experience.

She earned recognition for her outstanding artistic talent and would be someone with insight for Mr. Lockhart to share his artistic vision. Working together would give them the chance to enhance each other’s strengths. Her keen sense of business would enable him the freedom to leave the financial issues to her. His experience with over 600 concerts, 50 television shows and work with many major orchestras would allow her to rely on his ability to lead and produce a quality performance. Sharing these duties (power sharing) would have the potential for an improved use of resources and a greater chance of success.

A4. Organizational Performance What potential issue with the musicians that if not resolved, would jeopardize the merged organization’s ability to perform? A potential issue is the consequence of a unionized “strike”, musicians quitting their jobs or the possibility of lawsuits brought against the newly merged organization. The musician’s may take action if the merger or the possibility of a merger jeopardizes their collective bargaining agreement and/or leads to a reduction of income or causes a retraction of their promised future raises. The 83 musicians are unionized and receive salaries between $50,000 and $80,000. Their current agreement called for hefty increases of 12.9% in the coming year and over 6% the following year.

With not always an amicable relationship between the musicians and the symphony board and management, it’s believed that merger discussions may have been a ploy to renegotiate their current agreement. Evidence of the ability of these issues to jeopardize the merger by musician action is indicated by the formation of an ad hoc committee. This committee was formed by the musicians’ to represent their concerns to the board. The committee presented a set of guiding principles which they believed were essential for the future of the symphony (DeLong & Ager, 2004). Most of these principles concerned money. The loss of their current salaries, benefits or the loss of their future raises, could lead to actions which would jeopardize the merged organization’s ability to perform.

A4a. Recommendation Recommend how Anne could mitigate the potential issue. Ms. Ewers could mitigate the issue of potential loss of the musicians employed and/or lawsuits by arranging to meet with the musicians. She could benefit from having their list of essential guiding principles ahead of time. It would provide her with a chance to research and formulate a plan to address their concerns which included; enhancing artistic excellence, effective fund-raising, a budget strategy which improved the position of the Utah Symphony as a major 52-week season orchestra, and a strong collective bargaining agreement (DeLong & Ager, 2004). During the meetings(s) Ms. Ewers should provide clear financial data to the musicians. This would contain financial data from both organizations, the information needed to interpret their current financial circumstances and future projections for the company after the merger.

She should let them know that “in their current state, the orchestra is very close to being in a deficit situation with no break in sight” (DeLong & Ager, 2004). Ms. Ewers should provide a summary of the proposal then involve them in the planning giving them a chance to voice their opinions and have input. She could use Integrative Negotiation in which both sides put effort into understanding what the other side wants or needs in the merger. The goal is to find a solution with the best possible outcome (win-win) for both parties. They could work together to find a compromise which could meet the interests of the musicians’ as well as align with the goals of the new organization. Asking for their participation would give them a connection to the process. Having a true picture of their financial circumstances and the ability to play a part in the planning of their future is likely to mitigate the potential issue.

5. Influence Discuss at least two of the organization influence tactics Anne could use to persuade the opera’s staff to endorse the merger.

Two influence tactics recommended for Ms. Ewer to use are Rational persuasion and Consultation. These are both considered soft tactics and are friendlier and less intimidating than the so-called hard tactics. Rational persuasion uses reason, logic or facts to convince someone. Even though rational persuasion is a soft tactic, it may take Anne Ewer’s positional power to get the staff to listen. She should lay out her proposal and provide facts to the opera staff. These facts would include financial data from both organizations, the information needed to interpret their current financial state and future projections for the company after the merger. She could show how it would be reasonable to economize on costs and maximize the efficiency of administration and planning.

Ms. Ewers could show the opera staff how adding their budget of $4.7 million to the symphony’s budget, the newly merged organization would become a tier-one arts organization. Classification is determined on an orchestra’s yearly expense budget. Group II budgets include up to $13.5 million. Group I is $13.5 and above. At $12.4 million, the symphony was closing in on joining the symphonies in Group I. Merging the opera with the symphony would bring the new organization up to a Group I level and provide increased status. This would give them the ability to attract world class artists and increase both organizations’ artistic potential.

The second Influence tactic recommended is Consultation. This tactic uses getting others to participate in planning, making decisions and changes. Kinicki & Kreitner (2010) tell us that in a field study of sales managers, regardless of whether their relationship was positive or negative, consultation increased the willingness of the participant to help. Consultation is also likely to increase commitment. When people have a say, it produces buy-in. And finally, consultation is one of the three components of trust.

Trust is earned when a connection is made through participation. Ms. Ewers could consult with the opera’s staff, and involve them in the planning of the merger. By soliciting their suggestions and input, Ms. Ewers would build interest in the merger and foster the opera staff’s trust and commitment. Just as in the case of dealing with the symphony musicians, asking for their participation would give them a connection to the process and with a say in their future would likely increase their support for the merger.


Abayasekara, D. (2013). A common leadership challenge. free articles. Retrieved from:

DeLong, T. & Ager, D (2004). Harvard business school publication. Retrieved from:

Kinicki, A. & Kreitner, R. (2010). Organizational behavior. Retrieved from:

Phatak, O. (2012). Legitimate power in leadership. Retrieved from:

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