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Benchmarking Essay

575 words - 3 pages


In 2005, SAP, one of the world’s largest suppliers of business software and services, embarked on a reintegration plan designed to change the organizational structure. Until that point, SAP had utilized a more traditional or divisional organization scheme (McShane & Von Glinow, 2005) with good results but felt that there was room for improvement. Similarly, as evidenced during the simulation, Good Sport was also implementing a similar organizational structure with individual departments and the corresponding hierarchy of upper management. SAP realized that one of the byproducts of the departmental structure was independence and personal responsibility. What SAP wanted was more mutual dependence and a collaborative responsibility. Thus, SAP rolled out a value-chain or functional structure putting one executive in charge of a step or part of the value chain (HBR, June 2007). Consequently, ...view middle of the document...

Less time would be wasted “getting everyone on board” and more time could be spent perfecting and introducing the product.

Royal Navy

Britain’s navy, the Royal Navy, found itself struggling to identify which of the many leadership styles to teach its officers enrolled in their academy. The Royal Navy has been instructing future leaders and managers long before Harvard and Wharton existed. During the course of time, leadership styles and philosophies have come and gone. Recently, the Royal Navy employed a survey to determine what the leadership style was used by some of their most influential leaders. The results demonstrated two predominant styles; goal-oriented and involving. The results correlate with the nature of serving in the military where, at times, lives hang in the balance of achieving a goal or task. Instead of choosing one, the Royal Navy decided to teach both as each style was appropriate at different times and the truly effective leaders used both equally effectively.

Likewise, the executives at Good Sport have a track record of being slightly task oriented. This style of leadership tends to produce better results and stronger feelings of team amongst employees. The alternative approach, involving or personal, scores high with employee satisfaction and retention while sacrificing some productivity. With a company like Good Sport, neither task-oriented nor personal would be appropriate at all times. A balance between the two, with a sound understanding of when and how to implement the two styles, would be the most beneficial leadership style. Like the Royal Navy, Good Sport would be able to better navigate the troubled waters of the business world.


M. Young & V. Dulewicz, Leadership Styles, Change Context and Leader Performance in the Royal Navy. Journal of Change Management, December 2006. Vol 6, No. 4, p. 383-396.

Y. Dolz & M. Kosonen. The New Deal at the Top. Harvard Business Review. June 2007.

S. McShane & MA Von Glinow. Organizational Behavior: Emerging Realities for the Workplace Revolution, 3e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2005. Chapter 15

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