Essays on Richard Branson as a Global Leader Case Study

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The paper "Richard Branson as a Global Leader" is a good example of a management case study.   Globalization is a force that is changing many facets of life. According to Ireland and Hitt (1999), globalization is inevitable, and any organization that does not change to adapt to the force will perish. Globalization is so dominant in today’ s society that a closer look at your local store will reveal numerous commodities that are manufactured overseas. For organizations that operate in the global marketplace, they have to deal with a number of contemporary challenges arising from globalization.

The previous generation of organizational leaders strived to ensure stability in their organizations. As organizational goal stability was informed by a closed and underdeveloped market environment, where prices were not in flux. On contrast, globalization in the form of global capital inflows, labor mobility, market transparency and real-time communication means the business environment is constantly changing. According to Carpenter and Fredrickson (2001), intense competition in the global marketplace has led to an increased focus on change management. This paper uses the Gill (2003) integrative model of leadership for change to explore how Sir Richard Branson; a famous global business leader has successfully managed change in one of the largest conglomerate of companies in the world. Richard Branson as a Global Leader Sir Richard Branson is one of the richest people in the world.

Branson is the owner of the Virgin brand of companies that operate in multiple countries across a wide range of industrial sectors (Kets de Vries, 1999). The virgin group has interests in retail operations, hotels, publication, radio and television and Air travel. The flagship company, Virgin Atlantic is one of the major airlines on the transatlantic route, formerly dominated by British Airways (De Vries and Florent-Treacy, 1999).

Recently, Branson has launched Virgin cola and Virgin Galactic. Virgin Galactic is a company that is engaged in space tourism. The virgin group consists of over 350 highly successful companies. Branson has the ability to build great companies from scratch and make them dominant in the industry sector he targets. Branson’ s companies have also succeeded in industry sectors shaken up by the forces of Globalization. For example, Virgin Atlantic and its subsidiaries continue to flourish while other airlines are succumbing to increased global competition in the airline industry.

This paper explores how Branson has been able to lead his group of company in a constantly changing business environment. Dimensions and requirements of Leadership Gill (2002) identifies four separate tracks of leadership theory that enable effective change management. These tracks are cognitive intelligence, spiritual intelligence and emotional intelligence, and behavioral skills. Cognitive intelligence To be an effective leader in a business environment that is constantly in flux, a leader needs the superior ability to see the emergence of a novel situation.

In the views of Gil et al (2005), a leader who is intellectually intelligent will perceive change, understand information, reason with it, imagine possibilities, use intuitions, and make judgements and decisions. Richard Branson exhibits cognitive intelligence as he has the ability to see where change is needed. For example, Richard Branson was able to see the need for improved quality in the airline industry and make the change accordingly (Mutzabaugh, October 2012). When asked about the changes they would make to American Airlines, Richard imagines an American airline cabin with the best interior design and the best uniforms.

According to Branson, most American airlines that used to compete with Virgin Atlantic failed to notice the need to up the quality of their travellers experienced has since perished. Branson cited the cases of Pan Am, People express and TWA whose leaders failed to move with change. According to Branson, the leadership at British airways recognized the need for change and “ upped their game” , a good why British Airways has survived and continues flourishing (Mutzabaugh, October 2012).


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