Essays on Effective Leadership at Sensis Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper 'Effective Leadership at Sensis" is a good example of a management case study. This report analyses a case of managing change through effective leadership at Sensis. The information presented is derived from an interview with the company director John Allan, company data and personal analysis based on secondary literature sources. Allan led Sensis through a continues incremental change, which consisted of making frequent and decisive adjustments that, although diminutive, had a cumulative effect, to last for two years. Much of the changes that Allan initiated were cultural changes and management structure. Background of Sensis CEO John Allan has vast experience in managing media organisations.

Before he joined Sensis in 2012 as the managing director, he was the managing director of The Australian and Chief Executive Officer at TrueLocal. com. au. At Sensis, he is responsible for the overall leadership of the company. Sensis is a major Australian marketing company that caters for the promotional needs of Australian businesses. The company runs a range of major print and digital publications such as White Pages, Whereis, Yellow Pages and TrueLocal. Sensis is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telstra.

He is directly in charge of circulation, advertising, operations, digital teams and circulations. Allan initiated cultural change at Sensis. Type of change Incremental versus transformational Allan led Sensis through a continues incremental change, which consisted of making frequent and decisive adjustments that, although diminutive, had a cumulative effect, to last for two years. Much of the changes that Allan initiated were cultural changes and management structure. This is consistent with typical incremental versus transformational, as suggested by Carter at al. (2012), who pointed out that continues changes imply that work routines and social practices are modified. Need for Change at Sensis On critical reflection, Sensis needed to align its values, cultures and structure with its parent company Telstra with the view of meeting strategic growth goals.

This view is based on Allan’ s statement that he had proposed three elementary sets of change, namely political allocation, technical design and culture mix problems. According to Allan, culture mix problems were at the centre of interest and triggered the need for change. Telstra has been on a steady growth path since its last phase of privatisation in 2006.

It has acquired a range of business operations and separate business units because of its financial might. Allan said that a decision was made to align Sensis in respect to culture, operation and strategy, to enable it to focus on innovation and attain its objective of becoming the leading marketing company for small and medium-sized enterprises in Australia. Allan stated that in 2011, the business division held onto its profits and in the financial year 2010/2011, the company reported a decline in net income by 5.9 percent. He further stated that in the first six months of 2012, the company’ s sales had plummeted by 24.1 percent.

In his opinion, the shift to digital marketing in the directories and advertising segment had happened more rapidly than expected, hence finding the company unprepared. Allan was then hired to replace Bruce Akhurst as the company chief. According to Allan, it was then that he was hired in July 2012. His first role was to change the management structure and the company structure. Hence, he was to assume the position of a change leader. As a consequence, Telstra redesigned its organisational structure as Sensis in addition to other business units that merged in one location.

Allan said that afterwards, he had to lead Sensis into flattening out the organisational structure to attain its goal as an innovative and highly performing marketing company, with the view of becoming the leading online directory service in Australia, with its Yellow Pages product.


Carter, M., Armenakis, A, Feild, H. & Mossholder, K. (2012). Transformational leadership, relationship quality, and employee performance during continuous incremental organizational change. Journal of Organizational Behavior, J. Organiz. Behav. 1(1), 1-17

Ciric, Z. & Rakovic, L. (2010). Change Management in Information System Development and Implementation Projects. Management Information Systems, Vol. 5 No. 2,pp23-28

Dartey-Baah, K. & Amponsah-Tawiah, K. (2011). Influencing organisational behaviour through the application of learning theories. European Journal of Business and Management 3(11), 10-19

Ford, J. & Ford, L. (2010). Stop Blaming Resistance to Change and Start Using It, Organizational Dynamics, 39(1), 24-36

Gadiesh, O. & Gilbert, J. (2001). Transforming corner-office strategy into frontline action. Harvard Business Review, 73-79.

Kotter, J. (1995). Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, 59-67

Kotter, J. & Schlesinger, L. (1979). Choosing strategies for change. Harvard Business Review, 106(1), 14

Lorenzi, N. & Riley, R. (2000). Managing Change. J Am Med Inform Assoc, 7(2), 116–124.

Oakland, J. S., & Tanner, S. (2007). Successful change management. Total Quality Management, 18 (1-2), 1-19.

Oluwakemi, O., Oyelere, M. & Tunde, A. (2011). Enhancing Employees’ Commitment to Organisation through Training. International Journal of Business and Management, 6(7), 280-284

Peterson, T. (2007). Motivation: How to Increase Project Team Performance. Project Management Journal, 38(4), 60–69

Purser, R. & Petranker, R. (2004). Unfreezing the Future: Exploring the Dynamic of Time in Organizational Change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 20(10), 1-9

Reger, R., Mullane, J. Gustafson, L. & DeMarie, S. (1994). Creating earthquakes to change organizational midsets. Academy of Management Executive 8 (4): 31-43.

Shaheen, A. &, Naqvi, H. & Atif, M. (2014). Employees Training and Organizational Performance: Mediation by Employees Performance. Interdisciplinary Journal Of Contemporary Research In Business 5(4).490-503

Strebel, P. (1996). Why do employees resist change? Harvard Business Review, 86-92

Sutarjo, (2011). Ten Ways of Managing Person-Organization Fit (P-O Fit) Effectively: A Literature Study. International Journal of Business and Social Science 2(21), 226-233

Thomas, T. Schermerhorn, J. & Dienhart, J. (2004). Strategic leadership of ethical behavior in business. Academy of Management Executive, 18(2), 56-66

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us