Leadership Challenges Facing BMW Group

Leadership Challenges Facing BMW Group - Introduction...

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Introduction Leadership is defined as influence; that is, the art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically toward the achievement of group goals. Leaders envision the future; they inspire organization members and chart of the organization. Leaders must instill values - whether they be concern for quality, honesty, and calculated risk taking or concern for employees and customers. There isn't a common definition of leadership, perhaps this is because the concept of the leadership is fuzzy and many of them are complicated. Sommer (2003), defines it as "Leadership is about showing the way, by going in advance, and influencing the behaviour of others. It refers to introducing new business behaviour, practices, or technologies, which demonstrate that sustainable development is possible". Avery (2004) States that "The success of new leadership approaches will depend on aligning people, organizational systems, processes and culture with the new conditions". This may require changes in the leadership paradigms predominating in an organization. In this paper, the writer will conduct a critical evaluation of the leadership challenges facing BMW Group in the areas of leadership paradigms, leadership development, role of the major shareholders (the Quandt family), leaders' expectations from the workforce and how the organization attracts and retain its employees. The author will critique the BMW organization with its competitor Ford Motor Company. Leadership Challenges facing BMW Group Avery (2004), states that the classical leadership is based on the leader's position and the power of control of followers which indicates the centralisation of the leadership. This can be evidence in the BMW former CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder's classical leadership between 1993 and 1999, especially when he played a key role in supporting British Rover's Longbridge plant in Birmingham when others in BMW were pushing for its closure after creating heavy losses for BMW (anon, 1999). Some analysts concluded that he was good at selling and weak on strategic decision (Lynn, 2003). BMW's workforce divisions were based on classical leadership (Avery, 2004). Kantabutra and Avery (2004) argue, "while often discussed as visionary or transformational leadership associated with a particular leader, more recently, a concept of organic leadership centred around a vision instilled in an organization's culture has emerged". They state that the "visionary leaders are whom develop strategies and plans to achieve their visions, communicate their visions to promote changes, align people and supporting systems to suit their visions, empower their people to act consistently with the new vision and to help sustain their commitment to it and motivate their followers" (Kantabutra and Avery, 2004). This can be evident in the BMW organisation, where the leadership paradigms are distributed in various
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Leadership Challenges Facing BMW Group - Introduction...

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