Yahoo was once a giant in the internet world, experiencing rapid growth and soaring stock prices after being founded in 1994. But currently Yahoo is struggling against fierce competitors such as Google and Facebook. It was clear to their Board of Directors and shareholders that radical change was necessary in order for Yahoo to remain competitive. In 2012 former Google executive Marissa Mayer was named as the new CEO.
Since joining Yahoo, Mayer has not been shy or hesitant about bringing about change. This has included the purchase of over 20 companies, banning teleworking, strict new hiring policies, and clashes with other senior executives and shareholders. The results so far have been mixed, with some observers saying her hard-nosed approach is what is needed for a struggling company like Yahoo and others saying that her style is overbearing and unnecessarily harsh.
First, carefully review the four background readings on change-oriented leadership with close attention to the definitions of transformational, transactional, and charismatic leadership. You need to apply these definitions when writing your paper. Then do some research on Marissa Mayer and her approach to managing change. You will find a lot of articles about her as she is frequently in the news. Here are a few articles to get you started:
Barine, A. & Minja, D. (2012). Chapter 2: Definitions of transformational leadership. Transformational Corporate Leadership. Andrews LTD., Luton, Bedfordshire, GBR, pp. 32-47 [Ebrary]
Rainey, H. (2009). Chapter 11: Leadership, managerial roles, and organizational culture. Understanding and Managing Public Organizations (4th Edition). Jossey-Bass.
Hoboken, NJ, pp. 325-333. [Ebrary – you don’t have to read the whole chapter just the sections on transformational and charismatic leadership]
Avery, G. (2011). Chapter 4: Emotion in leadership. Understanding Leadership: Paradigms and Cases. SAGE Publications Ltd, London [Ebrary ]
Williams, M. (2006). Chapter 2: The transformational leader mindset. Mastering Leadership. Thorogood, London. [Ebrary]
Yahoo’s geek goddess. (January, 2014). Vanity Fair, 56, 68. [Proquest]
Quinn, M. (Jan. 22, 2014). Poof. Marissa Mayer’s honeymoon period at Yahoo ends. Oakland Tribune [Proquest]
Cook, J. (2013, Mar 15). Can a ‘hard reset’ give Yahoo a boost? The Globe and Mail [Proquest]
Vijayaragavan, I. (2008). Chapter 2: Leadership theories and styles. High Performance Leadership. Global Media, Mumbai [Ebrary]
Kendrick, J. (2011). Transformational leadership. Professional Safety, 56(11), 14 [Proquest]
After you have reviewed the background materials on managing change and finished your research on Marissa Mayer, write a four to five page paper addressing the following issues. Make sure to cite both required background readings such as Barine and Minja (2012) as well as specific articles on Marissa Mayer such as Quinn (2014) or Cook (2013) in your paper:
1.1. Overall, how would you describe Marissa Mayer’s approach to leadership? Discuss her leadership style the best you can in terms of being a charismatic leader, a transformational leader, and/or a transactional leader. Draw upon the definitions of these types of leadership from Rainey (2009) and Avery (2011) and discuss them as they apply to Marissa Mayer.
2.2. What do you are the main benefits and drawbacks of Mayer’s approach to leadership and change?
3.3. How do you think Marissa Mayer should change her leadership style?
- Follow the assignment instructions closely and follow all steps listed in the instructions
- Stay focused on the precise assignment questions, don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials
- List supporting references and cite sources in proper format
- Use appropriate writing style in essay form (organization, grammar, and spelling).
- Include both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13-14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide”, which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC portal.
- Submit an Originality Report using Turnitin.