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Give an overview of the case and explain how did Suzanne de pass manage to build the company?

Motown was the production company solely based on production of music and black entertainment. Motown found by Berry Gordy in 1959 which drew the raw talent of singers and song writers and with his creative instincts Motown industry grew and became the largest black owned company in the United States. Much of the Motowns success during the 1960s was credited to Gordy. Motown not only controlled the recording rights of its artistes but also the copy rights of their songs and personal appearances. These contractual arrangements allowed Motown to shape every aspect of an artist and maintain to a high level of quality. Suzanne de pass was hired at the age of 21 years at Motown by Berry Gordy as his creative assistant in 1968. In late 1960s Gordys interest turned from the record business to movies and television. Motowns first movie lady sings the blue proved to be a super hit. Both Gordy and de pass were nominated for Academic awards. De Passes accomplishments at Motown records were among the few bright spots during the 1970s. Then the most damaging failure Gordy had to face in 1978 and lost over $20 million. So in 1980 Gordy turned to de pass. i) How Suzanne de Pass managed to build the Motown Company?

When de Pass became the MPs president in 1980 she resurrect the company on a number of fronts. In 1986 production commitments increased from $12 million to $60 million. Then she changed her production orientation towards different locals. She thought Motown had the potential to make the same kind of impact in the movie business that the record company had made in the music business 20 years earlier. With her large development budget de Pass looked at her previous staffers. She took Suzanne Coston as a vice president for music related projects, Cheris Clark, as a vice president for internal development and Carol Caruso, vice president for external development. De Pass felt that the female composition of her staff aided in creating a distinctive atmosphere at MP. De Pass kept the lines of communication open and encouraged

frank exchanges of opinion. 1983 yesterday, today and forever gave a MPs credibility. But in 1983 to 1985 MPs success relied mostly on its position as a music powerhouse. Following the success of Motown 25, de Pass hired executives from outside who had experience in markets that MP wished to develop. That new hiring brought MPs credibility in new-market segments. De Pass approach to build and manage her corps of executives led to an equally unique process of developing and producing projects at MP. De Pass managed MPs atmosphere sharing and cooperative. Weekly meetings were made and thought it to be important to the development of MP. As many as 50 projects were taken under consideration at any one time. In 1986 four projects have definitely had a go for production named Nightlife(daily talk show) Sidekicks(drama series), Motown on Showtime( musical show), and Fit for Life( bestselling on healthcare books). She worked on all the projects as a creative as well as administrative way so that she can make a balance between both sides of the business.


Explain the industry in which Motown Productions was operating?

Motown developed projects in a wide range of entertainment markets. MP was majorly operating in music and black entertainment. That music industry involved the production, distribution, and sale of music in a variety of forms as well as the promotion of live musical performances. Among the individuals and organizations that operated within the industry were: the musicians who composed and performed the music; the companies and professionals, who created and sold recorded music (e.g., producers, recording studios, record labels,); and those that presented live music performances. Motown sound was the dominant force in that popular music industry in the U.S.A. Then in the late 1960s Motown got involved in the television and movies industry as well from the record business. The MP first movie venture was the lady sings the blue proved to be a super hit. And then 1983 MP gave a two-hour television special yesterday, Today and Forever which was a significant boost to MPs credibility. So the industry was a kind of entertaining to the people and Motown Production was trying to do lots of production projects in that industry at a time in different locales.


Explain the company (Motown Productions) in terms of its mission and the strategy/task Suzanne de Pass has adopted for the company up till now?

Answer: Mission Statement

We are an entertainment company primarily specialized in building and throwing live concerts and music based events to fully entertain people. We are also good at television and movies production projects. We have a large network of skilled associates to focus on quality and having care, interest and openness emphasizing environment for employees in the company as well. We aim for success for ourselves and our clientele. This is show business, and the show must go on! We strive off work ethics. Tasks adopted by Suzanne de Pass for the company: In 1968 de Pass joined Motown Productions as a creative assistant of Gordy. De Pass performed a number of rules for Motown. She went on the road with Jackson Five and helped mold them into one of the most popular Motown recording acts of the early 1970s. The strategies she adopted for the Motown are credible. She herself oversaw much of the groups professional development, traveled to personal appearances with them, helped them put together their highly regarded stage act, and critiqued their performances. Overtime her reputation in the record industry for spotting and developing talent became legendary and her assessments of artists and material are highly valued. Due to her creative side of the record business and loyalty towards the Motown Gordy made her the vice president of MP. When company moved to television screen and movies de Pass herself co-wrote the screen play and nominated for Academy awards. She used her political skill as well in the industry to make convince others to work with her. When she thought that MP has a potential to make the same kind of impact on the movies and television she built her staff slowly from her previous staff. She took all the females as executives. She thought that female composition of her staff aided in creating a distinctive atmosphere at MP. She created a family like atmosphere in the company that her small staff shared responsibilities, filling in for each other at meetings and jointly

reviewing the progress of various projects. One very most important thing she did was that she developed a line of communication open and encouraged frank exchanges of opinion. She got to know that it is necessary to remain sensitive to the demands of the market. Another impressive thing she did that was an on air show having live performances. That show brought together over 100 artists from a variety of popular-music backgrounds. And she got praise for producing it that united so many elements of Americans musical heritage. Sometimes when she got failed in some project she never get discouraged she always felt that it was better to try to learn from experience and then she performed better than before. Next de Pass took a strategy to choose executives who had experience from the markets that MP wished to develop and they brought more industry experience with them that was beneficial for the MP. De Pass managed the whole system that there were no hidden agendas on anybodys mind like other organizations. She thought that Motowns record of quality and loyalty and she focused it so prominently. She maintained quality and focused on strong and long term relationships among the members of her staff that even that they look each others projects, attends meetings at others place and gave opinions for betterment. She also worked at developing her subordinates and was fond of pointing out that many of her department heads and this thing felt her subordinates to get involved in each decision for good of MP. She always spotted a wide variety of sources, bringing to staff meetings concepts based n properties, artists or new markets. She always took the most active role in the discussion of projects, suggesting strategies for bringing together crucial project elements. She knew that to focus on a great deal on effort to ensure that artists were comfortable and happy is important equally for the success. She always takes innovative solutions to situations. She created a sense of balance between creativity and administrative side of production. Whatever she did till now made MP to reach at its peak of success due to the above all strategies she adopted. v) How would you describe the organizational culture of Motown Productions? Identify the values and norms prevailing at Motown Productions.

Organizational culture is the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization. In Motown Productions the main emphasizes was on following the principals of faith and honesty. There was no discrimination among employees.

There were no gender differences. It always welcomed innovative ideas. Its focus was on quality and building long term relationship among members of the staff. Keeping friendly environment and involving every employee in decision making. There were regular meetings to remove any conflict between the employees so it doesnt affect the overall performance of the organization. It believed in taking risks and utilizing the opportunities. Failure was considered to try out things differently. Its better to learn from new things. MPs idea was to work like a family, motivates to help other, leave their individual goals and put emphasizes on overall organizational goal. Small staff was also given responsibilities and jointly reviewing the progress of project. MP believes that open communication and motivation can lead to better ideas and overall performance. De Pass once said: There is a caring, an interest, an openness emphasized here. It functions on a level that reaches and motivates people. To be in an environment where it is completely safe to say what is in your mind minimizes frustration. Coston added: We were all moving towards building a major force in Hollywood community. We wanted to bring Production Company some of the same spirit and success that the record company had in its early life. Therefore we pulled each other because we knew each others success would help all of us. This is very much a family unit.

Question 2:
According to the University of IOWA Leadership studies identify and justify whether Suzanne De Pass has an autocratic or democratic leadership style?

According to University of IOWA Suzanne De Pass Leadership style was democratic. As democratic leaders are open and all people in this group are equal and everyone gets a chance in decision making. This leadership style is very productive and effective. Everything is discussed openly amongst the members. Suzanne did the same. She believed in making ease for the

employees rather than using the power. She encouraged the employees and motivates them to work hard. She has kept a friendly environment. Everyone has a right to say and participate in decision making. She considers her employees as family member. She takes care of employees feeling and if they have any problem she addresses them and tries to solve them. She arranges weekly meeting to remove conflict if there was any. She believed in making long term relationship among the members of her staff. She stressed the importance of longevity. And just because of participative style gave holistic view to MP that was conductive to artistic excellence. She appreciated innovative ideas because according to her failure shouldnt make you stop. It is better to try to learn from experience. If there was any project to work on she arranges a meeting and discuss about it. She tells them about the strategies which should be used. And if someone has a better idea she listens to it and then makes a decision accordingly. One of the executive contrasted family feeling at MP by saying:

I came from a situation where nothing was as it seemed. Everybody was frantically trying to get everybodys job or everybody else project. Top management felt that this was the way to motivate people. Here there are no hidden agendas on anybodys mind. One of the other executive said: Suzanne is the reason I am here. She really commands a certain attention. This is a real b.s town. There is a lot of double talk, but she is not like that. Suzanne is straight forward and honest. Another executive said: I like the atmosphere here. There is respect for person and an understanding that people have lives outside of work. Another one commanded: Suzanne allows you to try anything you want. She is good at getting you to stretch your abilities and grow. Another remarked:

I like making things happen- seeing projects come together and get produced. MP is a young, growing company where you can do whatever you are successful at.

Question 3:
Identify, explain and critically evaluate the organizational structure of Motown Productions?

Motown Productions has a Post-bureaucratic and democratic organizational structure. During the earlier five years, MPs executives had worked together on developing projects and had produced shows as a team. Control over the companys destiny in Hollywood is uncertain environment, de Pass searched for projects that diversified MP s production portfolio from being solely music or black entertainment. In 1986, de Pass would have to change her companys orientation from producing a single production at a time to maintaining a wide range of production commitments simultaneously. MP had four Go projects with production commitments of 60 million, up from 12 million in the previous year. This alone was a 500 increase year over year and does not take into consideration the fact that there were six other projects that were in the final stages of development. It was this rapid growth that created the challenge the growth was too significant for MP to continue doing business the way it was. Obviously, if they were to continue with their present operational structure, their financial and staff resources, would be stretched beyond their ability to function efficiently. Development costs were already proving to be a burden on the company. De Pass herself started to realize that the exhausting physical demands could potentially lead to potential burn out. Moreover, de pass had to change her management style focus from being short term and reactionary to having a longer term focus and being proactive MP had already started to diversify itself through new projects such as Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever and Motown Returns to the Apollo. These projects made a mark in the industry and publicized MP. The business opportunities such as cable television, programmer syndication, and home video production made it imperative for MP to look at its company s structure to take advantage of these business opportunities, remain

competitive, and continue to meet the needs of its customers. Obviously, Suzanne and her team of executives would be most affected by the challenge facing the company. But at the same time, one would have to acknowledge that the pace of growth was too significant for anyone.

Question 4:
What types of people Suzanne de Pass hired at Motown Productions? Explain in terms of their demographic characteristics, abilities and experience? How much workforce diversity is prevailing in Motown Productions?

In 1980, Gordy turned to de Pass to take over Motowns ailing production interests, citing her performance for the record label and her loyalty to the company as her qualifications. He gave her free hand to heir people at Motown Production. De Pass was made president, continuing her direct-reporting relationship with Gordy. De Pass is black; she built her staff slowly, looking first to previous Motown staffers. Firstly she hired three black girls as: Suzanne Coston: De Pass brought her creative assistant of 12 years, Suzanne coston, with her from the record of the company and made her vice president for musicrelated projects. Chris Clark: De Pass collaborator on the Lady Sings the Blue screenplay, joined the company as vice president for internal development Coral Caruso: De pass convince Carol Caruso, a production executive with the previous administration of Motown Production, to stay on, promoting her to vice president for external development Following the success of Motown 25, de pass went outside of Motown Industries to hire executive who had experience in market that MP wished to develop. These new executives are: Michael Weisbarth: In 1983, de pass hired Michael Weisbarth from Embassy, a large television production company, to head MPs television department.

Diane Sokolow: In 1984, she brought on board Diane Sokolow from Warner Bros, a large communications conglomerate, to anchor MPs New York Office.

Burl Hecht man: De passes also hired Burl Hecht man, who had been a manger and an agent, to do syndicated television and home videos,

Joan Evans: she also hired Joan Evans, a recent graduate added to oversee business affairs.