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LSE (London

School of
Economics)

University of Birmingham University of
Durham University
Southampton University Reading

Doctorate in Business Administration
(DBA)
DBA INTERPERSONAL LEADERSHIP (YAHOO INC.)
Part1: Leadership problem research proposal

Part2: Internal research project pitch

Part3: Reflection for employability enhancement

For Assignment writing or Dissertation Help, Please Contact:

Dr. Sajid Saeed
+447762198474 (WhatsApp/Viber/imo)
Email: todrsaeed@gmail.com
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Table of Contents
Part 1: Leadership Proposal Research Problem ........................................................................ 4

1.0 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 4

1.1 Background of Yahoo Inc ..................................................................................................... 4

2.0 Problems at Yahoo Inc .......................................................................................................... 7

2.1 Leadership Style of Marissa Mayer ............................................................................... 7

2.2 Culture at Yahoo! ............................................................................................................ 8

3.0 Proposition of Leadership Development Programme ........................................................... 8

3.1 Benefits achieved upon implementation of proposed Leadership Development
Programme ........................................................................................................................... 10

3.2 Opportunity Cost in case of failure of Implementation of proposed Leadership
Development Programme ................................................................................................... 10

4.0 Conclusions ......................................................................................................................... 11

References ................................................................................................................................. 12

Part 2: Internal Research Project Pitch .................................................................................... 14

1.0 Overview of Yahoo! issues ................................................................................................. 14

1.1 The rationale for the research ...................................................................................... 14

1.2 Aim of the research........................................................................................................ 14

1.3 Research objectives........................................................................................................ 14

1.4 Framework/ Hypothesis ................................................................................................ 15

2.0 Literature review ................................................................................................................. 15

2.1 Effective leadership: Definition and Context .............................................................. 15

2.2 Communication and leadership ................................................................................... 16

2.3 Transformational and Transactional Leadership ...................................................... 18

2.4 Qualities of an Effective Leader ................................................................................... 19
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2.5 Leader as a Change Agent ............................................................................................ 19

3.0 Research Methodology........................................................................................................ 20

3.1 Research approach ........................................................................................................ 21

3.2 Methods of Data collection............................................................................................ 21

3.3 Research choice .............................................................................................................. 21

3.4 Sampling approach ........................................................................................................ 21

3.5 Other Ethical Considerations ....................................................................................... 21

4.0 Potential DBA research perspectives .................................................................................. 22

References ................................................................................................................................. 23

Part 3: Reflection for Employability Enhancement ................................................................ 27

1.0 Assessment of Employability Skills .................................................................................... 27

1.1 Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses ................................................................... 27

1.2 Assessment of current leadership experience, potential, and competencies ............ 28

1.3 Personal leadership development and career progression ........................................ 29

2.0 Conclusion........................................................................................................................... 30

References ................................................................................................................................. 31
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Part 1: Leadership Proposal Research Problem

1.0 Introduction

Any organization operating globally confronts some issues that needs to be resolved at earliest as
failure to tackle the issue at the right time could result in rise of several other problems and losses.
Such issues often makes leader responsible to be accountable for the present and future position
of the organization and improve conditions by demonstrating their true leadership skills. However,
often leaders, mainly CEO of the organization, have failed to operate successfully and remain
competitive. One such organization is Yahoo Inc which has been facing leadership issues since
late 2000’s and was acquired by Verizon Communications in 2017 for $4.48 billion (Athavaley
and Shepardson 2017). The report will outline key issues faced by the company under the
leadership of Marissa Mayer along with a proposed leadership development programme to Verizon
Communications as they are new owners of the organization.

1.1 Background of Yahoo Inc

Yahoo! or Yahoo Inc is basically an internet based service provider which is presently owned by
Verizon Communications via Oath Inc. The organization was originally founded by David Filo
and Jerry Yang in the year 1994 which was finally incorporated in the year 1995. The company
was a well-known brand and pioneer in the decade of 1990s. However, the company ran under
several problems in 2000’s and was last served by Marissa Mayer who remained as former
President and CEO until June 2017. The website of Yahoo! is one of the widely site in US. Yahoo!
also ranks amongst the most read websites in the category of news and media (Similar Web 2017).
According to CBC news (2011), more than 700 million individuals visits Yahoo! website per
month.

Services of Yahoo!
Yahoo is globally recognized for its Yahoo! Search (search engine), web portal and other related
services such as Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Directory, social media website, Yahoo! Groups, fantasy
sports, Yahoo! Mail, video sharing, Yahoo! News, online mapping, Yahoo! Finance, advertising,
Yahoo! Answers ( Hitt Ireland and Hoskisson 2014).
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Regions of Operations
The company is headquartered in California; however, the other offices of Yahoo! are located
across regions of Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific and America (Yahoo! n.d.).

Languages in which Yahoo! operates
The company also itself claims that it has attracted about half a billion visitors per month in more
than forty different languages including Vietnamese, Tagalog, Turkish, Thai, Croatian, Chinese
(traditional and simplified) Catalan, Dutch, Czech, Bulgarian, Arabic, English, Danish, Greek,
French, Hebrew, German, Finnish, Estonian, Icelandic, Hungarian, Latvian, Japanese, Indonesian,
Lithuanian, Korean, Norwegian, Italian, Russian, Polish, Malay, Slovak, Romanian, Persian,
Slovenian, Serbian, Portuguese, Swedish, Spanish and many other languages (Yahoo! n.d.).

Market Share
As of 2016, Yahoo is fourth most used search engine globally with Google, Bing and Baidu being
its toughest competitors. The global search engine use as of 2016 is shown below:

Figure 1: Search Engine Use in 2016 (Duke 2017)

Comparing the increase and decrease in use of search engine, Yahoo! was the second most used
search Engine in 2006 followed by its giant competitor, Google. However, Bing has taken over its
position in 2016. Baidu (China) is another rising competitor of Yahoo!. The comparison of use of
search engine in 2006 and 2016 is provided in the following image (Duke 2017).
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Figure 2: Search Engine Use in 2006 and 2016 (Duke 2017)

Financial Position of Yahoo!
Yahoo!’s financial position is shrinking since the last decade due to constant transition in the
company, mainly change of CEO and other board members that has resulted due to lack of true
and focused leadership (Rosoff 2016). The following figure shows constant decline in revenues
and adjusted EBTIDA of Yahoo! between 2010 and 2015.

Figure 3: Yahoo! financial position (Rosoff 2016)
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The stock prices of Yahoo! (listed as YHOO) has also fallen in the last two years which is due to
poor management of the company by Marissa Mayer (Lynley 2016). The following figure shows
decline in stock prices during 2015 and 2016:

Figure 4: Decline in Yahoo! stock prices (Lynley 2016)

2.0 Problems at Yahoo Inc

Poor leadership of Marissa Mayer has led Yahoo! to face several issues. As reflected from
introduction of Yahoo! that the company is in a weak position, i.e., poor financial position,
declining market share, declining stock options, and increasing number of competitors. In addition
to these, some other issues at Yahoo! are identified below:

2.1 Leadership Style of Marissa Mayer
Since she was hired at Yahoo!, Marissa Mayer did not have any focused vision which she also
failed to communicate to her employees (Harnish 2013). At several occasions, she set new
strategies which were later not implemented, for instance, work from home policies in 2013.
Moreover, Badr (2015) evidenced that Marissa Mayer had poor market understanding which could
be due to lack of leadership awareness and her relative youth. She was also overconfident due to
her rapid career growth and past impressive work ethics which she failed to continue at Yahoo!.
In addition to this, her view of remote working of employees and working without wall ceilings
for more collaboration also affected the performance of employees (Badr 2015). Her statements
such as, “No employee layoffs” reduced employee morale and performances (Bacon 2016). As
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Yahoo! was a large organization with large number of employees, Mayer failed to communicate
and maintain good relations with them under her concept of friendly work environment (Bacon
2016). Mayer also failed to take right decisions at the right time at many occasions (Badr 2015).
These approaches of her leadership ran Yahoo! to face several problems. Nicholas Carlson (a
Business Insider reporter) regarded Marissa Mayer to be the greatest reason of downfall of Yahoo!
since she was hired in the year 2012 (Wong 2016). Likewise, Eric Jackson (from SpringOwl Asset
Management) stated that Mayer waste money on staff perks, i.e., $9 million on buying them new
phones, $450 million on giving them free food, and $7 million on partying, i.e., Great Gatsby-
themed holiday party which all reflects poor management skills for which she should be fired
(Wong 2016).

2.2 Culture at Yahoo!
Culture is one of the most important element at workplace which is talked more but less
understood. This element helps to unite business and its employees. The culture of Yahoo! is said
to be affected by the Mayer's stewardship. She was less focused on employee independence and
more on her personal freedom (Guthrie 2013). She failed to transform culture of Yahoo! as she
was unable to understand it. She was only of view to implement those changes that has made
Google successful rather than understanding and improving Yahoo!’s own culture. Though, she
tried to make the culture friendlier at Yahoo! by removing telecommunication barriers and
encouraging on boundary-less communications, but she was not successful. She failed to build a
vibrant and strong culture that often leads to strong employee engagement and better performance/
operations (Mattone 2014; Damodaran 2017,).

3.0 Proposition of Leadership Development Programme

Though, Mayer is no more serving Yahoo! as she was fired in June 2017; however, the following
leadership developmental recommendations are proposed to Verizon Communications as they will
continue leading Yahoo!.

 Verizon Communications could increase their focus on face-to-face interpersonal
interactions, give-and-take and in-person meetings rather than merely relying on e-mail
discussions to find out what employees are working on and what they lack. Moreover,
Verizon Communications could emphasized on important get-togethers rather than
arranging routine get to gathers around to ensure clear implementation of Yahoo!’s revival
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strategies (Carlson 2015). In addition to this, Verizon Communications must also
emphasized on new strategies to boost Yahoo!’s position, sustainability and survival.
However, this on the other hand requires honest commitment from employees as well to
be self-responsible and sincerely engage in implementing new strategies.
 Verizon Communications could practice both transformational and transactional style of
leadership. Being a transactional leaders, the new management could increase their focus
on group performance, organization and role of supervision while assessing day to day
progress of Yahoo! towards its goals. Whereas being a transformational leader, Verizon
Communications could work closely with employees to increase their engagement and
motivation. Also, the new owner could guide employees’ behavior towards achievement
of a shared vision.
 Verizon Communications could improve interpersonal leadership approach by
communicating the company’s vision widely, more clearly, and over-communicating it.
The clearly communicated will help them to commit with the organization in a far better
way (Peterson 2017). Though, former CEO Marissa Mayer had encouraged her employees
to provide innovative and creative ideas for better future of Yahoo!; however, she lacked
understanding and forecast of its implementation and the risk/ rewards associated with the
ideas and decisions. Therefore, this mistake must not be repeated.
 Verizon Communications should developed new strategies rather than implementing the
same which were unsuccessful at previously at Yahoo!. The new strategies should be in
line with the vision of the company and communicated to everyone to make all employees
focused on its attainment.
 Verizon Communications could re-managed middle management ranks because they were
the people who are more informed about the problems and concerns of lower level
employees. Their opinions and participation in the decision making could save Yahoo!
from facing downfall.
 Finally, Verizon Communications should have and communicate clear understanding of
the change management and risks of chain management. The new leader must have
qualities of a successful leader to make change or re-engineering successful at the
company.
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3.1 Benefits achieved upon implementation of proposed Leadership Development
Programme
Yahoo! could achieve several benefits if it implements the suggested leadership development
programme. Some of the benefits are outlined below (Lawler and Worley 2011):

 Change in the way of leading will bring in creative solutions from employees which will
help to make Yahoo! more innovative and technology savvy company. Moreover, it could
also adopt new technologies (software and programming) which will benefit the company
largely.
 The recommended programme will cater and meet customer needs more successfully by
offering new and better options and services at Yahoo!. Moreover, it will also increase
customer satisfaction in the challenging business environment.
 Yahoo! will enjoy growth opportunities as new leadership programme will assist
employees to acquire new skills, exercise their creativity and explore new opportunities in
their areas which will eventually benefit the company. This will also increase employee
commitment and engagement within the organization. The excellent growth opportunities
will also help Yahoo! to regain its lost position and re-compete with its giant rivals.

3.2 Opportunity Cost in case of failure of Implementation of proposed Leadership
Development Programme
Yahoo! could face several opportunity cost if it failed to implement the suggested leadership
development areas. This is because the success of any organization largely depends on the skills
and qualities of its leader where in case of poor leadership the organization has to suffer. The
successful change is driven by several opportunity cost (Soni 2016). For instance, the change could
require additional cost which Yahoo! cannot bear at the moment due to poor financial situation.
Therefore, analysis of cost-benefit is necessary to being out strategic change at Yahoo!. Also often
more time is required to reap the benefits of organizational or leadership change. Similarly, often
the employees at not motivated to accept change or they resist change (Anderson 2013). For
instance, the employees at Yahoo! might not have accepted Mayer as their leader due to her limited
knowledge and professional attitude at workplace. For this, she should have shown her honest,
complete and timely attitude as a leader to bring out Yahoo! from losses.

However, it is important to highlight that if Yahoo! failed to bring out necessary changes within
the organization including new leadership, the company would further face losses, decrease its
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market position and share globally and particularly in US, increase employer turnover within the
organization, result in poor performance, and fail to meet changing customer demands and
satisfaction.

4.0 Conclusions

In a nutshell, it could be concluded that Yahoo! is facing several challenges, particularly of true
leadership approach. Therefore, the recommended leadership developmental program to Verizon
Communications to improve the situation at Yahoo! and bring out company from failures and
losses.
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References

Anderson, DL 2013, Organization Development: The Process of Leading Organizational Change,
SAGE Publications

Athavaley, A and Shepardson, D 2017. Verizon, Yahoo agree to lowered $4.48 billion deal
following cyber attacks. Available from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yahoo-m-a-
verizon/verizon-yahoo-agree-to-lowered-4-48-billion-deal-following-cyber-attacks-
idUSKBN1601EK [7 October 2017]

Bacon, D 2016. Lessons We Can Learn from CEO Marissa Mayer’s Leadership at Yahoo.
Available from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lessons-we-can-learn-from-ceo-marissa-
mayers-leadership-doug-bacon [7 October 2017]

Badr, A 2015. The case of Marissa Mayer and Yahoo: good leaders don’t depend on luck.
Available from https://www.thenational.ae/business/the-case-of-marissa-mayer-and-
yahoo-good-leaders-don-t-depend-on-luck-1.94592 [7 October 2017]

Carlson, N 2015, Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!, Grand Central Publishing

CBC News 2011. Canada Pension Plan mulls Yahoo buy, report says. Available from
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canada-pension-plan-mulls-yahoo-buy-report-says-
1.1033059 [7 October 2017]

Damodaran, A 2017, Narrative and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business, Columbia
University Press

Duke, K 2017. Google: The giant that keeps growing. Available from
http://aha.elliance.com/2017/06/22/google-the-giant-that-keeps-growing/ [7 October
2017]

Guthrie, D 2013. Marissa Mayer: Choosing Corporate Culture Over Worker Independence.
Available from https://www.forbes.com/sites/dougguthrie/2013/03/08/marissa-mayer-
choosing-corporate-culture-over-worker-independence/#1960ed7a6af6 [7 October 2017]

Harnish, V 2013, Fortune Zoom: Surprising Ways to Supercharge Your Career, Time Home
Entertainment
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Hitt, MA, Ireland, RD and Hoskisson, RE 2014, Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases:
Competitiveness and Globalization, Cengage Learning

Lawler, EE and Worley, CG 2011, Built to Change: How to Achieve Sustained Organizational
Effectiveness, John Wiley & Sons

Lynley, M 2016. Yahoo’s business tale comes to a totally anticlimactic end. Available from
https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/18/yahoos-business-tale-comes-to-a-totally-
anticlimactic-end/ [7 October 2017]

Mattone, J 2016. Yahoo’s Problem? A Massive Lack of Leadership at the Top. Available from
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-mattone/yahoos-problem-a-massive-
_b_9550092.html [7 October 2017]

Peterson, R 2017. "I Won't Sit On The Sidelines". Available from
https://www.forbes.com/sites/unicefusa/2017/09/29/i-wont-sit-on-the-
sidelines/#727d287128e8 [7 October 2017]

Rosoff, M 2016. Yahoo's long, sad decline in one chart. Available from
http://www.businessinsider.com/yahoo-profit-and-ebitda-since-2010-2016-3 [7 October
2017]

Similar Web 2017. Top Websites Ranking 2017. Available from https://www.similarweb.com/top-
websites/category/news-and-media [7 October 2017]

Soni, YP 2016, Organizational Restructuring, Xlibris Corporation

Wong, A 2016. Is Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s leadership style really effective?. Available from
http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/yahoo-ceo-marissa-mayers-leadership-style-really-
effective/ [7 October 2017]

Yahoo! n.d. Yahoo International. Available from https://www.yahoo.com/everything/world/ [7
October 2017]
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Part 2: Internal Research Project Pitch

1.0 Overview of Yahoo! issues

Yahoo! is facing several issues which is due to poor leadership approach adapted and practiced by
Marissa Mayer since she was hired in the ear 2012. Though, before her, the company was already
facing challenges, however, her leadership style and implementing the similar strategies which she
practiced and were successful at Google ran Yahoo! into great trouble. Her leadership and vision
was limited as she does not bring out or introduced new strategies that were according to the
Yahoo!’s situation. Her poor decision making ability and increased flexibility provided to the
employees made Yahoo! to face greater turmoil. Though, she was clear with Yahoo!’s vision, but
she was not successful in communicating it to all the employees. She was also not able to properly
and closely guide all the employees to move forward in a specific direction. She communicated
the importance of Yahoo!’s employees but failed to make them committed and engaged in bringing
innovative and creative solutions to satisfy customers. The company soon started facing losses,
reduced market share, decreased profitability, and a huge decline in visitors at Yahoo! website.
Thus, after her failed leadership, Mayer resigned from CEO at Yahoo! in June 2017 and presently,
the company is under management of Verizon Communications. Thus, the present management
requires to take necessary steps for effective leadership to regain Yahoo!’s lost position.

1.1 The rationale for the research
The key rationale behind conducting the research is to find out the flaws of leadership that could
make a successful organization unsuccessful. The research will particularly identify the necessity
of communication, qualities of a great leader and adaptation of a proper leadership style at Yahoo!.
In addition to this, the need of proper change management approach at Yahoo! is also important
to obtain effective outcomes of leadership programme. The identification of proper leadership
implementation, also with support of literature evidence, will help to improve Yahoo!’s situation
in terms of profitability, market share, visitors to the website, and revenue.

1.2 Aim of the research
The aim of the research is to guide and recommend proper leadership practices at Yahoo! to
increase employee and organizational performance.

1.3 Research objectives
The following are the objectives of research:
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 To find out appropriate style of leadership for Yahoo!
 To find out qualities of effective leader necessary for good leadership at Yahoo
 To find out role of communication in improving employee and organizational performance
 To find out the ways of making change implementation successful through effective
leadership.

1.4 Framework/ Hypothesis
The research revolves around key variables of effective leadership, employee performance and
organizational performance. Therefore, most of the literature section discusses review on theories
and evidences outlined by several researches in the past. The purpose of discussing the literature
in context of achieving objectives of the research is to make recommendation of leadership
developmental program successful. In this regard, the following are proposed hypothesis for this
research:

H1: There lies no association between effective leadership and communication

H2: There lies no association between effective leadership and employee performance

H3: There lies no association between effective leadership and organizational performance

H4: There lies no association between effective leadership and successful change management

2.0 Literature review

2.1 Effective leadership: Definition and Context
In today’s business environment, an organization is largely in need of effective leaders who have
are able to understand the challenges and complexities of global businesses. Leadership is basically
a process of social influence under which the leader looks for the voluntary participation of its
employees to meet the goals of an organization (Omolayo 2007). According to Mullins (2004), a
leader refers to an individual who influences others or delegate responsibilities to others so that
they could perform required objectives. The style of leadership adapted and practiced by a leader
is relatively regarded as a consistent pattern of behavior. Therefore, a leader adapts different styles
which have large impact on organizational performance and effectiveness (Nahavandi 2002).
According to Oladipo, Jamilah, Abdul daud, Jeffery and Salami (2013), the failure or success of a
social unit, nation and organization depends on the style adopted by their leaders. Likewise,
Assunta (2007) analyzed the effectiveness and role of leadership and its influence on attitudes,
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behaviors and performances, and concluded that high leadership indexes helps to increase
performance and reputation of the organization. Likewise, the research by Podsakoff, MacKenzie,
Moorman and Fetter (1990) found that behavior of leaders helps to affect employee satisfaction
and trust. Thus, several features, particularly style and qualities results in effective leaders.

2.2 Communication and leadership
According to Kreps (1990), communication within an organization refers to a process through
which all the members collect pertinent information regarding their organization and the constant
changes/ updates happening within it. Usually, there are two key objectives of organizational
communication. The first is to communicate or inform the employees about their roles and
responsibilities along with organizational policy issues (Francis, 1989; De Ridder, 2003).
Moreover, according to Chen et al., (2005) and Phattanacheewapul and Ussahawanitchakit,
(2008), the purpose of organizational communication is to transmit information or news about the
workplace to all the employees and by the means of employees. However, the second objective of
communication is to build up a community (to make people more close) within the organization
(De Ridder, 2003; Postmes et al., 2001; Francis, 1989).

Purposeful communication helps to create awareness and educate employees across the
organization while motivating them to work in accordance to the strategy or vision of the
organization (Barrett, 2002). The focus of employees towards achievement of organization vision
or strategy helps to create positive attitudes amongst employees which is also important in change
or re-structuring or re-engineering of an organization (Kotter, 1996; Lewis, 2000). However,
purposeful communication requires achievement of level of ‘cognitive organizational
reorientation’ which means the appreciation and comprehension of the change process. In this
regard, the outcome of research interviews conducted by Elving and Hansma (2008) between
employees and management, specifically during organizational change, concludes that the change
was successful due to important informative and communicative skills of leaders or managers.
Similarly, Bennebroek-Gravenhorst et al. (2006) identified that the role of management along with
employee’s contribution is necessary to make organization successful and also while bringing out
change, and in distributing information.

Communication by effective leaders provides several benefits such as tackling employees’ queries,
generating community spirit, building trust, motivating employees, increasing employee
commitment and participation, providing job security, etc., that are identified below:
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 According to Dolphin (2005), communication helps to provide information to the
employees which creates motivation amongst them. Excellent communication by the
leader results in better understanding of every information within the organization and at
all levels. This also helps to resolve queries of employees to reduce negative impact on the
organizational performance.
 Communication within the organization helps in the identification of a group and for the
generation of community spirit that meets the requirement of the organization (Postmes et
al. 2001; De Ridder 2003). In other words, it helps to develop community within
organizations that shows reflection of high commitment, trust and loyalty with the
management and organization (Elving 2005).
 According to Dirks and Ferrin (2001), effective communication by the leaders helps to
build trust which helps to create more positive attitude of employees, demonstrates higher
level of performance and provides greater levels of cooperation. Likewise, Chia (2005)
stated that commitment and trust are byproducts of policies and processes that are made to
create positive relationship between leaders and subordinates.
 Communication serves as an effective tool that helps to motivate employees (Luecke
2003). Moreover, it also helps in providing job satisfaction among the employees which
encourage them to work more productively.
 Communication within an organization helps to increase employee commitment as it
provides them with freedom to speak regarding their issues and provides them an ability to
argue on the problems surrounding these concerns (Risher 2003).
 According to Parker et al. (1997), communication increases employee participation which
is highly associated with higher job satisfaction as the employees are better able to provide
input and contribute in decision making (Lind and Tyler, 1988).
 Effective communication helps in reducing uncertainty among employees which is key
element during a change process. Communication helps in creating readiness for change
amongst employees (DiFonzo and Bordia, 1998).
 According to Sverke et al., (2002), employees with lower job satisfaction usually have
concern for their job security and they show lower level of commitment to the organization.
Therefore, effective communication helps to create positive impact amongst employees
within the organization which ensures reduced labor turnover and more satisfied
employees.
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2.3 Transformational and Transactional Leadership
2.3.1 Transformational Leadership
According to Robbins and Coulter (2007), a transformational leader refers to an individual who is
able to inspire and stimulate subordinates to achieve extraordinary goals or outcomes. The focus
of transformational leader is on the developmental needs of subordinates and create awareness
among them to view problems in a conventional way so that they could put extra efforts in
achievement of organizational goals. However, the transformational leadership theory deals in the
effectiveness of leadership which helps to create positive change amongst the subordinates while
taking care of interest of each other and of the overall group (Warrilow 2012). This type of
leadership helps to stimulate motivation, boost morale and increase performance of subordinates
through several mechanisms that include sense of identity (for self and group), being role model
to inspire them, encourage others to take ownership at work, understand weaknesses and others of
others so that tasks are aligned according to increase overall performance of the team or
organization. According to Warrilow (2012), there are four key components of this type of
leadership that include idealized influence or charisma, inspirational motivation, individual and
personal attention, and intellectual stimulation. Thus, transformational leadership reflects a way of
true leadership particularly in an organization.

2.3.2 Transactional Leadership
This type of leadership is also referred to managerial leadership because it emphasize on role of
supervision, group performance and organization of activities. Under transactional style of
leadership, the leader promotes obedience of subordinates via punishments and rewards. This type
of leadership mainly focuses on keeping the things same rather than looking or changing the future
which is observed under transformational style of leadership (Murari 2015). In other words, the
transactional leadership regards processes more important instead of forward-thinking ideas. The
transactional leadership is found to be very effective during emergency and crisis situation. In
addition to this, the transactional leadership works to provide basic level of satisfaction to
employees, i.e., lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy. Moreover, an exchange model is also used
under which rewards are offered on positive outcomes or good performance. However, punishment
is also given on negative outcomes or poor work (Kouzes and Posner 2006). Thus, this type of
leadership is much effective in completing task and managing all areas individually.
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2.4 Qualities of an Effective Leader
Several studies and literature in the past have highlighted the important qualities of a leader.
Amongst other qualities, have clear vision and its articulation is one of the key quality which is
held important by several authors and scholars. For instance, Wart (2008) states that effectiveness
of leadership could be judged from the fact that the leader is able to create motivating vision and
share it with all the subordinates or employees. Another important quality highlighted by several
authors is communication skill. On this quality, Gallos (2008) provided significance of
communication skills for leaders of organization as it is a key element required in day to day
activities to achieve organizational goals. Moreover, he also held openness as important quality of
effective leaders as it helps to view and consider things from several dimensions and perspectives.
Ability to make decision is another important quality of effective leader which is highlighted by
Stanfield (2009) referring to the leadership theory of “The Great Man”. In contrast, Goldsmith et
al. (2010) is of view that self-confidence is necessary for an effective leader as it is comprehended
with decision making ability in uncertain or riskier situations. They also regarded integrity and
honesty as other important qualities of an effective leader. Another important trait possessed by
great leaders is dedication to work. For this quality, Shriberg (2010) has supported with several
examples of Steve Jobs (Apple) and Jack Welch (General Electric) who showed high level of
dedication to their work and made their organization successful. Besides this, assertiveness is
another important quality identified by Wart (2007). However, Gallos (2008) regards humility
whereas Stanfield (2009) holds sense of humour as important qualities of effective leaders.

2.5 Leader as a Change Agent

Effective management of change is important for organizational leaders to grow their business
successfully. The focus of change management is employees, who are key resources of an
organization, their pattern of interaction and identity. Moreover, change management is also
referred to the core competencies of organizational leaders, i.e., they should be more motivational
and skillful. This is because discontinuous changes leads to negative outcome on leadership
capabilities. The leaders are more responsible after implementing change within an organization.
According to Nickols (2010), change management could be defined in four ways:

 Change management refers to an important field of professional practice under which
general process of change is managed by professional change leaders/ agents.
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 Change management refers to the ability of managing change within an organization, i.e.,
it should be first planned and them implemented. Additionally, it should be controlled and
monitored to achieve desired outcomes.
 Change management refers as an important mechanism of monitor and control, i.e., of
standards, procedures, processes and requirements that helps to bring effective change
within an organization.
 Change management refers to a body of knowledge comprising skills, tools, techniques,
methods, models and several forms of knowledge which is important while undergoing
change.

In order to achieve effective outcomes of change, research by Michaelis, Stegmaier and Sonntag
2009) reveals that charismatic style of leadership along with employee’s trust in leaders or top
management is very necessary. These variables are strongly associated (positive) with department
connection, management level, monitoring of anticipators and change implementing behaviour. In
contrast, Noer (1997), states that leaders has an important position to make change successful. This
is because the learning skills, values, compassion, wisdom, insight and spirit serves as important
facets that helps to embrace change positively. Likewise, Higgs and Rowland (2005) have also
supported that behaviour of leader helps to make change situations better.

According to Kotter (1995), a leader must look after 8 steps while implementing change within an
organization. First, he/ she should establish sense of urgency to discuss and identify future or
potential opportunities/ crisis. Second, he/ she should form a strong guiding coalition. Third, he/
she should create a vision to direct the change. Fourth, he/ she should communicate the vision
clearly and visibly through different channels. Fifth, he/ she should empower few competent
people to act on the vision. Sixth, he/ she should then plan and map short term goals and their
achievement. Seventh, he/ she should consolidate improvements within the change process. Lastly,
he/ she should institutionalize new approaches to change and celebrate successful change.

3.0 Research Methodology

The following methodology is adopted in this research.
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3.1 Research approach
Basically, two major types of research approaches are used in research, i.e., inductive and
deductive. The deductive approach helps to discuss and test theory to draw conclusions whereas
the inductive approach helps to generate new theory resulting from the research data (Gerring
2007). This research uses deductive approach as hypothesis are drawn first and important variables
are discussed for their implementation at Yahoo!. This means that upon completion of research,
no new theory will be generated, and only hypothesis will be accepted/ rejected.

3.2 Methods of Data collection
There are two basic methods of data collection, i.e., primary method and secondary method
(Cresswell 2003). The primary method deals in gathering raw data or first-hand information
through questionnaire surveys, interviews, focus group, observation, etc.; whereas the secondary
method deals in gathering already published information from other sources, such as, online
sources (e-books, online journal articles, websites, online newspapers, social media websites, etc.)
and published sources (newspapers, books, magazines, scholarly published papers, etc.). This
research uses secondary sources to obtain evidenced data for literature and identification of
problems/ challenges at Yahoo!.

3.3 Research choice
A researcher could opt any of the research choice, i.e., quantitative or qualitative or use a
combination of both the two choices (Cavana 2001). The qualitative choice refers to the non-
numeric data whereas the quantitative choice refers to numeric data usually obtained from
statistical analysis. This research uses only qualitative data as it discusses theoretically analyzed
variables, i.e., leadership, organizational and employee performance.

3.4 Sampling approach
There are two types of sampling, i.e., probability sampling and non-probability sampling. This
research uses non-probability purposive sampling as Marissa Mayer is chosen from Yahoo! to
analyze leadership and organizational/ employee performance in the organization.

3.5 Other Ethical Considerations
The research has successfully managed to adhere ethical standards while conducting this research.

 The data presented in the research is correctly cited and referenced (i.e., cited from original
sources).
22

 The data presented in the research is not falsified or altered.
 The researcher has maintained the quality of research.
 The research does not hold any information on basis of personal interest.

4.0 Potential DBA research perspectives

The research has successfully gained potential information and knowledge on leadership from the
lectures and different books recommended by the tutor. In particular, the books by Peter Northouse
on Leadership theory and practice along with some other books, academic online journals and
websites were studied to gain additional information. The course has led me to understand different
styles, models and theories of leadership and its influence on employees and organizations.
Moreover, the course has also help me to assess and identify qualities of successful leaders, how
successful leaders deal with change/ re-engineering within an organization, and other leadership
approaches. Besides theoretical understanding obtained from the DBA course, the present research
has helped me to equip additional knowledge on leadership and its key areas which I could adapt
to become a successful leader.
23

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Part 3: Reflection for Employability Enhancement

1.0 Assessment of Employability Skills

In order to achieve this consultancy task for the Yahoo!, several capabilities and skills are required.
Therefore, first, I have assessed my personal capabilities by using personal strengths and
weaknesses. Later, I have discussed my current leadership experience, potential, and competencies
followed by areas for leadership development and further career progression.

1.1 Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths Weaknesses
My strengths are as follow: My weaknesses are as follow:
 Ability to think logically  Compulsive in doing everything very
 Attainment of higher education quickly that often leads to wrong
(Doctorate/ Master level) outcomes
 Work in team with strong collaboration  Take stress if I am over burdened with
 Good communication skills work
 Team building and team management  Nervousness while delivering
skills presentation to large number of
 Good listener and problem solver audience.

 Technical skills
 Ability to think out of the box
(creative)
 Exhibit high level of commitment
 Ambitious
 Reliable and honest
 Good research and analytical skills
 Maintain work-life balance
 Multi-tasking skills
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1.2 Assessment of current leadership experience, potential, and competencies
I have assessment current leadership experience, potential and competencies, in four areas that
include personal, relational, thinking and results (Success Labs n.d.). This is because these areas
require high leadership competencies allowing an individual to analyse his or her own skills within
each area.

Personal Relational

Thinking Results

1.2.1 Personal
This area includes personal competencies where some specific qualities are important to be
acquired by a true leader, such as communication skills, learning ability, honesty, etc. This is
because the personal skills helps a leader to influence and motivate its followers to accept and
agree with him/her. Moreover, within organization, personal competencies or leadership skills are
important at all levels of an organization. My personal competencies include self-development,
adaptable, resilient, good communication skills, curiosity and integrity which I believed has helped
me at several occasions in leading my team and groups. These skills will not only help me while
working in a professional organization, but also while progressing my career and to reach higher
levels.

1.2.2 Relational
This area deals with building and developing effective relationships which is important for a
leader. This is because if a leader fails to develop and create long term positive relationship with
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subordinates/ followers, he or she can never become successful in accomplishing team or
individual goals. Some of my relational competencies include team building skills, conflict
resolution skills, interpersonal skills, strong communication skills, ability to communicate vision,
developing and coaching other people. These relational skills have not only helped me in the past
but has also enabled me to build long term trust and successful relationships. These relational skills
have also helped me to be chosen as a leader by my fellows during my academic life.

1.2.3 Critical Thinking
It is important for a leader to have critical thinking skills to become competent. This is because the
ability to think critically helps to move an individual from simple managerial roles to executive or
leadership roles. However, while think critically, an element innovation and creativity should be
included to become a successful leader. Some of my critical thinking abilities that are felt by me
and also pointed out by my fellows include problem solving skills, decision making skills, strategic
insight, broad knowledge and information sharing, and creative solutions/ ideas. These critical
thinking skills have always helped me to become a successful leader while at work and in my
academic life.

1.2.4 Results
This area of competency includes high level of achievement which a leader demonstrates while
leading his/ her followers. This is because subordinates of a leader believes that being a high
achiever, he or she is able to view broader image of an issue/ decision and take future decisions.
Additionally, high achievers (as a leader) for the end results are better able to direct and delegate
work to his/ her subordinates. Thus, I believe that I have competency of being a high achiever as
I take more responsibilities while working in a team, correctly delegate task, be accountable for
my actions, and work effectively (plan, organize, implement and control). This competency will
help me largely in future to become a successful leader of a large organization.

1.3 Personal leadership development and career progression
The personal assessment (strengths and weaknesses) and leadership competency analysis in the
area of personal, relational, thinking and results shows that I have several leadership qualities
which will help me as a consulting agent at Yahoo!. However, I believe that no one is perfect and
there always lie room for improvement. Therefore, I believe that I should overcome my
weaknesses which could later affect my progression as a successful leader. Overcoming my
weaknesses in quickness in doing everything, taking stress and nervousness will not only help me
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to demonstrate effective leadership qualities, but will also benefit my subordinates and
organization. Therefore, I need to take some online courses on managing stress and nervousness
to learn different ways of overcoming these along with other weak psychological factors.
Moreover, I could also attend workshops and take additional short courses on understanding
psychology behind stress and nervousness which will help to overcome mine. However, to make
myself in overcoming my issue of quickness, I should learn to plan, write and work on schedules
and time tables. Moreover, I could also work on other tasks simultaneously and wait for the right
time to complete the work. Though, I should be well aware of the deadlines to ensure that work is
done within or before time.

2.0 Conclusion

In a nutshell, it could be concluded that my leadership qualities demonstrated as a consultant will
help to improve situation at Yahoo!. The recommendations provided in the part 1 are on the basis
of my personal leadership qualities and competencies which could help my client organization,
which is presently owned by Verizon Communication, to overcome their challenges and regain
their lost position in the world of information technology.
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References

Success Labs n.d. The 4 Types of Leadership Competencies. Available from
https://mysuccesslab.com/leadership-competencies/ [13 October 2017]