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Organizatinal Management Task 1

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Pages 11
Task 1
Utah Symphony and Utah Opera Merger
Meera Abraham
Western Governors University
Organizational Management
May 12, 2014

Following the tragic event of Sept 11, 2001 the American economy has struggled to return to its former glory. The weakened economy has negatively impacted giving as a whole and brought about a steady decline of public interest such as government subsidies, and private such as individual and corporate pledges, ticket sale; to support Arts organization in America. Approximately 6% of the funding for the performing arts is from federal, state, and municipal governments; 46% of the income is generated from tickets sales and individual contribution, remaining 36% from business and foundation giving; and 12% is from investment income. Scott Parker, chairman of the board of Utah Symphony, clearly stated that the Orchestra is extremely close to being in financial deficit. Their contractual obligation to pay salaries to their 83 employees in a weakened economic climate has impacted them adversely. Utah Opera will be in a similar situation as most of their financial support is from local and national foundations, corporations and individuals. In order to rescue the arts organizations, Anne Ewers was asked to contemplate the position of CEO of the combined Opera and Symphony organization of Utah. Given that these two have very divergent cultures, there will be great deal of challenges to unite these organizations. One of the main challenges to unite both organizations is that the Symphony environment is slow to change, while the Opera is more adept to change. Two examples of similar mergers in the past is the merger of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Madison Opera in 1963 and the Chattanooga symphony and the Chattanooga opera in 1985. The Madison Symphony and Opera eventually separated citing that they each wanted their own identity but the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera continues to this day with great financial stability. While Anne and the executive committee consisting of three members from Utah opera and three members from Utah Symphony, felt uncertain initially about the merger but to relieve the financial pressure the organization faced, they eventually agreed. However opposition occurred when the idea was proposed to the community. At this time Anne, should use her positional power and utilize it to persuade the community and the musicians that the merger will ultimately help both the entities. Let’s see how the executive committee member uses motivational theories to convince the merger.
Bill Bailey Bill Bailey, chairman of the Board of the Utah Opera Organization (UOC) is prudently in support of the merger of the UOC and the Utah Symphony Orchestra. He is in favor with this merger for many reasons, mainly to help UOC to be financial stable. Mr. Bailey along with the trustee would like to see UOC to become a tier one organization. In order to achieve the goals of financial stability and tier one status, he could use Vroom expectancy theory of motivation to gain support from the opera staff and musicians. Vroom’s expectancy theory is a process theory that identifies the factors that influence motivation. According to Kreitner & Kinicki (2010), motivation is an outcome of an individual’s expectancy that a certain effort (i.e. in this situation is the merger of the two entities) will lead to the intended performance (i.e. financial stability and tier one status). If Mr. Bailey and the committee are motivated to gain tier one status, they will successfully receive support from the staff with the merger. Expectancy theory has three important components: Expectancy, Instrumentality and Valance (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010). Expectancy is the belief that one's effort will result in achievement of desired goal. In this situation Mr. Bailey belief is based on his past experience, his self-confidence, and his perceived level of difficulty, in this case merger of two entities. These factors will influence Mr. Bailey’s decision making process as he will choose behaviors like convincing the Opera staff of tier-one status and financial security, which will help him to accomplish their desired merger. Instrumentality is the belief that a person will receive a reward if the performance expectation is met. If Mr. Bailey receives support from UOC and Symphony musicians to go ahead with the merger, then he will have greater control and power in developing policies towards receiving tier- one status. Valance is the outcome attained is personally valued. In this case, Mr. Bailey wants UOC to attain tier-one status, be financial stable and maintain their identity and core staff.
Scott Parker Scott Parker, chairman of the board of the Utah Symphony is in support of the merger of the UOC and the Utah Symphony Orchestra (USO). After Mr. Parker assumed responsibility as chairman, exactly a year later the economy crumbled down affecting the Arts community in Salt Lake City and across America. He believed the Orchestra was very close to being in financial deficit, with no sight of relief in the near future. Other reasons making their financial situation worse, they are in contractual obligation to pay full time salaries to all orchestra members. In addition to this they won’t receive any financial funding from Zoo, Arts, and Parks community (ZAP) for this year. Public and private companies have decreased their funding to Arts organization; because of this more Arts organizations are competing for monetary funding that is available. In the midst of this crisis situation, the CEO of Symphony stepped down, leaving Mr. Parker in a dilemma to look for a talented eligible candidate for CEO. During this crisis situation Mr. Parker was made aware of Anne Ewers. Mr. Parker believe merging the two entities will ease the financial pressure that the Symphony is facing and solve the problem of recruiting a new CEO by asking Anne Ewers to assume the position of CEO of the combined organization. Mr. Parker has a great challenge to convince Mrs. Carolyn Abravanel, wife of late Mr. Maurice Abravanel who was an experienced maestro and music director for 32 years until retirement. He developed the Orchestra to be a world class Symphony. Mrs. Abravanel’s opposition to merger was most likely due to her feeling of personal loss i.e. her husband worked really hard to make Symphony world class category. He defended his musicians to have the full time contract with full time salaries. He treated them as family. He created a great working relationship with his staff. She feared in this merger, everything her husband worked for will be tarnished. An effective way for Mr. Parker to convince Mrs. Abravanel is by using a Goal Setting Motivational Theory. According to Kreitner & Kinicki (2010), Goal setting involves establishing specific, achievable and time-targeted goals. This theory states, setting goals helps people work towards their own objectives. Goal setting has four motivational mechanisms (Kreitner & Kinicki (2010)
Clarity- clear specific goal i.e. in order to convince Mrs. Abravanel, he should set up clear attainable goal, In this situation maintaining Symphony as operational entity and convincing her that this can be only attained by merging.
Effort- The level of effort expended is proportionate to the difficulty of the goal. It acts as a motivator. In this situation deadline to decide on the merger of these two entities is on July 8, 2002. He needs to increase his efforts to convince Mrs. Abravanel to support in this merger before July 8 deadlines. She is a great asset as she has great influence and is respected and trusted by the symphony musicians.
Persistence- Being persistent over a period of time will attain the goals. A difficult goal (i.e. convincing Mrs. Abravanel for the merger) that is important to an individual (i.e. Mr. Parker) is a constant reminder to keep exerting effort (i.e. constant reminder of keeping Symphony operational without bankruptcy, protecting the musicians jobs and maintain the reputation her husband created as a world class symphony )in the appropriate direction.
Develop action plan- Currently the action plan consist of negotiations with board of trustees to merge UOC and USO. Combination of these entities will help symphony to continue to operate. It should be explained to Mrs. Abravanel, that Bill Bailey who was skeptical of this merger has decided to move forward with the idea of merger.
Anne is in a leadership role and has the ability to use her positional power to lead the merger. According to Kreinter and Kinicki (2010), positional power is the ability to influence others the based on the leaders rank or title within an organization. Ewers positional power is supported by her skills and the knowledge she attained from being a general director of the Boston Lyric Opera. Using her prudent management skills and leadership she was able to cancel debt by building an endowment fund, increase productions from one to three and successful raise funds from entities out of state. She also earned her reputation as an artist by serving as stage director for over 60 productions across the US. During her 11 year tenure at UOC, she expanded the company budget from 1.5 million to 5 million. Due to her amazing resume and work outcome, she was offered a position of CEO of the merged organization. Ewer’s personal power is a source of influence she holds and her ability to influence others. Personal Power is the combination of positive qualities and characteristics a person possesses that makes them naturally appealing to others. According to Kreitner & Kinicki (2010) personal power is also referent power, is a way of obtaining compliance through ones charm or charisma. Personal power is something internal and cannot be taken away. In this situation Anne has been able to obtain compliance through her charisma, energetic and enthusiastic personality and also with her knowledge and professional experience in successful fund raising abilities. She is resilient and persistent which resulted in her position as CEO of the combined organization. She is well known in the arts community for her expertise and organizational management skills. With her positional power and her attractive personality, she will be able to very well manage her executive team and musicians that will make it easy to achieve the organizational goals.
Positional Power Anne can use her positional power to lead the merger effort. Anne has currently served as the general director of UOC for eleven years. She will assume the role of CEO of the merged organization, which gives her more positional power than before. Her effective long tenure in UOC will convince people that she is capable and knowledgeable to run the new organization successfully. She can use her position to let her board members know that she is committed to this project and she expects the same from the members too. Anne and her executive team members are all for the merger which again is a sign of their faith in her as a leader. She will have to build a constructive relationship of negotiation and feedback, with her present and future staff after the merger.
Personal Power Anne gained her personal power from her professional expertise and proven job performance. It has empowered her to be a respected leader in the Arts community. Anne will use her personal power to convince Mr. Lockhart, who is the music director of Utah Symphony since 1998. In the past, Lockhart had all control over his Orchestra. But in the merger, Lockhart is to report to Anne Ewers, who he has no previous practical working experience. Lockhart’s main aim is to protect the interest of his staff members. They have great trust and working relationship that make them work effectively and collectively to be a Group II Symphony Orchestra production in US. Lockhart believes that his position and autonomy will be taken away in this merger. Anne will need to build trust with Lockhart and allow him to have same control as before, but let him know she is the boss and both of them is working towards the same goal of sustaining these two organizations. She should verbalize how excited she is to work with such a great music director and that she will respect all his opinions and include him in all decision making process and how working together they would make sure that the arts industry would be a viable industry for decades to come.
Potential Problem with Merger The formation of the new organization faces contract issues with the musicians; if this is not resolved in the initial stage of merger it would jeopardize the future organizational performance. The Symphony musicians are unionized and have secured a year-long above pay salaries. Their salaries were supposed to increase by 12.9% from 2002 to 2003, due to the union’s collective bargaining agreement. They fear that their collective bargaining agreement will be taken away. If it does, it means they will have to work without a contract or renegotiate a new contract. They might not receive the salaries and benefits they are accustomed to as before. Some musicians believe that Symphony decided on this merger because they want to reopen and renegotiate the terms of contract. Some believed the two entities have totally different cultures, which need different managerial approach and financial management. If the musician’s feel they are not fairly treated with amount of hard work they put towards each production, it can eventually affect performance. Some might leave to get a better job with better benefits.

Recommendation An integrative negotiation approach is needed to mitigate this issue. According to Kreitner & Kinicki (2010), integrative negotiation is a technique used so that the end result is acceptable to both parties. Anne is to set up a meeting with the Symphony representatives so a fair deal can be negotiated. This approach has five steps; first is to clarify the interest i.e. is to keep Symphony functioning with fair pay scale for the musicians. Secondly is to identify an option: Anne will have to emphasize that Symphony is in financial crisis because of their overpaid salaried employees which consist of approximately 60% of the program total expenses. The current contract is not an option, but a reasonable contract can be negotiated. Thirdly is to design an alternative deal: It would be possible to sign a new contract with market value salary with benefits for their musicians. Fourthly, select a deal: At this point the representative can make suggestions with the contract offered before accepting it. Lastly perfecting the deal- once the contract is approved minor changes can be made to improve it.
Influence Tactics that can be used to persuade the opera’s staff to endorse the merger Anne can use rational persuasion and inspirational appeal to persuade the Opera’s staff to endorse the merger. Rational persuasion is using reasonable arguments with facts to persuade others to take a specific action will lead to a particular outcome (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010). In this situation the Opera would gain more exposure in the Arts community and can also attain Tier 1 status by a merger. Both of the entities will benefit from this merger and will be more effective as one organization can be used as a rational persuasion tool to for the Opera to endorse the merger.
Inspirational Appeal: Anne can inspire the Opera staff, by emphasizing that their support will rescue Symphony Orchestra from financial crisis. She can also emphasis to them the importance of supporting Arts in the US has been on the decline for the last few years. In order to promote Arts in the US, it is their duty to help an Art organization such as Utah Symphony that is going through financial crisis and how long-term it would be a success story to share for not just the entire art industry but for them as individuals for generations to come.

Kreitner, R. & Kinicki, A. (2010). Organizational behavior (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. IBSN: 978-0078029363.…...

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