We will analyze the case "British Petroleum: Transformational Leadership in a Transnational Organization". During this analysis, we will explain how different management styles are practiced in this company. Two different CEOs, Robert Horton and David Simon, succeeded this British oil company. We will see how they applied their visions to rectify the bleak profitability of British Petroleum (BP) and evaluate their leadership styles. The examples in this document will help us understand why leadership and management are important in communication. We also strive to answer the following questions: 1. What was BP's overall strategy with respect to organizational processes since Horton's appointment as CEO and after Simon's term? Did the new strategy focus on people management and, if yes, in what ways? Was it successful or unsuccessful? In the late 1980s, BP was a politicized, top-heavy company with a strict bureaucratic makeup. It was managed through a cumbersome matrix structure. BP is a typical British company that does not really adapt to big changes, as British people are not so open-minded. But, in this case, the transformation and adaptation to a new organizational work was a real need.
[...] He is open-minded thanks to his traveling experience and his mastery of five languages. He is “more European than typically British”. He was more popular than Horton, but continued Horton's abrasive cost cutting at BP. He has a high sense of team management, thanks to his passion for sport games. He has a high profile of a coach. His vision was not as squeezed as Horton about USA; he has a global vision of expansion in Europe. His goal and vision for BP was not so much different from Horton. [...]
[...] That would be too much scientific, and human being is more complex. What we are today and tomorrow is made by our personality but also experiences we have been through. If we put twin babies in two different social cultures, they would go through many different experiences even if they both went to school or lived in a high social context. The way we react in front of experiences and how do we perceived them gives us a unique dimension. [...]
[...] In one case it was a failure, and in the other one, it was a real success. The main barrier that Horton had met was the corporate culture and conservative ideas of this British company. It is essential for a leader or a manager to adapt his management method and process to each culture, and so each company. Horton wanted to impose his vision in an authoritative and arrogant way; instead Simon emphasizes the importance of the communication and the collective efficiency as teamwork. [...]
[...] British people are very conservative and monochronic people. His main weakness in his leadership style at BP was to want to implement American management style in a community which was not ready and adapted to it. The good leadership style to make top manager is to influence and help people to reach goals in a motivating way. Horton did try to fix goals and aim to his employees, but instead, he forced people to apply his ideas and his way of thinking, no matter what they would say. [...]
[...] Those were qualities to be a top manager in USA, but not in England. So this experience in USA enhanced his capacities to be an authoritative leader. On the other side, we have David Simon, who is fan of sport team. His experience in team sports and play, as the one for his MBA (he knew that he could have a good degree at the MBA exam but he was lazy; so he motivated himself to be focused and to work hard: that's how he got his MBA degree). [...]
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