In the past few years, the competition among companies that sell and support cellular phone telecommunications has dramatically increased; as a result, management and leadership strategies have emerged as key factors in determining the long- term success or ultimate failure of such organizations. In maintaining a healthy organizational culture, management and leadership take on several different roles and responsibilities. Verizon, one of the three of the most popular phone companies, has built its business on a simple, powerful premise; the more people connected to a network, the more valuable the network is to those who use it (Verizon 2006, at pp.1). Verizon has focused on servicing the customer, and ranks higher than the industry average on customer service. The phone company offers phones that feature a host of applications that offer simple solutions for organizing hectic work and . At Verizon, management and leadership play two distinct roles. As a result Verizon has set the industry standard for business models, revenue models, and core competencies, all the while simultaneously establishing a competitive advantage. This paper will discuss the difference between management and leadership at Verizon and will analyze the roles that leaders at Verizon play. It will also explain how the four functions of management at Verizon support the creation and maintenance of a healthy organizational culture. Finally, it will conclude by recommending two strategies that managers and leaders can implement to ensure the continuing success of the company.
Differences between Leadership and Management at Verizon
Verizon provides an example of a company in which management and leadership are two different aspects of success. Verizon’s leadership style is built on the principles of transformational leadership, a concept that has been strongly emphasized in the United States. At Verizon, the benefits of transformational leadership include broadening and elevating the interests of managers, generating awareness and acceptance among the managers of the purposes and mission of their employee staff, and motivating managers to go beyond their self-interests for the good of the employee staff and the company overall. Leaders at Verizon articulate a realistic vision of the future that can be shared, stimulate managers intellectually, and pay attention to the differences among the management team. In comparison, management them operates to stimulate their employee staff on an individual store or location basis. Leadership serves to highlight the goals of the company, and management defines the need for change, creates new visions, and mobilizes their staff toward commitment to these visions.
According to management principles at Verizon, the transformation of the employee staff can be achieved by raising the awareness of the importance and value of desired outcomes, getting employees to transcend their own self-interests and altering or expanding employees’ needs. At Verizon, a leader is one who recognizes what management and staff want to get from their work and tries to see that employees get what they desire if their performance warrants it; exchanges rewards for appropriate levels of effort; and responds to employees’ self-interests as long as they are getting the job done. Management of store locations receive bonuses in the form of money as long as the store continues to operate at a requisite volume. Bonuses for management are increased if the store exceeds performance expectations. In turn, employees are rewarded for hard work through salaries based on the commission off of sales and renewals that they make. Numerous research studies have been conducted in this area, and, collectively, the empirical findings demonstrate that leaders described as transformational, or visionary have positive effects on their companies and staff.
Four Fundamentals of Management
In order for Verizon to maintain a healthy organization culture and maintain a competitive edge, they follow the basic fundamentals of management which are divided in four major parts. The most common guidelines managers use to ensure effectiveness are: 1) planning, 2) organizing, 3) leading, and 4) controlling. Each one of these functions help upholds the quality of Verizon’s business. The first function of management is planning. In this phase, managers at Verizon set the tone for all activities run or controlled by the company. With so many competitors in the phone industry, managers have to recognize that other elements of planning are important for the business to survive. Customer service and the quality of product or service will come to the forefront of customer choice. A cheap product will not be able to survive in this rapidly changing business environment. Organization is another extremely important aspect of the necessary managerial skills for any manager desiring guaranteed success at their individual Verizon location. Organization can be as simple as instituting training at work in a pattern that overlooks no single employee. A good manager cannot expect employees to train themselves or improve their work manners without additional help. A strong organized training program is sure to enhance even the most successful company.
A strong leadership team is another necessary important aspect for businesses engaged in the phone industry. Verizon’s leadership team must be instituted and adopted without fear at the workplace, because employees who fear their supervisors simply cannot evolve into successful employees interested in the growth of the company. A strong leadership team will effectively manage the business with the overall objective of accomplishing the larger goals of the organization. Leadership is also represented by effective communication with other members of the team, the establishment of high standards, and the promotion of continuing education in the line of business. Maintaining effective control over the business is also a highly regarded area in effective management. Effective control can be exuberated in a number of ways. At Verizon, the system of annual raises or merit systems has also been eliminated, and raises are given based on performance and quality of workmanship.
The role of the four fundamentals of management in the phone and telecommunications industry is very important. Verizon, a successful competitor in this market, owes much of its economic success to its’ pricing methodology, sales preservation and enhancement, and ability to compete within the unique structure of the rapidly evolving technological market. Since the market in which Verizon competes is characterized by intense competition with other phone companies offering the same and similar products and service, the ability to effectively plan plays a crucial role. At Verizon, organization is also key, because the market structure can be best described as a monopolistic market structure in which many firms produce similar goods or services but each firm maintains some independent control of its own price. The element of leadership is important to Verizon because the barriers to entry in this type of market are fairly low and new competitors can easily enter the market.
However, Verizon has taken several steps to place themselves in an optimal competitive position. For example, their pricing strategy has been to invest significant financial resources to advertise products, differentiate themselves from the competition, build brand image, and improve brand loyalty. Although such advertising is fairly expensive, Verizon has used this to build brand loyalty and change consumer determinants of demand. Verizon has protected their brand by actively pursuing infringers and protecting their trademarked names. Verizon also uses a pricing strategy to preserve and enhance sales. All of its’ prices remain competitive with those of competitors, and from time to time the company will also implement sales or specially priced items occasionally to attract more consumers. In this way, Burger King has maintained effectively the phase of control in their management model.
As a review of the leadership at Verizon indicates, the company has successfully built its business on a simple, powerful premise; the more people connected to a network, the more valuable the network is to those who use it (Verizon 2006, at pp.1). Two recommendations for the future of Verizon would be implement the goal of going international with their telecommunications service, to serve millions of customers around the world, including global, national, mid-size, regional and government customers. Another recommendation would be to offer employees a free phone incentive program, which would serve to motivate employees in the performance of their . Finally, as long as leadership and management at Verizon continue to operate in its current manner, the phone company will undoubtly remain in a competitive advantage. Thus, the future of Verizon appears bright.
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Oak, C. & Schoeffler, B. (2002). Management for the 21st Century. Retrieved March 13, 2007, from Insurance Journal Web site: http://www.insurancejournal.com/magzines/southcentral/2002/03/11/mindyourbiz/18984.
Verizon. (2007). Verizon. Retrieved March 17, 2007, at http://www.verizon.com.