Case Study 1: Weston Case Study

Weston University shows a trend of losing it academic reputation based on the given excerpt. In point of fact, Weston’s academic reputation is slowly declining due to dwindling ranking, records and persistent poaching of their fresh blood of lecturers by competitor universities. Weston University pursued Diana Ball and hired her to assume the president post and reestablish the reputation of the varsity academics. Dr. Balls quickly realized the lack of academic rigor in the pace set by former president Dr. Prowers leadership hindered the university and talented faculty departed.

Case Problems

Weston University slowly accepted Dr. Harold Powers’ mode of leadership. The reputation that the institution had in the past has declined, and it has several direct consequences that could be the cause of loss of talented faculty (Baldridge et al., 1977). Another leadership approach was necessary for the campus to regain vigor and flourish. As the President, Dr. Balls came up with a program to solicit the opinion of Board members who are deans of various schools as illustrated in the case study. The institution of higher learning, as a result, shifted from a democratic type of leadership to the bureaucracy (Bolman & Deal, 2013). In her pursuit to install discipline, the leader has shown that Dr. Balls has a strong preference for adherence to the laid down sets of rules as well as regulations, meaning she was for the bureaucratic mode of leadership oriented. Dr. Balls ideology is in contradiction with the predominating democratic type of governance, which makes the first secondary issue, whereby all individual point of view, as well as orientation, is of the essence (Bolman & Deal, 2013). She seems as well to be a designated leader who set accomplishable goals within a given time frame. She is careful to include the opinion as well as the suggestion of a few of close acquaintances although she will stick to the best-fit decision in the governance of the once respected institution thus forming the second secondary issue. There is an array of secondary problems that will get addressed while solving the listed primary problem in the paper.


The first stakeholders include the deans both those who support (Dean Roger Mayer) and oppose Dr. Balls leadership ideologies (including Dean Mara Kaufman, Lawrence Hunter and Richard Lang) and their stake as the sitting board members have a significant role.  Dr. George Henry, a member of the psychology department becomes the second stakeholder. His stake is offering intervention and moral support to Dr. Balls (Morgan, 2006). Dr. Powers gets to be the third stakeholder since his leadership style is what forms the stake that is the central debate.

Case Analysis

Weston University faced a dilemma of whether to maintain current leadership which already is not generating results or embrace bureaucracy. The board members appeared to view the developed incentive program as a tool to cause chaos among the otherwise united members of various schools (Morgan, 2006). In a move to reject change, the board members strongly oppose the postulated program for an effective comeback of the institution (Bolman & Deal, 2013). In her approach, President Balls brought forward a program to eradicate the inefficiency that occurred under the leadership of Dr. Powers. In the drafted program Dr. Balls seem to recommend a leadership where a close set of standards would become adhered to, and articulate calculation made the way of heading Weston institution. She requires that if she is to restore Weston University to academic excellence, all the undertakings have to get carried out in a specific way that is exact in that there would be accuracy. The prestigious status of Weston University has slowly gotten eroded; therefore, the current performance is below the target. Thus the specific procedures of salary increment that she suggests, the pay raise to counter rising cost of living and firing of underperforming professors. Restore the institution’s academic excellence needs the creation of a set of detailed instructions to be adhered to always by all members thus she comes off as authority centered (Bolman & Deal, 2013).  According to the suggested program, bureaucratic way of leadership is the ultimate way forward out of the predicament that could have befallen the institution (Baldridge et al., 1977)

Dr. Balls’ approach combined with her the strict personality resulted in the heated debate as the board members offered their concern. In line with Bolman and Deal’s (2013) idea of ideal leader for change as suggested is one who could enforce change with vigor another attribute that adds to the describe mode of leadership. However, they need to be aware that the previous governance still has an impact from the grass root to the top offices.  Dr. Balls need to account that for change to occur as described by Morgan (2006) everyone’s idea and thought progression is essential as before all could familiarize with the transition in power. Dr. Balls seems to seek advice from her peers as she views their contribution as the best fit model for a way forward that will significantly impact on the targeted goals of the venture. It is the argument that if she is to get a suggestion from friends she still will have to make the decision a characteristic common to bureaucrats.

Possible Courses of Actions

The opposition by the board members illustrates that Dr. Diana Balls change of leadership is somewhat in haste. Her bureaucracy does not factor the fact that there is the need for inclusion of a transition stage for the democratic style of leadership to precisely blend. According to Bolman and Deal (2013), it is important for the leaders to understand the offices they hold as well as the capacity they hold within their office settings. Originating from a former democracy, the leader needs to create a potent blend of democracy as well as bureaucratic leadership that will transition without much opposition (Morgan, 2006). In the meantime, she should bend to the will of the majority as such she will receive a warm acceptance as the heir of the University.

The time span that will be set aside for her to understand board members needs to be limited to weeks. Such efficiency as in leadership as suggested by Morgan (2006) is in the best interest of all stakeholders. Such a course of actions by Dr. Balls will ensure that the proposed course of action will work. Dr. Balls will as well realize her dreams as well as the institution she envisions in due time. Devising such a plan she could start with revising the salary plan and offer better terms that will not become seen as more business minded rather than a motivation that she envisions. With such a start point the all the workers would be motivated to give more input, and over a specified duration of months, those who will not have stepped up the beat could face her theorized enforcement plan of being cut out or being set in a lower income bracket (Morgan, 2006). It is advantageous since it will as well allow every member of the board to reflect and weigh the concerns of all participants present in the boardroom recorded in the case study. It should, however, face further rejection by the majority who are democracy opinionated.

Recommendations and Implementations

As illustrated by scholars on leadership models Bolman and Deal (2013) a leader should frame the settings of the venture in such a way that it can resolve the current issues.For instance, in the first confrontation with the board members, she faced fierce competition regarding her compensation package. She, in fact, needs to create a win-win situation to gain support at least the support of a majority of the stakeholders. Dr. Ball should design a survey that will become distributed to all deans, chairs, and faculty. It will ask for a staff vote for either the proposed salary incentive plan previously discussed in the meeting or a new alternative pay incentive plan formulated by the set independent committee. Both pay incentive programs will be a complement to bring Weston back up to its previous prestigious ranking. The more aggressive salary incentive plan, already proposed, would provide a significant raise based on meritorious teaching and publication to 1/3 of the staff, a token raise based on the rising cost of living to 1/3 of the staff, and a no raise to the remaining 1/3 of the staff. This type of incentive plan will create competition among faculty in a positive fashion, along with getting rid of dead weight within departments that create undue stress on faculty with respect to students concerning scheduling, dislike of a particular faculty, and program rigor.

Dr. Ball will also request the opinion of all student leaders regarding prestige at Weston University an effective transition style illustrated by Bolman and Deal (2008) in their book. Their views will be aired at the next meeting (Bolman and Deal, 2008). In such an approach, Dr. Ball will come out as a leader who is defending the opinion of everyone, including the students and the faculty, who interact with common elements concerning education. Such a political view and reasoning will make Dr. Ball become a person of the people who is defending the people’s choices although her vision is still carried along and intertwined with the wants and likes of the students (Bolman and Deal, 2008). Dr. Ball will also counter the current spreading word of her authoritative personality to seem as only mere suggestions. It will guarantee that her leadership, as well as gaining more knowledge of subsequent wants for change within the university through students, are in fact influential. It will as well make more key players feel the ownership in the process of policy implementation thus bringing out a more democratic approach to cause change (Bolman & Deal, 2008).



Baldridge, J.V., Curtis, D.V., Ecker, G.P., & Riley, G.L. (1977). Alternative models of

governance in higher education. In G.L. Riley and J.V. Baldridge. Governing academic organization. Berkeley, CA: McCutchan Publishing.

Bolman, L. G. & Deal, T. E. (2013). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership.

San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Morgan, G. (2006). Images of organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s