HRM10088 Leadership in a Changing Environment Case Study Week 4: Leadership Practice in Tents-r-Us Tents-r-Us is a hospitality sector organisation specialising in the hire of marquees and related services for large corporate and private events. The company was founded by entrepreneur Peter Ridge in 1999 and has grown from a small rental company to one which provides a `total package` service including for example events planning and management, catering and entertainment.
The company is based in Edinburgh although their services are available Scotland wide. The company plans to expand business into northern England. Peter Ridge maintains a hands-on presence in the day to day management of the company as well as providing strategic vision as the Managing Director. Ridge has employed several members of his family in his growing business and his top down command and control style has resulted in several family disputes around respective roles in the organisation.
In a recent dispute concerning details of the company`s mission statement Ridge berated his wife in front of staff ending with a general warning for all that he `is in charge round here, I built the company and I will decide what happens`. The incident left all concerned upset and Ridge has since attempted to be more inclusive in his leadership style. More recently Ridge has looked to employ `outsiders` in order to broaden the knowledge and expertise bank of the company and to enable him to stand back from operational management.
Consequently the company is undergoing great change through which Ridge aims to strengthen his personal position and maintain his preferred autocratic leadership style. As part of its growth strategy Tents-r-Us now requires the recruitment of a marketing executive who will join the senior management team and lead on the expanded marketing strategy of the company. From an open advert there are two shortlisted candidates: Mhairi Kee is an experienced marketeer (15 years) within the hospitality industry.
Her current employment as marketing manager of Big Events (Tents-r-Us` direct competitor) gives her a unique perspective on further development of the Tents-r-Us business. Mhairi has certain traits associated with her ambitious nature having risen through the ranks at Big Events and developing a specialism in strategy development. She now wants a new challenge and is keen to take on a position that will offer real decision making power to drive organisational development. Mhairi is well nown within the industry for her intelligence and competence. Susi Dome has worked in retail brand management for 10 years and is highly respected for her creative skills in establishing several brands within retail niche markets. She is also well known for her consultative management approach liking to take inspiration from all staff and all areas of the organisation. Susi now wishes to create her own niche within the hospitality industry and is willing to take direction and to encourage innovative suggestions on overall strategy.
She believes her strength is in supporting an organisation`s mission and vision through achieving excellence in her own area of work. In the short listing process Mhairi scored very highly with two of the selection panel, Susi was ranked highly by Peter Ridge. Please address the following 1. Outline and discuss the ways in which leadership practice in Tents-r-Us demonstrates aspects of early leadership theory and approaches. 2. Critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of such leadership practice for Tents-r-Us continued success.