In order to prepare a great meal, a good recipe is required. Just like food, to build and sustain an organisation a good blend of managerial functions is indispensable. Leadership is one of those managerial functions which is fundamental for an organisation to survive. Why? Because it is the most important mechanism to provide the managers and employees with confidence, guidance and motivation in both monetary and mental terms. One well known instance of failure of leadership is the BlackBerry Company which can be best explained through the use of “The Contingency Leadership Theory”.
The Case of BlackBerry
BlackBerry (Originally- Research in Motion) is a Canadian MNC specialising in enterprise software, Mobile phones/tablets (not currently) and internet of things which was formed by Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin in 1984. In the initial phase of RIM, the company focused on developing connectivity products which was a huge success and also became the first wireless data technology developers in the North America under the leadership of Mike Lazaridis, Jim balsillie and Thorsten Heins for a considerable period of almost 20 years (Ca.blackberry.com, 2018). RIM, when launched its BlackBerry Pearl in 2006, it went on to become one of the highest selling mobile phones with approx. 15 million sales and the company became the leader in smartphone platform until apple and google entered the market. Blackberry used to be a status symbol because of its sleek qwerty business look but they failed to update and upgrade to the level of iOS and android which when entered the market, were 10x advanced and had easy to use operating system with interactive touchscreen models. This happened because the leadership of the company failed to act and pursue necessary actions and changes according to the situation and the business environment and also due to outdated and flawed jurisdiction by keeping its co-Ceo structure for way too long.
The aforementioned case can be described by the Contingency leadership theory which states that there is no solitary leadership style and that the temperament of those being led, the make-up of the leader and the group facing a task is different. Each situation is idiosyncratic and ideal leader led situation will be different. There are several models that were proposed by different people that supported the theory. For example: Fieders contingency model (1960s), Hersey & Blanchard situational theory (Dr Paul Hersey – 1970-80) and Vroom-Yetton-Jaggo leadership theory(1971).The theory that can best relate to the case is Hersey & Blanchard’s situational theory