The Chairman of Direct Telecommunications PLC (DT), David Williams, had come under increasing pressure from the shareholders because of the company’s poor performance. DT has gone from being one of the most successful telecommunications companies of the 1980s and 1990s when the company was asset rich, to a position where it has accumulated an enormous debt. Much of the responsibility for this dreadful decline in the fortunes of DT has been attributed to David Williams. Business analysts of the telecommunications industry have suggested a number of reasons why the company’s performance has deteriorated. They include: DT did not introduce new technology quickly enough and did not adapt to the changes in the consumer telecommunications market; for example, the rapid changes that have occurred in the mobile phone industry. The competition in the telecommunications sector has dramatically increased. This reduced DT’s market share and weakened its competitive position. The competition responded faster to the changes in the market. DT is still organized in a traditional hierarchical structure, as it has always been. Decision-making is still made by committees, which take far too long to make the necessary decisions in a rapidly changing environment. DT’s competitors have far more responsive organization Structures, which allow decisions to be made within days. Analysts also pointed out that David Williams does not have the leadership skills that a modern company requires. They said he is more of a traditional manager, who is more concerned with maintaining and controlling DT. These skills, they argue, are more suited to organizations of the past, which didn’t need to respond quickly to the changes in the market place. REQUIRED: Provide David Williams with the advice he requires on how to change DT and enable it to respond to the increased competition. The report should address the following questions. (a) Explain why David Williams should become much more of a leader as opposed to just being a manager. (b) What are the characteristics of a successful leader? (c) Discuss the disadvantages of a hierarchical organization structure. (d) Outline the benefits of a more responsive organization structure and suggest how DT can achieve it.

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The Chairman of Direct Telecommunications PLC (DT), David Williams, had come under increasing pressure from the shareholders because of the company’s poor performance. DT has gone from being one of the most successful telecommunications companies of the 1980s and 1990s when the company was asset rich, to a position where it has accumulated an enormous debt. Much of the responsibility for this dreadful decline in the fortunes of DT has been attributed to David Williams. Business analysts of the telecommunications industry have suggested a number of reasons why the company’s performance has deteriorated. They include: DT did not introduce new technology quickly enough and did not adapt to the changes in the consumer telecommunications market; for example, the rapid changes that have occurred in the mobile phone industry. The competition in the telecommunications sector has dramatically increased. This reduced DT’s market share and weakened its competitive position. The competition responded faster to the changes in the market. DT is still organized in a traditional hierarchical structure, as it has always been. Decision-making is still made by committees, which take far too long to make the necessary decisions in a rapidly changing environment. DT’s competitors have far more responsive organization Structures, which allow decisions to be made within days. Analysts also pointed out that David Williams does not have the leadership skills that a modern company requires. They said he is more of a traditional manager, who is more concerned with maintaining and controlling DT. These skills, they argue, are more suited to organizations of the past, which didn’t need to respond quickly to the changes in the market place. REQUIRED: Provide David Williams with the advice he requires on how to change DT and enable it to respond to the increased competition. The report should address the following questions. (a) Explain why David Williams should become much more of a leader as opposed to just being a manager. (b) What are the characteristics of a successful leader? (c) Discuss the disadvantages of a hierarchical organization structure. (d) Outline the benefits of a more responsive organization structure and suggest how DT can achieve it.

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