Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was incorporated in the year 1997. The organization is involved in a variety of activities that aim at improving the lives of women and their families in the United States and the rest of the world. The company offers publishing, broadcasting and merchandising services to its customers.
The products and services that are offered by the company reflect the styles and interest of Martha Stewart (Anon, 2004). Due to the high quality of goods and services offered by the company, it realised an early success. The company developed a relatively equal reputation as Calvin Klein. This success could be attributed to the good leadership qualities that were being exhibited.
However, the success did not last for long as the performance of the company in the market world started to decline after its CEO, Martha Stewart was accused and convicted of inside trading and conspiracy. Due to this fact, the leadership of the company had to be adjusted to adapt to the change that the company was facing. This report will therefore explore on the forms of leadership that were being practiced in the company before and after the crisis and the impacts, they had on the success of the company.
Leadership Practices and Solutions
MSO had a concrete leadership during its inception and the years that followed. The company had a team of consultants and advisors all of who were lawyers. These included individuals such as Allen Grubman, Sharon Patrick and Charlotte Beers (Anon, 2004).
With their experience coupled with their negotiation capabilities, they were able to make many deals that led to the growth of the company. Through their efforts, they were able to negotiate a deal with Time, Inc. to join MSO. The publicity that Time, Inc. had was essential for the early success of MSO.
During this time, Martha Stewart was the director and CEO of MSO. This was also crucial as she had played an important role in the establishment, growth and development of the company. Having Martha as the leader of the company was essential since she knew what was best for the company. She came up with strategies and ideas that made that increased the sales of the company. The publicity of her name was also critical in the marketing of the brand. Many people wanted to be associated with the brand.
As a result of the efficiency of leadership that was being experienced during this period, the company grew at a fast rate. In addition, the employees were motivated to work for the company. They were proud to be associated with the brand. Due to this fact, they worked hard to ensure that the quality of their goods and services is maintained at a high level. They also enjoyed a conducive working environment that was free of crisis and criticism.
However, after Martha was accused and convicted, the leadership of the company changed. Martha Stewart could no longer be the CEO and director of the company. Workers therefore had to work without their trusted leader and mentor. This reduced their motivation and morale.
The individuals who were assigned these positions did not have the experience or expertise to run the organization (MSNBC, 2004). This led to poor leadership being exercised in the firm. The internal and external environment was hostile to the company. As a result, the overall performance of the company declined. It should however be noted that Martha`s reputation and the quality of MSO products played a critical role in the early success of the company.
This trend has been similar to many companies that have been facing crisis. In the early 1990`s, the Continental Airlines was facing a lot of crisis as a result, its revenue had been declining at an alarming rate (Wejman, 2000).
At one moment, the company was almost declared bankrupt. To overcome this problem, the company adopted a new leadership model that improved the organization behaviour and culture of the firm. The company also integrated Information Technology in its operations. The revenue of the company increased as a result. the same case hit Virgin Atlantic in the mid 1990`s.
In addition, it was speculated that the founder and CEO of the company, Richard Branson was suffering from HIV (Wejman, 2000). This gave the company a bad reputation. However, the company through its leaders maintained a positive relationship among its employees and all its stakeholders. This led to the rise in revenue that the company is experiencing at the present moment.
To improve the performance of MSO following the crisis that it is facing, major modifications need to be done on the leadership and management of the company. This can be achieved by modifying its organization structure, culture and business incentives. This will ensure that there is effective communication and understanding among employees. In addition, the employees should be rained to work under pressure and criticism. This will increase their chances of being successful during these hard times.
It is evident that the leadership style of MSO has changed as a result of the crisis that the company is currently facing. This is a common occurrence in the normal running and operation of an organization. To redeem itself, MSO needs to modify its leadership, organization culture and structure.
Anon,A. (2004). Martha Stewart Omnimedia’s Folio. The Magazine for Magazine Management, 33 (20), 17-21
MSNBC. (2004). Martha Stewart Vows to Appeal a Conviction. MSNBC. Retrieved on 16th August 2011 from http://sysc.msnbc.msn.com/id/4478872/ns/business-corporate_scandals/
Wejman, B. (2000). Continental Airlines: Outsourcing IT to Support Business Transformation. International Journal of Communication, 2 (1), 19-25.