DECISION-MAKING STYLES AND LEADERSHIP

Module 4 – Case
LEADERSHIP AND DECISION-MAKING STYLES
Case Assignment
Since 2013 there has been on-and-off talk of Sprint purchasing T-Mobile. (They are the third- and fourth-largest mobile phone carriers in the United States.) This move is led by Masayoshi Son, the chair of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, which owns Sprint. Mr. Son is a bold entrepreneur who is known for his penchant for risk taking and desire to be a global leader in the telecommunications industry. If the merger ever goes through it would result in a merger of the third and fourth largest mobile phone carriers in the United States.

Most recently, it appears that the merger will not go through. But the fact that talk of this merger has been rumored for quite a long time suggests it must have been a very difficult decision for Masayoshi Son. Such a large-scale merger brings great benefits in allowing a combined Sprint/T-Mobile to compete with industry leaders AT&T and Verizon. But mergers are always very risky and require a huge amount of debt to finance, not to mention overcoming numerous regulatory hurdles.

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For this assignment, thoroughly review the background materials on the Vroom-Yetton decision-making style model. This involves answering seven questions relating to a decision and using the results from the model to determine your decision-making style. Make sure you understand the model, including the seven questions and the path diagram that you follow in order to find the preferred leadership style. The Vroom-Yetton model allows you to choose between different levels of autocratic, consulting, or group decision-making styles.

After you have reviewed the required background materials including Vroom (1976) and Rigolosi (2005), do some research on Sprint’s decision whether or not to purchase T-Mobile and think about what kind of answers you would give to the seven questions involved in the Vroom-Yetton model. Here are some articles on the rumored Sprint/T-Mobile merger to get you started:

Gelles, D., & De La Merced, M. J. (2014, Jun 05). T-Mobile and Sprint zeroing in on merger. New York Times [ProQuest]

Yao, D. (2014). Moody’s: Sprint/T-Mobile merger faces negative free cash flow until at least 2018. SNL Kagan Media & Communications Report [ProQuest]

De La Merced, M. (2014, Aug 07). Sprint ends its attempt to purchase T-Mobile. International New York Times [ProQuest]

Once you have finished your research on the Vroom-Yetton model and on the merger, write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the following issues:

Imagine you are Masayoshi Son and have to decide on which decision-making style to use. Go through the seven questions from the Vroom-Yetton model and give your answers based on what you think the main issues are in the decision of whether or not to purchase T-Mobile. Explain your reasoning behind each answer
Go through the diagram in the Vroom-Yetton model and, based on your answers to the seven questions from Question 1, see what kind of decision-making style is recommended for Masayoshi Son. Use the diagram (Figure 6.2) on page 118 of Rigolosi (2005). Are you surprised by this answer? Is it the kind of decision-making style you would personally recommend based on your own research? Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision-making for more details.

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Conclude your paper with a discussion of your own opinion as to the usefulness of the Vroom-Yetton model for choosing your decision-making style. Would you recommend that corporate executives receive training in this model? Is there any ways in which you think the model could be improved? Explain your reasoning.
Assignment Expectations
Follow the assignment instructions closely and follow all steps listed in the instructions.
Stay focused on the precise assignment questions; don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
Make sure to cite readings from the background materials page. Rely primarily on the required background readings as your sources of information.

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