Rhonda Clark: Taking Charge At The Smith Foundation
Table of Contents
Over 40 years ago, Charlie Smith, an industrialist and philanthropist, founded the Smith Foundation with a multimillion dollar endowment. The Smith foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fund public awareness campaigns and research programs about eye care. Unfortunately, in recent years, the Smith Foundation’s endowment has been slowly deteriorating due to the lack of significant funding awards. The organization’s endowment problems are a result of a disjointed board of executives; the 13-member board has been operating at only 70 percent for the past two years. Moreover, in the last five years, several board members have begun to abandon many of their fiduciary responsibilities. Additionally, in the past few months, this trend among the executives has led to several board meetings to be canceled due to the lack of quorum. Evidently, the Smith Foundation has lost its sense of direction for distinct reasons: the lack of effort and focus given by the board of executives, and the organization’s ability to maintain a CEO on payroll (the last five CEOs have been forced to resign). Despite the Smith Foundation’s current state, Dr. Rhonda Clark cautiously approaches her newly acquired title of CEO with a high degree of optimism. Ultimately, Dr. Rhonda Clark must understand that a surmountable amount of changes must occur throughout the organization if she intends to turn things around for the Smith Foundation. Analysis
There are five different bases of power that an individual can possess within an organization. The first being known as referent power, which is a person’s likeability among others. The second is known as legitimate power, which derives solely from an individual’s job title’s authority. The third is referred as expert power, which is a person’s knowledge and skills reward power. The fourth type is coercive power, which is a person’s ability to apply punishment when needed. Lastly, the fifth type of source is known as reward power, which is having the ability to control the allocation of rewards/gifts others receive to. Figure 1 illustrates the five bases of power within organizations. Figure 1: Power bases within organizations
These bases of powers indeed exist within an organization, and can be actually be categorized as either formal or informal power. Legitimate, reward, and coercive are considered to be formal types of power because the individual’s position grants them any of the three powers. Whereas, expert and referent power are considered to be informal types of power because the individual is only granted these powers through the respect of others within the organization. In order for an individual to be effective, they must have both forms of power in their possession. Thus, Dr. Rhonda Clark must have several bases of power that serve both types. In fact, Dr. Rhonda Clark has expert power, to an extent, due to the fact that she was chosen as the Smith Foundation’s new CEO. Dr. Clark’s expert power derives from her past managerial experiences, professional experiences, and academic credentials. Dr. Clark also holds a PhD in political science and policy analysis, has managerial experiences in the nonprofit and public sectors, and is a well-diversified director. However, her new surroundings and colleagues prevent her from exercising this power that would allow her to take full charge of the organization. Dr. Clark has other bases of powers within the Smith Foundation that she can exercise. For instance, Dr. Clark has legitimate power as the new CEO because the title grants her power over her subordinates in the organization. However, she lacks informal power to motivate others within the Smith Foundation to get her goals across the board. Dr. Clark’s lack of informal...
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