Alex Ferguson’s Leadership Style Case Study

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  • Topic: Manchester United F.C., Leadership, Alex Ferguson
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  • Published : December 6, 2012
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Alex Ferguson
Alex Ferguson’s leadership style Case study
Introduction
Alexander Chapman Ferguson, known as Alex Ferguson, was born in 1941, in Govan Glasgow Scotland. As a teenager he was working as a tool’s apprentice in his father shipyard then in his 19, he became a labor union activist and an active member of the “Labor Party”. As far as Ferguson’s “the football player” career is concerned, actually, he did not achieve a successful career. In fact, as a player Ferguson started with a small local football team the “Queens Park and St Johnston” club. Afterward, he got the chance to join the “Glasgow Ranger” club, yet this union did not last since he resigned after being responsible for the defeat of his team against its fierce rival the “Glasgow Celtic” club. So determined, Alex Ferguson joined the “East Stirling” football club but this time as a manager rather than as a player. His first management period lasted for three seasons and then was recruited by the Scottish football team “Aberdeen”. With limited resources, Ferguson achieved the unthinkable, he won with his club the “European Winners’ Cup” during the 1982-3 season. This achievement with “Aberdeen” was a milestone in his career and made him “THE” coach that many big names in the European football scene like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal, and Tottenham, wanted to engage him. Ultimately, Ferguson chose to join Manchester United (MU). During his reign, Manchester United advanced from an ordinary local team to a top-class national team. Together they won all the British football trophies: nine Premiership League titles, five FA cups, two League cups, and seven Community Shield cups (Antony Gumi). Furthermore, Alex was successful at the European level as well, he won a lot contests: the UEFA Champions League Cup, the Winner’s Cup, the Intercontinental Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup. On the 19 December, 2010, Sir Alex Ferguson became Manchester United's longest manager in the history of the club when he surpassed Sir Matt Busby's record of 24 years one month and 14 days in charge of the club (Mark Ogden, 2010). Indeed, Ferguson was so efficacious in what he has been doing that the BBC quoted him as showing no intention of retiring: “... why should I give up? I'm going to continue doing it and I don't know how long I'll go on for, but I'm really enjoying it” (Alex Ferguson). Defining leadership

Barrow (1977) defined leadership as “the behavioral process of influencing individuals and groups towards set goals” (p. 232). This definition evokes many key leadership components such as behavioural change, team relationship, goal and vision. Indeed a successful leader should be a target-oriented person and should have a vision as well. Moreover, he should build a strong relationship with his teammates in order to provoke a behavioural change and reach the set target. In addition, leaders have to make sure that their leadership strategy is a two-way process in the sense that not only the organization’s goals have to be achieved but also the teams’ needs have to be met. In fact, according to Weinberg and Gould (2003), leaders typically have two functions: the first one is to ensure that the demands of the organization are effectively satisfied by the group and this latter is meeting the organization targets and the second one is to ensure that the needs of the group members are satisfied. Leadership, also, has been defined as “the art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically toward the achievement of group goals” (Weihrich and Koontz, 2005). This latter definition induces the notion of influence that can be achieved through different actions for instance through manipulation, through coercion or through persuasion. In addition, in order for the leadership to be successful it requires the respect of the underlying hierarchy between the influencer and the follower (Lee Crust and Ian Lawrence, 2006). * I want you to look at the...
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