Bad Leaders : Richard Thoman
: Paul Allaire
Company: Xerox Corp.
The fall of Xerox market share can be blamed on many factors; for starters it could have just been the economy. Another reason that could explain the fall of Xerox could be that Xerox did not fund its R&D programs well enough to secure their future in sales. One other reason for their fall could be that Xerox depended on current products to do well indefinitely. All these factors contributed to the fall of Xerox, however Xerox management also played a role in the loss of 38 billion dollars in shareholders wealth in two years according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article (Businessweek 1). For starters both of the leaders at Xerox were in fault, Paul A. Allaire who had started at Xerox in the mid 1960s eventually moving up in command to CEO, in 1991. Allaire failures as a leader was not leaving the company in 1999 when a new CEO was hired G. Richard Thoman. Allaire never lost power in the company, because he only changed his title to Chairman, running the board of directors, and according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article “Allaire never left, breaking one of the cardinal rules of succession” (Business Week 1). This was a failure by Allaire because he broke the rule of consistency that Cropanzano talks about in the article The Management of Organizational Justice. The normal practice would have been for Allaire to leave the company, and Thoman to take his position as CEO. By Allaire staying in the company, it was unfair to Thoman who never really had a chance to succeed or have complete power of Xerox. This lack of Organizational Justice also lead to employees being confused to who was really in charge, leaving breaks in the communication process. However the fault can’t completely fall just on Allaire shoulders, Thoman was hired because he had experience as a leader, and he should have made sure that Allaire was leaving before taking the position. In Gary Latham article The motivational benefits of goal setting, under conditions for effectiveness, barriers must be removed in order to accomplish the objective, and if Allaire was in the way Thoman should have never accepted the position under those circumstances. Another management problem Xerox encountered was accuracy, another aspect of Cropanzano article about organizational justice. When Thoman took over in 1999 and started looking over the data about competitors he was surprised by the old data Xerox was using from 1994. The ex CEO Allaire, was basing company decision from the old data of 1994, which according to Businessweek article written by Bianco Xerox didn’t even have all the current competitors in the market. This was a definite failure by Allaire, because it gave the competition an advantage of being under the radar; by Allaire using inaccurate data his decisions as a leader were also inaccurate (Bianco 2001). Another management problem at Xerox was the morale. Richard Thoman believed that if Xerox reinvented themselves they would be better prepared and ready for the upcoming digital age which would have lead the company to future success. However Thoman and Xerox did not succeed and the reason they did not succeed was because the strategic plan Richard implemented was unsuccessful. Furthermore, when Thoman took over as CEO the whole organization was demoralized, so he then was let go and the organization and Richard Thoman was pronounced a failure. When Allaire was replaced by Thoman, he never had the full support from the board of directors or the employees to take over as CEO, and this led to Thoman being frustrated and eventually the whole organization was demoralized. Thoman felt as if he had no control of the organization according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article “Thoman contends that he never had the authority he needed to be an effective leader because Xerox' board, dominated by Allaire, denied him the crucial prerogative of assembling a full management...
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