Crimson Tide Review of Leadership Roles

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Crimson Tide Review
Retta Salerno
University of Phoenix
March 11, 2013

Crimson Tide Review
Leadership comprises of a leader and their followers, and their interactions, where the leader utilizes their influence on their followers. Clawson states, "Leadership is about managing energy, first in leaders and then in their followers" (Clawson, 2006). The influence that a leader has on their followers is power. A leader can express their power in various manners, in French and Raven’s (1959) Five Base Model of power, a characterization of power in leadership and management, defined in five bases and citied by Hinken and Schrieshiem, (Bass, 1990) as followed: * Expert power is having the capability to administer to other individuals facts, knowledge based information, or expertise. * Referent power is having the capability to administer to other individual’s feelings of personal acceptance or recognition. * Reward power is, having the capability to administer to another person’s desires or to remove or decrease things he/she does not desire. * Coercive power is, having the capability to administer to individual’s things he/she does not desire or to remove or decrease things he/she does desire. * Legitimate powers are, the ability to administer to another person’s feelings of obligation or responsibility. (pg. 232) This paper is an analysis of the leadership roles and the influence of power that the leading characters in the movie Crimson Tide (Scott, 1995) possess. The leading actors and their characters are Gene Hackman (Captain Frank Ramsey), Denzel Washington (Lieutenant Commander Ron Hunter), and George Dzunda (Chief of the Boat Cobb). In this movie analysis, we will analyze the leadership roles of each character and how they interact among each other and the other officers on the submarine, and the power that they have over them and each other. In addition in terms of leadership and compliance, we will discuss the role nuclear submarines play in present society, and what was the function it served in the film prior to the vital action, and after the vital action. The incident that took place on the nuclear submarine raised an issue involving Navel procedure that caused the board of the Navy distress. Discussion of the issue, the roots, and how it has run its course since then will be discussed. Movie Plot

Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman) was the Commander of the submarine, USS Alabama, equipped with missiles. Lieutenant Commander Ron Hunter (Denzel Washington) replaced the Executive Officer from the Alabama due to an attack of appendicitis. The Alabama, was assigned to intercept the rebel Russian troops who captured nuclear missiles of the former Soviet Union. While on the mission, the USS Alabama receive a preliminary launch order, however, the EAM radio contact was lost prior to a confirmation or abort order was received. EAMs are messages sent digitally from the Pentagon in the event of nuclear war, the messages are picked up by the submarines with a special antenna. This lost radio contact brought about the most infamous scene in the movie. Do to the fact that the required confirmation was incomplete, Captain Ramsey pushed forward and ordered for the launch of the missiles. For the ordered to be fully completed, the launch must be “concurred” with, and repeated by the Commander, and Executive Officer of the Boat. This was Hunter’s first position in the field and once again new to the Alabama. The entire crew was loyal to Ramsey who has been in command of the Alabama for numerous victorious missions. “When a new person comes into an organization or the work group, various means are used to teach the new person how we do things around here” (Schein, 1999). Ramsey used his transitional leadership methods to try and enforce his point of view of what should be correct. Now Hunter could have easily said, “I concur”, and went ahead with the missile launch. However, Hunter did not, he fostered the use of...
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