Organizational Management RJFT2
A1. The Utah Symphony was recognized as a Group II orchestra. Group I and Group II are distinguished by the endowment amount and level of annual expenditures. For the year of 2001-2002, the average endowment for Group I orchestras was around $76 million and $8.8 million for Group II orchestras. The Utah Symphony came in just shy of $12.2 million in 2000-2001 and was projected to be upwards of $13.7 million for 2001-2002. That being said, the Utah Symphony was considered to be at the top end of Group II symphony orchestras in the United States (Ager & Delong, 2005). However, even with these strengths within the symphony, prior to the proposed merger of the two organizations, the Utah Symphony’s financial state was declining. There were several factors due to the weak financial state. The musicians were part of a union, which negotiated a contract requiring high salaries, benefits and annual pay increases, which would cause the organizations expenses to increase. So, while revenue was projected to increase, this was offset by the increase in expenses. The cash balance was $116,308 in fiscal year 2000-2001 and projected at $2,042 for the following year, yet another financial weakness. In order to ensure a successful start of the merger, Anne would need to would need to come up with a plan. She could start by addressing the musician’s salaries. By referring to the board, as well as union leaders, Anne can learn about the requests specifications of the last negotiation. When presenting a new contract, she can influence the musicians to either take a lower wage or not to take a pay increase by showing them the income statement and explaining that the life of the organization is dependent on cutting costs and increasing revenue. Through this, she can show how the organization will not be able to operate at a surplus if expenses continue to increase, offsetting the revenue earned. Eliminating pay raises could be presented as a temporary fix, or worst case scenario (assuming the organization would survive on its own without the merger and the musicians would be able to keep their jobs), wages could be decreased. Through this approach, she can show them that the success of the symphony and them keeping their jobs are dependent upon each other, but changes need to be made. In response to the increasing expenses offsetting the revenues, Anne could research their fundraising opportunities to determine what it is they do well and what could be improved. She can use fundraising ideas that work for her current organization as well as from the past. As there are financial strengths and weaknesses of the Utah Symphony, that applies to leadership as well. The organizations greatest strength in leadership is with Lockhart. Lockhart is known as one of the top rated conductors and his relationship with the musicians is very healthy. They look to him to support the group when decisions are being made. While this is strong, the board also appreciates and respects the leader, not wanting to compromise the relationship they have with him. Strength about this group is that Scott Parker, chairman of the board, realizes the difficulties the group is facing and cares enough to do something about it. While the symphony has great leaders, there are also some weaknesses involved. It’s possible that Lockhart’s focus is geared too much on the musicians and not enough on the survival of the organization. Parker is scheduled to move to New York and will be replaced by Peterson mid-merger. This could cause some confusion or instability due to lack of initial involvement on Peterson’s part. Another weakness is that there is no CEO. This organization needs a well defined leader to succeed. Anne will obviously have some leadership obstacles to overcome to ensure the successful start of the merger. Anne will need to convince Lockhart that while it is important to have the relationships...
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