School of Business
Oprah’s Empire and Organizational Theory, Design and Change
Tara Batess, Joe Mowze, Alexandria Hearin & Jermaine Mills Dr. Bells
April 23, 2012
The Oprah Case was a brief view into the life of Oprah Winfrey and the empire she built. Born in Mississippi, Oprah had a gift for public speaking. She delved into journalism and landed her own day time TV show in Chicago. The broadcast television industry proved to be a wonderful source of revenue for Winfrey and here her empire began. Oprah then went into acting and found interest in producing. She founded Harpo, Inc. and began acquiring rights to film books. The Oprah Winfrey Show became a hit success propelling Oprah forward to be one of the world’s most influential people. She launched a website, oprah.com; a magazine, O, The Magazine; and began her own network, OWN. She organized several charitable organizations around the world and is recognized as the most generous celebrity as it relates to giving away her own money. There is a component in Emotional Intelligence by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves’ book that emphasizes the need for Self Awareness. With much of Oprah Winfrey’s success being attributed to not compromising her beliefs for society, Oprah has to continuously guard against being mislead or possibly used by others. Although her intentions may be good, Oprah Winfrey’s tendency to be hard on herself if she neglects to reach success can cloud her talent to recognize her own efforts. There are three key indicators of Self-Awareness that Oprah Winfrey utilizes in order to maintain her public image and reputation. First, Oprah exudes self-confidence in order to effectively market anything that she endorses or supports. Because of this keen awareness of her self-worth, throughout any appearance, Oprah presents her viewers with a self-assurance which enables her to voice views that her followers can assess and take into consideration. Over the years, Oprah has become a beacon for making sound decisions despite the uncertainties and pressures of the media. Next, Oprah is aware of her strengths and limits, therefore, she is able to give an accurate self-assessment and accept candid feedback. Early on in her career she was able to learn that she was not able to operate as owner, president, and CEO. Knowing this, Oprah was able to profit more in the grand scheme of things because her limit was recognized and valued. As Tim Bennett acted as the President of Oprah’s Harpo Productions, he was able to give Oprah a new perspective and aid in her self-development with his expertise. Lastly, Oprah has a self-deprecating sense of humor that shows she doesn’t take herself too seriously. This is important in the candid feedback she receives from viewers, bloggers, and other forms of news. As a person in the media, Oprah is self-aware and realizes the need to trust yourself and not let negative energy hold you back from operating at your full potential. As a steward of her brand, it’s safe to say that Oprah Winfrey pays close attention to the quality of her message and products. Oprah Winfrey has a great gift of compassion, tenderness, and kindness. For balance, Oprah Winfrey promotes mature self-obedience, self-management, and personal responsibility. In doing this, Oprah utilized four core competencies to build her personal brand. First, she discovered what she wanted her brand to convey and laid out a development plan for herself, which included where she was presently and future goals. Oprah Winfrey is most successful because she was able to merge her passion of journalism with expertise. Next, Oprah created her brand by positioning herself as extraordinary in her niche of talk show hosting. The point of this is to tell her audience what she values and the benefits of watching her show. Besides tangible incentives, Oprah gives advice and offers community awareness through her many projects. Then, Oprah uses...
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