Virgin Atlantic And Ryanair Case Study

Words: 2448
Pages: 10


Leadership & Organisations
6BUS1001 – 0901

Semester A (2012-13)

Case Study: ‘Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair’

Using relevant leadership, management and motivation theory, compare and contrast the leadership styles of Richard Branson and Michael O’Leary. Critically discuss the state of affairs in the two organisations that are created or impacted by their leadership styles and behavior.

Word Count: 1700 Your Name and Student number: Nathaniel Bryan 09199612 Date of submission: 3/11/2012

1 Introduction

Leadership and management style have proven to be important factors in the effectiveness and development of an
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Branson’s style is relationship orientated he encourages a good rapport with his followers. This focus on employee development has played to an advantage in business. By maintaining close relationships with employees he has built a positive team environment that assumes collective responsibility (smith 2012) this is evident in the Virgin Atlantic leadership development program (Virgin Atlantic, 2012.) Branson himself stands by this principle stating that one of the main factors to his business success is his charisma, engagement and enthusiasm which have ensured committed and spirited teams. This motivates employees to find meaning for their work (bass 1990.) In business context, this translates into an organization with clear direction and vision.

Studies have also examined a positive correlation between transformational leadership and innovative behavior (Mumford, Scott, & keller,) Based on (David Mclenlled )theory of acquired needs We could interpret this need to self-improve as a gateway to fresh thinking, producing innovative breakthrough ideas that when applied within business, encourages growth. We can see evidence of this were Richard Branson has imprinted his visionary attitude into his business model and staff. In an industry were most competitors were trying to cut cost Branson took a different approach encouraging innovation and delivering a ‘superior experience to