Merger Proposal Analysis
JFT Task 1
Western Governor's University
Merger Proposal Analysis With a decline in ticket sales among other things following the events of September 11, 2011, the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera had to make some important decisions to guarantee the preservation of the two entities. One of the most realistic options for the Symphony and the Opera, would be to merge and combine their assets. A proposition was made that the merger happen and be led under the direction of Anne Ewers. Following the announcement of the potential merger, mixed views from both sides need to come together for a decision to be made (Delong & Ager, 2005).
Based on comments made, Bill Bailey, the chairman of the opera, may persuade supporters of the merger to rethink their position. To accomplish his persuasion of merger supporters to decide not to support the merger, Bailey would likely use Vroom's Expectancy Theory.
Vroom's Expectancy Theory states that people "behave in ways that produce desired combinations of expected outcomes" (Kreitner & Kinicki 2013). In Bill Bailey's previous statements, he mentioned how the opera was financially stable without the help of the symphony. Also, that the opera could be flexible to manage expenses, where the symphony had fixed expenses that were not as easily manipulated. Using the expectancy theory, Bailey can demonstrate how if the opera continues to operate as it has in the past, it will continue to see the same outcome, meaning financial independence and stability. This theory can help Bailey because it plays on how the people want to see the continued success of the opera, but how the merger can take away from the opera's history of financial stability.
Bailey's comments also mention that the opera, with the merger, may lose it's identity and become a tier-one arts organization. Members and audiences that enjoy the tradition and the path that the opera has taken up to this point, will not welcome this type of change. Bailey can use the expectancy theory to state how the opera will not be the organization they have grown to love over the years, if it is forced to change it's identity with the upcoming merger.
Scott Parker, the chairman of the Utah Symphony organization has the difficult task to convince Mrs. Abravanel to support the merger. Mrs. Abravanel's late husband, Maurice, was the symphony's music director for 32 years, and after his death the Symphony Hall was renamed to honor him (Delong & Ager, 2005). Mrs. Abravanel continues to be heavily involved in the Symphony Guild and it would be important to have her support for the merger.
In order to motivate Mrs. Abravanel to support the merger, Scott Parker would use Alderfer's ERG Theory. This theory states that "three basic needs-- existence, relatedness, and growth--influence behavior" (Kreitner & Kinicki 2013). First of all, Parker could use the Symphony's need to exist as motivation. Her husband put many years into the organization that is now struggling, and without change may no longer exist. She may not see the struggle that the symphony is really facing, and knowing that this merger could mean whether or not the symphony simply exists may help persuade her. This need to exist then will bring out her need to relate. The symphony has been a part of her life for several decades at this point. She has built relationships and become apart of the organization. If the symphony seized to exist, Mrs. Abravenel will lose these relationships and everything she and her husband had built. Then finally, the growth need would be used to demonstrate the full potential that the symphony could become with the merger. It may not be the same symphony that her husband led, but his legacy will still be apart of where they came from and where they will go. Using the ERG Theory, Parker will be able to convince Mrs. Abravenel that the