The current paper focuses on the roles of the leadership team, the strategic control, and decisions in sustaining the development process and the changes that are made at Rolls-Royce. The company under analysis designs and produces world-class engine technologies since the last century and continues dominating in the market. The paper aims at examining the leadership decisions of the last decade, the role of the leadership team, its characteristics, and recent strategic changes that define the future of Rolls-Royce and its leaders, involving more projects and customers.
Technology of Leadership
Company’s success is linked to the leadership team and its decisions. Companies depend on leaders to cope with various situations and design effective development strategies. A business environment is dynamic and requires leaders to react and make necessary changes in order for organizations to survive and avoid bankruptcy. An industry of engineering has a number of companies that gained a reputation of a leader over the years. Rolls-Royce is one of them with the experience of producing engine technologies. To become a leader, different decisions were made, and the consequences of them still have their influence. The paper concentrates on such decisions, analyses the role of leadership team, and recent changes that were made in response to industry trends on the example of Rolls-Royce.
The company under consideration defines itself as a leading engineering company, with a reputation for delivering excellence for customers on land, in the air and at sea Rolls-Royce offers products that are generally described as advanced and unique as the leadership team pays attention to operational performance. The company has a long history that results in the current processes and tasks that its leaders undertake. Different solutions were suggested that enabled Rolls-Royce to become a global company and known producer of engines and corporate jets. To understand the decision that company’s leaders make in the present, the past of Rolls-Royce has to be revealed and described.
Company’s History and Major Strategic Decisions
Presently, Rolls-Royce is the leading turbofan aircraft engine producer and, along with Pratt Whitney and General Electric, is one of the “Big Three companies”. Rolls-Royce manufactures technologies that are considered to be the leading engineering decisions. Yet, before Rolls-Royce achieved this level of global recognition, a series of actions led the company to bankruptcy in 1971 due to financial, technical, contractual, and other problems. The British government decided to help Rolls-Royce and controlled the company and all its operations until 1987 when Rolls-Royce was privatized. The government provided Rolls-Royce with the needed financial support and allowed the completion of a few projects, including the RB211 project. The relationship between the government and Rolls-Royce were productive, but the government had the ultimate control over financial questions and strategic planning. However, such policy did not interfere with the company’s management and leadership, even after Rolls-Royce was privatized. Moreover, Rolls-Royce has a set of traditions that define the company’s policy and its further development.
The current status of Rolls-Royce is a result of solutions that were suggested in the twentieth century. One of the main strategic decisions was the introduction of the concept of “Power by the Hour”. This concept is focused on customers and helps them save money by paying not for the final product but for the hours that were spent on manufacture. The notion “Power by the Hour” was established over 50 years ago but it is still a trademark of Rolls-Royce. Furthermore, when an engine is broken, the company replaces it. Other companies develop similar programs for customers, but Rolls-Royce keeps its leading position and authority. The trademark of Rolls-Royce still exists in the twenty-first century and even rapid changes in business do not affect it as the leadership team applies efforts to maintain the strategy.
Rolls-Royce leaders have a high level of cognitive and practical intelligence. It was achieved by a special policy that promotes long-term relationships between employees and the organization. For example, it was easier for an applicant to be hired by Rolls-Royce, if he had a relative working for the organization. There was a tendency according to which people stayed with Rolls-Royce for the whole working period. This particular direction of employment occurred on the shop floor and among the top managers. Almost every director worked for the company for more than twenty years. It should be noted that this strategy is revised at present and may be significantly changed.
The Characteristics of the Leadership
The leadership of Rolls-Royce is based on a system of interaction between the employees and the company. The leadership maintains its efficiency by influencing, motivating, and allowing others to contribute to the process and increase the effectiveness and success of the company. Workers are considered to be members of the organization. Thus, people devote themselves to the company’s cause. Such relationships were built over the years and the leaders of the company are considered to be a part of Rolls-Royce.
Moreover, Rolls-Royce appreciates its leaders, who are mostly engineers with outstanding abilities and incentives, able to exercise strategic control. The number of the company leaders is not res tricted to people in the executive circle. Thus, Rolls-Royce may be characterized as an organization that has a shared leadership.
At Rolls-Royce, people are engaged and ready to accept leadership responsibilities. It is the company’s aim to allow people realize their potential. The words of one of machine programmers at the Rolls-Royce support this idea: “I saw people around me, all front-line employees. They weren’t actually leading the company, but they were people you would listen to and follow. We didn’t have titles, but people had respect for what we did”. Any employee may be a leader under various circumstances. Leadership is not founded on formally assigned positions and anyone who has an interesting idea that is able to inspire others can be a leader. It should be noted that leadership may be applied to more than