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Analyse the importance of demonstrating responsible leadership during a process of change observed in any organisation you currently or previously employed.

Evidence provided must also assess the relevant issues relating to transformational leadership and put into context current perspectives and challenges in leadership with relevant example.

About the Company

Change management can be considered to be a relevant part of the organization and any firm which wants to attain long term success needs to ensure that it is successfully able to engage in a change procedure which will bring about better results for the overall welfare of the organization at large (Aladwani 2001). Moreover, change has various benefits as it helps the company transit from the old processes to the new procedures which would then assist the firm in competing against the different forces as present in the workplace and ensuring that it is able to be able to maintain its positioning throughout. The company which has been chosen for the purpose of the assignment is the Coca Cola which underwent a change in its offerings to maintain its market positioning. The main aim of the given report is to highlight the case of an organization which has successful been able to bring about a change in its operations and thereby been able to perform well. The role of leadership in this change will also be highlighted and in addition to it, the challenges faced with respect to the transformational leadership style.

The Coca cola is a carbonated drink company which was intended as a patent medicine invented in the late 19th century by John Pemberton and was then marketed by Asa Griggs Candler who helped the company to bring a dominant player in the soft drink market throughout the 1900s era. The drink has been named this way because it uses coca leaves and kola nuts. The manner in which the current drink is formed remains a trade secret. Over the years, although the drink has been considerably popular throughout but it needs to be noted that there had been a considerable backslash against the company stating that included harmful ingredients and furthermore, when it was faced by competition from Pepsi it planned to introduce the Coke which assisted it to compete with the firm ( 2018). However,when the coke was not welcomed by the audience, the original coke was sold using the name Coca Cola classic. This change has been highlighted in the report, along with the leader who helped in ensuring the change transition was agile and smooth.


                                                                                           Figure 1: The Coca Cola company figures

                                                                                               (Source: 2018).

The Change Which Took Place

When Asa Griggs Candler begin to market the product in the late 1800s they must have hardly figured that the company would be valued at more than $180 billion which is a considerable share of money at which a soft drink company conducts its operations. However, this was not easy for the firm and it begun to face considerable competition from its largest rival company Pepsi which had been targeting it (Raelin 2017). However, it began to re-evaluate its offerings and come up with a sweeter soda which was the New Coke, but when the public did not accept it they simply went back to the older offering and ensured that the specific mishap does not derail their path to success.  The leadership and management decided to pull in the New Coke and then Coca cola classic came into the view which aimed to ensure that Pepsi faced tough competition and that the firm is able to maintain its market dominance and that it is able to come off as a strong firm. Hence, according to Tourish (2014), it can be considered to be commendable that the company was able to accommodate the customer`s taste and change the direction accordingly when they had begun to realize that they had made a wrong move. According to Pugh (2016), however, this is not the only incident whereby the company has been able to successfully portray its ability to change as per the needs of the different customers. In the year 2016, the company began to undertake a marketing research with the help of which it was able to extend its product offerings to drinks like Evian, vitamin water and Dasani through which it got into the health drink sector and was able to ensure consistent incomes which has helped it to sell more than 500 brands in around 200 countries. Hence, it can be stated that Coca cola has been able to survive well in the given industry as it has been able to diversify its offering and has been successful in its efforts to become a leading firm in the market domain (Todnem By 2005).


                                                                             Figure 2: Principles of leading Change management

                                                                                                 (Source: Pugh 2016)

Coca cola has always been a very strong and visionary company whereby its vision comprises of the 6Ps. These stand for People, portfolio, partners, planet, profit and productivity. The company works upon a winning culture and keeps trying with respect to considerable efforts in order to ensure that it is able to achieve long term success and growth (Shapiro and Stefkovich 2016). The employees are allowed to make considerable decisions for the welfare of the firm and inspire moments of optimism. In the case of the classic coca cola it can be understood that the leadership style followed was a combination of transformational and democratic which allowed the organizational members to decide for the best of the firm (Northouse 2018). When the Coke was not accepted by the target audience then, the management made a quick decision to ensure that it is able to successfully turn around the decision and seek success with the new offering set. The different leaders in the firm have decided to follow a delegation style where it is easier for the different employees to take adequate decision making into consideration. Hence, it can be stated that the leadership has had a key role to play in the context of the firm and with respect to this, it has greatly assisted the firm in ensuring that the firm succeeds in its operations at large.

Role of Leadership During the Change

The leaders are burdened with a large number of expectations and pressure because it is the different employees look up to the leaders for clarity, connection, accountability amidst of the change. Hence, it can be stated that leadership has a key role to play in the domain of change management and the role which it plays has been discussed as follows:

  1. According to Lussier and Christopher (2015), leadership assists in clarifying the vision and communicating it effectively: The importance of leadership in change management allows the leader to communicate the change effectively in the realm of the organization and also ensures that the different individuals are easily able to accept the change which takes place in the firm at large. In this way, the organization is successfully able to ensure that the firm seeks to stay in pace with the thought process of the employees.
  2. Leadership seeks to stay connected with the employees: As stated earlier, the leadership assists the organization in staying connected with the employees and understanding their engagement in the entire procedure of change (Northouse 2018). This then makes it possible for the firm to ensure that the pace of the employees is matched with the pace of the firm and thereby ensuring overall transition.


                                                                                         Figure 3: The effective components of change

                                                                                                 (Source: Kuipers et al. 2014)

  1. Leadership helps in ensuring that the entire procedure is transparent: The change management procedure needs to be transparent one and this is the role of a leader to ensure the same so as to see to it that the trust of the employees is built over time (Wagner 2016). Once the leader is able to ensure this, it results in the overall success of the firm.
  2. Allow freedom and adaptability: The leader`s role also lies in ensuring that there exists freedom and adaptability among the members of the firm (Hayes 2018). This means that once the change is ensured and the transition process is being carried on, the organization would be required to help the employees in overcoming the different challenges and also ensure that they are able to contribute to the process of change effectively. Once this is done the firm will be easily able to attain an overall growth and this will ensure that the organization achieves its objectives easily (Shamir and Eilam-Shamir 2018).

Hence, from the given analysis, it can be understood that the role of a leader is very crucial to that of the firm and in order to ensure long term success and successful outcomes of the change, the organization needs to be headed by a leader who would assist the firm and thereby ensure that the outcomes are positive.

According to Kasurinen (2002), the transformational leadership can be stated to be a leadership style whereby the leader initiates the need for a change and creates a vision along with the execution of the plan. The execution needs to be done after the engagement of the different employees. During the process of transformational change, the organization needs to have the passion but there do exist several issues which may arise with respect to the overall goal achievement of the firm. Hence, with respect to this, it can be stated that although the transformational leader offers transformation, the individuals are greatly affected by it.


                                                                              Figure 4: The transformational leadership model

                                                                                    (Source: Fairhurst and Connaughton 2014).

  1. Issues relating to the followers

Doppelt (2017) states that it can be agreed that transformational leaders are charismatic individuals and are believed to be on a moral mission who believe in the benefits of change and the overall welfare of the firm. The selling of the vision never stops and very often there may exist a sense of manipulation with respect to the hidden agenda of the leader. Hence, with respect to this, the followers may not like to be manipulated and this may lead to a failure of the change process.

  1. Communication issues.

Importance of Leadership in the Change Procedure

The second issue may be the communication issue. According to Cummings, Bridgman, and Brown (2016), the leader is required to re-in force the vision of the company and empower the different people. However, the leader needs to see that the employees are not overburdened with the pressure and ensure all of them are treated equally. If this is not the case then it may lead to a loss on the side of the firm which may cause the fallout of the change management process and even the general operations of the firm.

Leadership is a difficult procedure. In the mid-1950s the procedure was comparatively considered to be very simple because there were no external influences who had an impact on the overall operations of the firm. Instead, there was a strong and profound relationship between the leader and the follower (Antonaki and Day 2017). However, at present this is not the case and there exists various gaps and barriers between the leader and the follower due to the presence of various external factors which exist in the business environment. Moreover, the challenges as faced by the different leaders have also increased. This is because the different types of conflicts as faced by them have increased, the public attention towards their style due to the emergence of the social media has increased and along with this, the options with respect to the various resources have also increased. Due to this, any leader functioning in an environmental context needs to see to it that they are successfully able to carry out their activities and engage in successful relationships (Carnall 2018). For instance, there are various companies as situated in UK like Tesco, Barclays, HSBC holdings and Vodafone which have been faced by various challenges in the recent few years but have converted the situation in their own favor by portraying excellent leadership skills.


Therefore, from the given analysis, it can be stated that the organization would be required to ensure that it is able to successfully engage in an effective leadership as it contributes towards ensuring that the organization is able to carry out the change adequately. Change management can be stated to be a common part of the organization and with respect to this, it becomes important for the leader to ensure that by using the transformational leadership style, the firm is able to ensure long term success. The given report is based on the case of Coca cola and the manner in which the company is able to transit throughout the barriers of time and remain a leading firm in the industry. The paper covered the importance of change and the change which took place in the company, which was then followed by the analysis of a leaders role in it and the importance of leadership in the organizational context. This was then followed by the challenges of the transformational leadership in the current context. Various examples have been used to elucidate upon the same.


Aladwani, A.M., 2001. Change management strategies for successful ERP implementation. Business Process management journal, 7(3), pp.266-275.

Antonakis, J and Day, D.eds. , 2017.The nature of leadership. Sage publications.

Carnall, C., 2018. Managing change. Routledge., 2018. Coca Cola global. [online]. Available at: (Accessed on: 01 Dec. 2018).

Cummings, S., Bridgman, T. and Brown, K.G., 2016. Unfreezing change as three steps: Rethinking Kurt Lewin’s legacy for change management. human relations, 69(1), pp.33-60.

Doppelt, B., 2017. Leading change toward sustainability: A change-management guide for business, government and civil society. Routledge.

Fairhurst, G, T., and S. L. Connaughton, 2014. "Leadership: A communicative perspective." Leadership 10, no. 1, 7-35.

Hayes, J., 2018. The theory and practice of change management.

Kasurinen, T., 2002. Exploring management accounting change: the case of balanced scorecard implementation. Management accounting research, 13(3), pp.323-343.

Kuipers, B.S., Higgs, M., Kickert, W., Tummers, L., Grandia, J. and Van der Voet, J., 2014. The management of change in public organizations: A literature review. Public administration, 92(1), pp.1-20.

Lussier, R N., and Christopher F. A. , 2015. Leadership: Theory, application, & skill development. Nelson Education.

Northouse, P. G., , 2018. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.

Pugh, L., 2016. Change management in information services. Routledge.

Raelin, J. A. ,2017. Leadership-as-practice: Theory and application—An editor’s reflection. Leadership, 13(2), 215-221.

Shamir, B., and Eilam-Shamir, G. ,2018. “What’s your story?” A life-stories approach to authentic leadership development. In Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir(pp. 51-76). Emerald Publishing Limited

Shapiro, J. P., and Stefkovich, J. A. ,2016. Ethical leadership and decision making in education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas. Routledge.

Todnem By, R., 2005. Organisational change management: A critical review. Journal of change management, 5(4), pp.369-380.

Tourish, D., 2014. "Leadership, more or less? A processual, communication perspective on the role of agency in leadership theory." Leadership 10, no. 1 ,79-98.

Wagner, W.E. ,2016. Leadership for a better world: Understanding the social change model of leadership development. John Wiley & Sons.

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