Three theories stand out in the case of W.L. Gore & Associates. Administrative management theory, systems theory, and human relations theory. According to Shipper and Manz (1999), the company became highly successful due to its organizational structure and unconventional management system. Gore believed in creating a strategic leadership plan and a perfect organizational structure. The company had a sponsorship program that would assist people who came into the company as new members to continue with the company’s vision. Each associate was assigned a sponsor who would look into the associate’s progress, goals, and even problems. The support the sponsors gave created good relations with all people within the company. The fact that sponsors followed every associate, which was a long-term exercise, saw the company achieve its goals. There is no doubt that this was a good followership strategy.
Gore’s way of followership was unique. As Reference for Business (2021) elucidates, he did not believe in a hierarchy of authority but rather allowed associates to participate in decision-making as long as it was fair and motivated others. He created a policy where there were no titles or bosses, which made the associates, have a sense of belonging and worked hard to steer the company to success. One would categorize this kind of system as employees-centered as Gore made them feel valued thus providing the best services Also, the fact that they were paid according to their contribution makes it an employee-centered structure. In Gore’s lattice structure, there are no bosses. The type of power exhibited by the sponsors is charismatic power. These sponsors did not have authority over associates but rather persuaded and sympathized with them. Each associate has a sponsor who acts as a coach to help him or her with his or her work-life. In addition, they help one another in dealing with problems in their day-to-day life.
Reference for business. (2021). History of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. retrieved 24th April 2021 from, https://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/14/W-L-Gore-Associates-Inc.html
Shipper, F. M. & Manz, C. C. (1999). Classic case 6. W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. Retrieved 24th April 2021 from, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260943692_CLASSIC_CASE_6_W_L_GORE_ASSOCIATES_INC