ESMT Case Study

Do you really think we are so stupid? A letter to the CEO of Deutsche Telekom (A)

ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-409-0100-1
2013 ecch Case Writing Award Human resource management/organizational behavior, 2011 ecch Case Writing Award Best-selling Case
Subject(s): Human resources management/organizational behavior
Keyword(s): Adaptive change, role of leadership, communication of change, resistance to change, leadership and public relatiuoins, change leadership

This three-part case-study illustrates key concepts and lessons about leading adaptive change in organizations in the context of turning around Deutsche Telekom, one of the world's largest telecommunication companies. The case portrays some of the efforts undertaken by Deutsche Telekom under the leadership of René Obermann after his ascent to the CEO position in that organization. The case illustrates the challenges associated with resistance to adaptive change, management of expectations of organizational members from their leaders, and the psychological challenges of leading necessary, but unpopular, change efforts under the conditions of pressure from organizational stakeholders, who consciously or unconsciously attempt to divert the change-oriented leader from pushing the organization forward. The case serves as fruitful ground for exploration of the theory of adaptive change as put forward by Heifetz & Linsky (2002), Heifetz, Grashow, & Linsky (2009a, 2009b), discussion of the dangers of leading (Heifetz & Linsky, 2002), and psychological challenges of leading (Kets de Vries, Korotov, & Florent-Treacy, 2007).

Teaching note Yes
Also available in German, Russian, Spanish
Length 10p
Industry Telecommunications
Geographical setting Germany
Size Large
Setting period 2007–2008
Related Do you really think we are so stupid? A letter to the CEO of Deutsche Telekom (B)
Do you really think we are so stupid? A letter to the CEO of Deutsche Telekom (C)
buy nowbuy nowbuy now