Four Framework Method of Richard Branson


Leadership was once about hard skills such as planning, finance and business examination. When command line and control ruled the corporate world, the leaders were heroic rationalists who shifted people around like pawns and fought like stags. If they spoke, the company employees jumped. The complete career system in some organizations is based on using hard practical skills to progress. But when executives reach the very best of the business, numerous skills are essential.

Corporate leaders could find that although they can do the financial research and the tactical planning, they can be poor at communicating ideas to employees or fellow workers, or have little understanding into how to encourage people. The present day CEO requires a range of skills.

Some suggest that folks expect an excessive amount of leaders. Indeed, "renaissance" women and men are rare. Management in a modern organization is highly complex which is increasingly difficult. It is sometimes impossible for finding all the required traits in a single person. Being among the most important skills is the capability to capture audiences.

Richard Branson, the funder of Virgin Group and Virgin Atlantic Airline could be one of best innovator in the industry.


According to Virgin group website, Richard Branson was created in July 18, 1950 in Surrey, England. He is the son of an lawyer and an air travel stewardess. He was informed at the exclusive Stowe School, but didn't excel, possibly anticipated to his nearsightedness and dyslexia. In his teenagers he developed a national magazine, Student at age Sixteen. At seventeen he started out a student advisory service.

After leaving institution, Branson inserted the music industry. Considering that he could sell records cheaper than the existing average, he started out a mail-order catalogue with friends. It had been a success, plus they opened a record discount shop. They known as the business Virgin, since it was their first endeavor.

Virgin Airlines is one of Branson's main businesses. Shaped in 1984, it is part held by Singapore Airlines, which is the second most significant British long haul international air travel, and has triumphed in many awards. During the 1990s the fleet and the air route network broadened and a Premium Overall economy service was released. In 2003 Virgin Atlantic launched the innovative Upper Class Collection with a set bed and chair, and in 2006 the Virgin Clubhouse opened up at Heathrow with a spa, brasserie, cocktail pub, hair salon and video games room. Branson is also popular for his personal adventures by "Virgin Atlantic Flyer".

In 2010, and significantly less than 40 years after the original conception of the Branson Virgin businesses, Branson boasted over 200 Virgin Megastores worldwide. All advised, Branson applied 24, 000 employees in 150 companies, with revenues totaling around five billion us dollars each year from the entire Virgin Group like the music stores and flight. The Virgin empire was is the most significant privately possessed business in England (Virgin Atlantic Airways, 2010).

Bolman and Deal's Four Framework Approach to Richard Branson

Leadership models can also help us to comprehend a leader's organizational affect. Bolman and Offer, in Four Platform Approach, claim that leaders screen behaviors in one of four frameworks: Structural, People Source, Political, or Symbolic. Each requires a specific organizational setting to be successful.

The Structural Framework

From the rational perspective, organizations are devices designed to achieve given goals. Organizations are "purposeful" in the sense that the activities and relationships of individuals are centrally coordinated to accomplish common objectives; behaviors in organizations are rational in the sense that jobs and role relationships are prescribed individually of the personal traits of the individuals in the framework (Richard, 1992). Within the rational site, organizations are driven by strategies, and the role of management is to align strategies and composition with the exterior environment.

Strategy development includes two varieties of solutions mainly. The first one is prescriptive approach which is the organization defined the target and/or the key elements before brainstorm the strategy; vice versa, a different one is have no clear aim and/or elements, all the strategy will be expanding during the process, which call emergent methodology. Finally, what folks and task performed base on above methods that will generate the proper change by formal or casual organizational composition from the managers, because of environment, business relationship, technology, people, life pattern, political electricity, etc (Tichy, 1983). The need for strategic change is that may occur substantial disruption, but this practice is also useful to analysis the precise causes for planning the best course on Branson's management change.

Branson's Commercial Level Strategy

Diversification: The primary business of Virgin Group is travel, but since early on 1990, it includes begun to require in a great many other different businesses, such businesses are no directly or substantial relationships between each other. Such businesses include mass media, entertainment, beverage, financing, weight industries and even more, all these small company systems (SBUs) enriched the Virgin's portfolio.

Brand Extension: Branson built its red brand to stand for value for money, quality, fun, advancement, success and trust. This idea is developed and applied on its complete selection of businesses.

Joint-Venture: Within the journey service, each airline need to get the agreement for access pathways by during with local governments, this process is very complicated and consume a lot of resources in terms of human, time and money. Joint-venture is the method that can be easy to understand this authorization, also could be easy to meet up with the economic of scale to lessen cost, and show or lower the chance.

Branson's SBUs Level Strategy

Differentiation: Branson supplies the offer which other companies no. The very common example is, Virgin Atlantic's souvenirs are always different and united. Another one example is Virgin Atlantic continues its basic safety record is zero accident, to boost the assurance to its travellers, or customers though its air ticket is expensive then others in generally.

The Human Tool Framework

Although people are intentionally logical, not all human being behavior is the consequence of rationality. People do not leave their thoughts and thoughts at home when they come to work in the morning, and noneconomic objectives are pursued alongside economic targets (Powell, 1999). In the human site, the central issue is how to incorporate real human needs with organizational rationality.

Virgin Group considers individuals as quite assets, so it gives attention on individuals' motivation, culture and even the average person desires to take care of and maintain individuals work well and comfortable. Branson also believes staff first, then customers and shareholders, therefore the chairperson, staff, customers and shareholders could be looked at as the key stakeholders.

Chairperson & Shareholders:

Branson is really as a innovator in Virgin which has used the organization brand name across its entire product, the whole Virgin Group is affected by him, and he's the greater solitary advantage in the group (Ensor & Drummond, 2001). In the mean time, Branson is one of the shareholder of Virgin Group companies, so as same as other shareholder, his principles will be added in to the group and will be implemented in jogging the business. Branson's ideals are innocence, creativity, quality, fun and irreverence of specialist, most of such prices could be found in his choices of new endeavors.


The shareholders mainly focus on the earnings and the come back of investment (ROI). This matter makes the issue between trader and customers, because customers want better services that will improve the cost and decrease the maximization level of the profit


The skills, knowledge and ideas of the staff are important to the business, Branson also understand this point so that he needs his best people will remain in his company for "venturing" (Give, 2003).

Example: Julie Bower, Virgin Atlantic Job Manager, reaction to source different customer relations management (CRM) software, then experienced partly personalized system with Virgin Atlantic's own data. Finally, Saratoga System has been chosen as the company of CRM system (Thomson Firm Company, 2005). This example shows the valuable staff will affect the strategic development.


The best products or services are always seeking by customer, in order words, firms must provide best service or product for preserving current customers and discovering new customers. Companies that make it through profitably in a competitive environment must be providing affordability (Johnson et al, 2005). Therefore, customers also affect the strategies of the business.

Our first-time with Virgin Atlantic, and out previous! Chaotic queue at LHR needed three hours to attain check in office. The cabin crews were arrogant and even more interested in putting on more constitute than serving individuals. Virgin depends on their reputation from the eighties, but they have lost it big style. Want to visit and enjoy the knowledge - avoid Virgin at all costs (Skytrax, 2008).

This example not only talks about how customers effect the strategy development, also explains to provide the certain products to customer can reduce the probability of finical damage.

The Political Framework

From the politics perspective, organizations are coalitions of diverse individuals and communities with enduring dissimilarities in principles and preferences. These are governed not by a single middle, as is assumed in the rational perspective, but by the dominant coalition of interest groups. As a result, organizations often operate with unresolved issues in goals (March & Shapiro, 1992). From the human domain perspective, malfunctions come up from structural misalignment or from personal deficiency; while from the political perspective, divergent pursuits and learning resource scarcity inevitably convert organizations politics.


The core business of Virgin Group is transportation service, and this business is highly governed by the government. In the result, government coverage is very import to the Branson and company as well, like insurance plan on safety, path, franchise etc. These factors are about the change in authorities or government insurance plan. The airline industry in UK has been privatized already, this action is initiated by UK Government. Branson got the opportunity to run the air travel services out of this political change to be always a franchisee. Branson moved into the markets or industries that contain large, well established competitors, for illustration, David is one of is own favorite functions who against Goliaths, it is the example that the organization against a major business. Now, the flight industry is run by two parts, Virgin Atlantic and English airways, provide journey and flight services respectively. Additionally, English Airways is the primary rival for Virgin Atlantic that leaded Virgin Atlantic always played the underdog role in contending with British Airways. Though Virgin Atlantic and English Airways have been role as underdog and bully respectively, in 1992, Virgin Atlantic had been success to promise one and about half million us dollars from United kingdom Airways (Aker, 2005 & Offer, 2003).

The Symbolic Framework

Symbolism plays a critical role in real human experience. Within the rational domain, the idea of life is choice. However, organizational life is only partly concerned with making decisions (March & Shapiro 1992). Decision making is often an industry for symbolic actions. Many situations and processes tend to be more important for what is indicated than for what is produced (Bolman & Package, 2008). The market leaders use symbols to fully capture attention; they try to frame experience by giving plausible interpretations of experiences; they discover and converse a eye-sight.


Branson comprehends the new things could harm the new customers and maintain the existing customers, but its competition also understand why simple theory. Therefore Virgin Atlantic predicated on the existed offers with new concepts or deals as a fresh products or services to find the competitive advantage in the industry.

These factors are about the use of new inventors or ideas. The technology in air applies to the development of safe airplane, or reliable engine unit. Virgin Atlantic is the pioneer in this area, Branson introduced the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 machines to power its new Airbus fleet of 10 A330-300s has brought on a big swap from polution to green eco-friendly travel on the way. The Trent 700 is the first engine unit in the highly successful Trent family. The 72, 000lb thrust engine motor has lower maintenance costs, lower weight and better performance retention. With the lowest lifecycle fuel lose, most affordable cumulative emissions and lowest noise levels the Trent 700 gets the most affordable environmental impact of any engine motor on the A330 (TravelDailyNews, 2009). Branson reduces enough time taken for long distance travel and efficiency in assisting to customers.

Except the improvement on speed, Branson also increased variety of channels for passenger to buy tickets by web and machine. The program was designed to link customer details, air travel information and limo service details mutually and Virgin Atlantic personnel with accurate information and tools to proficiently and effectively control the Upper Class Wing operation (Journalism UK, 2008).

Virgin Atlantic has got the chance to operate the united kingdom and World air service by the federal government plan. The inflection perhaps people will be willing to expand more on the traveling. The change of working place also impacts the demand on all the methods of transport. The new stations have been developed through the web and new machine system. The marketplace still has space to operate obviously, but the main consideration of your transport services supplier is safety. So the most durability of Branson and Virgin Atlantic has been increasing its reputation especially in safety and on-time to get self-assurance of passengers.

Comparison of Richard Branson's corporate strategy decision

In the level of establishing the strategies, Branson definitely understand the strategies of which are the ways in which strategy builds up in business.

Branson's Virgin Atlantic Flight Strategic Development

Command View and Culture View are outlined by Virgin Atlantic

The culture view is that it occurs as the results of the taken-for-granted assumptions and behaviours in organizations.

(Johnson et al, 2005)

Branson founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984; in fact, Virgin Atlantic's success highly depends on the founder's guidelines to supply the finest quality "innovative service" at excellent value for money for those classes of air travelers. This basic principle created and set up the culture of Virgin Atlantic, because all Virgin companies also maintain an entrepreneurial culture based on Branson's principle. You can find four strategic developments have been discovered and will be further detailed in following

Strategy One: Differentiation

Branson also offers another school of thought in his process which is usually to be a pioneer instead of a follower of the first choice. To be able to reach this point, Virgin Atlantic must offer highest quality innovative service because of its air travelers. Its progressive actions include

1986, the 1st flight provided sleeper chairs in upper class

1990, the very first airline brought in the computerized defibrillators, & trained the personnel to help in-flight cardiac arrest victims

The 1st airline installed individual Television sets to all classes of passenger on the wide-bodied aircraft

2005, earned the RFID Discovery 'Integration' Prize since it is really as a leader in RFID 2005

Virgin Atlantic applied RFID tag on the important parts that used in aeroplanes maintenance and maintenance at Heathrow Air-port warehouse, UK. The technical advancement is definitely the advantage taking for Virgin and the clients, said by Mark Butler, System Execution Manager, Engineering Team, Virgin Atlantic (Tata Consultancy Services Small, 2007).

Strategy Two: Jointing Alliance

Virgin Atlantic has jointed an alliance numerous airlines until 2006 that providing better choice on where so when because of its customers' flights, the person in that alliance includes Singapore Air travel, Bmi British Midland, Continental Air travel, South African Airways, US Airways, Virgin Blue and Air China. All above airlines also signed Codeshare Agreement, therefore the connections between lovers' services become better, customers could enjoy better service and value, such as checking customers and their suitcases over to their final vacation spot and synchronizing their schedules with Virgin Atlantic's associates. Turn out the customers of Virgin Atlantic could benefit from the shortest possible connections between their services (Virgin Atlantic Airways, 2010).

The crises of 11th Sept, 2001 that afflicted the worldwide overall economy, Virgin Atlantic also got heavy loss in financial aspect. The alliance strategy was significantly aided the recovery, since it reduced the investment and the accompanying inflexibility and risk during the uncertainties of operating in other countries (Aaker, 2005).

Strategy Three: Partnership

In 1999, Singapore Air travel attained 49% Virgin Atlantic stake that can reinforce to provide the highest quality ground breaking service at excellent affordability for everyone classes of air vacationers. Singapore Flight is a distinctive global partner, this is a perfect cooperation since both two airlines offer an incomparable reputation for quality and creativity, and have own numerous honours from the travel industry. According to the terms of the coping, both two airlines' routes won't overlap one another and are uniquely complementary, also they keep impartial managements, and the protection under the law to build up their own products. This collaboration action generated greater advantages to both companies' individuals, such as fare, access to lounges world-wide and an extremely seamless travel experience across their airlines network (Virgin Atlantic Airways, 2010).

Japan Airline Strategic Development

In terms of proper management, the major contrast between Virgin Atlantic and Japan Airline is, Japan Airline is the one been able by traditional state-run or authorities hierarchy, so its companies strategy was established by country head and the panel, as same as or accompanied by the strategy of authorities, usually the goal or the result is extremely unrealistic to the commercial. The distance occurs among the most notable management panel and the tactical managers which more fortify the difficulties in execution and minimize the competitiveness in international air travel market. Additionally, Virgin Atlantic emphasizes on control view and culture view; in this time, Japan Airline emphasizes on planning view to develop its strategies.

In the look view, tactical planning is to use a formal planning system for the development and implementation of the strategies related to mission and objectives of the organization.

(Lynch, 2000)

Japan Airline's Background

Japan Air travel is a joint-venture company which was founded by one governmental company and two private companies, Japan Flight Company, Philippine Airlines and Northwest Airlines in 1951. Japanese Authorities bought the talk about from Northwest Airlines that leaded to Japan Airline totally transfer to Japanese Federal government. Nowadays, all decisions are made by the Mother board of Directors and their strategic development is mainly focused on tactical planning (Fundinguniverse, 2010).

Japan Airline's Planning Procedure

One of the Japan Airline's office, Corporate Planning & Information Technology Services is established in Japan Flight for responsible to suggest approaches for Japan Airline. After the seminar in 1987, this division suggested five corporate and business approaches for planning strategies and execution, one of the strategies is about operational.

"The Board of Directors and the management group suggest that it (the operational strategy) is now a subject of urgency that Japan Air travel must increase the introduction of the airline's talk about organization plan in compliance with the coverage and guidelines. ", Minister Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo Conference, Nov 6, 1987. Then, Minister Ishihara grouped Japan Airline's problems for Japan Airline's management group to have actions (Sanchanta & Takahashi, 2010).

Although this company is now privatized, but used to be country-owned and running by Government long time, the country leaders provide feedback and insurance policies on commercial-based company. This fashion have been intervened the overall flexibility of Japan Airline.

In 2006, Japan Airline's Chairperson, Haruka Nishimatsu established three committees, Strategic Steering Committee, Project Management Committee and Task Push Committee to increase competitiveness and the worthiness of shareholder (Sanchanta & Takahashi, 2010). Today, Japan Air travel failed to be effectively contending with other airlines because of such time-consuming rather than really versatile to put into practice in Japan Airline's planning.


Leaders set up goals, assumptions, insurance policies, strategies, and accepted norms of patterns. They usually recruit and promote managers who conform to their own prices and expectations. While a leader's effect is evident in all organizations, it will apply more to small, highly centralized firms, or young, owner run businesses, and can increase with tenure.

In the addition, the most relevant contrasts between Virgin Atlantic and Japan Flight are: Virgin Atlantic stresses on culture and command word view because of following process that provided by Branson that it is controlled by the business. Japan Airline stresses on planning view which is manipulated by Administration so nearly every strategies development is produced follow the planning treatment to lead the company more organized.

In theory it will not only focus on one view, but both of these companies are just focused one or two views, that led some limitations in Virgin Atlantic and Japan Flight. For Virgin Atlantic, it is highly will depend on the guidelines of Branson, he almost becomes the only person and unique person who can decide the future of Virgin Atlantic, includes stay static in the marketplace or shut down the business enterprise. Another area, for Japan Airline, it consists of more procedures for making decision that might be enhances and smoothen the operating for a corporation.

As mentioned, there is merely Branson is the key person for Virgin Atlantic or the whole Virgin Group, for the future, Virgin Group is suggested to established a number of guidelines or solutions to maintain and check out the existing saturation of its businesses or the new endeavors.

After that, Branson is the most key person who affects all the things in Virgin Group, then is the staff, last is the clients.

Last however, not least, whether success to run a business depends upon the policy, current economic climate, culture and technology in the place where located or plan to locate the business. In the effect, the first choice should aware all Structural, Individual Learning resource, Political, and Symbolic construction in mind for coping the politics, social, economic and technology factors positively. So, the finial suggestion is Richard Branson have to determine a committee to share and continue his great work.

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