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Trident University Koch Industries Case Discussion

Trident University Koch Industries Case Discussion

Trident University Koch Industries Case Discussion


Koch Industries is one of the mostprofitable privately held corporations in the country. In spite of beingowned primarily by four brothers, it has not been immune from intenseinternal power plays and intrigue. A decades-long dispute between CEOCharles Koch and his younger brother Bill Koch led first to an internalbattle for control of the company and ended with a lawsuit between thebrothers.

Carefully review the background materials regarding sources of powerwithin an organization and influence tactics. Examples of sources ofpower include reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, and expertpower. Examples of influence tactics include forming coalitions,pressure, and exchanging favors. Make sure to understand the main powersources and influence tactics and know the vocabulary and definitionsfrom the background materials before starting the assignment.

The epic battle between two of the Koch brothers tested the limits ofboth of their power bases within Koch Industries. Both used multipletactics before Charles Koch ultimately secured his position of almostunrivaled power within the corporation. Do some research about thispower struggle using the Trident Online Library and online news sources.Here are some articles to get you started:

Schulman, D. (2014, Jul). Koch vs. Koch. Mother Jones, 39, 16–27,64,2

Tomsho, R., (1989, Aug 09). Blood feud: Koch family is roiled bysibling squabbling over its oil empire: Fired by his brother, Williamsues often, helps feds to probe Koch Industries, haling mother intocourt. Wall Street Journal [ProQuest]

Case Assignment

Once you have finished your research, write a 4- to 5-page paperaddressing the following issues. Make sure to cite at least two of therequired background readings in addition to articles about the Kochbrothers in your paper:

  1. What were Charles and Bill Koch’s sources of power within KochIndustries? Did they have reward power, coercive power, legitimatepower, or expert power? Any other sources of power? Refer to Bauer andErdogan (2012) or Luthans et al. (2015) in your answer, as you shoulddemonstrate a solid understanding of these readings as part of youranswer.
  2. What influence tactics did each of them use in their battle forcontrol? Refer to Bauer and Erdogan (2012) or Luthans et al. (2015) inyour answer.
  3. Ultimately what do you think led to Charles Koch’s victory in thisbattle, and what do you think are the most important lessons onorganizational power that you learned from reading about this powerstruggle?

Assignment Expectations

  • Follow the assignment instructions closely and follow all steps listed in the instructions.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions; don’t go off ontangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general backgroundmaterials.
  • Make sure to cite readings from the background materials page. Relyprimarily on the required background readings as your sources ofinformation.
  • Include both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 11-14 on in-text citations.

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