In a recent article, Philadelphia Eagles chairman and CEO appears to have agreed with the recent alleged racism exhibited by Chip Kelly. The coach will have the ability to implement any racist strategy within the organization. Any future allegations of racism by Chip Kelly will receive the endorsement of upper level management which could prove detrimental to their chances of winning Super Bowl 50.
According to the article, Jeffrey Lurie: Racism claims vs. Chip Kelly ‘beyond ridiculous’, Lurie stated that “Some of it has just been beyond ridiculous. Chip is a leader in our organization and he is held to a very, very high standard. I watch him relate to players. His door is always open. I’ve never even seen that before. He cares about the people, the players. I am just very proud and have complete respect for him as a person and as a coach.”
Jeffery Lurie has made it clear that he backs Chip Kelly. Lurie went on to say, Chip is “an excellent coach in this league and there’s no question about it. He doesn’t need to prove anything. He’s a builder of a roster, a culture-builder; he’s everything that we all thought when we all interviewed him and more. We in the upper level management had numerous discussions regarding Chip Kelly during the interview process. We knew Chip was very dynamic and very smart, but we wanted someone who could see the big picture at all times and help build a roster, help build a culture the way we wanted, who had a vision and wasn’t afraid to make unpopular decisions.” Lurie seems to indicate that the Chip Kelly alleged racism is a product of the overall beliefs of upper level management. This would enable Chip Kelly’s racist values to go undetected.
What type of upper level management would enable Chip Kelly’s racist values to go undetected?
Theory X – Transactional leader is most likely to enable Chip Kelly’s racist values to go undetected. A Theory X leader advocates that subordinates are passive, lazy, have very little ambition, resist any type of change and prefer to be in the leadership lime life. At an extreme perspective, a Theory X leader emphasizes coercion, tight controls, threats, and punishments. This will result in low productivity, bitterness, union opposition, and devious sabotage.
A transactional leader requires compliance from employees in exchange for expected rewards. The expected rewards contribute heavily to bottom-line productivity and if not met the punishments are severe. Transactional leadership receives support from bureaucratic authority which in this case will include the support of Jeffrey Lurie. If a bureaucracy is to operate successfully, it must maintain an unusual high level of conformity.
The major reason that a Theory X – Transactional leader is ineffective is due to the direction characteristic contribution to a dysfunctional organization. A dysfunctional organization has five levels. The foundation for the dysfunctional organization begins with each person’s use of defense mechanisms for coping. Defense mechanisms are the unwritten rules an individual learns and utilizes to effectively deal with circumstances that are upsetting, embarrassing, or threatening.
The second level is skilled incompetence, which is the outcome of the defense mechanisms we have internalized. When the defensive behaviors we’ve learned are transformed into a learned behavior, that behavior becomes a skill – albeit an incompetent skill – that we consider necessary in order to deal with issues that are embarrassing, threatening, or upsetting. A skill that is learned from the regular application of a defense mechanism has a high degree of incompetence embedded within it, because we are unaware of how this skill will impact our future.
Skilled incompetence transforms into a defensive routine. Defensive routines are the third level. When the skilled incompetence is automatically exhibited at all times, the behavior is now a defensive routine.
Defensive routines lead to fancy footwork. Fancy footwork is the fourth level. Fancy footwork happens when individuals try to deny the behavioral inconsistencies they exhibit, or else they place blame on other people, which results in distancing themselves from taking responsibility for their behavioral inconsistencies.
Fancy footwork leads to organizational malaise. Organizational malaise is the final level. During this phase the individuals in the organization will seek to find fault within the organization rather than accept responsibility for their actions and correct their behavior accordingly. The individual continues the process by accentuating the negative and deemphasizing the positive in an effort to cover up their actions. The organizational malaise is further exacerbated by a refusal of one or all the members to discuss their area of responsibility.
The only way that Chip Kelly can overcome the adverse effects associates with the allegations of racism is to utilize a team building process that includes developing a shared vision and strategic plan for overcoming racism within the Philadelphia Eagles organization.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
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