“The Devil Wears Prada” is a comedy-drama movie set in the fashion world, released in 2006, and based on a Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel of the same name. It tells a story of Andy Sachs, a recent college graduate and fledging journalist played by Anne Hathway, who moves to New York City in the pursuit of job, and eventually gets hired as a co-assistant to Meryl Streep starring as an authoritative and severe fashion magazine editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly.
Runway is a large company employing numerous staff. However, I found it difficult to identify two or three Theory X employees. As far as I observe, all the characters in the movie are more likely to represent Theory Y employees. They all seem to have far-reaching ambitions, committed to personal objectives, seek responsibilities, are self-directed and hard-working. The only person whose motivation is open to doubt is probably Doug, Andrea’s college friend who seems to occupy a position of a corporate research analyst. Doug claims his work to be boring, and obviously tends to be liking other spheres of business, such as fashion, for instance. There is, however, little information about him presented in the movie, so it is impossible to confidently assume he fits into Theory X employee category.
Andrea’s case is not typical, so should better be discussed individually. In my opinion, Andie, who is a fledging journalist, starts off by being a Theory X employee, and eventually transforms into a Theory Y employee. Young girl is obviously ambitious and hard-working. However, she fails to reveal own potential when starting to work as co-assistant in Runway. She values the occupied position only because of future career opportunities it might open. She does not see herself working for fashion magazine for the rest of her life and just wants to hold out in the company for a year, and then leave in the pursuit of more attractive prospects. She alters her opinion in the course of the movie, however. Young girl faces the challenges and starts to enjoy dealing with tricky tasks. She reconsiders initial skepticism and shows herself as being highly inventive and resourceful.
The leadership style demonstrated by Miranda Bristly, a fashion industry business-obsessed ‘devil’, is undoubtedly Autocratic. As a supervisor, Mrs. Priestly is extremely strict, uncompromising, willful, capricious, unforgiving and immoderately exacting. “Runway’s” editor-in-chief performs autocratic decision-making throughout the course of the movie. There are, however, several scenes when the nature of her supervision is displayed most evidently. For instance, such is the scene of a company staff meeting on account of February Runway issue magazine. Not only is she rude and boldly skeptical about her subordinates’ ideas and suggestions, but also does not actually give them an opportunity to speak out, to discuss the brought up issues, to participate in decision making. She does not let her staff feel as if being a team.
Miranda is in absolute control and no one is allowed to make any proposals or put forward any considerations, regardless of whether it may do good to the whole group. Whether her ways are effective or not is an open question. The magazine is run successfully by Priestly; Runway prospers and maintains a high reputation in the fashion industry. It is possible, however, that more friendly work environment, adherence to corporate ethics and conditions favorable to team work and creativity, would benefit the company and promote it to the new, challenging levels.