Since Cata started Guilds, matter more. In order to recieve Guild beneffits. everyone most work for them. In Wotlk, Leaving a Guild meant, changing Guild Tags, in Cata means TIME.
Does a Guild belong to those who lead it?. Should we check Guild Etiquette?
Cataclysm has indeed changed the value of a guild to a hard working member. No longer are you simply there under some guild tag to come and go as you please, but now your time and efforts are actually put towards something (ie rewards such as BoAs, mounts, pets, and recipes, among other things), and thusly it now takes some actual thought prior to jumping ship.
With that said, even prior to guild reputation and the perks that come along with it I personally believe that a guild belonged to its members, and that management is simply there to keep the environment healthy. A guild isn't a guild without its members; a guild would potentially run amuck without some sort of management system in place to weed out those personalities that do not fit with the general tone of said guild. Now-a-days this is further emphasized in a way via guild reputation. Someone in your guild who has managed to get themselves revered or even exalted with your guild has obviously put in quite a bit of time and effort. Either they were gathering their butts off (which in turn gives the guild an achievement after a time), crafted their butts off (again, eventually gives the guild an achievement and may unlock some perks), quested like mad, did their dailies, and/or has been a faithful raider to the guild. Obviously this person should be seen as a valued member on some level.
What this basically means is that guild kicking or guild quitting now requires a bit more pause. Sure, a brash player should be tossed out on their bums if they're causing issues within the guild, but I'm sure that hardcore raiding guilds may now keep a few more socials around instead of kicking those players out of their environment once they retire from raiding, just because there are the perks of said players still possibly farming/questing/etc. Likewise, a retired player may not feel the need to leave a guild once they are retired, for they may like the guild perks for leveling alts or what have you. With enough time both you and your guild essentially grow together. Reputation is earned for the player and the guild "levels" through the effort of its guildies.Essentially the new guild perks/reputation system has basically created a certain secure environment for a lot of folks. On the flip side this is semi problematic for those of us who have banker guilds, or perhaps a dead guild that is still used to store alts, but that's a slightly different beast all together.
What all this babbling boils down to is balance. While a guild master technically has the "ownership" of the guild, the guild members are the yin to the guild master's/management's yang. One does not live without the other in a successful guild (your definition of successful may vary), thus I believe that both "teams" have a sort of equal ownership of the guild in question. While I believe that the management team should have the final say, I think that they should always listen to their guild members prior to making decisions on what is best for the guild as a whole. Again, there should be a balance. The guild is a garden, management teams are the gardeners, the guild master is much like an overseer to ensure that everything is tended to properly. While that overseer may hold the deed to the garden, one can never truly own the grass, the flowers, and the bushes. You cannot own the squirrels and the birds. Everything will go if they so please, and if the overseer and the gardeners do well in their job, they shall generate the interest of other animals and plants.. Sure you can remove some of the aspects of the garden, rearrange them, but you cannot go "This is my land! You shall do as I command!" Okay, perhaps you could, but at what rate those pesky squirrels will listen may vary.
Even prior to the guild changes, everyone put time into a guild. From the lowliest alt to the guild master, whether it was a few seconds choosing a name and getting /ginvited or spending twelve hours a day for six years tending to the guild's needs, time has always been a valued thing. I think many folk tend to forget that, and the new systems simply emphasize the time factor instead of allowing it to fall to the wayside. The time spent, the memories earned, the friendships forged, the bosses killed, the loot gained: all of these belong to the guild. No one person can make that happen alone. If they can, they're probably half insane : P