Business organisation have to deal with, or control, people who are working in the enterprise. This process is basically known as management and managers are those people who are responsible for managing organisational work.Operation is a term which is related to daily activities which are carried out in an organisation (Barratt, Choi and Li, 2011). They are mainly related to conversion of inventories and revenue generation and this is the prime reason that every firm want to make sure that this department always perform better. M&S is one of the most successful company of UK. They are operating in retail sector and provides distinct products out of which clothing is company's key source of revenue. This assignment will discuss about the responsibilities of leader and the work done by manager in various situations. Different theories related to leadership will also be mentioned in this assignment. Few approaches of operational management will be included in the project and their importance at the time of moving forward towards organisational objectives will be explained under this assignment.
P1 Comparison between different roles and features of leader and manager
M&S is leading retail firm and they are known as one of the best brand of clothing. This multinational British company is almost 1000 stores in UK. This company has also started selling food item and they have almost 650 stores, only in UK, who are selling food item. M&S has image of selling goods at high price because they do not comprise quality of their products at any cost.
Management structure of M&S
This organisation has a flat structure because almost 85000 people are working in the company and they few key employees cannot hold all the power and authority. M&S has given many authorities to branch manager and they also held them accountable for the revenue which is generated by particular branch. This company has various departments which are mainly related to product. Below is structure of management:
Executive director– This is the top position in the company and executive all the heads of various divisions work under executive director (Bhasin, 2011). Flat structure of company allow many managers of different segment like HR, retail, food and cosmetics etc. to directly approach executive director and talk about various issues.
Director of food– M&S is also selling food in their stores and this director of this division is responsible for increasing sale of food item.
Head of Lingerie and Beauty– M&S may have a image of cloth selling firm but their stores also sell beauty products. Head of this department hold the same power which is given to other senior executives.
Head of Retail– This is most important department of company because it bring significant amount of revenue. M&S retail is clothing generate maximum revenue for them. All the other managers work understand head of retail.
Head of Human resource– This position is not connected to a single department, head of HR recruit and make system for recruiting all the people who will work in the company.
Manager –A person who is responsible for administration of an organisation, he/she also take accountability for controlling staff members. Managers take responsibility of implementing the strategies which is designed by leaders.
Leader– A person who provide direction to the group of people and lead them for a certain purpose. Leader inspire others and motivate employees for attain organisation and personal goals.
Comparison between characteristics, function and role of manager and leader
Manager work on the vision of executives. M&S has various manager in different divisions and all of them are working on the mission which is set by the management of company i.e. provide inspirational quality of product to everyone.
Leader is the person who set and communicate vision to the employees (David, 2011). Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer are the leader of M&S and they have set the vision which is not being followed by every employee.
Manager make short term plan and their main focus is on executing the long terms strategies which is made by leaders of M&S.
Leader only get involve in long term planning and they do not care much about day to day operations.
One of the most important role which is played by manager of M&S is to organise the people work are working under them.
Leaders at M&S focus on finding talent which is present in the employees so they can allot them a right task. This is one of their prime duty.
Manager's job is related to administration and controlling. Their is limited to these two areas (Johnstone, 2016).
Leaders who are present in top level management of M&S take the responsibility of motivating and inspiring employees of whole organisation.
P2 Responsibilities of leader and function of manager in different situational context
Change is the law of nature and every business organisation has to go with different kind of changes at the time of proceeding towards their goals. M&S is running their operations from more than 130 years and they have gone through various situations where they have make alterations in their leadership style and in adopted strategy. Below are few situations and the leader's role & manager function in these cases:
Decision making– M&S is present in many countries where they situation of business environment is stable. It means then they risks are predictable and company is getting expected revenue from the strategies which they have adopted (Liker and Morgan, 2011). An organisation do not change their current policies and goals in case of stable situation. US is one of the many market where M&S have stable situation. Retail market of this country is gradually growing and competitor of M&S in this regions do not have any aggressive expansion plan. The function of manager is simple in this case because all they have to do is implement and monitor the plan which is made by top level management. The role leader in stable situation is to motivate workers for keeping their focus on the work which is allotted to them and do not deviate from the long term plans of business.
Strategy formulation– Change do happen in this situation but at a decent rate. M&S has started their business in India and clothing retail industry of this country is changing but not rapidly. M&S is known for high quality of products and in India, people do not have much buying power so they company cannot attain swift growth as the market of expensive cloths is growing with a moderate speed. It is the responsibility of leader to convince employees to become flexible and make changes in the present strategy according to the situation so that higher sales are achieved. Manager's function is limited to the implementation of alterations in strategies so company can smoothly adopt change and can show better results.
Contingency situation– A situation when risk is completely unpredictable and company have to make rapid and continuous changes in their strategies, is known as fast changing situation. M&S get most of their revenue from UK and Brexit is one political incident which has created a swift changing business environment for company's like M&S. Leader's role is very important in this situation because he/she is responsible for involving in everyday decision making. In these type of circumstances, big decisions have to be taken on daily basis so leader cannot only stick to long term planning (Luna and Bott, 2012). Manager have to do a significant job of executing changes and provide ground knowledge to the management so they can frame strategies accordingly.
P3 Theories and approaches of leadership
M&S understand that they cannot run their organisation by adopting a single leadership style which is why they have follow below mentioned leadership approach and theory:
Situational leadership– This theory argues that leader have to change in working style and leadership approach according to the situation. M&S has seen different phases and in many situations like Brexit, they are adopting this leadership style. Key strength of this approach is that it is practical, other theories remain a ''theory'' i.e. leader cannot follow them in real situation but this leadership style is adopted by a leader. The weakness of this model is that it do not provide a solution about how can subordinate can match with the development of leader.
Systems leadership– It is not related to one person, every person who try to develop a healthy working environment, where others can get professional progress, can be considered as a system leader. People with formal authority at M&S are system leaders. This company follow various process because they believe that for attaining desired results, company have to focus on process (Mendis, Muttaqi and Perera, 2014). The key merit of this approach is that it allow an individual as well as company to attain their overall goals. It drawback is that it can sometime delay decision making process and many MNCs do not consider it as a practical approach.
Contingency leadership– People often find huge similarity between contingency and situational leadership because both focus on situation but there is a big difference between them and it is related to expectation of follower. In contingency leadership, a leader have to bring changes in own attitude and working style so he/she cannot motivate subordinate for working according to situation. M&S do not focus much on contingency approach because of its major drawback i.e. complexity. This theory is known for specific traits in leader and link it to flexibility of management style. Flexibility is integral part of this style and it can also be considered as its main strength (Niknam, Meymand and Mojarrad, 2011).
Leaders and managers are significant for a company because they are accountable for all the outcomes. M&S is surviving and growing in this highly competitive market because their leaders make changing in their working style according to the demand of market. But an important thing which they should focus on for future improvement is, not to lose their originality. They may face tuff time and in these situation they should not try to follow the style of a great leader. They should analyse own strengths & weakness and then take decisions accordingly.
P4 Key approaches of operation management and role of leader and manager in the context of organisation
An organisation has various options in terms of operational approach but they chose one according to the suitability of company (Operations and Project Management (OPM), 2017). M&S has a clear policy of selling top class quality of goods and they have adopted various approach for assuring that they do not comprise in quality of the product which they are selling in the market. Below are few key approaches of operational management and role of manager & leader:
TQM (Total quality management)– This operational approach is used by M&S because they are customer focused company and they understand the importance of involving employees in decision making. TQM is a method which is used by M&S for improving quality of products and services that organisation is selling to their customers. This work is done by developing a healthy environment in the organisation so a productive culture can get develop. The role of leader, at the time of executing this approach, is to make sure the decisions are taken on the basis of facts. Manager, on the other hand, focus on small things i.e. daily operations. They are responsible for assuring that customer are satisfied with company's product (Palizban, Kauhaniemi and Guerrero, 2014).
Lean manufacturing– It is an operational approach which concentrate on minimising wastage but without making compromise in terms of quality. M&S is serious about quality of their products but they also want to keep the prices of product competitive and lean manufacturing approach help them in doing this. Leader is accountable for motivating employees to find the ways of reducing expenses and increase efficiency. Manager is responsible for making sure that they workers followed the procedure and process which is designed by company. They have to monitor their performance and find the areas where more improvement can be done.
P5 Significance and value of operation management in attaining organisational objectives
Approaches of operational management provide huge help for all the business organisation who want to attain their set targets. M&S has a clear aim i.e. to produce premium quality of goods and make sure that customer get value for the money which they are paying. attaining trust of public and continuous innovation are two key values of M&S. Below is significance and value of main approaches of operational management:
TQM– This approach concentrate on improving the buying experience of customer. M&S is known for assuring high customer satisfaction and they are using this approach is important for company because it assist them in checking the whether customers are happy with company products and services. Total quality management concentrate on attaining long term goals and this is the prime reason that continuous improvement is considered as its integral part. One of the key value of TQM is to develop an atmosphere where employees can improve themself and produce high quality of products. M&S want to improve quality of their offering, which is already impressive, and they understand that TQM is one approach which can generate atmosphere of innovation in the organisation.
Lean manufacturing– As mentioned earlier, this approach is related to reducing wastage but without making any negative impact on quality (Shuxin, 2011). Their is general perception that if a company with providing premium quality of cloths or any other products then goods must be expensive. M&S is operating in premium segment and they also face the negative consequences of a the tag of ''expensive products''. This tag stop them from attaining their targets. One of the key advantage of lean manufacturing is that it reduce the unnecessary wastage of resource which ultimately help company in decreasing overall price of products. M&S give huge importance to the concept of ''value for money'' and it is their prime objective to make sure that they customer do not feel cheated. Lean manufacturing is an approach who support company in moving forward towards this goal because it minimise wastages but without making any comprise in terms of quality of product. Although adopting this approach is not possible without finding out of the box solution of various problems. This ultimately promote innovation in the organisation but in an indirect way.
Role of manager and leader in improving operational efficiency:
An organisation cannot effectively use approaches like TQM or Lean manufacturing until they have a manager who can properly do the job of monitoring and controlling. At M&S, managers are responsible for making sure that all the process which is involved in operational approach, are implemented properly. Leaders like CEO of M&S take decisions about which new approach can be implemented in the organisation and they are improve operational efficiency by motivating employees to raise their limits and perform better (Travis and Rekhtman, 2011).
P6 Factors which impact on operational management and decision making
Making right decision is important for survival and growth of business. Most of the leaders and managers have to make difficult calls but this task become more problematic when external factors are involved in it. This reason behind this is that they are not predictable.
Affect of external factor on the decision related to operational management by Managers and Leaders:
Technological changes– Technology is one of the most important external factor of present business environment because it has capacity to provide surprising return (can negative or positive). M&S want to improve their supply change but the increasing trend of online shopping forced leaders and managers of the company for changing their decisions. They negatively impacted on the business of M&S by forcing them to focus on online shopping. Although in long run, it will affect company in positive way by providing them competitive advantage on rivals.
Economic factors– Brexit created new challenges in terms of demands of goods in UK. Buying power of customer in this country is not increasing and this is negatively impacting the strategies related to operations of company (Zhang and Chen, 2014). Leaders of M&S are facing challenge in setting the right path for company because their decisions are dilute because of poor economic condition of country.
Increased competition– M&S is a strong player in retail sector of UK but increased competitions is an external factor which is creating challenges for managers in daily basis. Managers try to bring new method of manufacturing but when rival of company find a better or modified approach then this influences operational efficiency of company in an ineffective manner.
Globalisation– M&S is a multinational company. Normally leaders and managers make plan for domestic growth of business but business friendly global environment motivated them to change their decision and explore new opportunities in other nations. They expanded their operational process in more countries so company can use the positive influence of globalisation. Get Dissertation Help at affordable price form Global Assignment Help Australia.
Application of operations management for managing the impact of external factors:
Operational management techniques can be used for minimising the impact of external factors like adopting technological changes (Vogel and Güttel, 2013). When company like M&S install some new software then it improves their operational efficiency but at the same time, it enhances cost of business. Operation management approaches help company in reducing overall business cost and it dilutes the impact on negative external factors on the performance of company.
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Recommendations for future improvements:
In upcoming time, M&S should start using more approaches of operational management so they can enjoy to key competitive advantages i.e. high quality of goods and low cost of production. They should also provide regular training to their employees in order to increase their efficiency. If employees perform better, then company can easily achieve their objectives.
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From the above report, it can be concluded leader may decide that which leadership style will work in the organisation but this does not mean that managers work is not important. They are responsible for execution of plans and strategies which is made by leader. Their are various theories of leadership but in present era, their application depends upon the situation and mission of company. Operational approaches assist a company in finding and resolving operational issues. This is necessary for every organisation i.e. MNCs or SMEs. Approaches like TQM and lean production can provide an extra edge to a business firm who want to produce high quality of goods at low cost.
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- David, F.R., 2011.Strategic management: Concepts and cases. Peaeson/Prentice Hall.
- Johnstone, S., 2016. Labour and Management Co-operation: Workplace Partnership in UK Financial Services. CRC Press.
- Liker, J.K. and Morgan, J., 2011. Lean product development as a system: a case study of body and stamping development at Ford.Engineering Management Journal. 23(1). pp.16-28.
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