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    Organization Approaches in Marks & Spencer


    • Unit No: 2
    • Level: Undergraduate/College
    • Pages: 8 / Words 2058
    • Paper Type: Essay
    • Course Code: LSME403
    • Downloads: 314
    Question :

    Learning Outcomes

    • Demonstrate an understanding of classical and neoclassical method to organisation theory.
    • Examine and identify the factors that have influenced the structure and design of specific organisations.
    • Analyse how organisations manage the dynamic processes that shape their growth and evolution.
    • Identify the factors that will shape organisations and their structure in the future.

    Module Information

    An economy cannot run without the organisation. The formal and informal way increases the efficiency and effectiveness has significantly impact on innovation, employment and standards of living. After examining early theories of how organisations evolved, the module analyses different organisational structures in the context of their environment, and how, over time, changes in the environment can change the nature and function of organisations. The module identifies and considering how technological advances are forcing organisations to become less hierarchical and more flexible.

    Assessment Tasks

    It includes two task which is to be completed in this module:

    • Essay – 2000 words LO1 and LO4.
    • Case Study – 2000 words LO2 and LO3

    1. Essay (2000 words)

    Analyse the development of organisation theory from its classical and neoclassical origins to the present day. As part of your analysis, examine the forces that will shape organisations and their structures in the future.

    • Case Study (2,000 words)

    The case study is taken from “Google’s Organisational Structure & Its Characteristics (A critical Analysis) and Google’s Organisational Culture Type and Its Characteristics”. The full case study is available at: http://panmore.com/google-organisational-culture-characteristicsanalysis

    For further details: Google Diversity Annual Report 2019 available at https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/diversity.google/en//static/pdf/Google_diversi ty_annual_report_2019.pdf

    Google’s Organisational Structure & Its Characteristics (An Analysis)

    Google organisational structure improves internal communications and idea sharing in the online advertising, information technology, and consumer electronics business. Google organisational structure is based on fundamental factors that contribute to the success of the information technology business. A company’s organisational structure or corporate structure is defined as anatomy and arrangement of the various components of the business, majorly in terms of its processes and resources. In this business case of Google, the corporate structure is formed to meet the need for innovation and creative ideas. Innovation is a unique feature of Google’s corporate culture. In relation, the company’s organisational structure encourage product development to maintain high performance and competitiveness in the Internet services industry. Product development is based on four approaches in order to grow and expand business, as identified in Google’s generic competitive strategy and extreme growth strategies. In this way, the organisational structure contributes to business optimization to deal with the competitors, such as Apple, Amazon.com, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Snap Inc. (Snapchat), and Twitter. These firms are stiff competitors, but Google’s corporate structure strengthens business competencies to deal with competitive market.

     In 2015, the conglomerate Alphabet Inc. was founded, with Larry Page as CEO and Sergey Brin as President, and became the parent company of Google, after re-establishing the business. In 2017, upon further restructuring, it became Google LLC. Despite such restructuring, the company remains its organisational structure, as it considers core business processes remain largely the same, including online advertising, cloud computing, digital content distribution, and consumer electronics. Due to multinational involvement, the business forms its corporate structure to deal with the complexity of its operations expanding different regional markets. As rapid technological development involved in the industry and the involvement of competitors, Google’s corporate structure is assumed to continue changing as a way of establishing the company’s global market position.

    Google’s Organisational Structure Type and Characteristics

    Google is dealing with cross-functional organisational structure. This structure is based on matrix type. However, the company maintains flatness as a main factor that impact functions throughout the structure of corporate. The following are the main features of Google’s corporate structure which includes:

    • Product-based approach
    • Function based technique
    • Flatness

     Function-based Technique: This structural characteristic consists of various resources and processes based method. For instance, Google’s organisational structure includes a group of Global Marketing, and another group deals with Finance. This function-based grouping is entitled for developing strategic decisions and direction. For example, Google’s operations management approaches which are used and based on function-based groups at the corporate headquarters. This feature of the company’s corporate structure impact business processes, including communication among the members, as well as strategic management to resolve issues faced at various levels in the Google organisation.

    Product-based approach: Google’s products are made through the use of product-based groups in the company’s corporate structure. This structural characteristic covers the requirements to innovate and deal with competitive products, such as the ones enumerated in Google’s marketing mix or 4Ps. For example, the company has a group for Cloud operations and other group for Artificial Intelligence operations. An executive head headed the groups. With this characteristic of the organisational structure, the business fulfils contemporary and future market demand and consumer preferences pertaining to information technology and consumer electronics products, such as Search, mobile apps, and mobile devices. This will help to meet vision and mission statements of the Google’s corporate. The company’s product lines aim to enhance people’s access to gain information, mainly an information from the online sources.

    Flatness: This fundamental function of organisational structure includes minimization of vertical hierarchical lines of communication and authority, despite Google’s function-based groups. For instance, using flatness, the organisational structure of the company enables employees, teams, and groups to improve management and communicate directly with upper management. Also, in this way, Google’s corporate structure conducts meetings and communicate information among employees and teams several functional areas of the organization. This structural component is a main contribution to innovation for novel products that help in diversification of the business, that strengthen and outlined in the SWOT analysis of Google LLC. This fundamental feature of the organisational structure manages Google’s corporate social responsibility strategy and stakeholder management, especially in terms of boosting employee morale, motivation, and satisfaction in their work as main part of the company’s business and long-term success.

    Google’s Corporate Structure – Recommendation

    The flatness of organisational structure of the Google company has the advantages of encouraging innovation and creative ideas, based on the development of knowledge within the business organization. In relation, the company’s corporate structure has the benefit of facilitating innovation specific to product development. Google’s product-based groups are designed for this purpose. These benefits arise due to function-based groups that improve coherence throughout the business. Apart from this, Google’s corporate structure has opportunity for improvement which brings flexibility in the working system.

     A recommendation to improve Google’s corporate structure is used to deal with possible flexibility issues. The corporation’s current structural features are effective in facilitating flexibility in human resources. For instance, the organisational structure’s flatness optimizes flexibility in how Google’s employees develop different knowledge and formed products. These business use various corporate standards which brings more flexibility in customizing products in order to meet the demand of the regional and local consumers. With this, the strategic issue is  can boost  the level of flexibility of product-based groups through policies and strategies in the company’s corporate structure. For example, additional positions within teams or groups can add to such flexibility. This recommendation is aimed  to raise  concerns regarding how Google’s organisational structure fulfils the demand and need of the potential consume and deal with the competitive market.

    Google’s Organisational Culture & Its features (An Analysis)

    Google’s organisational culture is based on driving force that boost  the company to continue its leadership in the information technology and online advertising industries. A company’s organisational culture, which in this business case is the corporate culture define as traditions, customs, and behavioural ideals that predominantly influence employees’ behaviours. Google’s corporate culture inspire employees to share information for the purpose of supporting innovation. Innovation is a factor that enables the company to maintain its competitiveness against other technology businesses, such as Apple, Facebook, IBM, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, and Snap Inc. (Snapchat). Through its corporate culture, Google LLC ensures that its workforce is competent in addressing business needs linked to the external forces generated by these competitors. The corporation actively develops its cultural strengths through institutional measures, like training, and through informal approaches, such as personalized leadership and management support. Efforts to continuously improve the characteristics of Google’s organisational culture are applied to maintain creativity and innovation.

    Google’s cultural features are focused on enhancing employee performance. The company expects effective motivation through its organisational culture. For example, in developing solutions to target customers’ everyday problems, Google’s corporate culture motivates workers to think outside the box and aim for novel ideas. In this way, the organisational culture facilitates human resource support for various strategies, such as Google’s generic strategy and intensive growth strategies. This cultural support is a success factor in the international market for Internet services, digital advertising, cloud computing services, hardware and software, and consumer electronics.

    Google’s Organisational Culture Type and Its Characteristics

     Google provides innovative culture which is important for survival in the competitive market.  The company always emphasizes the significance of openness among employees, as a way of motivating innovative minds. The resulting innovation is applicable on Google’s ideology in dealing with various industries. For example, the company innovates its technological means and services provided to customers in the online advertising industry. The following characteristics define Google’s corporate culture:

    • Openness Innovation
    • Excellence that comes with smartness
    • Hands-on approach
    • Small-company-family rapport

    Openness: This kind of culture encourage employees to share the information among the employees of the Google company. It aims to promote openness which helps them to disseminate valuable knowledge that further support innovation. For instance, the corporate culture motivates individual employees to make better interaction with others which helps them to create healthy relation in the organisation. Google’s operations management strategy supports this cultural trait through appropriate workplace layouts that improves such interaction.

     Innovation. Innovation is an important elements used for achieving success in Google’s business. The company’s organisational culture encourages employees to contribute to the  innovation of the business  and in product they supplied. For instance, this cultural characteristic promotes employees’ to go out of the box for bringing change and  think to discover or invent new solutions to  deal with current and emerging needs in the multinational market. Innovation contributes brings transparency in the working system of the organisation. This condition also means that the company’s types and level of innovation changes pertaining to relevant needs identified in the information technology and services market.

    Excellence: This cultural characteristic focuses on achieving goal and objective in every business of the Google. This feature of the organisational culture deals with human resource development programs to appreciate efforts and excellence work of the employees. For instance, training programs are conducted  to motivate workers so that they can achieve desired outcome. In this regard, Google’s corporate culture promotes uniqueness and creativity in the workforce, and direct  employees to strive for outstanding work.

    Hands-on Approach: Google applies a hands-on approach to human resource development through this culture approach. This cultural primarily focuses on using experiential learning as an effective mechanism of improving employees’ knowledge, skills, abilities and capabilities. Theoretical knowledge is not sufficient for  Google LLC. Employees are required  to learn as they continue in their journey as part of the company’s organization. In general, this core element of the organisational culture is followed through policies that support employees’ involvement in projects and experiments. Such experiments is based on various new ideas, supporting innovation in product development that affect Google’s marketing mix or 4P. Therefore, the company’s corporate culture increases employees’ experience, including on-the-job learning and training that contribute to human resource competencies.

    Small-Company-Family Rapport: Google LLC is well-known for its supporting for small-company family rapport in its workspaces. This cultural characteristic focuses on the social interactions among workers. For instance, Google maintains harmony and positive work environment where employees are free to share their ideas and views with each other. The main purpose of this case study is corporate culture as it is a medium of optimizing internal communications and generating new idea. This feature of organisational culture also helps Google in promoting employee morale. In theory, this kind of  social relations in the workplace brings employee satisfaction in their jobs.

    Google’s Corporate Culture – Recommendations

     Google’s organisational culture addresses the requirement of IT an digital marketing. For instance, considering cultural trait of innovation, the company presumes that its products satisfy industry standards and are at the competitive edge of technological development. Such factors contribute in analysing the SWOT analysis of Google LLC. As  Google is one of the biggest technology businesses in the global market, the organisation is an example of effective organisational design and human resource development.

    A necessary improvement to Google’s organisational culture is the further used to facilitate information sharing. Presently, company’s cultural characteristics  manages communications and information sharing, such sharing happens in a controlled manner. They can enhance  employees involvement to take part in the important decision making process of the organisation. This recommendation purposes to increase the number of innovation in the company’s product development processes. Also, Google can improve its working environment through additional various programs that are developed to support specialized functions among individual employees. It aims to increase employees’ knowledge, skills, and abilities to innovate.

    Answer the following question:

    1. Analyse the forces such as technology, size of the organisation, global presence and availability of skilled manpower  that would have influenced Google’s Corporate Structure and design.

    2. Explain how Google governs the dynamic processes such as organisational culture, ethical values, innovation and decision making processes to achieve growth and evolution.

    Answer :


    Organisation theory refers to the elements of design, relationship and structures of the entity. It comprises of numerous theories and concepts which are significant for entities in order to operate effectively. The theory helps in guiding the behaviour of individuals and groups (Byrkjeflot, 2018). This report is based on Marks & Spencer which is located in United Kingdom. It deals in premium quality clothing, food and home products. Furthermore, it covers analysis of classical, neo-classical approaches and forces responsible for shaping the business. Along with this, the appropriate business structure that can be opted in future is also mentioned in this report.

    Analysis of Classical Approaches

    The approaches cover under this head are traditional and authentic which have been developed by taking into consideration the physical and economic needs of the people. There is no inclusion of social needs, job satisfaction etc. Some of these have been elaborated below:

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    Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) – Scientific Management

    Scientific management theory was given by F. W. Taylor who is known as Father of Scientific Management. The alternative name of this theory is Taylorism which is focused on making the efficiency particularly labour productivity with its application. The motive is to increase their prosperity with the help of training in order to create a balance between the interests of employees and employers. It has transformed by adding more focus on technological aspects in order to compete with the current scenario. This has supplemented the traditional approach by making the contribution of employees count in the efforts of the company. People working in the entity are important for completion of the tasks on time. Also, digital and other technological transformations are taking place rapidly therefore, the scientific management has been extended to this aspect (Young and Ghoshal, 2016).

    Henry Fayol (1841-1925)- Principles of Organisation

    Henry Fayol developed 14 principles of management which can be used by the managers for desired results. These guide the managers to have effective interaction with the workforce. Apart from this, there are six functions which start from forecasting and complete with controlling the actual output. The main aims of this classical theory is to enable the management incorporate change within the organisation followed by the decision-making. On analysing this theory, it has been concluded that these theory has transformed by including the importance of employees. Every individual holds some rights which can be exercised in the organisation. Also, they are not just bound to follow the orders. There should be certain amount of authority give to every employee for doing the tasks according to their way. This provides higher satisfaction to the them. Since, these are the basis of the whole business, only more points can be added as the existing principles are adequate and effective.

    Max Weber (1864-1920)- Bureaucracy

    This theory was given by a German sociologist Max Weber who propounded the theory of bureaucracy. According to this theory, the individuals are assigned separate tasks by forming an effective co-ordination between different units (Alvesson, 2018). The powers of the organisation is categorised into three categories viz. Traditional, charismatic and bureaucratic. This theory has been evolved with the time, and many new aspects have been added for meeting the goals and objectives. Enhanced emphasise has been given on the bureaucratic goals by being within the costs to attain them. In nut shell, cost of administration can be an important element which should not provide any burden on hiring additional employees.

    Analysis of Neo-classical Approaches

    Neoclassical theory is the extended version of classical theory which combines organizational behaviour sciences with the management. The underlying factor of this theory provides that, efficiency of the organisation is affected with the activities of individuals working in the organisation. The same are as follows:

    The Human Relations School (1930s Onward)- Elton Mayo-

    This management theory was developed in early 1920s when the industrial revolution was going on. It is based on the perception of the workforce which states that every individual has a desire to become a part of the supportive team. This is to help the business to grow and develop with the time (Wang and et. Al., 2019). Every employee wish to get special attention which can help them motivated in their work. The transformation brought to this theory that prosperity of employers and employees should be maximum. The scope which was limited to the betterment of the workforce has changed and increase of the efficiency of employer has been included. Furthermore, there can be different reasons for the motivation of every employee.

    Maslow Theory of Motivation-

    This theory was given by Abraham Maslow which focuses on the human needs which are responsible for their motivation. It is categorised into different segments by allotting the sequence in a pyramid shaped form. This helps in determining those needs which should be there in an increased manner. These includes physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualisations needs. This theory has been transformed according to the changes in the business environment, and it can be gathered that organisation should not put aside the self-actualisation needs aside in order to meet the organisational goals and objectives. An entity should not avoid motivating its employees in fulfilling their personal goals and objectives. These are the important elements in keeping their motivation high and stable. Furthermore, it a continuous process which should be there in the organisation (Cornelis and et. al., 2019).

    McGregor Contingency Theory-

    In the 1960s, Douglas McGregor developed theories which were named as Theory X and Theory Y. These comprise of authoritarian and participative which are two styles of management that are applicable within the workplace. This theory provides a balance between the systems and freedom for achieving the goals and objectives within the organisation. It is important for the employees to be motivated in order to carry their work. This theory has undergone number of changes which are inconsistent with the requirements of the globalisation. Some additional issues and areas are added in this theory which covers contemporary issues that are connected with the society. In this way, the scope has been widened with the time because of the extended scope for the same.

    Forces that contribute to shaping of organisation

    Customer orientated- This approach is about the customers who are the most important part of the company. Organisation makes strategies for fulfilling the needs and requirements of its target customers (Beckford, 2019). They are the central, vital and valuable part of the company who are responsible for providing the high satisfaction to them. It comprises of four steps such as develop, manufacture, market and deliver. Marks & Spencer targets the females who are young and like to experiment with their clothes. On considering the food and home products the scope of the customers get increased. This can help the business to grow in future that will lead to higher profit and sales.

    Culture-excellence approach- This approach is based on the organisational culture that exist within a company. A company consists of number of employees belonging to different backgrounds, this may create issues as there will be variety of practices. Therefore, culture excellence approach helps in making the people understand the environment at the workplace. Many strategies are formed in order to make good atmosphere for the employees. Also, there should be such a culture which does not promote discrimination or such practices (Waldman and Jensen, 2016). This is the job of the managers. This can be beneficial for companies for the development of the employees. This can contribute to their satisfaction which is an important element in retaining them in the organisation. With the application of this approach, Marks & Spencer can retain good performing employees within the company for a long time.

    The Japanese Approach- This approach is specifically for the quality of the production process. According to this approach, there should be good control on the quality on the products being manufactured by the company. This helps in achieving the goals and objectives by maintaining the quality standards. Under this, there are some functions which should be exercised by the managers for carrying the changes within the organisation. Marks & Spencer is an international company operating in many countries because of globalisation. Therefore, it becomes imperative for it to incorporate measures of the control so that desired quality can attained (Antonsen, 2017).

    Organisational learning- This is the way through which the management comes to know about the organisation and its efficiency. It helps in obtaining the knowledge which can be improved with the time and requirement. Under this, the management should apply the existing knowledge and tactics for filling the gap between the working conditions and innovation. There are three actions such as conceive, act and reflect (Murphy, Willmott and Daft, 2017). Every work starts with an idea which is then executed with the formulation of a plan. It is then followed by a reflection. Marks & Spencer can learn about its mechanism in order to know the strengths and weaknesses of the company. This is to improve them with appropriate concepts and theories. Also, leadership styles can be implemented within the organisation for guiding the employees in order to achieve their goals and objectives.

    Power-politics perspectives- This is related to the division of the power within the organisation. There are three layers in the hierarchy which should have powers for making decisions which can be implemented within the company. On the other hand, politics is about the behaviours of the people working in the entity. This can be positive as well as negative. The management should always try to make efforts for bringing the positive organisational politics. Marks & Spencer can create a favourable environment at the workplace in order to achieve the goals and objectives without any hurdle. This can help it survive for a long time even in the fierce competition. There should be a balance between the politics and power (Reynolds and Vince, 2017).

    Modernist postmodernist- The word postmodernist is a phenomenon which emerged during 1920s. This is about the socio-economic climate which exists in the organisation. This approach takes into account the interest which is connected with the diversity and creativity. These form rules for the employees which should be followed by them. This is about the managerial approaches which should be adopted by the people working in the organisation. It is the developed version of postmodernist management. This takes into account the modern approaches which should be implemented within the organisation. Hence, this is the new version of the approach that can make the entities achieve the goals and objectives within time.

    Importance of technology- Technology is am important part of the company which includes emergence of new technology that can be used in the organisation. There should be implementation of the latest technology in at the workplace. Furthermore, the management should understand the needs of this aspect in order to reduce the losses or differences. Furthermore, without appropriate technology, there are high chances that company can suffer from losses (Bishop and Connors, 2018).


    From the above report, it has been concluded that organisational theories are there which have been developed by different kinds of authors from their experiences and experiments. There are pros and cons of the same, which should be taken into account before the implementation of one single theory. Along with this, the traditional approaches have been transformed with the time and such changes should be taken into account. This removes the complexities in the entity which increases the efficiencies and productivity of the workplace. Together with this, employees should be effective enough to understand and carry the changes.

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