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3383 Downloads 14 Pages 3621 Words
Leadership can be expressed as a quality of a person to influence other. He will instruct and integrates the subordinates in such a way so that they follow their leader. Sometimes leadership and management are treated in same way but there is a theoretical difference between a leader and a manager. Leaders are having some people follow them. Practically a manager in an organisation acts as a leader to complete desired task of department successfully. In order to highlight transparent picture of leadership role of a manager, here learner has taken the company M & S Ltd. which is a multi-national retail company of UK.
Figure 1: M & S Ltd. Logo
(Source: Marksandspencer.com., 2017)
According to Arnold, Fletcher and Anderson, (2015, p.285), the role of a manager in an organization plays an important role to focus on managing the entire team of employees and their activities. Performances can differ by the techniques they use in their projects and processes as per they are assigned to. Companies like M & S Ltd have managers who were given their power by the nature of their role. The responsibility of a manager is to ensure that the work assigned to individual employees gets done, to keep track on day to day tasks, and manage the activities performed by other team members (Marksandspencer.com., 2017). A manager focuses on strategic activities which are greatly needed in fast paced business environment. Most of the time they have to handle a directive and governing approach. In order to be successful by organizing employees to achieve tasks will lead to a great accomplishment. Managers in business profile keep up to date with e-commerce developments and possess knowledge of the latest technology which helps them to stay a step ahead in the competition.
Business leaders in M & S Ltd. carry out their nature of being self-aware in understanding the strengths and weakness of the employees (Marksandspencer.com.,2017). A leader treats their subordinates equally and makes fast decisions related to the workplace. It is his/her responsibility to motivate the entire team maintaining a positive attitude. The leaders always keep track of the facts and figures of the organization, earn the respect of the team and come out with a variety of innovative ideas for a better progress.
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As stated by Edwards, et al. (2015, p.328), learning good leadership skills is not easy because they contain more behavioral aspects than those traits required for management. A manager receives their authority on the basis of their role, while a leader’s power is ingrained in their way of approaching. Any change in the style of working or in the procedures of management gets focused by the leaders. In order to recognize that for an advanced success, the continual improvement achieved in their employees and their activities can be the reason of the great progressing step. It is an infinite reward to be able to lead the entire teams irrespective of change management, which can acquire by the leaders only. This is one of the major reasons that constructing leadership qualities can be so challenging for new managers. Without having management skills, demonstrating good leadership skills will leave with a disability to function the visions. Likewise, without good leadership skills, a manager will lead to face continual challenges to motivate the team and producing outcomes which he tried to manage to.
According to Bolman and Deal, (2014, p.245), leadership is a vital part which is implemented in different levels of management. Management is always involved in integration of different activities. If a leader cannot influence his followers properly then it is too difficult to coordinate the activities of subordinate people. A manager is the main person of a specific group or a department. He allocates the activities among different employees. If the manager cannot distribute the work correctly then a department cannot run efficient and effective manner. M & S Ltd is having three levels of management i.e. higher, middle and lower level. Each department is divided into different teams. Each team is having team leader who manages the total team. The allocation of task is from manager to team leader and team leader to team members. A leader always organises and plans and a manager's work is similar to that. So, He will always try to inspire the subordinate members. A manager can act as good leader when he can negotiate effectively. As stated by Renz, (2016, p.5), a manager must have the quality to negotiate with employees, contractors, creditors etc. besides a manager must be a good communicator. If he has not properly communicated then work cannot be done accurately. The last vital thing is to cope with the sudden changes in an organisation. M & S Ltd. has faced critical situations regarding communication, settlement with environmental changes etc. If the company can follow guidelines mentioned above, then they can easily eradicate the problems. A manager is having some specific functions on the basis of which leadership quality of a manager can be identified i.e. planning, communicating, integrating etc. M & S Ltd can improve their quality of management if managers of the company can integrate the total departmental tasks.
There are so many theories of leadership given by different experts out of which eight main theories are highlighted here.
Inherent Leadership: According to this approach leadership is the inborn capacity of a person. Leaders are not made; skills are normal capability of a leader. This capability makes a person great man. Simply, this theory reveals leadership is inherent quality.
Trait Theories of Leadership: In this theory, it is said that Leadership is inherent capability and quality to implement the capability makes a person good leader. It is slightly similar to the Inherent theory. A leader must have the effectiveness. As per Nahavandi, (2016, p.11), the only efficiency cannot make a perfect leader; both efficiency and effectiveness are jointly responsible for being a good leader.
The approach of Contingency: It is the most vital approach. Goetsch and Davis, (2014, p.25) opined that, this theory reveals that particular environmental factors determine the leadership style. So, there are different types of leadership which are the outcome of a specific environment. There is no theory which universal theory. Leadership style varies from situation to situation. Strategies for positive situation will be separate from strategies for negative situation. M & S LTD. needs to adopt contingency approach to increase the quality level of management. If the company faces the loss situation then the first thing is to identify the weak areas for which the organisation is incurring losses. If the company is having in higher profitability position then strategic planning must be made to continue the consistency of the performance.
Situational Approach: As mentioned by Armstrong, (2016, p.19), this approach says that a leader will select the best action among numerous courses of actions. This is worldwide accepted leadership approach because every organisation is taken their decision on situation basis. The situation is always changing. So, M & S Ltd. may improve their quality adopting this theory. The situation may be positive, average or negative. A company must eliminate the negativity and for this formulates different course of activities. The best one will be selected to solve a problem.
System Theory of Leadership: Under this approach, an enterprise is treated as a system. As stated by Solomon, Costea and Nita (2016, p.143), every system is having two aspects i.e. open ended and close ended. So, if the organisation is a system then it is having two sides. An open system is affected by environmental factors but close system is not affected by environmental elements. Generally, an organisation is definitely an open ended system because it is having influenced by different environmental issues. In decision-making process, treatment of organisation as open system helps to consider all factors. So, decision-making technique becomes easy. M & S Ltd. can easily identify all the issues regarding decision making if they follow system theory.
Behavioral Approach: In this theory, it is told that great leaders are not born, they are made by continuous process. Behavior is the main factor of a leader. It is also acceptable in some cases.
Theory of Management: In this theory, focus is made on group performance and supervision. In modern world, normally this theory is followed. Simply this approach can be expressed as the definition of management.
Relationship Approach of Leadership: As stated by Hallinger and Wang (2015, p.26), this approach shows that direct and good relation among leader and followers helps to enhance the leadership quality. This is often called transformational theories. Transformational leaders always try to maintain the group performance.
As mentioned by Pihlainen, Kivinen and Lammintakanen, (2016, p.95), some external business factors faced by the organization create a great impact upon operational management and in the decisions making process. The management team and the leaders of the company need to have active participation to avoid the crisis which includes certain factors and functions:
The financial bodies can sometimes affect the ability to run the business. The external factors that create an impact on the well-being of the company are mainly interest rates, consumer loans and availability of credit which needs to control the management system of the company.
Market fluctuations based on political affairs, terrorism attacks and depreciation in currency will lead to run out to most commercial enterprises. The management team and the leaders of M & S Ltd. in this crisis situation change their strategic planning to maintain profit which will make them unique from the competitors. This will make the working environment stable and peaceful (Marksandspencer.com., 2017).
As mentioned by Tourish, (2013, p.11), political factors are one of the main factors of business performance which varies from country to country. In U.K, Brexit union is newly elected which focuses on labour priority. In order to fulfill the demands of the employees, the management and the leaders of the company should act accordingly to the new policy to run for long-term growth rate. Taxation policy has a huge impact in affecting business costs by increasing corporation tax on business profits. This results in the pass off the tax on to consumers by the business at a higher to avoid corruption. Change in government will lead to change in spending policy which will eventually affect business. The managers of the company here will have to be more concern to maintain these changes stable in order to not to affect the employees’ wages
According to Siegling, Nielsenand and Petrides, (2014, p.65), any changes of state, local or federal in the laws have a great impact on the business if the service or merchandise becomes highly standardized or prohibited. Government regulations such as those that affect the means of communication and environment are beyond the control leading to a direct impact on the business. In this situation of crisis, the management and the leaders of the organization will provide better amenities and deals to the employees, so that they do not think to opt for an alternative job.
As stated by Johnstonand Marshall, (2016, p.23), the changing of target customer in the prospects of the organization can affect the business. Cultural connotations of a changing neighborhood may affect the business negatively or positively depending on how the management meets the needs of newly changed demographics. In the respect of this problematic situation, the management of M & S Ltd. provides the existing customers better deals in order to maintain their development and finding new potential customers to fulfill their needs at their level best.
Changes in Trend:
A growth in customer’s technology use is built into organisation’s strategic planning, but a planned extensive use of social media is not noted which leads to affect the business. Organisation going on the track of wrong sided trend can seriously affect its business practices. Therefore, the management team here needs to focus on the changes that occurred and its source to blemish away the flaws and create a new strategy to meet the expectations of the employees.
According to Kayden, et al. (2014, p.4), the management team and leadership follow different paths to improve in overall operations of the organization. Leadership and management development is important in order to train leaders for a better engagement with the employees, to gain ideas and knowledge of the client’s needs, and to put effort to set an example for others. The managers and leaders who look for improving their own performance always try to motivate their employees to do the same.
As mentioned by Hallinger and Bryant, (2013, p.307), the strategic business objectives are the aims which are vital to the present and future health of a business. In order to improve the management procedures and leadership skills to meet the business objectives with respect to M & S Ltd. certain strategies are followed:
Clear vision: Mertkan, (2014, p.226), opined that, a manager, in order to improve his performance, share his vision, mission and his goals with the entire team to make them understand its value for further proceedings. In order to meet the objectives of the business, the managers make the employees acknowledged that by following its strategies will not only develop the business but will also cause benefits to them.
Utilizing strengths and gifts: The skill to realize and utilize in-born gifted leadership qualities which every individual possess will assist to be a formidable leader. It will help to meet the objectives that the company maintains to build its brand image among the customers by offering discounts and offers on products and services.
Definite goals and concrete action plans: As commented by Riaz and Khalili, (2014, p.335), before mapping out a plan, a manager needs to acknowledge the destination to set his goal. In order to improve leadership and management skills, specific goals need to be set with appropriate timelines and designs. Then, formulation of this action plan needs to be done to commit to the business objectives that the company had proposed for the best outcomes in future.
Communication skills: In order to improve leadership skills, a manager requires to focus on his ability to communicate clearly and specifically his vision, mission, goals, motives, and anticipation to the employees and the customers. Improving management skills also requires improving verbal, nonverbal, and listening skills which help to become a great communicator taking the business across the globe.
Admitting and learning from failures and weakness: As stated by Tobin, (2014, p.2), all the great leaders establish productive leadership skills, but most importantly, continuation is needed for further improvement. Accepting mistakes and being receptive to others perception is always rewarded and helps to meet the objective of the company to reach out to more segments.
Morals and Values: In order to improve management skills, a manager needs to make choices and take actions aligned with respective morals and values which will help to success in fulfilling all objectives of the company to meet the wants of the customers.
A manager must consider the elements of specific interest. Different factors of business environment which can influence the decision-making power and operational management of M & S Ltd. are explained below.
Competitors: Company must identify its competitors in the market. If they properly find out the competitors strong and weak points, then based on weak points company can make their unique strategy which is most vital part of any organisation in perfectly competitive market. Every enterprise can grow their business by unique decision. So, M & S Ltd. must follow the rules to maintain uniqueness and competitors must be considered very carefully to flourish the activity of an organisation. The strategy will be always customer based. Ultimately customers' requirement fulfillment can increase the growth of a business.
Supplier Dealings: Supplier dealing is very important part of a business organisation. M & S Ltd. must deal with the suppliers carefully so that materials can get in right time. The company must increase good relationship with suppliers in order to ensure consistent supply of materials. This will enhance to provide best services to the consumers. Inappropriate dealings with suppliers will deteriorate the performance of the enterprise. Due to lack of supply operational activities cannot be continued.
Organisational Values and Culture: ‘Culture' and ‘Values' are two key factors of success in an organisation. These refer to the behavior of employees, ethical norms of company, relationship with different levels of management etc. On the basis of culture and values, a company performs, so these are important to continue operational performance of the company. Culture is essential to make a manager's behavior. As the internal factor, values and cultures are having pivot role on management.
Relationship with Workforce: According to Boyatzis (2014, p.300), workforce is the key part of every organization. A manager must maintain the mutual understanding with subordinates so that desired outcome can be achieved very easily. M & S Ltd. must follow the rule of optimisation with available resources. If human resources cannot be utilised correctly then it is not possible to run the business operation properly.
Proprietor of the Company: Company owners invest capital to the company in running the organisation in efficient and effective manner. As per Ljungholm, (2014, p.76), they are having full rights to change enterprise policy at any time. They are the part of stakeholders. Based on their invested amount a company is going on, so they are primary members of the company. If proprietor does not get good rate of return, he can withdraw his investment amount. M & S Ltd. must calculate the cost of capital to continue operational activities effective way. Return on investment must equal to its cost, otherwise, business cannot be run in profit.
Regulatory Body: Regulatory body is belonging to task environment. It is having power to make emphasis on the policy formulation of an organisation. The government is the main part of this environment. M & S Ltd. must follow government framework in order to maintain operations of the business organisation. Complying with government regulations, M & S Ltd can carry on their business properly.
The role of leaders and managers are quite distinctive from each other. For improvement of operational activities of M & S Ltd., leadership qualities of a manager have been explained in this report. In order to integrate different managerial activities, a manager needs to be smart and dynamic. For continuous up gradation of an enterprise, tactical planning must be adopted and the processes are discussed in the study. This explanation may be helpful not only for given company but also for each and every organisation. Thus, good leadership quality of top level management can help an enterprise to get competitive advantage in modern business world.
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