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Operation management - Sainsbury

University: UK College of Business and Computing

  • Unit No: 4
  • Level: High school
  • Pages: 19 / Words 4861
  • Paper Type: Dissertation
  • Course Code: N/A
  • Downloads: 543
Question :

This sample will guide you through:

  • Difference and similarities in manager and leader
  • Different approaches of theories of leadership
  • Various approaches of operation management
  • Importance of operation management in attaining goals of the business
Answer :
Organization Selected : Sainsbury


Operation management is a management concept which is related with proper and effective management of manufacturing and operating process within company. It is very important for companies to manage their operation process in effective manner as whole success of company is dependent on it (Schönsleben, 2018). Thus, in order to manage efficiency and productivity, it is crucial for companies to effectively manage its operations. For continuing with present report Sainsbury has been chosen which is a large chain of supermarket in UK and was founded by John James Sainsbury in the year 1869.

The present report will start by stating difference among leader and manager for a company on basis of their role and traits. Further role of a leader and manager will be applied to different situations along with discussion on different leadership theories. Next, some key approaches used in operation management and role of leader and manager in it will be discussed. Moreover, importance and value of operation management in attaining goals of business will be outlined. In the end, some factors of business environment and its impact over business will be highlighted.

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Difference and similarities in manager and leader

Leader is a person who is liable for controlling and managing staff to attain the task within the set time period. To act as a leader, various qualities are to be carried such as honesty at work place or building confidence among employees to achieve the vision and also carries the liability to take good decision in respect of facing any crises at work place. Thus, leader is important in business as through their guidance and motivation, they help employees to accomplish the task within the set time limit.

Manager is a person who who perform function of managing all activities of the company. In respect of attaining at the post of manager, they carry the responsibility regarding controlling and managing the administration work and also undertakes decision to sustain in market for longer way (Lee and et.al., 2019).

Major similarity between manager and leader is that they both are dedicated towards the company vision. Leader follows the vision which is set by manager while managers in return rely upon the decision which is interpreted by leader after setting the vision. In case of communication, both leader and manager carry the effective communication skill and motivation skill (Lee and et.al., 2017). For e.g. In case of Sainsbury the role of leader and manager are examined through setting some common vision regarding innovating new concept to retain people. Thus, work is started through setting targets or motiving staff member to share their ideas and thoughts with each other.

But, in some aspects they are also different from each other in following manner such as:





Managers carry the hard management skills in business and also, they must be the good communicator to listen and share the important decision to the company (Haddock-Millar, Sanyal and Müller-Camen, 2016).

They mainly carry the soft leadership skills in respect of motivating staff to work as a team or providing flexibility to accomplish the task. Leaders are confident to present the views and also must be problem solver if any problem arise between employees at work place.

Roles and responsibilities

Their role is to monitor the working criteria of the employees and also responsible to plan, organize, manage and control the activities to achieve the set goal in business (Mohanty, 2018). 

The role of leader is to bring changes in work premises and also inspire other to adapt such changes in better way. The responsibility which they carried is to verify that the changes which they made is providing the long- term benefits or not.

Authority and power

They had the power to hire the employees and also take strict action in respect of breach committed in not following any of the norms.

They carry the power in respect of providing rewards to employees and also influences others to move in right directions (Lee and et.al., 2019).


In case of Sainsbury, manager duty is hire right and qualified employees to accomplish such task in right way.

The leader of Sainsbury plays the role as motiving employees to bring innovative ideas in business and also helps in attaining the goal within the set time period. 

Role of leader and function of manager in different situation

Within a business, there are many different types of situations which can occur at any time and need to be handled by both leader and manager. From above discussion it was outlined that both manager and leader are different from one another and reacts to situations in different manner. Some of situations and role of manager and leader within it is discussed below-

Employee turnover- This is a situation wherein large number of employees of Sainsbury leave the job from company. This may be because of many different reasons like low morale, not good working condition, low satisfaction, not good working condition, better opportunity in other companies and many other reasons. In this situation both manager and leader of Sainsbury will perform different functions. The manager of Sainsbury uses the system leadership as they allow people to go and will plan some different sources through which recruitment of new employees will be done. On the other side, leader of Sainsbury will use situational leadership as in accordance with situation they will try to communicate with employees who are leaving and will try to analyse and evaluate reason of their leaving. This analysis will help them in finding the major drawbacks of company because of which large number of employees are leaving and will try to rectify the mistake.

Technological changes- This is a situation in which Sainsbury tries to implement the new technology for better working of company and increasing its profitability and productivity of company (De Roover, 2017). But employees of Sainsbury are not ready to adapt to new technology as they think that this will reduce their importance. Thus, in this situation, leader of Sainsbury adopts system leadership and will enforce implementation of new technology for betterment of company. In contrast to this manager of Sainsbury will adopt contingency leadership and if technology will not be understood clearly by employees then they will train them on how to use it.

Innovation- This is a situation wherein employees of Sainsbury are motivated to bring innovation and creativity in their work so that they can face high competition (Greasley, 2019). Hence, in order to keep the employees of Sainsbury motivated the manager uses situational leadership as if innovation suggested by employee will be good then it will be implemented otherwise not. On the flip side leader of Sainsbury in this situation opts for system leadership and through it continuously monitor the innovation and its application and whether it is going in right direction or not.

In the end, it can be said that both leader and manager of Sainsbury reacts to the same situation in different manner. This is majorly because their role within business is completely different as they both are different form one another. The manager here plays the role as defined by Mintzberg which includes three major roles that is informational, interpersonal and decisional roles. The informational role further includes monitor, disseminator and spokesperson. Interpersonal includes figurehead, leader and liaison and decisional includes entrepreneur, resource allocator, disturbance handler and negotiator. On the other side leader of Sainsbury include major role of overseeing and managing and controlling all business activities of Sainsbury.

Different approaches of theories of leadership

For success of business it is very important for Sainsbury to have effective use of leadership and different approaches of it. The major reason pertaining to this fact is that leadership provides a direction for all working within company. Thus, it is very necessary for company to manage and use effective approaches of leadership as this directs the working of company. In order to attain the goals of business the leadership approaches used by Sainsbury are as follows-

System leadership- this is a style of leadership under which a system is created in order to set a pattern for the employees so that they know what work they have to do (Akalin, Huang and Willems, 2016). Under this system some different principles and rules and regulations are being set by leader of Sainsbury so that this system will effectively work in direction of attaining goals and objectives of business. This approach is being used by leader of Sainsbury as it provides a direction to employees of Sainsbury that in which direction they have to work in order to fulfil their duties and responsibilities (Lu, Lubbad and Løset, 2018). The system approach of leadership provides for a clear structure to employees as leaders beforehand describes the duties and working of different employees keeping in mind goals and objective of business. Thus, this system approach provides a roadmap to employee to work in direction of goals accomplishment.


  • The major strength is that this helps in attaining goals of business in effective and efficient manner as all the ways are beforehand discussed.
  • Another strength is that this approach takes into consideration goals of organization and of employees as well which help both leader and manager to achieve in proper and effective manner.


  • The major weakness is that it is not possible to always work in a specified system of structure because in the dynamic working environment it is not possible for company to follow the same structure.
  • This system approach ignores the changes taking place within the environment as the system is already defined and established. Thus, this system cannot be changed or rectified in the system.

Situational leadership- this is a style of leadership which states that use of leadership technique depends upon the situation prevailing at current time. This approach states that every situation is not similar hence, the way of dealing with different situation is also different so as leadership style will also be different. Under this approach leader of Sainsbury does not set the system of working as in case of system leadership rather in accordance with prevailing conditions they decide the way of working. After analysing whole situation leader of Sainsbury advices, the way of working and system used for working to employees of Sainsbury. After thorough analysis of situation leader delegates work to employees.


  • The major strength of this approach is that this is a flexible approach as it is based on current prevailing conditions (Dierynck and Labro, 2018).
  • One more strength is that this approach makes environment for employees a bit comfortable as in system they just have to follow the guidelines provided by leader which is not in this case.


  • The major weakness is that leader cannot predict the situation and cannot predetermine the style of working for employees of Sainsbury. Hence, it is not possible for the leader to use a single system for the complete working of the company.
  • This type of leadership approach is based on skills of leader and if leader is not competent then this approach is not good (Aboelmaged and Hashem, 2018).

Contingency leadership- this is an approach which states that there is no best way of doing a work. This is majorly because of the fact that the business situations are contingent that is dependent over future happening. It is possible that what leader of Sainsbury has thought does not happen because of some external factors changes. Thus, this approach states that the leadership must be based on happening of event. The leader has to find their own way of leading a situation as there is no fixed way which can be applied to every situation.


  • This is advantageous because this approach allows leader to change its policies if there are change in external factors. This is beneficial because the current world is dynamic and ever changing and it is good method for making the working more organized and simple.
  • This provides the leader with option of making policies and structure after happening of the contingent situation.


  • This is a complex task as no person can give suggestion as to what the leader must do because the situation is contingent and may or may not happen.
  • This approach is reactive in nature that is if the situation will occur then only this principle will be followed otherwise not. Hence, the leader cannot say or predict that whether the situation will occur in the near future or not and if occur then with what intensity it will occur.


Various approaches of operation management

Operations management is that area of company which is related with the making and designing and controlling of all the activities which are undertaken in order to makes the goods in which company deals (Zou, Arruda and Ergan, 2018). There are many different approaches which can be applied by Sainsbury in order to make the goods and services of good and effective quality so that this attracts more of the consumers. This will in turn increase the goodwill and market share of company resulting in increase in overall productivity and profitability of company. Thus, various approaches being used by Sainsbury in order to attain objectives of business are as follows-

Total Quality Management (TQM)- Quality is the major issue in this current competitive market as there are many companies' dealings in same product but consumers differentiate the product on basis of quality only (Neville, Scibilia and Martin, 2016). Thus, for this Sainsbury uses approach of TQM which aims at developing the overall quality of product and services so that it attracts more of the consumers. this approach is being used by Sainsbury because it uses the framework of PDCA that is plan, do, check and act. Here the manager first plans the work and then do it and check whether it is correct or not and, in the end, if it is correct then it is applied to operations. The major elements which are added in work to implement TQM by Sainsbury are four that is foundation, building brick, building mortar and roof. Further in foundation comes ethics, integrity and trust which is necessary for Sainsbury to maintain. Further in building bricks comes training, teamwork and leadership. Next in building mortar comes communication and under roof comes recognition which is essential for improving the quality of goods and services provided by Sainsbury.

Lean manufacturing- This is another approach of operation management which is used by Sainsbury in order to manage its operation in better manner. In this type of approach, the main aim is on minimization of waste so that this increases productivity of company. This approach of operation management is applied by the store manager of Sainsbury because this approach tries to eliminate the waste and defects from whole process of manufacturing. This is being applied by store manager of Sainsbury as this minimizes the cost for company as all wasteful activities has been reduced and eliminated. Here the role of store manager is to identify all possible defects in process of production and take measures in reducing them.

Kaizen- This is yet another technique which is being used by Sainsbury in its operation management. This is being used by operational manager of Sainsbury as this is based on philosophy of continuous improvement. There are many different changes taking place within business environment and these may help Sainsbury in improving itself. Hence, with use of approach of kaizen, manager of Sainsbury tries to improve itself in accordance with the changes in business environment.

Six sigma- This is a yet another approach of operation management which is being used to effectively manage the operation and manufacturing process at Sainsbury. This is being used by manager of Sainsbury as this is a statistical based approach which aims at continuous improvement along with elimination of waste and defects. The process of six sigma is being applied by store manager of Sainsbury is through a 5- step model that is DMAIC which is an acronym for Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control (Hitt, Xu and Carnes, 2016). The store manager of Sainsbury here plays role of controller and try to control all possible areas which can be improved for betterment by focusing on minimization of defects.

Just in time (JIT)- This is also a good approach of operation management which is being used by Sainsbury for making its operations effective and efficient. This is a system which aims at ordering inventory on basis of need so that the time of holding inventory is reduced and this will also decrease the cost of holding inventory. This approach is being used by Sainsbury to eliminate the time of unnecessary holding of inventory and reduce the carrying and holding cost associated with inventory and aiming at increase in efficiency and effectiveness (Fahron-Hussey, Fahron-Hussey and Valussi, 2019). The store manager of Sainsbury here plays a crucial role in applying JIT as they ensure that all inventory is provided on time to operation team of Sainsbury. This is done to ensure that production takes place on time and products are provided to consumers on time so that they can consume it.

In the end it can be summarised that use of all these various approaches of operation management is very useful for Sainsbury. The reason underlying this fact is that all these approaches assist in better operation and manufacturing process. Thus, this will improve the process and this will result in increasing productivity ad profitability. Due to this all the aims and objectives of business will be attained as production of goods and services will be good then other activities of Sainsbury will also be good and profitable.

Importance of operation management in attaining goals of the business

Management Operation is defined as an important part of business as without it no work can be done. This includes administration of all the practices and activities which are included in the production process of company. Thus, it is of value for company to maintain a good system of operation management so that company can attain all its business objectives. It is very important for Sainsbury to manage its operations in effective and efficient manner as this leads to a profitable business. The major importance of operation management for Sainsbury is discussed as follows-

The major importance of operation management for Sainsbury is to assist business and employees in achieving business objectives. This is necessary because of the fact that all business functions whether be it marketing, sales, HR, finance and all other departments are based on operations only. Thus, for attaining objectives of all department, operation need to be done in effective manner as all other department are dependent on it only. Here the store manager plays role in coordinating all the working of all department in one direction that is direct of attaining goals of organization.

Another major importance of operation management for Sainsbury is that is increases goodwill of company. This is majorly because of the reason that effective operation management will assist Sainsbury in developing products of good quality and this will eventually develop goodwill in market. The role of store manager in this area is trying to sustain goodwill of Sainsbury by continuously focusing on development of improved quality of goods.

In addition to above another value of operation management for Sainsbury is that these operation management techniques and approaches reduces the waste within production process (Operations management- functions, importance and nature, 2019). This is of value to managers of Sainsbury as because of reduction in waste and defects unnecessary cost is not incurred and this increases the profitability of company. Store manager of Sainsbury here continuously oversees production process and try to eliminate the defects which comes in process of production for better output.

Along with this another importance of operation management for Sainsbury is proper and optimum utilization of resources (Reid and Sanders, 2019). This is necessary as resources are very limited and scarce and competition is high and effective use of techniques of operation management like TQM, JIT, lean help Sainsbury in properly utilising the resources in optimum and efficient manner. Here store manager plays effective role as by analysing need of raw material by every department they try to allocate the resources in such a way that it is used in much effective way and are sustained for future use.

Another importance of operation management for Sainsbury is increase in consumer satisfaction. This is of importance because of the reason that the goods and services of Sainsbury are made by applying good techniques of operation management. Thus, this increases satisfaction of consumers as they like high quality product provided by company at nominal process. Thus, it is of value as it increases number of consumers for company (Grant, Trautrims and Wong, 2017). In this important area store manager of Sainsbury plays a crucial role as they try to provide good quality products to consumers by applying various techniques of quality improvement like TQM, quality circle and other.

Other than these one more importance of operation management is that this help Sainsbury in combining all other functions of business. This is pertaining to the reason that all other functions are dependent on operations only. If product will not be there then how marketing will take place, also, if operation will not be there then how sales will be made or where finance will be used. Thus, operation management is of value to other departments and function of business as well and there needs to be coordination among all business activities. Here the role of store manager of Sainsbury is of coordinator as here they coordinate efforts of all department in producing good quality product at nominal range so that it satisfies the consumers.

In the end it can be summarised that operation management is of great value to Sainsbury as without this company cannot run. Thus, it is very necessary for company to maintain and run effective operations so that good quality products are produced and marketed and sold at large scale. This increases the value of company as these products are being liked by consumers and are preferred over the products of consumers.

Business environment factors that impact operation management and decision making

Business organization operates in environment which is dynamic and ever- changing and this impact the working of company to a great extent. There are many changes taking place in external environment and this affects the working of Sainsbury to a great extent. Some of the external factors which impacts working of operation management of Sainsbury are as follows-

Corporate Social responsibility- This is the obligation of business which they have to fulfil towards society and environment as well (Bromiley and Rau, 2016). This is a major factor which impact operation management of company as if company does not take into consideration CSR issues then consumers will not like to buy products of Sainsbury. Thus, this will decrease the profitability of company and sales and income for company will reduce. For instance, if because of operations the hazardous elements are emitted into environment then it will harm the environment and this will not be like by the consumers (Bordoloi, Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons, 2018). Thus, this will impact on decision making by manager as now they have to decide for alternate approach of emission of waste or of reduction of waste through wither lean manufacturing or six sigma.

Cultural values- This includes the values and beliefs followed within the company and in society. There needs to be harmony in both values followed within Sainsbury and that of society. This is because of the values of consumers are not addressed at time of making the goods and services then it is of no use as consumers will not like the products. Thus, there needs to be balance between what is required by consumers that is their value for products and services and what Sainsbury is providing to consumers. If these value does not match with values of consumers, then they will not buy products and this will decrease sales of company. This impact the decision making by manager of Sainsbury because of the reason that now manager has to decide on how to balance between values of both company and consumers.

Ethics within company- This is also an important external factor which impacts on operational management of Sainsbury to a great extent. This is majorly because of the reason that if ethics are not followed by company then it is not liked by consumers and this will decrease sales of company (Meredith and Pilkington, 2018). Hence, there needs to be a balance between ethics and these must be applied in working and operations of company. This impacts the decision making by manager because of the fact that they have to decide that which source they have to use for raw materials and whether all the working is being done in ethical manner or not.

Sustainability of company- This is also an important issue within the external environment that is sustainability that is ability of using the resources in such a manner that it is optimally used and can be saved for future use as well. This impact the decision making by manager because of the fact that they have to decide that whether the resources and raw material used are being used in optimal way or not (Hill and Hill, 2017). If these are not being in optimal way, then consumers will not like it and will not buy products of Sainsbury. Hence, it is necessary for manager of Sainsbury to ensure sustainability of resources so that they are optimally used and attract more of the consumers.

In the end it can be summarized that Sainsbury cannot work in isolation from environment that is they have to take into consideration all the changes taking place in external business environment. This is pertaining to the fact that these need to be adapted by company for better operation of company.


In the end it is summarised that managing operations is a very important task for any business to get successful. The underlying reason because of this reason is that operation management is responsible for whole working of company and its profitability. It is so because if the products are not produced in proper way then this will decrease goodwill of company and it will reduce revenue of company. Thus, present report stated that there is a difference among leader and manager as both have different skills and varied roles and responsibilities. Further it discussed that manager and leader both reacts to business situations in different manner like in technological changes, employee turnover and many other business situations.

Next discussion highlighted that there is different approach to leadership like system, contingency, situational and other which can be applied by company for effective management. Moreover, discussion outlined approaches of operation management like TQM, JIT, lean, six sigma and many others. In addition to this importance was also discussed like increase in goodwill, consumer satisfaction and many others. In the end, the impact of different external factors like CSR, ethics, cultural values and other was discussed along with its impact over decision making.

Read Also: Managing the Customer Experience

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