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Factors of the Business Environment - Marks & Spencer

University: UKCBC College

  • Unit No: 4
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 17 / Words 4255
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: D/508/0488
  • Downloads: 249
Organization Selected : Marks & Spencer


Operation management is the managing and controlling of business activities that help in creating the highest level of efficiency within an enterprise (Balasubramaniam and et. al., 2016). It is basically the process of converting raw material and labour into products and services to generate the maximum profit for an organization. It concentrates on planning, organizing, directing and supervising the production process. Marks & Spencer is a multinational company established globally. It deals in various products such as clothing, luxury food product, and home products. This report consists of characteristics of leaders and their roles and responsibilities. Different types of leadership theories and approaches to operational management are also included in this project. Along with this, internal and external factors of the business environment and their impact on the decision-making process of an enterprise are detailed as well.

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P1.Role and characteristics of leader and manager


Manager is a person who is responsible for administrating and controlling the employees as well as organisational activities and provide guidance to their staff members for achieving company's objective.


Leader is a person who hold superior position with great imagination has a ability to influence over employees and motivate them to accomplish their aim along with the the objective of an organisation.

Manager and leader both are different in term of their characteristics and roles performed by them, which are explained below:


Manager and Leader both work toward the success of an organisation and influence the environment and work structure of company. Their main aim is to allocate available resources and guiding the employees to work in such a way so that they can be used effectively and efficiently (Evangelopoulos and et. al., 2016). Both poses certain similarities in their roles and characteristics as manager can also be a leader if he has a skill to motivate their employees to work more effectively toward the growth of an organisation. Following are the similarities that a leader and manager of Mark & Spencer have:

  • Leader and manager both formulate strategies to guide their employees so that they can bring efficiency in their performance and contribute toward the growth of Mark & Spencer.
  • Both affect the working environment of the company and create the foundation of Mark & Spencer's operational structure in order to get better result form employees to achieve pre specified goals.
  • Management and leadership are very essential part of a company as they more concerned about working toward the expansion of business by influencing and improving the performance of their employees.

M1 Difference between the role of leader and functions of managers

Managers and leaders both are very important part of a company which help in improving the performance of employees and aligning them toward the achievement of organisational goal. But both are different in term of their characteristic, style of management and in roles such as manager is work for present and analyse goals, plan & policies of an organisation to accomplish tasks (Grahn, Johansson and McKelvey, 2014). On the other hand leaders are future-oriented they decide the vision for their employees to provide them direction of work and motivating them to achieve their as well as organisational goals. Managers form detail plans to schedule tasks whereas leaders sets directions to perform that task.

P2 Role and Functions of manager

A manager performs several roles and functions which are very necessary for the proper functioning of an organisation. Henry Fayol was the first theorist who identifies five major functions that every manager performs and theorized them for universal applicability which are explained below:

Planning:- Under this function Fayol suggested that a manager must plan in advance by predicting future in order to develop strategies and objectives to decide future course of actions. They must evaluate upcoming threats and contingencies that may affect the operations of organisation and formulate plans to deal with such situations (Haimes, 2015). For example, Mark & Spencer aims to remain competitive in term of their product for this they regularly perform research over prevailing market trend and tries to being first to offer unique products by formulating plans.

Organising:- After formulating plans next function is to organising, in which manager organize its team or workforce to work over their plans by recruiting right candidate for the job. Managers are responsible for aligning the job to these team members and provide proper training so that they can perform their task effectively (Hugos, 2018). For example, managers of M&S should explain the job to their subordinates and provide training to them so that they can perform well.

Commanding:- After allocating work to employees manager must supervise them for their tasks and tries to motivate them for performing their task effectively. Manager must communicated company's policies to its subordinates and command them to work toward the accomplishment of organisational goals. For example, managers of M&S must create a blueprint which contains various tasks to perform and people assigned for that work to remove confusion and should check their work to identify whether operations are going as per plan or need some attention.

Coordinating:- Another important function that have a direct effect over the productivity is coordinating. Manager focuses more on bring coordination among their employees to ensure high productivity and proper workflow by motivating their employees to work together as a team (Jacobs, Chase and Lummus, 2014). Communication is a major tool to achieve coordination throughout an enterprise which help in achieving harmony of employee's effort for achieving organisational goal. For example, workforce need a manager who can communicate with them about issues employees face during operations and can provide solutions to overcome.

Controlling:- Controlling is another essential function in which manager ensures that scheduled activities are going as per plan and producing desired result. It generally refers to checking the current performance and comparing it with the planned performance in order to determine the gap between performance and if any them tries to fill that to eliminate negative consequences.

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For example, managers of M&S should evaluate employee's planned and actual performance in order to get better result.

The roles of leader and functions of manager in different situations

Stable situational:- Stable situation is when a company face no or very little changes in its external environment. So in this case the main role of a leader and manager is to forecast the future by examining the past record and formulating strategies that help in dealing with such situations.

Stable to moderate situation:- Under this situation company faces very few changes in its external environment and they can control them by applying effective strategies. So, the role of leader and manager is to develop contingency plan to eliminate the risk of loss due to environmental changes (Marchington and et. al., 2016).

Fast change:- This situation refer to the a condition when company faces huge changes in an environment it operates. This need a manager to develop strategies to eliminate the risk of failure and the role of a leader is to inspire worker to maintain their quality in work.


P3 Theories and approaches of leadership

Leadership is the skills and ability with in an individual to guide or infulence its follower to perform certain tasks. Leader generally uses number of approaches in order to deal with situations and for motivating employees to perform their operations more efficiently towards the accomplishment of goal. Following are certain theories used by an leader:

Situational theory of leadership:-

Situational leadership theory suggest that a good leader is one who can change the style of management according to the situation in order to meet the requirement of the enterprise. A leader must have a skill of being able to adopt his approach with the changing circumstances for becoming more successful (Pundi and et. al., 2015). For instance there are some employees in organisation who perform their task more efficiently under a leader who is autocratic whereas others like to have a leader who is democratic and believe that their follower will take right decision and carry out plans. So, not every organisation require similar leadership skills that is why a leader must poses situation style of management to manage their follower as per the current situation and can guide them. Get the best essay writing service for college students.

Contingency Leadership:

Contingency theory more focuses on personality of a leader and situation in which they operates their operations. This theory explains that an effective leader is one who knows which leadership style should be used in order to deal with particular situation and their actions is more depend over the internal and external factors. The roles and responsibility of a leader is to communicate about the goals and objective with their employees to accomplish them (Penn and Pennix, 2017). Leader set visions for employees to provide them with procedure to complete their tasks more efficiently. This theory allows the leader to opt two different style of management that are either task oriented or people oriented.

System Leadership:-

Another leadership approach is system leadership which explains that a leader must consider a company as a system which is interconnected with man made and natural. A system is a set of different parts or divisions which interact with each other to form a whole organisation (Punyateera and et. al., 2014). This theory suggest that a company is consists of different parts such as infrastructure, employees, machinery, product, assets, information and resources which is managed by a leader so that company can achieve organisational goal more efficiently.

In case of Mark & Spencer contingency theory must be opt by leaders because this approach help leader in dealing with different situations and assist in taking right decisions for solving various issues more effectively. This theory also help M&S in accomplishing their organisational goals and in improving the performance of their employees.

M2.Strength and Weaknesses of various approaches

Leaders have different approaches that can be applied in different situations such as system, situational and contingency are few of them which help in achieving better result. Before selecting an approach, a manager of M&S must consider the following strength and weaknesses of approaches:

  • Contingency:- This style help a leader in collecting data about various activities performed within an organisation so that effective actions can be taken to improve performance (Rushton, Croucher and Baker, 2014). But it also has a weakness that it cannot be applied to all the situations.
  • Situational:- Strength of situational approach is that it make aware about the training and development needed by staff but at the same time its major weakness is that it is less flexible as compare to other approaches.
  • System:- Strength is that it assist leader in getting control over business activities and its weakness is it is complex in nature.


P4. Approaches of operational management and role of leaders and managers

Operation management is refers to the business actions that develop the highest level of effectiveness in an organisation. It works on turning labour and raw material into goods and services to increase the productivity and profitability of firm. It focus on planning, organising and supervising manufacturing of products (Shirae and et. al., 2015). There are various approaches utilised by Marks & Spencer to attain effectiveness in their functioning:

  • Total quality management: This is one of the important approach of the operation management that refers to all the employees in an organisation work for the increasing the efficiency by improving their process and quality of products and services. For integration of quality decision in operations and culture of Mark & Spencer by using various data, strategies and effective communication. Total quality management is an approach that helps in improving the performance and quality which satisfy their customers. Mark & Spencer's manager have to use this approach for improving the quality of their products and this leads to increase in profitability and productivity.
  • Six sigma: This is approach of operation management that is used for improving the quality of product by elimination and reducing the defects and errors that helps in decreasing the cost and also saves time (Thornburg, Ustun and Krogh, 2016). It is very essential to identify employees potential and their expertise field that helps in improving the functioning and performance. Marks & Spencer must use six sigma approach as it helps in making the production defect or error free which leads in improving the quality of commodity that seeks to customer satisfaction.
  • Just in time: It is another approach of operation management that helps in reducing or eliminating the wasteful activities. Marks & Spencer utilise this strategy to improve efficiency and minimize the waste by ordering raw material as and when required, this helps in decreasing the inventory cost. Just in time approach requires that manager should forecast their demand accurately so it helps in reducing the wastage.
  • Continuous improvements: It is approach of operational management that refers to ongoing improvement of products and services. Continuous improvements means firm should improve their product and services on frequent basis. This leads to retain their consumers for longer period of time that provides various advantages to an organisation. Marks & Spencer utilise this approach for continuous improvements in production of their products and services.
  • Lean production: It is another type of approach that is used for eliminating and minimizing waste within production system. The main focus of this approach is it cutting out waste and improve the quality of products and services (Webb, 2017). Marks & Spencer uses this approach to offer quality products to their potential customers.
  • Queuing: This approach is helpful in saving time and cost of production because it predicts the queuing time of every good. It is useful for manager to make queuing of product effective.

These are the various approaches of operation management that helps in increase the quality of product and services. This helps in improve the efficiency of Marks & Spencer's operations and reduce the defects and errors in production process or also minimize wastage that seeks to increase in productivity and profitability.

Roles of store manager:

Store manager is a person who is responsible for meet consumers needs and plan accordingly to coordinate sales (Wild, 2017). He manages operating activities of store and make maximum profitability. There are various duties and roles of store manager that are as follows:

  • Recruitment and selection: Important role of store manager is to hire appropriate candidate with skills and experience as per Marks & Spencer store and also provide them proper training that helps in company's growth and development.
  • Preparing budget: Another duty of store manager is to prepare proper budget by forecasting future demands and expenses.
  • Managing store environment: Store manager have to maintain the ambience of the store that helps in attract customer to buy products and services from their store.
  • Achievement of sales target: One of the essential role of store manager is to increase the profitability of company by attaining sales target by directing and motivating their employees.

Leaders and managers both plays vital role in an organisation. As leader are the person who gives commands to their follower and also guides them to perform well and attain specific objectives of company. Manager is the person who forms and implement various policies and strategies at organisation which helps in increase efficiency of manufacturing process and assure that optimum utilisation of resources. All this improves the performance of employees as well as motivate them to achieve organisational set goals.

P5. Importance and values of operation management

Operation management is the process of planning, organizing, managing, supervising and controlling the production process. The objective of this is to provide timely delivery of their product ans services and successfully convert raw material to finished good. Significance of operation management is to improve the overall productivity.

The importance of operational management are as follows:

  • Product positioning: Significance of operational management is it gives product positioning of company's product and services in market. Marks & Spencer utilise operational management to provide good quality of commodity that gives satisfaction to their potential consumers (Zeng and et. al., 2014). It is very important for company to differentiate their products and services with their rivalry that helps in attracting large number of customers and this leads to increase in productivity and profitability.
  • Reduce wastage of resources: Another importance of operational management is it helps in proper utilisation of resources that helps in reducing the cost of production and leads to maximization of profit. There are various approaches of operational management such as six sigma and just in time that helps in eliminating the errors or defects and also decrease the wastage of resources by using these strategies.
  • Help in satisfaction customer need: One of the major importance, using operational management by company they meet customer expectations. Marks & Spencer produces high quality of products and services according to consumers needs and wants that leads in achieving customer satisfaction. This helps in maximization of profit and also increase in productivity.
  • Provide long term benefits to company: Operation management motivates and guides their employees to produces high quality of product and deliver these on time to their potential customer. Marks & Spencer achieves the long term benefit as they provide quality products to their customers and adds innovation in their product on frequent basis. This leads to maximization in sales of their products and also increase the goodwill or brand image of company.
  • Supporting company's strategy: As operational management is combination of various functions such as planning, organising, directing and controlling so importance of this is it helpful in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of an enterprise. Another necessary function of operational management is it minimize or decrease the cost of production that helps in maximization of profitability.
  • Interdepartmental integration: Another significance of operational management is it divides the work into various department of an enterprise that helps in increasing the performance and also helpful in avoiding conflicts among employees. There is quick decision making in an organisation because of the interdepartmental integration. For achieving organisational objective it is very essential of firm to having integration among various departments and also having team work. This helps in smooth running of organisation and improve the performance of employees.
  • Inventory management: It is another importance of operational management that helps in managing the inventory (Zeng and et. al., 2014). Marks & Spencer uses various approaches of operational management that are useful for inventory control such as just in time, total quality management and six sigma. These approaches are helpful in eliminating and reduces the error or defects and also minimize the wastage of resources.

P6. Factors affecting decision making process of leaders and managers

There are various factors that are available inside as well as outside an organisation which affects the decision making process of leader and managers that are as follows:

Internal factors:

These elements are inside the organisation and affects the operations & decision making of an enterprise. Following are the internal factors:

  • Customers: Person who buy and uses product and services of company are considered as customers. The main objective of the company is to satisfy customer by producing products as per the needs and demands of customer, this affects the decision making of leader and manager. For maintaining good relations with their customer company need to develop products and services according to the preference of potential customers.
  • Suppliers: There are persons who supply raw material for the manufacturing process are known as suppliers (Zeng and et. al., 2014). Marks & Spencer maintain good relations with their suppliers by timely payments to them and buy raw material in bulk that is beneficial for both company and suppliers.

External factors:

These include elements that are present in outside the organisation and these factors are not under the control of an enterprise. Following are the external factors :

  • Political factors: It includes the elements that includes opportunities and pressure brought by government and legislation. The factors that are related this are government policies, inter country relationship, trading policies and many more. Decrease in sourcing cost because of the free trade policy is the political factor of Marks & Spencer.
  • Economic factors: The elements related to economic structure, taxation, local economy, inflation and seasonality issues are comes under economic factors which affects the decision making of leaders and managers (Marchington and et. al., 2016). Disputes with small retailers because of the rise in the price of product due to currency impact of Brexit is the major economic factor of Marks & Spencer.
  • Social factors: The factors related to attitudes, beliefs and cultural aspects that affects the demand of firm's product and services. Initiative that supports the surrounding communities are helpful in cutting internal cost it is the social factor of Marks & Spencer that affects the decision making of leaders and manager in organisation.
  • Technological factors: The components that are related to innovation, technological aspects, technology legislation and intellectual property issues are comes under the technological factors. Marks & Spencer
  • Factors impact upon decision making as a store manager

It is very essential for Marks & Spencer to consider all internal and external factors during decision making process related to operations and manufacturing process for effective decision. By these components of an enterprise can identify various opportunities that is beneficial for business to achieve objectives and goals of firm (Penn and Pennix, 2017). These factors affects the decision making of manager and leader as Marks & Spencer stores are globally situated and each country has different government policies which may have impact growth and development of company. Therefore, they consider these policies while formulating different strategies related to the activities of their stores in different countries. It is also very necessary to take decision on the basis of customer's needs and demands. When there is failure in decision making by leader and manager it leads to decrease in market share and demand of their product and services (Punyateera and et. al., 2014). Considering these factors by Marks & Spencer can increase the growth of company and also achieves the competitive advantage. It is very useful for store manager to evaluate threats that may impact the growth of an organisation.

M4. Various elements affects the business environment

There are different factors that are exist in business environment that largely impact the decision making process of leader and manager. Marks & Spencer is functioning on global level so it is necessary for company to analysis all elements of business environment before formulating policies and strategies related to an enterprise. There are two type of factors that affects the functioning of company that are internal and external factors. Suppliers, employees and customer are considered in internal factor and political, economic, social, technological, legal and environment all these elements comes under the external factor of business environment.


From the above report it has been concluded that leader and manager plays a very essential role toward the growth of an organisation. Leaders uses certain approaches and theories in order to motivate employees and guiding them on the other hand manager performs certain functions that help in achieving the Mark & Spencer's objectives. Further the concept of operational management help enterprise in offering quality products at affordable price to their customers. M&S must adopt various operation management approaches which help them in accomplishing their goals more effectively.

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