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Leadership change and People Performance

Introduction About a Good Leadership

Theme of the study: The purpose of the assignment is to understand effective management of change. The chosen assignment topic enable researcher to understand live authentic problem faced by M&S and incorporate opportunities for an integration between theory and practice. The leadership theme was taken to understand leadership styles followed by M&S enterprise.  By considering this theme, investigator will able to better understand problem facing by Mark and Spenser regarding to measure the multi-faceted consequences of an HR or corporate strategy. Along with this, it describes theory, principles and practices of high performance working to deliver sustained synergies (Cummings and Worley, 2005).

Reasons behind choosing topic: The rationale behind carry out the research was to understand concept of effective leadership and people engagement to solve the problem of poor profitability at Mark& Spencer. In the present case concerned, the main reason behind Mark and Spenser of London have been taken to understand the ways in which leadership can improve the performance as well as human resources of company in an appropriate manner (Marks and Spencer Group plc, 2014). The research report focused on the impact of leadership change on performance of organization and people who are associated with company.

General information: M&S has very wide range products from food, cosmetics to other accessories. Robert Swannell is the chairman of Marks and Spenser group. Organization has followed transnational leadership style in which leader of firm creates guide that change according through increasing motivation and inspiration to its employees to give their best at the workplace. By adopting change management model and applying HR strategies in an appropriate way, Mark and Spenser were able to maximize employed performance and commitment in present tough competitive market scenarios.

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Method Of Investigation

Impact of Leadership traits and change can be understood by using qualitative approach. The whole research is based on the secondary data collection method and data has collected from books, journals, online published articles and annual report of Mark and Spencer etc. By applying leadership theories and models researcher would be able to examine the factors that can affect organization performance such as transformational leadership styles and Heuristic model etc (Cameron and, 2014). Through conducting review of literature and studies conducted by previous researcher, leadership change and its impact on firm performance can be understood in a significant manner. These techniques would be helpful for the company in terms of enhancing employee commitment and engagement within the organization. With help of effective utilization of management and capabilities and workforce who are associated with firm, it can overcome resistance of its employees towards new changes adopted by enterprise (Garner, Kawulich and Wagner, 2012). Exploratory technique was used in the study because study based on the secondary data collection and literature review.

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Literature Review

The review of literature was conducted by considering the topic of effective leadership and people engagement: solving the problem of poor profitability at Mark& Spencer.

Role of HR strategies and leadership to enhance the abilities, motivation and performance of employee

According to Packard, Leaders of Mark and Spenser can boost up the morale of its employees through applying trait approach and heuristic model at the workplace.  Heuristic model identifies the various factors that influence the performance of employees as well as organization. Packard describes that leadership traits (characteristics and value of leaders), competencies (knowledge and skill level of employees and top managers), management capacity factor(planning, financial management, human resource and information system), organizational contingency factors (environment, structure and decision making nature etc), culture of organization (social support, innovation, team orientation and emphasize on rewards) and job satisfaction of staff-members of Mark and Spenser are the major factors that play critical role in increasing motivation and satisfaction level of employees in an appropriate manner (Packard, n.d.).

Finally, it should be noted that organizational policies, economic, social and technological forces and internal dynamic of firm such as behavior and effectiveness of leaders are also influenced by the performance of employees of M&S. Yukl (2006) found that M&S emphasized on trait theory and relies that people are born with inherited traits. The leaders and top managers of company have different unique characteristics such as they are adaptable to situation, tolerant of stress, willing to assume responsibility, high energy level and personal integrity that help of organization to retain its existing and attracting new customers by providing unique services at right time (Yukl, 2006). UK based retail giant follows centralized structure in which all decisions are taken by its leaders and top executives of enterprise.

According to Senge (2014) for the firm different types of implicit and explicit HR strategies would be beneficial such as sustainable development, reducing labor cost, emphasized on technology, reform of main HR process, improving work quality and enhancing flexibility of users through increasing technology advancement at the workplace. Luxembourg explored that major HR strategies and their impact on organizational performance and people who are associated with the company can be understood with help of figure.

 According to Liemplt and Bilger (2009) HRM approaches can improve performance of M&S. By using these strategies, UK based retail giant would be able to increase employee skills and abilities, full use of their skills and knowledge as well as promoting positive attitudes of employees towards goals of organization etc (Liemplt and Bilger, 2009). By doing this, firm can retain its current position in market and better compete against its core competitors like Tesco and Asda etc.

Mark and Spenser are facing various difficulties to measure the multi-faceted consequences of an HR or corporate strategy. Coordination, collaboration and changes arising in market are creating challenges for the company to retain its best employees with firm for long time period. The organization operates successfully in London but at international level, it is facing issues related to culture diversity and it is also failed to create good cultural and user-friendly environment for its employees that create negative image of firm in the mind of customers as well as firm profit margin also affect by it (Liemplt and Bilger, 2009). Apart from this, M&S is also facing different challenges at the workplace such as people management, innovation, government policies, slow growth in key market area, supply chain management and disruptive technology change etc.

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Alternatives approaches to HR design of HR strategies

The best practice model of HRM is based on the concept of the universalism that create additive and positive impact on organizational performance. Main strengths of this approach are employment security, selective hiring, extensive training, decentralization and high wages linked to organizational performance etc. While on the other hand, Best fit HR strategy can be further segregate into two sections. External fit strategy is established the linked between competitive advantage, employee behaviours and HR practices. Internal fit relies on the HR policies and practices of organization (Liemplt and Bilger, 2009). As per the concerned of the Mark and Spencer, best fit strategy would be more beneficial because M&S is a multinational company and to achieve growth and increase profit margin in difficult scenarios is very challenging task for the company. But through applying this strategy, it can focus on both organization and people needs. It emphasized on enterprise culture, structure, technology and processes executing within firm that encourage its employees to give their best at the workplace (Developing a practical model, n.d.).

According to Cameron (2014) corporate strategy related to the decisions taken by firm regarding to enter, retain in portfolio and exit from portfolio. It mainly emphasizes on the achievement of competitive advantage through price premium and  differentiation. While on the side, HR strategy focuses on the function of employees, potential of employees and strategies used by HR department to retain employees and increase morale of employees to give their best (Cameron  and, 2014). For Mark and Spencer, it is essential that it integrates corporate strategy with HR strategies to drive competitive advantages through considering four building blocks such as quality, innovation, efficient and innovation in an appropriate manner. By linking both strategies, UK based retail giant would be able to lead in driving change management and goals of firm will easily meet. Through establishing long-term  links between  different strategies, it will be able to develop and accomplish performance management goals based on its objectives.

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In order to meet the changing needs of the business enterprise, strategic management strategies will be helpful for the company to better deal with feasibility, acceptability and sustainability related variables in an appropriate manner (Cummings and Worley, 2005). Besides that from an international perspective, it is essential for the company to integrate its corporate strategy and HR strategy that will help firm to increase confidence of customers and retain them with firm for long time period. It is laid focus on the establishment more retail stores and franchises to expand its business across wide segment area. Due to lack integration between corporate and HR strategy, firm would not be able to boost up the morale of its employees and retain its existing and attract new customers towards services and products offer by company (Liemplt and Bilger, 2009 ). Organization can overcome issues arise at the workplace through maintaining long term relationship with the company's suppliers and customers and development of high quality product and offer it to their customers at right time by using effective utilization of its human and financial resources in an effective manner.

According to UK commission for employment and skill report (2013), High performance working is a general approach that is used to increase performance of organization through enhancing employee involvement and commitment of employees. By applying this model at the workplace, Mark and Spencer would be able to improve the employment and organizational related activities such as off-the-job training and on-the-job training to enhance skills and knowledge of employees (Cummings and Worley, 2005). UK based retail giant can grasp market opportunity and take benefits of sustained competitive advantage against other core competitors through change its leadership styles and emphasized on customer centric approach to increase awareness among people towards services and products offer by M&S. By using HPW model, firm can be able to implement  employee engagement activities and motivation level of employees so that they will consider themselves as an important asset of firm and contribute in success of firm (Liemplt and Bilger, 2009).

Mark Spencer has 800 stores throughout the UK as well as it has opened a number of stores at out of town locations also to increase its customer base and profit margin. It has opened its franchise in Israel but it was criticised by pro-Palestinian activists because they relay that organization past support for Zionism. M&S is one of the largest retailers in UK and for successful implementation of Merger & acquisition and strategic alliance activities, proper implementation of HR strategies are required to attain its short and long term objectives in stipulated time (Roueche, Baker and Rose, 2014). Mark and Spencer can accomplish merger and acquisition activity through applying strategic planning and establishing strong integration between its different departments in an appropriate way. By applying human resource strategies, enterprise can overcome the cultural difference and assess the fir to take  benefits structure of the other company. Along with this, it also helps firm to smooth out the transition for employees as well as to detect and address any rumours about office relocation or other changes employees fear etc (Vessey and, 2014).

Evaluation of professional approaches to the search and selection of employees

According to Senge (2014), traditional HR paradigm including service delivery, client satisfaction, and HR policies are linked with High performance working paradigm to enhance financial outcome and employee retention. New HR paradigm method will be helpful for the company in terms of successful implementation of recruitment and selection process in a proper way. By applying contingency-based people resourcing strategies like comprehensive employee  recruitment and selection procedures and extensive employee involvement and training, M&S can be able to recruit talented and skilful employees and retain them with firm for long time period in a significant way (Senge, 2014.). Through identifying candidates who are best-suited to the job and proper deploy high performance working model in a systematic manner, firm can enhance employee engagement and boost-up their morale to give their best at workplace.

For the effective deployment & redeployment of employees, M&S can use various human resource strategies. Deployment means movement of employees and resources from their original locations to a specific location. Redeployment is the process of moving people within organization and from one unit to other unit of firm (Krishnan, 2005). By successful implementation of redeployment strategies, enterprise can be able to  provide visibility of opportunities to the employees affected by change. From a managerial perspective, it helps firm to retain its existing and skilful employees with them for long time period. Mark and Spencer is facing employee retention and engagement related issues at the workplace and it can be overcome through proper implementation of deployment and redeployment strategies in an appropriate manner.

Leader and top manager of organization are not good behaving or dysfunctional behaviour with their staff-member that decrease morale of employees as well as confidence to give their best in success of the firm (Packard, T., n.d.). Mark Spencer is failing to keep up to date with technology advancement and the changes in the retail clothing market so that new retail outlets and other core competitors of firm  gives tough competition to organization. Dysfunctional behaviour can diminish organizations' success as well as create negative affects the organization or other customers.

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UK based retail giant is facing problem relating to implementation of  employee retention strategies in a proper manner thus it is unable to retain its best and talented employees with them for long time period. However, firm can overcome this kind of issue through applying various employment retention strategies in a significant manner.

In the context of recruitment and retaining of the best employees, branding plays a crucial role. By using this instrument, M&S will be able to establish the organization culture and build organizational identity for long time period. Employee branding term can be defined in term of identification of good characteristics and qualities of employees that differentiate themselves from other (Peterson, and, 2003).  The employee's perception towards the organization is internally embedded with the employer brand. An employee of choice concept emphasized on several factors such as job security, empowerment & authority, respect of other, opportunity for growth, commitment, increase involvement of employees and establish positive relationship with co-workers etc.

Organization learning models

According to Liemplt and Shenhar (2009) by adopting OADI-SMM (Observe, Assess, design, implement-shared mental model),  Mark and Spencer can be able to creative learning environment and enhance motivation level of employees so that they will consider themselves as an important asset and contribute in growth of firm. This model incorporates both single and double -loop learning levels.


From the previous studies of researchers, it is cleared that effective leadership play an important role in solving the problems related poor profitability. The organization is facing issues faced at the workplace due to inadequate leadership and poor work management by managers. However by following several strategies, leaders of M&S can overcome issues and increase its profit margin in a significant manner.

Strategies used by Leader of M&S for enhancing employee commitment and engagement within an organisation

From the literature review, it can be interpreted that M&S can boost -up the morale of employees and encourage them to retain with firm for long time period by following the various approaches such as selecting the right manager, focus on engagement at local and organizational level, regular conducting performance reviews of employees to optimize job person fit and set challenging goal to keep employees engages etc. (Peterson, R. S. and, 2003). By applying various strategies at the workplace such as engagement, involvement, participation and commitment of staff-members, UK based retail giant can accomplish its engagement goals in stipulated time by effective use of its employees in a proper way. By applying employee retention and engagement strategies in a proper manner, M&S will be able to grasp market opportunities and better compete with other retail organizations of UK (Vessey and, 2014). Organization can take several benefits from this such as increase employee satisfaction, productivity, successful deployment of retention& recruitment strategy and enhance profitability in a significant manner.

Performance appraisal method used by M&S

There are different types of performance appraisals methods are used by organization to measure performance of employees. UK based retail company has used Balance Score Card and 360 Degree Feedback methods to evaluate the performance of its employees at the workplace. Organization conduct survey and used questionnaire methods to know the perceptions of their employees towards services and training facilities provide by company to them (Vessey  and, 2014). As well as by assigning right task to right employees, enterprise can identify weakness of their staff-members and convert their weakness into strengths by taking corrective action on time. Besides that employees performance can be measured in terms of contribution of its staff-members through providing monitory and non-monetary benefits. For maximising employee performance, commitment, contribution and loyalty, Mark and Spencer can provide rewards and compensation to their employees on regular basis so that they will motivate to stay with firm for long time period and contribute in success of firm.

Nature and significance of effective leader-ship with reference to HPW

Earlier Leaders of M&S was followed trait theory and due to this, it was facing various at the workplace. For effective leadership, positive attitudes, behaviours and capabilities characteristics  are required in leaders (Roueche, Baker and Rose, 2014). However, by following Transformational leadership theory firm can take several advantages such as creating an ethical climate, intrinsic motivation and positive environment,  promoting cooperation and harmony, allowing freedom to staff-member and providing individual coaching and mentoring to its employees to boost-up their morale etc.

Competencies and skills required for the personal management of change

In global era, cut throat competition is present in UK retail industry in such kind of situation, it is essential for the M&S to build change competency in employees. it can be created through concentrating on various activities such as awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement etc (Yukl, 2006).

Importance of personal and professional development in the achievement of aspirational career goals

In achievement of aspirational career goals, personal and professional development activities play a crucial role. It encourages organization and individual for continuous learning and performance improvements, provide opportunity to participate in certain types of activities and boost-up morale of employees so that they will motivate to give their best (Peterson and, 2003). By doing this. Mark& Spencer can retain its existing employees and attract new employees with firm for long time period.


From the research report, it is cleared that earlier leaders of M&S was followed trait theory and due to this, it was facing various at the workplace. Inadequate leadership and poor management were major factors responsible for poor profitability of company. By applying employee retention and engagement strategies in  a proper manner, M&S will be able to grasp market opportunities in a proper way. Research report explores that employee retention and core competencies can be increased through hiring the best talented employees, provide healthy work/life, focuses on new hire orientation, creating corporate culture (compensation, recognition, reward system, training and development), established better communication between employer and employees and emphasized on team-work etc.


By developing a competency framework, leader and managers of organization would be able to recruit and select new staff more effectively, identify skill and competency gaps more efficiently and apply change management processes in an appropriate manner. By adopting effective leadership theory enterprise would be able to create high performance working culture and overcome the issues faced by firm.  Mark and Spencer leader can increase motivation level of employees through involve them in decisions making process and provide training to them so that they will give their best in success of firm as well as contribute in increase profit margin of enterprise also.

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REFERENCES ; Books and Journals

Cameron, K. S. and, 2014. Competing values leadership. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Carmeli, A. and Tishler, A., 2004. The relationships between intangible organizational elements and organizational performance.Strategic management journal. 25(13). Pp.1257-1278.

Cummings, T.G. And Worley, C.G. , 2005. Organization Development and Change (8th ed). Ohio: South-Western.

Developing a practical model, n.d. Leadership & Organization Development Journal. 23(3). pp.145-157.

Garner, M., Kawulich, B. and Wagner, C., 2012. Teaching Research Methods in the Social Sciences. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Liemplt, V. and Bilger, V., 2009. The Ethics of Migration Research Methodology: Dealing with Vulnerable Immigrants. Sussex Academic Press.

Maltz, A. C., Shenhar, A. J., & Reilly, R. R. (2003). Beyond the Balanced Scorecard:: Refining the Search for Organizational Success Measures. Long Range Planning. 36(2), 187-204.

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