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Introduction to Management Structure of Marks & Spencer

University: Regent College London

  • Unit No: 4
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 17 / Words 4125
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: UHRM3009
  • Downloads: 632
Organization Selected : Marks & Spencer



Management and operations are two different branches within the field of business. These branches are essential for working in the organisation. This report discusses about the characteristics and role of manager and leaders in organisation. Their impact on the company. It discusses about roles and responsibilities of managers and leaders and how they affect the operational efficiencies of organisation. Marks & Spencer is a multinational company that deals in selling off clothes and food merchandise in parts of the UK and Europe.


1. Introduction of M&S Ltd and its management structure

Marks & Spencer is a British multinational company established in 1884. It is one of the leading manufacturers of cloth, luxury food items and home products. Currently, M&S has 1000 stores across UK and has started selling branded products under its food production line. It gained popularity after it adopted strategy of selling British manufactured products which brought a competitive advantage to company. In the year 1960, it opened its first shop in the Asian market in Kabul, Afghanistan. Today it operates in more than 100 countries worldwide.

M&S follows a flat organisational structure. In this form of structure, there are limited number of levels between the top management and employees. This increases responsibility of employees and their respective departments. Flat organisational structure is form of pyramid but in Marks & Spencer is broader and flat this means fewer level of management between top and front line employees although it they have different department heads and manager along with executive manager at top. This structure is followed by company to encourage employees’ participation and their accountability which helps in reducing its expenditure. Around 65000 people work in M&S stores in different roles like manager, department’s head and employees and this structure helps them to motivate their team and people.

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2. Define manager and leader and compare their roles and characteristics.

  • Manager: An individual who has a duty or in charge of a particular task, activities, or who is responsible for controlling, handling and administering a group of people or staff. Manager often has group of employees who report him or her.
  • Leader: Any person who has the capability of influencing a group of people in achieving certain objective or goals. A leader commands or led a group of people in an organisation or a country. Leader inspires an individual to achieve its objectives or dreams (Kato, Corp, 2012).

Characteristics of a Manager and Leader



· Manager of M&S has a positive attitude and approach towards their work and employees.

· Leader within an organisation is able to communicate it thoughts and ideas to their employees.

· Nature of managers in company is versatile and flexible and is adaptive to changes in environment.

· Creativity is an essential quality of a leader. Thus, the creativity of a leader helps company to achieve success.

· In M&S manager are committed to their work and team members.

· A leader of Marks & Spencer has an honest approach towards company.

· Managers of a company have balanced and focused attitude towards organisation and work.

· Leader effectively delegate roles and responsibility of organisation.

Roles of Leader and Manager:



· Manager helps in creating goals of an organisation. Example: goal of M&S to have sustainable retail business

· Leader helps to create a vision for achieving a set goal or objective by helping employees of company on how to achieve that goal.

· They always follow set style of management (Subramanian and Ramanathan 2012).

· A leader develops own style and has unique way of working this help M&S Ltd to be succeeded in unfavourable condition.

· The role of manager in Marks & Spencer is to build an organisation structure i.e. followed within company. Example, it uses a Flat organisation structure.

· Role of a leader is to build a relationship among organisation and stakeholders for smooth functioning of a company.

3. Differences in managerial functions and leadership roles in a range of management theories and concepts

Management theories and Concepts are applied at workplace as these theories help in achieving productivity and quality in operations. Managers use combination of theories instead of a single theory. It is used according to a situation or condition prevailing within organisation. Some theories of Management are:

  • Contingency Theory: This theory states that manager makes immediate decisions for a prevailing situation or circumstance in an organisation rather than applying set theories. The manager takes appropriate action based and chooses that alternative which will help in solving problems.
  • System Theory: In this, manager learns how different systems affect working in organisation and how workers or employees affect different systems within company. This theory has broad perspective which allows managers to understand events and different patterns of work (Bowers and et. al, 2013).
  • Chaos Theory: It is a mathematical approach which can be applied in management. According to this theory, change is constant and cannot be controlled. The growth in organisation creates susceptible events and increases complexity within company.

Differences in managerial functions and leadership roles according to above mentioned theory.


Managerial Functions

Leadership Roles

Contingency Theory

The function of management would be to maintain transformation that occurs in an organisation.

The role of a leader would be to inspire a change to resolve a problem.

System Theory

Manager needs to understand how work is done within an organisation.

Leader anticipated the business environment along with culture of workplace to correctly anticipate opportunities and threats.

Chaos Theory

Function of management is to make a process or system to be followed in chaotic situation.

Leadership role is to maintain complex environment of n organisation and reduces chaos at workplace.

4. Roles of a leader and functions of a manager

Situation 1: Slow growth in the food business of M&S Ltd

Manager of Marks & Spencer would formulate strategies to increase the sales of food products in market. The new promotional techniques would be adopted by company like providing discounts, or sampling products. It is a duty of manager is to check pit-holes of previous marketing strategies and improvised them. However, a leader would motivate employees of food business to improve their productivity and encourage them to be accountable for their work.

Situation 2: Company is facing a challenge in expansion of e-commerce business.

In above case, function of the manager is to open a new store on online platform and formulate plan and strategies for employees who are working on these shops. Whereas, leader is responsible to evaluate and anticipate environment of the online platform.

5. Different management and leadership theories to support growth and sustainable performance.

Different types of leadership theories are as follows:

  • Situational Leadership: In this form of leadership style , leader change or modify it style in accordance to the situation or to level of subordinates and their maturity. There are four types of leadership styles they are:
  1. Telling: In this form of style employees perform according to the directions of leaders. This style is adopted by companies at times when employees are new at workplace,
  2. Selling: Leader is involved in day to day activities and take feedback of employees regarding decision-making but decision is taken by leader alone. It is done in M&S Ltd to encourage employee participation in company.
  3. Participating: In this form of style leader delegate more responsibility and authority to employees and give feedback in regard to their work.
  4. Delegating: In this situational leadership style leader's involvement or participation is least as employees are aware of their jobs (Bai, Sarkis, Wei and Koh, 2012).
  • Contingency Leadership: This theory is opposite from situational leadership, according to this theory a leader should be able to solve a particular situation with the help of it skills and qualities. It states that leadership style cannot be modified or changed. Marks & Spencer has adopted a contingency theory to overcome the challenges faced by company at time of downfall of business. Company has adopted this approach to overcome obstacles of there business.
  • System Leadership: In this form of leadership style, leaders within organisation creates environment in which all people work together to achieve targets or goal of company. This is system is established through quality of leader like, personal core value, their behaviour and the way they evaluate a given information. Organisation like M&S Ltd adapt this leadership style to encourage there employees to increase there productivity and accountability in organisation (Strauch, Lima, Volk, Lorz and Makeschin, 2013).
  • Transactional leadership: This form of leadership is found at all levels of management. In this style leader works with team to analyse and know what changes are needed within team. Leader helps in creating a vision for employees and motivate them to achieve their vision.

6. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of different theories and approaches.

Strengths and weakness of situational leadership is:



It can be applied to any problem of organisation.

This theory dose not specified how much a leader should be dedicated to it work.

This theory has a practical approach.

It fails to deal with certain demographic issues like gender and education.

It is easy to understand.

Leadership style cannot be modified or changed.

Strengths and weakness of contingency leadership is:



It has a valid and reliable approach.

It do not support at time of mismatch of leadership style or situation.

This theory help leader and oppose in changing their styles.

Theory is very complex and difficult to understand.

It has broadened scope of leadership and emphasise on the importance of leadership style.

This theory is reactive in nature and not proactive which means leader waits for things to be unfold rather than responding to the situation.

Strengths and weakness of system leadership is:



This theory help company to be adaptive to current business environment.

It is not applied to small scale industry.

It helps organisation to focus over multiple dimensions of management.

At times, this theory dose not sound productive to organisation.

This help in getting uniform decision, thus reducing conflicts in organisation (Du, Swaen, Lindgreen and Sen, 2013). 

It cannot be applied at time of contingency.

Strengths and weakness of transformational leadership is:



This leadership style helps in motivating employees of the organisation.

It is affected by personal bias of the leader.

They reward employees for there creativity and innovation.

This theory is difficult to be thought or practiced.

It influences and encourage employees to achieve the objectives of company along with there individual goals.

It may fail to encourage or motivate certain group of staff (Giltinane, 2013).

7. How managers and leaders make impacts on the organisation and recommendations for future improvements.

Managers are key aspect of every organisation. The performance of management has great impact on overall functioning of company. Manager who perform there duties and responsibilities effectively will help organisation to reach to higher position. Also, employees are encouraged by the effective management which results in better productivity.

Leaders in any organisation will create a direct influence over employees. These leaders are role model for employees and inspire or influence individual to achieve there goals. They help in creating vision and established a concept of team work which help to achieve desired goals of organisation.

Recommendation for future improvements:

  • Established a strong communication network between employees and managers.
  • Managers/ leaders should take feedback from there employees.
  • Leader should properly analyse the external environment and should be able to take risk for business.
  • The manager should address to pros and cons of the every alternatives before applying to organisation (Lian and Tui, 2012).


1. Key approaches to operation management.

Operational management is defined as important part of management practices which is conducted with the purpose of increasing the working efficiency as well as productivity. In context of marks and Spencer organisation. Business entity has made drastic improvement in its operational management system. By making the changes in operational management system , firm has able to improve quality of products and services (Slack, 2015). Effective operational management system has helped an enterprise in providing the high level of satisfaction to its client. The several operational management approaches adopted by manager in Marks & Spencer organisation are :

Six Sigma- It is considered to be as an effective approach which can be applied to the production as well as manufacturing procedure within an enterprise. Six sigma approach has assisted marks and Spencer company in improving the quality of goods. It has also aided firm in minimising the wastage which is generated during production process.

Total quality management- This operational management approach is considered to be as an effective. As it allows employees to contribute or participate in the target of improving quality and productivity (Heizer, 2016). Total quality management approach is considered to be as helpful in bringing the change or improvement in complete business system.

Lean production- The main purpose of implementing this approach in operational department is reduced the wastage and minimise the extra cost. Lean production approach emphasizes on bringing improvement in Business procedure.

Just in time approach- This approach is affiliated to the inventory management. Just in time approach is also accepted as a strategy utilized by manager for increasing efficiency and reducing production losses or waste by receiving raw material only when it is needed.

2. Roles and responsibilities of managers and leaders in successful management of the operation.

The role played by managers of Marks & Spencer has helped company in achieving desired results in a given time. Managers within company has effectively managed raw material procurement and established a system for inventory and logistic management of clothing and food department. The marketing manager of company has formulated strategies to increase sales of cloth merchandise in various countries across the globe. Also, they have established a vision of green lens or producing eco-friendly products to attain sustainable production and in a cost effective manner.

3. Importance and value of the key approaches to operations management in achieving organizational objectives successfully.

The importance of key approaches of operation management in organisational success is:

  • The effective designing of the operation system would lead to increase in productivity and help company to fulfil there assigned task on given time.
  • These key approaches help organisation to forecast for future events and plan accordingly.
  • This help organisation to achieve a competitive advantage in terms of customers or stakeholders/clients.
  • Due to flexibility in operation help company to achieve product quality and improve it customer services (Peng and Lai, 2012).

4. Evaluate how managers and leaders could be effective in improving operational efficiencies.

Managers and leaders can improve operational efficiencies through:

  • The trained manager would help in reducing operational problems like inventory management, logistics, etc.
  • Leaders help in motivating employees to achieve set targets in given time.
  • Effective operational manager helps to improve quality of products through paying attention to quality of products/services, this motivate employees to perform there duties properly (Kortmann, Gelhard, Zimmermann and Piller, 2014).
  • Strong operational leader help there team workers to meet target by encouraging and providing the proper training and tools to complete the work without any obstacles.

5.The impact of external business environment factors on operational management decisions.

Impact of external business environment:

  • Due to implication of Brexit in UK has affects the decision of managers as they are affected by high labour turnover. This forces manager to employ skilled labour or to reduce employee turnover.
  • Inflation in economy affects decision of operational managers. They are required to take decision to whether reduce the quality of product or increase price of products (Ahn and Lee, 2012).
  • Operational managers are affected by external environment condition and are forced to produce eco-friendly products or to adopt environment friendly production techniques.

6. Critical evaluation of the application of operations management and the factors that impact on the wider business environment.

Applications of operational management are as follows:

  • Scheduling: It is an essential task of operational management. In scheduling managers properly assigned the task in a proper order and delegates that to team members according to there skills. This help employees and managers to properly perform the task.
  • Inventory and logistic Management: Operational managers effectively manages inventory and logistic for getting on point sales. It is helps effective supervision. But it requires to have proper logistic portfolio (Alexander, ed., 2013).
  • Capacity Management: This system is used to check that information technology tools are in right form so that they can meet current and future business demands.

7. Suggest recommendations for future improvements to be taken by the organisation.

The operational management is at the heart of every organisation and thus it requires that manager performs assigned task effectively. To increase productivity and efficiencies of operational management following are the recommendations:

  • Optimum utilisation of Resource: Manager should see that resources of the organisation should be utilised properly and effectively. This will help in reducing duplication and wastage of resources.
  • Allocation of Resources: The resources of company should be properly allocated to all the departments so that conflicts dose not arrived between various departments.
  • Training to operation Managers: Proper training should be given to managers and leaders so that they can solve the problems more quickly and effectively.


Managers and leaders are essential for successful running of business. Roles and responsibility played by managers help organisation to achieve there goals and set targets. Different leadership styles like, contingent, situational, etc. help to motivate employees to take participation in decision-making process of company this results in increase of faith and loyalty of employees towards company. Marks & Spencer has effective team of leaders and managers which help organisation to create a vision and achieve it through there competent and skilled workforce.

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Books and Journals

  • Ahn, C. R. and Lee, S., 2012. Importance of operational efficiency to achieve energy efficiency and exhaust emission reduction of construction operations. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. 139(4). pp.404-413.
  • Alexander, K. ed., 2013. Facilities management: theory and practice. Routledge.
  • Bai, C., Sarkis, J., Wei, X. and Koh, L., 2012. Evaluating ecological sustainable performance measures for supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal. 17(1). pp.78-92.
  • Bowers, A and et. al, 2013. A systems engineering approach to M&S standards development: application to the coalition battle management language.
  • Du, S., Swaen, V., Lindgreen, A. and Sen, S., 2013. The roles of leadership styles in corporate social responsibility. Journal of business ethics. 114(1). pp.155-169.
  • Giltinane, C. L., 2013. Leadership styles and theories. Nursing Standard (through 2013). 27(41). p.35.
  • Heizer, J., 2016. Operations Management, 11/e. Pearson Education India.
  • Kato, K., N E C Corp, 2012. Operations management apparatus, operations management system, data processing method, and operations management program. U.S. Patent 8,225,144.
  • Kortmann, S., Gelhard, C., Zimmermann, C. and Piller, F. T., 2014. Linking strategic flexibility and operational efficiency: The mediating role of ambidextrous operational capabilities. Journal of Operations Management. 32(7-8). pp.475-490.
  • Lian, L. K. and Tui, L. G., 2012. Leadership styles and organizational citizenship behavior: The mediating effect of subordinates' competence and downward influence tactics. The Journal of Applied Business and Economics. 13(2). p.59.
  • Peng, D. X. and Lai, F., 2012. Using partial least squares in operations management research: A practical guideline and summary of past research. Journal of Operations Management, 30(6), pp.467-480.
  • Slack, N., 2015. Operations strategy. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Strauch, M., Lima, J. E., Volk, M., Lorz, C. and Makeschin, F., 2013. The impact of Best Management Practices on simulated streamflow and sediment load in a Central Brazilian catchment. Journal of environmental management. 127. pp.S24-S36.
  • Subramanian, N. and Ramanathan, R., 2012. A review of applications of Analytic Hierarchy Process in operations management. International Journal of Production Economics.
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