Management operations refers to the practices of business administration, in order to establish highest level of productivity in the organisation. It is related with converting raw materials into finished products with the optimum utilisation of labour to increase profits and growth of the organisation. Amazon which is a electronic commerce and cloud computing company, headquartered in Washington, has been taken in this report. It provides electronics, software, furniture, toys, food, etc. Role of leaders and managers and how they are important in an organisation is explained. Further, different approaches of leadership are also mentioned. Value and need of operations management in achieving business objectives is described in this report. Along with this, different external factors which affects the business environment and its activities are mentioned in this project.
P1 Role and characteristics of leader and manager
- Leader:- A leader is a person who influence people or individuals in the organisation. They encourage individuals to attain desired objectives effectively, in order to maximise their efforts towards goal accomplishment. In context to Amazon a leader will motivate employees to achieve prescribed objectives and have a great impact in the overall organisation.
- Manager:- Manager is a person who takes responsibility of certain tasks of company or whole organisation's duties. They performs managerial functions at primary level. In context to Amazon the manager perform organisational duties, managers its employees , departments, and execute different functions such as – planning, directing, controlling, organising, staffing, etc.
Role of leaders
Leaders have an important role in any organisation. They help in motivating teams and employees in Amazon. They perform different roles to encourage individuals for attaining business objectives. Few of them are described here.
- Building morale:- It is one of the important responsibility of leader. The leader encourage individuals to work together, in order to accomplish common goals in the organisation. In context to Amazon the leader should build employees morale by involving them in organisational activities and decision making. A good leader should appreciate employees for their best performance. Appreciating them for well done job will increase their morale.
- Motivating employees:- It is the vital responsibility of leader to motivate individuals in the organisation. The leader should identify employees needs and requirements before assigning obligations to them. In context to Amazon the leader should motivate individuals by removing obstacles and supporting them in goal accomplishment.
- Planning:- Planning is the foremost function of managers in any organisation. Planning refers to the process of determining and preparing plans and strategies to achieve desired objectives. In context to Amazon the manager should execute planning by identifying objectives and formulating plans to accomplish them.
- Organising:- It is also one of the vital functions of managers. Organising refers to the managerial process through which work and responsibilities are assigned to employees in the organisation. In context to Amazon the manager should divide work among employees according to their skills and capabilities.
Difference between leaders and managers
Leaders and managers characteristics
- Positive attitude:- Leaders and managers both have positive attitude and they encourage individuals to obtain desired objectives effectively. In Amazon the leader and managers should have positive attitude to inspire employees.
- Responsible:- Managers and leaders performs their roles and responsibilities in effective manner to attain prescribed objectives. In Amazon the leader and manager should be obligated towards their work.
P2 Role of leader and manager in situational contexts
Amazon is a multinational company and deals in different customer products. It operates in many countries all over the world. There are different situations which occurs in business environment and affects its activities. In context to Amazon the company has to face various problems due to changing situations in the market. It includes different changes such as – new technologies, market trends, customer preferences, government policies, etc. Different situations and role of leaders and managers in facing these problems is described below.
Fast situation:- Fast changes are those changes which occurs rapidly and are accepted or changed speedily in the organisation. In fast situations different changes arises which include – innovative technologies, changes in customer demands, etc. In context to Amazon, it is essential for employees to have knowledge about these situations and changes. They should be aware about new and changing techniques in the market. To overcome from these situation the leader and manager have different roles which are explained below.
- Managers function:- In Amazon, the manager should coordinate with the employees to deal with these situations. They should guide individuals how to solve the problems and team should be formed to work together and attain desired goals.
- Leader's role:- In context to Amazon the leader should provide proper training to individuals to overcome these situations. They should provide knowledge about new technologies and their uses. By this way they can improve employees productivity and attain desired growth and profitability.
Moderate situation:- Moderate situation is the situation between the fast and stable changes. These changes arises slowly in comparison to fast changes. It involves – changes in customers preferences and requirements. In context to Amazon, the company should identify the consumer changes and modify them according to their requirements. For example electronics items, software, etc. The managers and leaders should consider these changes and prepare employees to deal with the situations. The should perform different roles like:
- Managers function:- In context to Amazon the manager should perform managerial functions by determining customers demands and prepare plans and strategies. They should conduct research and development activities, in order to identify customer's demands.
- Leader's role:- Leaders assist the organisation in solving problems related to these situations. In context to Amazon the leader should analyse the market to identify customer demand and latest trends. It will help in maintaining better relations with customers and increase business sustainability.
Stable situation:- Stable situations refers to those which remains same almost, and changes in rare cases. These changes occurs at steady level in the organisation. These situations involves companies rules, regulations, policies, performance of employees, etc. In context to Amazon employees performance must be evaluated and leaders and managers should perform different functions and role which are:
- Managers function:- In Amazon the manager should prepare appropriate plans and strategies to evaluate employees performance. Further, they should make appropriate policies to deal with stable situation.
- Leader's role:- In context to Amazon the leader should motivate employees and improve their productivity by providing effective training to them. They should provide opportunities to individuals to perform challenging tasks, so that their performance can be improved.
P3 Different approaches of leadership
Leadership is very vital element in any organisation. A good leader requires different qualities such as – talent, higher skills, charisma, knowledge, etc. Different leadership theories focus on successful leaders, their qualities and actions. In context to Amazon leadership theories defines leaders and individuals requirements at workplace. It also determines how various leadership behaviours affects individuals and leader's attitude, competence, skills, etc. In Amazon, the leader can use different leadership theories according to their requirements which are described below.
System theory of leadership:- System theory was developed by Dr. Ian Macdonald. It provides structure for presenting and rendering actuality and phenomena. In context to Amazon it assist in determining employees behaviour through different tools. Further, it provides framework for developing ideas and decreases quality of situations. The leader should solve individuals problems to create a god working environment. This theory have following merits and demerits:
- It focus on attaining overall organisation's goals.
- It assist in accepting environmental changes in the organisation.
- It cannot be applied in small organisations, as it assumes all organisations are large.
- This theory is unable to determine inter-dependence nature.
Situational leadership:- Situational leadership is an appropriate theory to determine individuals and leaders in the organisation. It assumes that no leadership style is perfect. In context to Amazon this theory determines that leadership style should be selected according to the situation's requirement and its suitability. Applying this theory will motivate individuals to perform at high level and attain desired outcome. It will assist in developing groups in Amazon. Some strengths and weaknesses of this theory are given below.
- It help leader to deal with the situations effectively.
- It is easy to understand, as it is practical.
- This theory is unable to define conceptualisation of commitment.
- It does not define measures to handle demographic traits.
Contingency leadership:- Contingency approach of leadership focus on both leaders personality and situation's requirements. It determines how to perform in that situation. It involves two situations which are task motivated and relationship motivated. In context to Amazon it help in dealing with external environment and individuals feelings such as – trust, loyalty, confidence, etc. It provides clear information about assigned task and how to achieve its objectives. Applying contingency theory in Amazon, it has some advantages and disadvantages which are:
- This theory can be applied in different situations, as it is flexible.
- It collects data and information regarding different leadership behaviours, which is useful for the organisation.
- It fails to explain that how some leaders perform effectively in some conditions, but not in another situations.
- It is complex theory of leadership.
P4 Key approaches to operations management
Operations management is concerned with production, optimum utilisation of resources and manpower. There are different approaches of management used by the organisations. These approaches include controlling and scheming production activities and redesigning operations of businesses. In context to Amazon different approaches are used which are described under.
- Total quality management:- Total quality management is defined as the regular process which reduces and detects errors in production. It ensures that effective production should take place by eliminating and detecting errors in manufacturing process by appropriate training and performance improvement. In context to Amazon total quality management approach improves employees and production qualities to fulfil consumer requirements. In Amazon the managers and leaders should focus on product, process and services improvement to increase profitability.
- Just-in -time approach:- Just-in-time approach assist management in minimising unproductive efforts such as – loading, carrying, unloading, storing, stocking, etc. It also allows employees to determine and consider all those activities which are vital for the organisation. In context to Amazon, using this approach will help in reducing wastage of time and resources and improving employees productivity. According to this approach production takes place via specific requirements at different levels.
- Lean production:- It is also one of the important approaches to management to improve production level. It is also named as lean manufacturing. Its main objective is to enhance productivity by minimising efforts and wastes in production process. It is concerned with improving performance by less efforts. In context to Amazon using just-in-time approach will eliminate extra efforts, costs and improves overall organisation's profitability.
- Six sigma approach:- Six sigma approach assist in improving business performance. It is a measurement program to enhance performance level and satisfy customers. This approach was developed by engineer Bill Smith in 1980. It provides a logical structure to raise business productivity. It concentrates on design and variations, as additive disciplines intent at promoting business and functional excellence. In context to Amazon the six sigma approach will help in destructing defects and minimising process variability. By this way it will provide constant and desired outcome.
Role of managers and leaders regarding these approaches
Having different approaches to operations management leaders and managers have different roles and responsibilities. In context to Amazon the leaders should divide activities among employees to prepare appropriate strategies for production in the organisation, so that plans can be implemented. The managers should prepare appropriate plans. So that resources can be utilised effectively and goals can be accomplished. Further the manager should delegate responsibilities to employees and supervise them timely, that everyone is performing effectively or not. The leaders should provide proper training and guidance to individuals – how to use these approaches for effective production. Further the managers should supervise the production process and execution of these approaches in the organisation. They should also maintain better relations with suppliers to receive orders at time.
P5 Importance of operations management in attaining business objectives
Operations management play very important role in achieving business objectives. It concerned with executing, designing and monitoring production process. It makes plans and strategies to perform day to day operations and attain desired objectives in the organisation. In context to Amazon operations management ensures that products should be manufactured at time according to customers requirements and should be delivered at time. The managers make sure that the raw materials should be utilised effectively and efficiently. There are different benefits of operations management and it is very crucial to achievement organisational objectives. Its value and importance is described under.
- Optimum utilisation of resources:- operations management involves identical management functions in every industry or business. Its important elements are – planning, directing, organising, controlling, motivating, monitoring, etc. which are similar and important for each organisation. In context to Amazon operations management and its functions are vital for its growth and success. It assist in managing daily operations in the administration. It also help in optimum utilisation of resources by putting right resources at right place ans right time. Ir ensures proper use of money, raw materials and workers in Amazon.
- Enhance productivity:- Operations management provide different benefits to the overall organisation. It also assist in improving employees productivity. In context to Amazon it provides appropriate measurement of both managers and employees efficiency. It improves efficiency of individuals, as it focus on making effective use of available resources or workforce, in order to achieve organisational goals in best a d effective manner. By this way it enhances overall productivity.
- Consumer satisfaction:- Consumer satisfaction is very important point ton be considered in every organisation. Operations management assist businesses in satisfying customers according to their requirements. In context to Amazon it manages various activities of the organisation and contribute in manufacturing products by considering customers needs and demands. It regulates operations of the entire organisation. By providing services to customers according to their requirements it increases consumer satisfaction and profitability of business.
- High profits:- Operations management has great contribution in earning profits and increasing profitability in the organisation. By making proper use or labour, raw materials and labour force it ensures effective production. Placing production and delivering orders at time lead to consumer satisfaction, and having satisfied customers is a great achievement for the Amazon, as it increases profit and improve overall growth of the enterprises.
- Achieve business objectives:- Operations management assist an organisation in attaining prescribed objectives effectively. It concentrates on earning high profits by completing assigned projects at time in Amazon. Further, it also carry out continuous production and improvement which directly lead in attaining business objectives in Amazon.
By this way operations management is very valuable and important for any organisation and for its goals accomplishment. It help in different ways to achieve desired targets and increase profitability and growth in Amazon.
P6 Factors affecting business environment and its impact on operations management
There are various external factors in business environment which affects the overall organisation and its operations. The external factors involves -political, social, economic and technological factors. The managers and leaders in Amazon, use PEST analysis to identify external factors in the business environment.
- PEST analysis:- PEST analysis is a method to identify external factors in business environment. It determines all necessary points or elements which affects business activities in Amazon. It provides a framework of macro factors used for evaluating environment and determines opportunities and threats for the organisation.
- Political factors:- Political factors in PEST analysis concentrates on government activities and their impact on overall organisation. In Amazon different macro political factors are crucial for developing its businesses. It includes developed countries political stability, more efforts of government on cyber-security, support of government in e-commerce, etc. The company has advantages through political stability. It is a good opportunity for Amazon for business expansion and diversification in other countries.
- Economic factors:- Company's performance is also affected by some economic factors in the business environment. It includes increasing disposable income in growing countries, economic stability of developed markets, etc. Amazon has better growth opportunities through economic stability of developed countries, as it reduces economic problem in the external environment. By this way it enhances company's financial performance, productivity and profitability.
- Social factors:- Social factors aspects in Amazon, determines how sociocultural changes affects its daily operations and activities. It involves different factors which are – increasing online purchasing habits, increasing wealth disparity, increasing consumerism in growing countries, etc. Increasing wealth disparity is the gap among poor and rich people in various countries and it is a threat for the Amazon. While increasing disposable income is beneficial for the company as it assist in earning higher revenues in e- commerce.
- Technological factors:- Different technological factors affects directly its operations and activities in Amazon. It involves various factors which are increasing efficiency of information technology, fast technological obsolescence, etc. having increment in efficiency of IT sector is a good opportunity for Amazon because new technologies will help in increasing retail productivity and reducing operational costs. While, speedily changes in technological obsolescence is both threat and opportunity.
- In context to Amazon the leaders and managers should identify the external factors, as they have both positive and negative impact on the organisation. Further, the company should follow rules and regulations made by the government, for its growth and development.
From the above project report it is concluded that management operations play an important role in performing daily operations of an organisation. Leaders and mangers perform various roles and functions in administration. Different leadership theories assist leaders in identify individuals and their requirements in the organisation. Further operations management is very valuable in attaining business objectives. Different macro factors affects the whole organisation and its operations both [positively and negatively.
Books and journals
Ahuja, R.K., 2017. Network flows: theory, algorithms, and applications. Pearson Education.
Alderton, P. and Saieva, G., 2013. Port management and operations. Taylor & Francis.
Brandon, C.J. and Mullan, P.B., 2013. Teaching medical management and operations engineering for systems-based practice to radiology residents. Academic radiology. 20(3). pp.345-350.
Chevalier, P., and et. al., 2015. Revenue management for operations with urgent orders. European Journal of Operational Research. 240(2). pp.476-487.
Chiarini, A. and Vagnoni, E., 2015. World-class manufacturing by Fiat. Comparison with Toyota production system from a strategic management, management accounting, operations management and performance measurement dimension. International Journal of Production Research. 53(2). pp.590-606.
Haksever, C. and Render, B., 2013. Service management: An integrated approach to supply chain management and operations. FT Press.
Jacobs, F.R., Chase, R.B. and Lummus, R.R., 2014. Operations and supply chain management (pp. 533-535). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Kato, K., NEC Corp, 2012. Operations management apparatus, operations management system, data processing method, and operations management program. U.S. Patent 8,190,949.
Kato, K., NEC Corp, 2012. Operations management apparatus, operations management system, data processing method, and operations management program. U.S. Patent 8,225,144.
Omansky, A.H. and Kanner, J.L., Autodesk Inc, 2014. Systems and methods for construction field management and operations with building information modeling. U.S. Patent 8,732,125.
Parsanezhad, P. and Dimyadi, J., 2013. Effective facility management and operations via a BIM-based integrated information system.
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.
S eS, Z.S.S.S.S.S.S., 2012. Operations management.
Song, D.W. and Parola, F., 2015. Strategising port logistics management and operations for value creation in global supply chains.
Subramanian, N. and Ramanathan, R., 2012. A review of applications of Analytic Hierarchy Process in operations management. International Journal of Production Economics. 138(2). pp.215-241.