Management and Operations


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Operational management refers to the area of operation that focuses over designing and controlling the procedure of production and delivering of good or services with an aim to improve productivity (Barratt, Choi and Li, 2011).  M&S Ltd is a British multinational retailer that deals in variety of product related to clothing, food, beauty and household. This report elaborates about role and characteristics of leader as well as manager. Apart from this it explains role of manager & leader in different situation along with managerial and leadership theories. In addition to this it describe about key approaches of operational management  and its importance within organisation along with role played by manager & leader in improving managerial efficiency.


1. Compare the role and characteristics of leaders and manager

Management refers to the process of dealing with and controlling the personnel as well as  activities performed within an organisation so that set targets can be achieved effectively. In this report chosen organisation is Mark & Spencer, a British multinational retailer which is headquartered in London, UK. It deals in various sectors such as clothing, home product and beauty.

New CEO of clothing and food retailer M&S Ltd named as Steve Rowe has changes the management structure of company in order to improve and speed-up the decision making by establishing a new 11 person operating committee (new management structure, 2018.). This has been done by replacing the 20 person management committee for quick decision making  so that underperformance of brand can be improve (Burke, 2013). Company put several efforts toward improving and applying a speedier decision making management structure to enhance the performance of company as well as bringing the enterprise closer to its customers. This reflects a simpler management structure that involves small but more focused team running M&S with effective strategies and decision that aids in future growth and success of company.

2. Differences between roles as well as characteristics of  manager and leader

Leader as well as manager both plays a major role in managing the activities perform by the employees and aligning their performance toward the organisational goals.

Leader:- It refers to a person who has the ability to influence the behaviour as well as work performed by their follower (Chen and et. al., 2011). A leader plays an essential role within an organisation by motivating employees and aligning their performance toward the achievement of company's objective.

Manager:- It refers to a person who is responsible for controlling and administrating the employees working within an organisation. Main role of manager is to manage a group of people  by ensuring the activities assigned to them must be executed appropriately.

Therefore, manager as well as leader both plays a crucial role toward the management of operations performed by employees within an organisation so that set targets and goal can be achieve on time. But both of them have certain difference in term of their roles and characteristics which are as given below:





Main role of manager is to develop strategies as per the changes bring with an organisation so that required standard of performance can be maintained. Managers of M&S is responsible for regularly updating and improving the strategies in order to deal with competition present in market.

Leader is responsible for encouraging people to bring changes in current operations so that performance can be improved.  In M&S leaders plays a major role in bringing changes to product or services offered by company to provide better satisfaction to its customers.


Main role of manager is to solve the conflicts that may arises among employees (Chen and et. al., 2010). In M&S managers always assign the work performed by their subordinates as per expectation of employees in order to avoid conflicts.

Leader is responsible for using conflict as an asset by extracting some positive factors out of it for  improving further operations. Leaders of M&S try to promote constructive conflict despite of destructive which provide benefit to both party.




Risk taker

Leaders always willing to try new things by taking risk. As they think failure is the step toward the path of success (Cruz and Marques, 2011). In M&S leaders always focuses on offering something new to its customer by taking all the financial risk .

Managers work toward minimizing the risk as they  are focuses toward controlling  and avoiding problem. Managers in M&S tries to avoid risk as much possible in order to perform operations smoothly.  


Leaders set visions and goal which work toward inspiring its follower by providing direction to work. In M&S leaders develop visions and then set targets on which employees work to get success.

Managers formulate plans and policies for the achievement of goals and vision set by leaders. In M&S managers set action plan for its employees so that they can work toward the attain of pre specified goals.

3. Managerial and leadership role by applying management theories

Classical theory of management: This theory state that employees only have physical and economical need. It suggests that more emphasis must be put on goals of organisation rather than employees working therein (Galindo and Batta, 2013). Managers of M&S can improv productivity and profitability of an organisation by assigning task and ensuring the timely completion of tasks by applying this theory.

Transactional leadership:- This theory suggest that a leader must supervise its employees by giving reward and punishment over their performance this help in enhancing the level of performance. As compare to classical management theory this theory suggests that a leaders of M&S can improve the productivity of its employees by appreciating or rewarding them over their work.

4. Role of leader and function of the manager in a different situational context

Manager as well as leader both are responsible for guiding their people within organisation in order to achieve the desire result. They work toward guiding the path on which employees should work for accomplishing their goals (Giegerich, 2010).There are many situations that may be faced by a company which may hinder the performance of employees or organisation as well. At that time it is the responsibility of manager to formulate appropriate strategies that help in maintaining the standard of work. On the other hand, the role of leader is to keep its follower motivate toward work despite of any situation faced by them. Following are type of situations that may be faced by M&S Ltd :-

Stable situation:- It refers to the status in which plans formulated by a company and need of employees doesn't changes frequently as there is certainty of situation. This situation is faced by a M&S Ltd when it offer product as per seasonal basis. For example: when company offer woollen in its weather it has a surety that these clothes will be in demand for the whole winter season.

  • Role of leader:- In stable situation the role of a leader in M&S Ltd is to keep its follower motivate toward their work. This help them in achieving the desired standard of performance from employees that further support toward earning the maximum revenue.
  • Function of manager:- During stable situation function performed by a manager in M&S Ltd is develop the strategies related to the activities performed by its employees in order to achieve set sales target. Managers are also responsible for preparing a blue print of job performed by workers for conveying about the role and responsibility that each employee have toward their work.

Moderate situation:- It refers to a condition when changes are brought within the organisation due to changes that are anticipated in external factors (Ivanov, Sokolov and Kaeschel, 2010). These changes are not frequent but are required to consider for the growth and existence of company. This situation can be faced by M&S Ltd when technology use by them get upgraded or change. Technological changes are not frequent by highly affect the functions and performance of company.

  • Role of leader:- Under this situation the role of a leader in M&S is to provide proper guidance related to the methods of using new technology or technique in order to boost their confidence which ensure better performance.
  • Function of manager:- In this situation function perform by manager of M&S Ltd is to provide training to its employees for making them aware about the procedure of using new technology (Jacobs, Chase and Lummus, 2011). Another function of manager is to recruit candidates with required skills and ability to handle the new technologies.

Fast changes:- It refers to a situation in which the plans and strategies are changes frequently due to continuous changes take place within external environment. As M&S deals in clothing sector which operates in dynamic environment where trend changes frequently.

  • Role of leader:- In this situation the role of a leader in M&S Ltd is to encourage employees to being adoptable to changes that are made within the organisation so that they can perform well that support in accomplishing set objectives.
  • Function of a manager:- Under this situation the function of a manager in M&S Ltd is to formulate action plan in order to achieve performance as per the changing demand of customers. Apart from this manager are also responsible for monitoring and controlling the work performed by its employees for assessing their performance as per planned standard.

5. Theories and model of approach including situational, system and contingency leadership

Leadership refers to the set of activities that are performed by a leader in order to guide and direct the people toward the achievement of organisational goals. For accomplishing this leader perform several actions such as setting vision for organisation, motivating & guiding employees and enhancing their morale (Kang, 2010). There are certain types of leadership theories that M&S Ltd can use to lead its workforce which are as given below:

  • System leadership theory:- This theory suggest that a leader must develop such an environment within the organisation that foster and motivate people of all level to work productively as per their potential. Under this theory leader predict the behaviour of employees to create model of leadership, system design, social process and organisational strategies. By using this approach leaders of M&S will be able to develop an effective system that leads to more effectively realisation of organisational goals.
  • Contingency leadership theory:-
  • This approach state that effectiveness of leadership is depend upon the adaptability of leader's style to present situation. A leader must adopt its leadership style as per the situation present front of them. For instance, a leader of M&S Ltd must adopt participative style when employees feel less involvement or dissatisfaction in their job.
  • Situational Leadership:- This approach state that a leader must change its style of leadership as per the performance need of individual or group which they are attempting to influence (Lind,  2013). Situational leadership help a leader of M&S to maintain the performance of employees despite of any situation faced by organisation. These situations are of three type stable, moderated and fast changes that may affect the productivity and profitability of company.  So in this situation leadership plays an essential role by formulating strategies as per the performance need of employees. dissertation help

6. Strength and weaknesses of theories and approaches




System leadership

This approach helps leaders of M&S to perform their operations in a systematic al form.

Major drawback of this theory is that it require more money or time to being implemented in M&S.

Contingency leadership

Main strength of this approach is that it focuses on single best leadership style that suits demand of situation.

Practical implication of this approach is complex as it requires analyses of various variables to conclude a particular situation.

Situational Leadership

This theory focuses on leader's flexibility that support them in leading the employees as per their need and requirement.

Major drawback of situational leadership is that it requires more time to analyse the need of its subordinates and formulating strategies to lead them.

7. Impact of manager and leader over organisation along with future recommendations

As per the above mentioned information it can be concluded that manager as well as leader highly affect the organisation by motivating and guiding workforce toward the attainment of organisation goals (Mendis, Muttaqi and Perera, 2014). Both plays an essential role in the success of an organisation. Managers affect the organisational performance by monitoring and controlling the work performed by its subordinates. On the other hand leaders affect the company by motivating and providing direction to employees toward individual as well as organisational development. Following are the recommendation that may be consider by M&S for future improvement:

  • M&S Ltd must assess the requirement and expectation of employees before bringing any changes which support in increasing the morale of employees.
  • M&S must try to implement innovational techniques in order to remain competitive in market and satisfy the need of customers.


1. Key approaches to operation management

Operation management refers to the administration of businesses activities in order to bring possible efficiency within an organisation (Nakayama and Bucks, 2012). It focuses on converting the raw material and labour into goods or services as efficiently as possible in order to achieve maximum profit.   Operational management in M&S focuses on planning, organising and managing the supervising process for improving the quality of services. Following are the key approaches of :-

  • Total Quality Management:-It refers to a management approach in which all the members of an organisation participate for improving the product or service quality, process and culture of workplace to serve customers more appropriately. M&S focuses more over satisfying the need of target market by improving its product or services offered. Under this it take feedback from employees and suggestions from customers  for improving its current performance.
  • Just-in-time:-It is a management strategy which focuses on aligning the raw material order from suppliers as per the production schedule which ensure delivery of order before  its demand. M&S always keep its stock updated so that they can provide the product or services to its customers when they demand for it.

2. Role and responsibilities of manger & leader in successful management of operations

Under Total Quality management approach the role played by managers of M&S is to ensure continuous improvement of managerial operations and process that are used for serving customers. On the other  hand the role of a leader is to ensure involvement of entire management so that quality of M&S can be enhanced.

In Just-in-time approach the role of a manager is to order right amount of goods to supplier on time by analysing demand (Shuxin, 2011). So that inventory will be managed as per the demand of target market. On the other hand role of leader is to ensure proper utilised of inventory by minimizing the wastage.

3. Importance of key approaches to operation management in achieving organisational objective

Operational management plays an essential role in management and operation of M&S by ensuring that the services provided by them must be able to satisfy the need of customers. It also support in achieving the organisational objective by ensuring minimum wastage and timely execution of operation. Following points describe about the importance of operational management:

  • Inventory management:-Operation management will help M&S in managing its inventory using just-in-time approach as it help in ensuring that the product must be available at store before the customer demanded for it. This can be done using analysing the current purchasing behaviour for predicting the future demand.
  • Minimizing wastage:-It also help M&S in minimizing the waste as it focuses on analysing the demand and then aligning the product according to them. This help in minimizing the wastage which also reduce cost that maximizes revenue earned by company.

Scheduling:- Operational management help in scheduling task as per the skills and ability of employees which further support in ensuring timely execution of task that bring efficiency or improve productivity of M&S Ltd.

4. Effectiveness of manger and leader in improving operational efficiency

Manager and leaders plays an essential role in improving the operational efficiency within an organisation that support in achieving pre specified objectives (White,2016) Following are the methods that can be adopted by the leader and manager in M&S Ltd:

  • Creating incentives programs:-Manager & Leaders can improve the operational efficiency of M&S by setting up incentive over the level of performance as well as quality of employees. This help in motivating them to perform well that further support in  improving managerial efficiency.
  • Communicating with customers:-  Managers of M&S Ltd can communicate with its customers in order to determine their expectation from company. This help in identifying the factors that  require improve which further support in improving operational efficiency.

5. Impact of external business environment on operation management and decision making

Micro environmental factor has an huge influence over the operational management, therefore it is very essential for M&S to analyses the external factor to minimize its impact. This can be better identified using tool “PEST”.

Source: PEST Analysis (2018)

Above image depict about the PEST analysis tool  that focuses on identifying the factors that may affect the business. It include following factors:

  • Political:-It includes various attributes related to the political changes and government policies. As M&S operates its business worldwide so it is very necessary for them to compel with all the rule and regulation formulated by government of particular country.
  • Economical:-This involve factors such as tax rate, foreign exchange policies, inflation rate etc. For managing its operations effectively it is very essential for M&S to consider these factors while formulating policies in order to manage fund for future activities.
  • Social:-It includes the need, preference and choice of target market. M&S must regularly analyse the demand of its target market in order to offer them product as peer their requirement that help in achieving maximum satisfaction
  • Technology:-This involve the changes that takes place within technological environment. M&S must try to cope its managerial process as per the technology or innovation demand prevailing in market that support in achieving competitive advantage.

6. Critical evaluation of the application of operations management

Operational management help M&S in dealing with the impact of external factors by supporting them in offering the quality product or services (Mendis, Muttaqi and Perera, 2014). This involve assessing the process in order to determine the factors that can be improve to achieve better productivity & success. But apart from this it has a drawback that it take more time in assessing and identifying the gaps between performance.

7. Recommendation for future improvement

From the above given information it can be recommended that operational management plays an essential role toward the success and development of company by improving its performance as well as productivity. Further it also help in minimizing the cost of company by reducing wastage. Following are recommendation that can be adopt by M&S for future improvements:

  • M&S must involve its employees as well as customers in operational management process for improving the productivity.
  • M&S must assess the external factors or customer demand to predict future trend that help in aligning the inventory as per requirement.


From the above given report it can be concluded that management of organizational operations is very essential factor that support toward providing direction for achieving desired objectives. Apart from this manager plays an essential role in controlling and managing the work perform by employees for enhancing the performance. On the other hand leaders are responsible for guiding and motivating employees to work as per required standard.


  • Barratt, M., Choi, T. Y. and Li, M., 2011. Qualitative case studies in operations management: Trends, research outcomes, and future research implications. Journal of Operations Management. 29(4). pp.329-342.
  • Burke, R., 2013. Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.
  • Chen, C. and et. al., 2011. Smart energy management system for optimal microgrid economic operation. IET renewable power generation. 5(3). pp.258-267.
  • Chen, X. and et. al.,  2010. DECOR: DEClarative network management and OpeRation. ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review. 40(1). pp.61-66.
  • Cruz, C.O. and Marques, R.C., 2011. Contribution to the study of PPP arrangements in airport development, management and operation. Transport Policy. 18(2). pp.392-400.
  • Galindo, G. and Batta, R., 2013. Review of recent developments in OR/MS research in disaster operations management. European Journal of Operational Research. 230(2). pp.201-211.
  • Giegerich, B., 2010. Chapter two: military and civilian capabilities for EU-led crisis-management operations. Adelphi Paper. 50(414-415). pp.41-58.

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