Roles and Characteristics of a Leader and a Manager of Marks & Spencer

University: Regent college

  • Unit No: 4
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 14 / Words 3605
  • Paper Type: Assignment
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Organization Selected : Marks & Spencer


Management operations (MO) refers to the management of all the activities and practices which are performed in attainment of the organisation's goals and objectives. This is related to reducing the costs of the firm and improving the performance of the employees that will lead to an increase in the productivity of the firm. Marks & Spencer is a retailer store which is dealing in food, clothing and home ware products around the world. The present study will explain the roles and characteristics of a leader and a manager. It will also analyse the functions of manager and role of a leader in various situations. The report will tell the impact of leadership theories and importance of management operations within an organisation.


1. Description of organisation and its management structure

Mark & Spencer is major British multinational retail company deals in clothing, food products. Firm has currently 979 stores across the UK including 615 that only sell food goods. M & S follows flat structure of the organization. This structure is beneficial for greater communication between workers and management, reduce costs of middle level management, easier decision making in business. So that firm provides better goods and services to customers.

2. Comparison of roles and characteristics of a leader and a manager

Leaders are the person who is in charge of a people or a group of people and directs them to attain organisation's goals and objectives. They have the responsibility to provide command to their followers and motivates them to work effectively and efficiently.

Manager is responsible for accomplishment of certain tasks with greater efficiency so that productivity and profits of the firm is increased (Bahmani-Firouzi and Azizipanah-Abarghooee, 2014).They perform certain tasks and activities provided by the organisation in order to achieve goal or objectives. The decisions regarding prices are taken by the managers and becomes a negotiator with supplier and customers.




Leader plays a very crucial role in the company and is required at all management levels; top, middle, lower level.

The success and improved productivity of the M&S depends on the work of the manager.

A leader of M&S represents the organisation at various conferences, seminars and shows the working of the organisation to the public (Sedaghati and Kavousi-Fard, 2014).

It is determined by how the manager is utilising the company's resources effectively and efficiently (Radosavljević, Jevtić and Klimenta, 2016).

They integrate the personal goals of the person with the organisation's goals.

Manager acts as a motivator who motivates their people for efficient contribution towards the company and sets an example of dedication.

Chief has their own personality and intelligence which assists them in providing a positive result to the firm.

They are the person who is in charge of any disputes arising out and tries to resolve them (Mohammadi, Mozafar and Solimani, 2014)


  • Characteristics of a leader- Character reflects the true picture of a person. Characteristics of a good leader are, leader of M&S has a positive attitude towards the company (Dinh and et. al., 2014). They have an attitude of commitment of work towards the firm and confidence in their upbringing. A leader is a person full of new creative ideas and working skills which is helpful in increasing the productivity of the company. They always try to increase the communication level in the organisation.
  • Characteristics of a manager- Manager with effective knowledge base becomes an essential tool for the company (Day, Gu and Sammons, 2016). The manager of M&S is committed towards the attainment of the stated objectives.

For the success and to remain in the market for a longer duration, both manager and leader plays a crucial and important role.

3. Difference in managerial function and leader’s role by using theories

Scientific theory of management: This concept utilizes data and measurement to improving employees productivity that to make more effective organization. Managers are able to improve information that assists then run in their business more efficiently and profitably. Leaders has to engage staff in different activities that happen in organization

Behavioural theory of management: Manager apply this theory for improving productivity of employees that helps in changing culture and environment of workplace.

4. Analysis of function of manager and role of a leader in various situations


There are four main functions of a manager i.e. planning, organising, leading and controlling. Planning refers to the identification of goals, formulate policies, arranging of required resources and implementing the policies and achieve the set goals (Saleem, 2015). For instance, a person has to achieve a specified target of sales then the function of a manager is to make a plan regarding steps necessary for advertisement process, number of customers to be attracted or to contact the old customers if they are willing to buy additional product.

The second function of manager i.e. organising, with the help of the above example, the manager of M&S have to organise the required resources and will distribute them according to his plan made. They give work to their persons according to their capabilities and delegate some authority to achieve the target. Employees is getting lower, so that manager has to lead, communicate and solve their problems They also motivate and encourage the employees to retain their efficiency.

The third function of manager is leading of employees for improving efficiencies of work performance in the workplace. With the help of this function, manager make sure that all employees are participating in every business activities and solving situation of company.

The last function of the manager is to assure an effective control system which is helpful in attaining the organisation's goals. For example, the environment of business is affected by many factors like dissemination of false rumours, lack of communication, distrust among employees, sometimes resources are being misuse during productions so manager of M&S will try to control the way of working of the employees so that in order to use resources efficiently and will improve the communication level which will be helpful in removing the distrust among the employees.


Leaders are person who influences their subordinates to work effectively. In this context, role of a leader of M&S is to set a clear vision in situation where employees are not having the complete information regarding their work; what to do, how to do. Leader will give them information about work to perform. For instance, employee is demotivated because of their problems in this situation, leader will communicate and try to solve their problems and motivate them to do their job well (Chiu and et. al., 2017). The role of a leader is to provide the needed material or equipments to the employees for completion of their work. This will reduce the time for waiting of raw materials and will lead to completion of work on time. Another role of a leader is to boost the morale of the employees. In situation, where employees' work is affected and its productivity is getting reduced, leader will give proper guidance, communicate with them and this will automatically boost up their morale (Bosworth, 2016).

5. Various leadership theories

SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP THEORY: This theory focuses on leadership style and maturity of those being led. This theory identifies four leadership approaches such as telling, selling, participating, delegating. It also assists in determining maturity level of employees that becomes very important part of process.

SYSTEM LEADERSHIP THEORY: This approach enables leaders in organization to create conditions where people at all level can work productivity to their potential. It uses principles about human behaviour to create model of good leadership, organization strategies and systems design.

CONTINGENCY LEADERSHIP THEORY: This theory refers that leader's effectiveness in contingent upon with their style matches to the situations. In order to succeed, there must be strong leaders members relations.

6. Strength and weaknesses of various leadership theories

Leadership theories define as directing employees to work with greater efficiency and productivity (Rezvani and et. al., 2016). In this report, three leadership theories explain ; situational leadership, system leadership, contingency leadership.

SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP THEORY-This theory says that every leaders are best at their own level. This leadership theory utilized different situation that happen in organization.


1)It is well known and frequently used for training leaders.

2) It is easily understandable and used in different settings.


1) This theory puts some pressure on leaders as they have to continuously analyse the changing situations and make decisions.

2) As there are changing situations, more importance will be given to arising needs and long term goals and objectives are disregarded.

3) Development of subordinates of M&S will be hampered as leaders will concentrate more on changing environment.

SYSTEM LEADERSHIP THEORY- In this theory, leaders create some situations and guides their followers to perform in that given situations to know about their productivity and efficiency.


1) The overall goal of firm and individual goals are achieved through this theory.

2) This theory is dynamic in nature and adapts the changes of the environment.

3) Multiple dimensions are focussed by this theory.

4) Every situation is treated equally which brings uniformity in the decisions.


1) Sometimes, delays in decision making process may occur as this theory is not practical every time.

2) Inter-dependent nature is not defined.

3) Does not focus on a particular style of working of M&S.

4) This theory is not applicable to smaller firms.

CONTINGENCY LEADERSHIP THEORY OF FIEDLER'S- According to Fiedler, the focus is laid on matching of the leader's style with given situation. The effectiveness of a leader is determined by how leader's style is efficient in given situation.


1) With the help of this theory, flexibility in management style can be achieved.

2) This theory says that opinions of employees of M&S matter in decisions making process.

3) Task culture becomes flexible because of the changing environment and changes in decisions taken by the leader.

4) As this theory lays stress on matching of leadership style taken by leader with changing situations, anyone in the company can chose a style to work and become a leader.


1) This theory proves to be complex when it is practised.

2) One of the weaknesses of this theory is it lacks adequacy of literature and is not spelled out adequately.

3) Because of many factors involved in it, this theory becomes difficult for empirical testing.

4) This theory is reactive by nature and not proactive.

Leaders of M&S utilizes situational theory, because of, it is easy to understand and apply across variety of setting. This assists in different situation of organization. This theory emphasizes leaders flexibility, several styles are needed depend on situation.

7. Impact of role of manager and leader on business

Manager has to motivate their employees for raising skills and knowledge so that, staff easily working activities in the organization. This assists in improving performance of workers and its directly impact on productivity of business. On the other hand, leader has to lead their subordinates for improving performance that effect on business.


1. Operation management and key approaches

Operation management is the process of minimising operational errors and raising overall operational efficiency of the company. This is indispensable division of an organisation that provide assistance in carrying out distinct operations in more effective and efficient manner. The following key approaches are evaluated in this report:

  • Total quality approach- For customers, the quality of product is very important. Customers gets very particular to buy a product. The product's quality should be kept in mind during its process. Managers of M&S makes some changes in the production process to improve quality and gain trust of customers. Through this, more customers will be attracted and this will increase the sales figure of the company. Customer satisfaction is the main motive of this approach as it is concerned with the improvement of the quality of product to satisfy consumer needs and choices. According to this approach, involvement of every employee in the production process is important so that many ideas for improvement of product can be ascertained. As this process involves development of product which is necessary in every changing situations, this can lead to a continuous improvement of product, workers and enterprise. This approach involves data collection for production of goods according to consumer's needs so it becomes a information based approach.
  • Six Sigma approach- It is related to identifying the errors and defects and removing them. With help of removing all these errors and defects, it is easy to improve quality of product. This method is expensive to utilise but when used properly which will help the company to gain excellence. This approach focuses on persons and production process as high quality products can be produced by well trained and self motivated employees. Application of this approach can lead to an improvement in production process, it can detect the errors and removing these errors can increase quality, improved costs and firm's productivity. It will lead to development of short-term plan which are undertaken to achieve a specific goal.
  • Lean operation management- It helps in growth of the M&S by removing the wastes occurring during production process. By removing the wastes from production process that help in improving quality and designs of the product. All these are leading to attract of more number of customers and improvement in the sales figure of the company. Through this approach, increasing efficiency and productivity of the enterprise. Simplifying the functions of an organisation reduces jobs of the same kind. Money will not be misused if the organisation is keeping less inventory with themselves, and are able to meet the consumer's needs with the available products. By removing the wastes, company reduces the time of production as it is causing the slowing down of production process.

All these approaches helps in consuming less time, increasing the efficiency and productivity of the enterprise.

2. Role of managers and leaders in managing operations

Manager plays different roles in managing operation of M&S. It includes reducing time and costs, arranging both raw material and personnel resources. This assists in improving operation of organization. Leader give guidance, sharing objectives and values to their subordinates for improving performance in the workplace. This assists in managing operation of company. Leaders are working as guide, friends of making comfortable environment of workplace for employees.

3. Importance and value of operations management

Operation management is important for every type of organisation whether it is small or big. It has become necessary for M&S to manage the day to day activities of the firm which is done through operation management. To make effective use of company's resources, money, labour management, operations management is very facilitative.

The quantity of input to output is known as productivity. Productivity reflects the efficiency of the managers and their followers working for the organisation. Effective operation management assists in improving productivity of company. Through operation management more emphasis is laid on the optimum use of available resources which will in turn increase the productivity of firm.

Operation management is considered to be the heart of Marks & Spencer as it manages the whole working of the enterprise. All activities like production, training of workers, selling of product, making of plans and strategies are controlled by operation management. Making of products according to customers' needs and preferences will increase the rate of supply on daily basis.

The profits of the company is increased through optimum utilisation of available resources which is achieved through operation management. In making of the final products from raw materials, the efforts of workers and their managers are used efficiently and effectively, operation management plays a very specific role (Varela and Gatlin-Watts, 2014). The issues related to the product designs, maintaining the machines, training of the workers, operations management plays a very crucial task.

Operation management is also considered to be a very complicated process to perform and manage all functions of the enterprise. It is related to the creation of value of organisation through its output (Metz and et. al., 2017). This will be helpful in increasing the sales figure and profits of the enterprise. To survive in market, for a longer period along with development and improvement in efficiency and productivity, operation management becomes necessary for the Marks & Spencer.

4. Managers and leaders could be effective in improving operational efficiencies

Manager is to motivate their employees developing skills and knowledge and fulfil duties and responsibilities in the workplace. This assists in improving operational efficiencies of M&S. On the other side, leader is to give guidance for improving performance and operational efficiencies in company.

5. Impact of external factors on operational management and decision making process

Decisions regarding the development of M&S are getting affected by external factors, which are-

  • Political Factor: It includes trade policy and other policy. Government has to regulate free trade policy, so that M&S is reducing sourcing costs that impact on decision making of manager regrading costs of products.
  • Economic Factors: It includes interest rate, exchanges rate, inflation rate etc. If inflation rate increases that impact on decision making of manager about selling and pricing of products.
  • Social Factors: This involves income, age group, life style etc. If changes in trends ultimately customer's taste and preferences is changing, so that it directly impacts on operation of M&S.
  • Technological Factors: Due some technological changes or adopting innovative technologies such as online marketing, that directly affects on operation of M&S.
  • Environmental Factors: Some of environmental regulation are affected on operation of company, because of, consumers are increasing pressures on ethical green practices.
  • Legal Factors: Manager make sure that follow all legal regulation such as consumer protection, health and safety etc. So that, these factors directly affects on operation of M&S.

6. Manage factors by application of operation management

Effective operation management of company assists in managing various factors that affects wider business environment. If M&S has good financial resources, so that they provide better quality products and services to customers. Company follows different approaches to manage operation of business. Therefore, it helps in manage different factors in company.

7. Conclusion and recommendations

Form above, it can be concludes HR manager utilizes different approaches to operation management. Manage should follow different approach such as lean approach, total quality for managing operation of M&S. These theories also arranging different factors that affects wider business environment. On the other hand, leaders should take all responsibilities for managing operation of company.


From the entire report, it can be concluded that roles and characteristics of leaders and managers for achieving organisation's goals and objectives. Furthermore, functions of manager of M&S in different situations, to solve the arising problems effectively of the business has been described. It has been explained Strength and weaknesses of situational leadership theory, system leadership theory and contingency leadership theory. This report has concluded the impacts of external factors on operation management and decision making process of the company. This report summarised that responsibilities of leaders and managers for managing operation of company. From the above study, it can be discussed leadership theories assists in improving performance of employees of company.

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