An organisation has various departments which perform different types of functions in order to achieve success of business. It includes human resource management, finance department, R&D and more. Among these, operational management is considered as most important division in which managers used to provide basic resources raw materials, manpower, machinery, capital and so on (Nassiri and et. al., 2016). These resources support company in manufacturing products or services. In this manner, a report has been prepared which shows importance of operational management in an industry. It has also discussed about role of mangers and leaders in carrying functions of business with a brief differentiation. For this process, John Lewis Partnership has been taken which is retailer firm of UK.
P1 Roles of leaders and managers in an organisation with their characteristics
Management and operations department perform various functions in order to provide necessary resources in business as well as control and manage entire activities. This would help a firm in getting better outcomes within a predetermined period of time (Mollenkopf, Frankel and Russo, 2011). In this manner managers and leaders act as important persons whose roles can be defined as-
Managers: Managers are necessary in each department who take various responsibilities like designing, creating, managing and controlling entire operations in a proper manner. In addition to this, the main function of these persons is to get right work of employees.
Leaders: These persons are also play a crucial role in managing work of people at workplace. They used to lead employees in a specific direction by providing them proper guidelines and timely motivates them so that efforts can be gained in generating high profitability.
In context with John Lewis Partnership, it is a British company of UK which deals in retail sector. It has more than 90,000 members in staff so to manage work of them and provide them proper guidance is such a difficult task (McNeil,Frey and Embrechts, 2015). In this manner, managers are used to formulate strategies and policies by focusing more on providing benefits to employees. While leaders helps them in executing and implementing the same into workforce. A common differentiation of both can be explained in following manner:-
P2 Role of leaders and functions of managers in handling different situations of a company
In today's competitive world, it is necessary for every organisation to create modifications in strategies, objectives and organisational system. It would help them in gaining better outcomes so that strong positions can be acquired in a particular marketplace. But it would arise various situation in workplace like resistance of workers to adopt working on new technologies. For this process managers and leaders are required to motivate employees and provide training to them so that resistivity can be reduced. In addition to this, it is also important for managers to make a proper planning which includes how to execute and implement new strategies into workforce.
In John Lewis Partnership, this firm used to recruit new employees who have gained high skills, knowledge and experience in a particular field (Laudon and Laudon, 2016). This would help them in increasing performance level of business so that higher achievement can be gained. As this company is running on large level, so various problems are occurred in organisation on regular basis. In this manner, managers and leaders are required to cooperate each other in order to resolve problems on time. Some situations are discussing below where role of leaders and functions of managers can be described:-
Employee engagement: Workers are considered as most important assets of a company whose contribution helps in achieving targeted goals. In big enterprises, thousands of employees are working so conflicts among them can be naturally arise. Therefore, in such situation managers and leaders are needed to engage workers in group task. This would help in developing a good relationship among them so that they can share their views and opinions with each other and help in completing a task.
Decision making process: It is the most important activity in a firm in which managers and leaders are used to take important decisions in favour of business (LaGanga, 2011). But sometimes decision taken by them affect performance of employees much, mostly in negative manner. So, managers and leaders are required to involve employees in decision-making process. Involvement of workers help in getting opinion of them so that better decision can be made.
P3 Application of different theories and models of leadership approach
Management and operations is the most important functions in an enterprise in which managers perform various activities to manage entire work. In this process, they adopt different leadership styles and management skills to direct workers in a proper way (Oakland, 2014). These skills are needed to resolve problems occur in premises and business operation on regular basis. In John Lewis Partnership (JLP), leaders and managers take several responsibilities to increase productivity of workers and resolve problems rise in carrying business properly. This firm has thousands of workers in its various branches, so to manage their work managers and leaders have adopted following theories of leadership:-
Situational leadership theory: In this type of theory, leadership style of managers or leaders are depended upon skills and abilities of workers who are needed to get influenced towards achievement of goals (Kim, Kumar and Kumar, 2012). As JLP firm has operated business on large scale so leaders are used to change their style of leadership according to different-different situation. Currently, this firm has faced issues of labour turnover so its leaders used to motivate employees and provide them various benefits. This would help in reducing the same in proper manner.
Strengths: This theory aids a firm in improving relationship between management and employees which increases productivity of business as well.
Weaknesses: In this type of theory, managers are required to take immediate actions and change style of leadership.
Contingency leadership theory: This kind of leadership theory assist leaders or managers to keep an eye on performance of workers. Through this they can evaluate need, strengths and weaknesses of employees. In addition to this, they can provide training to them so that weaknesses can be reduced as well as skills of staff members can be increased (Fayol, 2016). In JLP, managers are used to evaluate abilities of every employee and assign work to them accordingly. This would help in gaining retention of employees.
Strengths: It is a best leadership theory as this concept focuses on need and desire of employees on individual basis.
Weaknesses: This theory is reactive in nature but not proactive i.e. a firm which operates on high level so to keep each employee happy is a big task.
P4 Key approaches to operational management and role of leader and manager
John Lewis Partnership is a one of the largest departmental stores in UK which serve a wide range of branded products like clothing, jewellery, cosmetics, furnitures, households and more. It always focuses on providing best services to customers and provide them various discounts or offers on regular basis. This would help them in gaining attention as well as retention for long-term profitability. In this manner, managers used to recruit high qualitative workforce who will help in providing good services to customers. In this manner, some major key approaches of operational management are explaining below which aids managers in increasing productivity and profitability of business in an effective manner:-
Total quality management: In this approach, managers of a firm are required to have controlled on activities of entire business (Fang and et. al., 2012). They should track performance of each employee so that targeted goals and objectives can be achieved within a predetermined time framework. As JLP Company deals in retailing sector, so high commitment of workers help in giving effective services to customers. Managers in this manner used to make effective strategies in favour with workers while leaders take responsibility to execute the same.
Lean production: Under this key approach of management, managers are needed to perform three major procedures i.e. planning workforce, make able to employees and formulate different strategies. Executing all operations in an effective way, aid organisations in utilising available resources in an effective and efficient manner. This would help in reducing cost of production as well as gaining high return on investment.
Just-in-time: This kind of management strategy aids a firm in keeping inventories in stock in a proper way. In according to this, it also helps in aligning resources or raw materials orders need to manufacture a product from suppliers by concerning with production schedules. Thus, using such key approach of management assist JLP in increasing efficiencies as well as decreasing wastages as well by receiving goods at the time of requirement only.
Leaders role in operational management: Through these approaches, leaders help employees in understanding their roles and responsibilities as well as provide them direction so that they can work in desired manner (Dineshbabu, Thomas and Radhakrishnan, 2012). They set short-term target for workers so that completing the same on time aid in boosting morale of them.
Managers Role in operational management: Using such kind of management approaches, managers can assign duties to each employee as their per skills and abilities. They also used to make proper action plan which include various activities and strategies to gain long-term achievement of business.
P5 Value and importance of operational management in an organisation
Management and operation in a firm plays an effective role in managing and controlling functions of business in a proper manner. Operational managers use various tools and techniques in order to manage work of all departments and deliver products or services at marketplace. They also used to determine need of other departments in a company related to resources and arrange the same within short period of time. In addition to this, main function operated by managers is to utilise available resources in a profitable manner (Christopher, 2016). In big companies like John Lewis Partnership, some major functions operated by operational department can be explained as below:-
- Control and distribution of system
- Conversation of raw materials into finished goods
- Profit maximisation
- Utilisation of resources
In addition to this, operational management always concern on reducing cost of production rather than increase sales. Managers used to communicate with leaders about new policies and strategies as well as changes which will be bring in premises. Further, leaders require to inform employees about the same and encourage them to work well.
P6 Factors within business environment which impacts upon operational management and decision
Business environment constitutes various factors which impacts on operational activity of a firm either positively or negatively. Some of these elements are occurred within internal while other in external environment. Therefore, managers are needed to analyse these factors in order to run business operations in a proper manner:-
Corporate Social responsibilities: CSR activities aids JLP in increasing its goodwill as well as gaining sustainability of business in a particular marketplace. This factor impacts directly on decision making process, so, managers are needed to provide benefits to employees like proper salaries, insurance, policies and more. This would help them in improving their standardisation (Aliahmadi, Sadjadi and Jafari-Eskandari, 2011). In addition to this, CSR activities also aid in providing social benefits to stakeholders. In this manner, managers and leaders are required to make ensure that entire process should be done in an effective manner by concerning more on protecting environment from harmful activities.
Business ethics: It is necessary for all enterprises to run business in ethical way. Managers are required to follow rules of ethics and making strategies by concerning more on need of employees. They should make ensure that their policies will not exploit workers. In this manner, leaders should keep record of performance of team-members so that need of them can be evaluated.
It has concluded from this assignment that operational department in an organisation plays a tremendous role in operating the whole function of business well. Manager of this division perform various activities in order to arrange resources and transform them into finished products. They keep an eye on whole process of manufacture to deliver commodities in a marketplace within a specified period of time.
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