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Introduction

Managers and leaders are an essential part of an organisation. Managers of a firm are responsible for managing operations and functions of a firm. Leaders help a business organisation in motivating and influencing employees in achieving their maximum potential. Leaders play a crucial role in driving a company towards success. Various management and leadership models and strategies are developed and implemented by thesse units which helps organisation in evaluation of its weaknesses and strengths. Such evaluations help firm in developing strategies that help m to increase profitability. assignment below is based on IKEA, a multinational retail organisation headquartered in Leiden, Netherlands. This firm deals in kitchen appliances, ready-to-assemble furniture and home accessories and serves areas worldwide. assignment involves roles of managers and leaders in an organisation, roles of management and leadership in application to different organisational situations. It also includes application of various theories in supporting growth and sustainable performance in an organisation.

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P1. Difference between roles and characteristics of a leader and a manager

IKEA is world's largest furniture retail company founded in 1943. It focuses on conducting its operations in eco-friendly ways and adopts a modernistic approach in designing different types of furnitures and appliances. The company previously adopted hierarchical organisational structure. Due to rigidity in operations, and ineffective communication system, firm decided to restructure their organisation in which managers and leaders played a crucial role. Managers in IKEA are ones who plans, directs and controls functions and operations of a company. Whereas IKEA leaders are people who crafts an inspiring vision for an organisation, influence and motivates members of firm in achieving that vision and builds teams that can effectively achieve objectives of a company. There are notable differences between roles of leaders and managers which are as follows:

BASIS

LEADER

MANAGER

NATURE

 Nature of a leader is innovative. They emphasize on developing different and innovative methods to motivate employees in an organisation.

Nature of a manager is administrative. This means that they manage and take control of all activities of a company.

FUNCTION

A leader helps in developing an organisation by proper influencing and motivating employees and coordinating their efforts towards set vision of company.

A manager functions towards maintaining organisation's activities and managing its resources by ensuring proper control in their operations.

FOCUS

Main focus of a leader is on human resources of organisation. They channelize their efforts and strategies towards motivating and enhancing performance of employees.

Managers emphasize on organisational structures and systems followed to achieve business objectives of a firm. They effort towards managing and maintaining these systems in ways which contribute in company's profitability.

PROSPECTIVE

A long term prospective is possessed by a leader of a firm. Throughout an organisation's life, leaders motivate and support employees to retain skilled staff and enhance overall business performance.

Managers of a company possess short term perspective within organisation. They deal with daily operations and focus on achieving daily objectives for firm.

Management refers to planning, organising, directing and controlling activities of various functional units of an organisation to increase its efficiency and effectiveness. Management in IKEA is necessary in an organisation in achieving its overall objectives. It ensures optimum utilisation of a firm's resources and helps in conducting firm's operations in an appropriate and profitable manner.

Leadership is defined as act of influencing and leading an individual or a group towards achieving firm's objectives. Leaders in IKEA achieve this by conveying firm's vision to organisation's employees. They are also responsible towards motivating members of a company to unify their maximum efforts towards accomplishing overall tasks.

Difference between management and leadership is described below:

  • While leadership is purely based on trust inspired by leaders, management operations on control imposed by managers.
  • Leadership aims at influencing people in achieving organisation's visions whereas management aims at conducting operations in a controlled way.
  • While changes in practices adopted by firm are encouraged by leadership, management encourages stability.
  • Management is formulation of policies and procedures whereas leadership is formed by principles and guidelines.

Managers and leaders in IKEA must develop their management and leadership skills effectively in order to excel in their functions and roles in organisation which are as follows:

Roles of a Leader

  • Motivation: Biggest role leaders of IKEA play is motivating employees. They adopt different methods and implement different strategies to motivate workforce. These strategies can be increase in their salaries, promotions or incentives which would contribute in ensuring employees' commitment towards firm.
  • Link Between management and workers: Leaders establish a link between upper management and workforce of company. They provide workforce with information about company and decisions taken by upper management of organisation.
  • Adaptive: Leaders at IKEA must be accustomed to change. They must be agile and flexible to adapt themselves with ongoing changes in business environment and develop strategies accordingly.
  • Initiation: Leaders are responsible for initiating action and take effective decisions about tasks that are needed to be performed by the workforce.

Functions of a Manager

  • Planning: All plans about working of IKEA are formed by its managers. They plan policies, strategies and ways in which tasks can be achieved and profitability of this firm could increase.
  • Organising: Managers organise activities in a systematic manner to remove ambiguity and enhance organisation's performance. y balances company's resources in a way that they could achieve their maximum potential.
  • Directing: Managers supervises and directs employees towards set goals of the company. This allows employees to increase their efficiencies.
  • Controlling: IKEA managers also control activity and resources of firm and evaluate these activities to make sure everything goes as per set goals.

P2. How role of a leader and functions of a manager apply in different situational context

IKEA is a multinational organisation which is operating all around the world. With such a huge structure and vast operations, leaders and managers play vital roles in dealing with different problems. Operations management considers designing and controlling production and redesigning its operations to effectively produce goods and services. Leaders and managers are responsible to eradicate ongoing problems and ensure smooth working of organisation.

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There are different situations that arise in IKEA which requires expertise of managers and leaders. These situations are described below:

Employee Engagement

There are more than 1,95,000 employees in IKEA and company expects maximum output from each of its employees. However, it is difficult for firm to sustain performance of each employee. Sometimes, employees feel themselves detached from company and focus more on accomplishing their personal goals rather than organisation's objectives. This causes dissatisfaction in employees and hinder their productivity. In IKEA, such matters affect organisation which aims at achieving its maximum output everyday.

How Managers can deal with this situation

  • Communication: When such situations arise in an organisation, managers would interact and communicate with employees and would discuss their problems. This would allow to grab the root cause of such problems and would enable managers in engaging the employees back.
  • Opportunities: There must be some sort of opportunity associated with the work of employees in a company. IKEA managers would engage its employees by providing opportunities to them so that their personal goals coincide with organisation's objectives

How Leaders can deal with this situation

  • Motivation: Leaders would engage the employees by motivating them. This process is very essential to ensure commitment of the workforce. They could introduce certain work-related incentives that motivate employees to perform tasks at their maximum capabilities
  • Transparency: Since leaders tend to develop more personal relation with employees, employees at IKEA can be engaged in firm's operations by building transparency and trust. Leaders must promote approachability and 'open-door policies' within the firm so that employees be open and honest about issues they are facing at the workplace.

Organisational Restructuring

In a dynamic environment, it is required from firms to keep evaluating their structure and modify it according to changing needs of the business environment. There are many factors that influence change in a company. IKEA is known to critically evaluate its working and keep modifying its organisational structure. Such changes cause a facelift in working of the firm because of which the change gets subjected to resistance from the employees.

How Managers can deal with this situation

  • Delegation: During the times of restructuring, IKEA managers would adopt effective delegation of duties to the staff members. This would facilitate a healthy working environment and can be a crucial method of fighting the resistance. Delegation would facilitate accountability in the firm which would encourage employees in stabilising the operations.
  • Flexibility: Managers of IKEA are accustomed to change and would encourage the employees to be flexible in their work too. This would allow them to drive off pressure during organisational restructure.

How Leaders can deal with this situation

  • Involvement: Leaders at IKEA consider their workforce as an essential component of the company. During the times of restructuring, leaders would involve employees and would make them realise their importance in bringing the firm back to stability.
  • Attitude: It is very important that positive attitude be facilitated during organisational restructuring as it would help the employees in coping up with the change. Leaders at IKEA would support the workforce in working through such complex scenarios.

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