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Developing Strategic Management and Leadership skills

Note:The chosen Organisation for the assignment is Tesco

Introduction
Tesco is a global grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues (after Wal-Mart and Carrefour) and the second-largest measured by profits (after WalMart). It has stores in 14 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and is the grocery market leader in the UK (where it has a market share of around 30%), Malaysia, the Republic of Ireland and Thailand.

The company was founded by Jack Cohen in 1919 and opened its first store in 1929 in Burnt Oak, Edgware, and Middlesex. The Tesco name first appeared after Cohen purchased a shipment of tea from T.E. Stockwell and combined those initials with the first two letters of his surname. Originally a UK-focused grocery retailer, Tesco has diversified both geographically and into areas such as the retailing of books, clothing, electronics, furniture, petrol and software; financial services; telecoms and internet services; DVD rental; and music downloads. Tesco is chosen for the assignment due to certain reasons. Tesco is one of Britains fastest-growing and most innovative retailers, recognized as one of the best companies to work for in the UK. Tesco gives their employees clear objectives and expectations. At the same time, they also allowed more freedom for individual initiative than most other retailers, as they believe that it is ultimately this sort of personal touch that can make all the difference to their customers. (: http://www.tesco.com)

Task(1.1): Explain the link between strategic management and leadership.

To explain the link between strategic management and leadership we should have a clear understanding of what these two terms actually mean. After understanding these two terms we can easily explain the link between them.

Strategic Management: According to Barratt and Mottershead (2000), strategy is described as the way of achieving our objectives. Strategy enables us to ensure that all our work and things we do every day are going to help us in the long term interests of the organization.

Strategic Management is the process of establishing and maintaining good strategies. Making and defining strategy is not enough, you will have to work out a plan for implementing that strategy in its true spirit. Good strategic management is plays a key role in approaching business opportunities and challenges.

Leadership: There are different ways of describing leadership so it is very difficult to provide a single definition that fulfills the task. As Brindley and Buckley (2004) argued that, Leadership has been identified as the process by which individual and group activities are influenced towards organizational goals. The same thing is narrated in Business Management Study Manual compiled by The Association of Business Executives (2007). They are of the view that, Leadership is a process by which individuals are influenced so that they will be prepared to participate in the achievement of organizational or group goals. While Marcous (2008) narrates that, Leadership, at its best, means inspiring staff to achieve demanding goals. All these things emphasize on one basic idea and that is Inspiration or Influence. So we can say that Leadership is the art of getting things done by inspiration or influence of the leader on its

followers while Management mainly depends on the analysis and ground realities.

After all the discussion we came to the conclusion that Leadership and Strategic management are interlinked with some minor differences. In the case of strategic management we are trying our best to achieve some long term goals and the same is the case with leadership. In both cases we should have someone with a broad vision; either its a leader or a manager. The bottom line of all this discussion is beautifully captured by the golden words of Field Marshal Slim that (quoted in Business Management Study Manual), Leadership is of the spirit, compounded of personality and vision: its practice is an art. Management is more a matter of accurate calculation, of statistics, methods, timetable and routine: its practice is a science.

Task(1.2): Analyze the impact of management and leadership styles on strategic decisions.

Leadership and Management Styles: There is famous saying that, Change is the only unchangeable thing in nature (Heller & Hindle, 2008). Similarly in our daily life things are changing rapidly and we have to adopt ourselves to these changes. We cant say that we will remain in the same situation forever. We have to act according the situation. Similarly there certain ups and downs in organizations as well. So the managers and leaders adopt different styles for different situation. According to Whitcomb (2000), some famous and widely recognized styles are:

a) Autocratic: In this style people are told what to do and how to do. They have no role in decision making. Once made, a decision must not be questioned. b) Democratic: In this style decisions are made on the views of as many people as possible that are involved. c) Passive: In this style people are given general directions on the tasks to be tackled and then left alone to achieve them in the way they think is best. d) Charismatic: In this style leader influences and motivates others because of his/her outstanding personality or character.

As mentioned earlier, that these styles depend on certain situations and to be a good leader/manager you would have to adopt all of them. All these styles of management and leadership have certain impact on strategic decisions. The organizations led by Autocratic leader are basically Task Oriented. According to Jenkins and Hamman (2001), the advantage of such style is that the decisions are made quickly because people know where they stand. But the employees in such organizations are not happy to some extent because they have no role in decision making. As Barratt and Mottershead (2000) is of the opinion that in Autocratic

leadership the Work-force is not encouraged to think for itself, and emphasis is more on quantity than quality.

While the organizations led by Democratic leaders have proved good because they are both Task oriented as well as Relationship oriented. But according to Barratt and Mottershead (2000) the decision making process is slow and that can be dangerous.

And the organizations led by Passive style are Relationship oriented. And Marcous (2008) is of the view that this only occurs when the manager is very busy or very lazy or has confidence on his/her team and knows what they are capable of. According to Whitcomb (2000), Charismatic style of leadership is very rare but can be very successful in the extent to which they can motivate others to do things to support them.

Task(1.3): Evaluate how leadership styles can be adopted to different situations.

Leadership styles can be adopted according to the situations. For example; during a war a commander has to make quick decisions (Brindley and Buckley, 2004), or in the case of a natural disaster there is no time for suggestions from the people, so autocratic style will be perfect. The bottom line is that for quick decision you should always go for the Autocratic style. In the case of a Research and Development Organization, employees are highly trained, skilled and professional people, so the style that best suits this situation is Laissez-faire. Because employees know what they are doing and what are their goals. And the situation that is the best candidate for Democratic style is a youth club planning for their summer camp. They will have to take suggestions from all the persons involved and then will make a decision. In this case the decision making process is slow but effective at the end of the day.

Task(2.1): Review the impact that selected theories of management and leadership have on organizational strategy in your chosen organization.

Every single person on this earth is different. The difference may be in way of thinking, analyzing something, working or implementing something. Along the course of life humans made many theories about things around them, some of them were wrong and some proved successful. Human are called the most superior species on planet earth and this superiority is due to the fact that humans learn from their mistakes. So humans learnt a lot from their mistakes and devised new theories. In this task we are going to focus our attention on the different theories of leadership and management made during 19th and 20th century.

Theories of management and leadership: According to Morris (1999), The first-rate way of making a fool of oneself is to propose as new an approach tried and rejected by earlier generations. There are a lot of ways of doing something, some of them have been tried before and some are not. So a successful manager always learns from the past experiences and tries not to repeat the mistakes. The 20th century has seen many theories of management applied to the organizations; some of them are described below.

a) The Classical School: According to Morris (1999), this approach is based on the main purpose and the structure of the organization. The organization is just like a machine, just feed the input and get the output. The role and position of every individual is defined. People are supposed to do things as mentioned by the higher level, human feelings are irrelevant.

b) Bureaucracy: The main emphasis is on the performance and duties of the individuals. The duties of the all the individuals are fixed according to the

area of their expertise. And like Classical School theory, human feelings are irrelevant.

c) Systems Theory: This theory was developed in 1950s and 1960s. The theory is based on the working of a typical system. It takes certain input (raw material, people) and transforms them through a process into output (organizational goals).

d) Human Relations Theory: This theory was developed in 1930s. The main theme of this theory is the human relations. The Association of Business Executives in Organizational Behavior mentioned that, to understand and improve an organization, you need to understand the people who work for it.

e) Contemporary Theories: These theories are based upon the idea of sticking to the key functions of the organization and puts emphasis on going towards excellence.

f) Contingency Theories: This theory emphasizes that there is no single particular way of running an organization. Everything is dependent on the situations through which the organization is passing by.

Impact on Tesco: Tesco is one of the leading organizations, with a vision of providing people everything they need, under one roof at affordable price. Now we see the impact of the selected theories of management on the strategy of Tesco. The impact of Classical School theory on Tescos strategy is a bit disappointing because Tesco believes in excellence with the help of its employees. So the Classical Theory is surely going to inversely affect the strategy of Tesco. The Bureaucratic Theorys impact is similar to the Classic School Theory. But this approach is providing a helping hand in organizing the overall working of the Tesco. But only defining the duties of the employees and

organizing them is not enough. The Tescos strategy is to run the organization in a disciplined manner, keeping in mind the feelings of its employees. The impact of Human Relation Theory on Tescos strategy is not good enough. It should be kept in mind that this theory alone is not enough to provide any progress in long term. But the good thing about it is that it takes into account the ideas of all the employees. The Contemporary and Contingency Theories have a good impact on Tescos strategy. Both these theories are leading Tesco towards excellence. Changing the style according to the situation and sticking to the overall performance is surely good enough for Tescos progress in long term.

Task(2.2): Create a leadership strategy that supports organizational direction in your chosen organization.

We have seen the impact of different theories of management and leadership on the strategy of Tesco. And we came to the conclusion that there is no single theory that can support Tescos strategy. Everything depends on the situation of that organization in a particular time frame. So in the case of Tesco the best strategy that supports organizational direction is the Bureaucratic approach along with a flavor of Human Relation theory. The Bureaucratic approach will be helpful in achieving the organizational goals and keeping everything on track. It will also help Tesco to maintain its day-to-day budgets in control and will make some serious profits for the organization. The Human relation approach will take into account the feelings and needs of the staff and the people attached with Tesco. It will ensure that the workforce is enjoying its time working with Tesco and take their work to perfection. This new combination will be very helpful in maintaining the discipline in the organization and will be very beneficial for the employees. So the working and the progress of Tesco will be very smooth. The people will be aware of their position and duty in Tesco and they will be free to work out a plan for performing their duties efficiently. Although this new leadership strategy seems a bit odd to many people but if it is implemented in its true spirit, it will be very helpful.

Task(3.1): Use appropriate methods to review current leadership requirements.

There are certain methods available for reviewing the leadership requirements. Some of them are listed below.

Blake and Moultons Managerial grid: According to Mullins (2005), Blake and Moultons Managerial grid is one of the several methods available for reviewing leadership requirements. According to this method, all managerial and leadership styles are reviewed on the basis of two main rules. 1. Concern for Results; and 2. Concern for People. In the first case, manager diverts all its energy on the accomplishing of tasks in given time. This is shown along the horizontal axis on the grid. While in second case, employees and their needs are given importance. And this is represented along the vertical axis of the grid. Barratt and Mottershead (2000) have narrated this grid as a Matrix of managerial styles.

Figure: Blake and Moultons Managerial Grid (Source: http://www.gridod.com/images/LeadershipGrid.jpg)

The numbers inside the grid indicate the degree of concern of the mangers. For example; managers with a rating of (9,1) practice Autocratic style because they

show little concern for the employees. On the other hand, a rating of (1,9) depicts the behavior of a Democratic manager. It is also referred as Country Club management by some authors. According to my research and findings, the management style of Tesco, on the basis of Blake and Moultons managerial grid, should be rated as (7,5).

360 Feedback: According to Mullins (2005), The idea of 360 feedback involves an appraisal and feedback from different groups within the work situation peers and subordinates as well as bosses, and possibly internal and external customers. The main purpose of the 360 feedback is to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of an individual or an organization. It may include a self-assessment questionnaire. This feedback helps in overcoming the weaknesses and exploiting the strengths of the organization.

Figure: Mulinss 360 Degree Feedback Cycle Source: http://recordtracker.net/images/pic_360.gif

MBO (Management by Objective): Another common approach in reviewing leadership and management styles is Management by Objectives commonly known as MBO. According to Mullins (2005, p. 249), MBO is a system of

management which is aimed at relating the organizational goals to individual performances and development through the involvement of all levels of management. While Morris (1999), is of the view that the top manager should set an overall objective, and should convey it to the lower management for completion. MBO is potentially an attractive system. It provides an opportunity for staff to accept greater responsibility and to make a higher level of personal contribution. {Mullins (2005)}

Source: http://leapcomp.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/mbo-process-cycle2.gif

Mc. Gregorys Theory X and Theory Y: The figure defines both the theories in detail. The bottom line is that Theory X is Task oriented and Theory Y is Relationship oriented.

Source: http://www.vectorstudy.com/management_theories/img/theory_x_y.gif

Task(3.2): Plan for the development of future situations requiring leadership.

A good leader is always prepared for the any kind of challenge. He acts quickly and accurately according to the given situation. We can say that a good leader takes the right decision at the right time. I have listed a couple of future situations here that will require a firm leadership.

Conflict Resolution: You cannot stop conflicts from occurring between individuals and organizations. Sometimes these conflicts are useful and sometimes they are not. When I say useful, it means that sometimes new ideas are created from these conflicts. Or these conflicts point to a deficiency or a week point in the management of the organization. So they are helpful in pinpointing the lapses. On the other hand sometime these conflicts leave a bad impression. Whatever the reason is, conflicts should be resolved smoothly. So for the purpose of conflict resolution a leader should be there with a remedy. And it is then up to the leader to resolve that conflict in any way he likes; whether by choosing Autocratic style or by Democratic style.

Merger and Acquisition: Another most important situation for an organization is merger or acquisition. Its a really very difficult decision. You have to be very accurate in your calculations and should have a good insight of market trends. A leader with a vision and deep thinking is essential in this case. Either you are going for merger or going for acquisition, you should be able to foresee the state of your employees and organization in coming years.

Recession: A couple of years ago there was no concept of recession on a large scale. But now many of the worlds most popular economies are facing difficult times. Now-a-days recession has become a worst nightmare for many people

around the globe. And according to the economist it is the only chance for organizations to control their budget. So for recession there should be a strong leader with a clear cut policy. This is the worst case scenario and a true test of a leadership that how it overcomes recession.

Adaptation for change in technology, taste and performance: Change is the unchangeable law of nature. And adaptation for change is very difficult for certain organizations and it may be due to many factors. One of the key factors is that many old employees dont welcome change because they are used to work in old fashion and any change in technology, taste and performance is a bit difficult for them. So a sincere leadership is required for any change to become successful in organization, a leadership that is able to remove the ambiguities from the minds of all employees about the nature of the change.

Natural Disaster: Another very important situation that requires a leadership is a natural disaster. During the period of a natural disaster many employees and organizations are in a state of ambiguity. They are unable to perform their duties efficiently. Thats why a firm and dedicated leadership is required, that is capable of overcoming the difficulties, and is capable enough to restore the confidence of the employees and organization.

Task(4.1): Plan the development of leadership skills for a specific requirement.

There are certain skills that every leadership should possess. True leaders have these skills in their genes and others adopt them during the course of their life. But one thing is certain that these skills are present in all the great leaders of the world. The possession of these qualities is not enough; a good leader should be able to develop these skills and to be able to apply them in accordance with the requirement. A good leader possesses the right skills and uses them in the behavior that best suits the current situation. The main skill of a leader is its influence. A good leader always uses its influence on its followers to obtain the best results. Inspiration can bring huge changes in organizations. So a good leader should always try to develop and enhance its influence by empowering its employees. So this skill can be developed by self-help by learning from mistakes. A good leader should have good communication skills. He should be able to communicate easily with his team members. Now-a-days the world is becoming a global village and to become a good leader, one has to be able to understand the feelings of others. So a leader should practice more and more to master this skill. A good leader should always be adaptable to change. He should have a vision and he should try to introduce modern ways of getting things done. He should encourage his staff to use new technology and new techniques for their routine work. He should be confident and determined in his vision. So he should arrange seminars and workshops to convey his vision to his followers. A good leader should be unbiased; he should be able to manage diversity within an organization. He should be role model for all the employees from any origin. He should be punctual and honest. Its only through his own punctuality that he can maintain discipline in the organization. A good leader should be able to communicate the policy and regulations of the organization to every single employee. And that can only happen when he first exercises them himself before communicating to others. He should be able to expand the organization in all ways possible. He should be able to appoint new staff and train the old staff according to the new technology. He should arrange training courses and other

developmental activities for his company. He should also use his powers to keep the organizations on track. And most importantly he should use his power of rewarding for winning the heart of his employees. He should be a good speaker so that in any situation he is able to explain the position of organization in an effective manner. A good leader should possess good coordination skills for maintaining the integrity between different departments of the organization. Discipline should be the main thing for a leader and there should be no excuse for it. Because it is the main factor that can change the fate of the organization. A good leader should be honest and well-wisher of its people. He should stick to his commitments and promises. A leader should be a good listener; it helps him in overcoming the weaknesses of the organization and sometimes gives him a chance to grab some new ideas as well.

Task(4.2): Report on the usefulness of methods used to plan the development of leadership skills.

There are certain methods that we can use to plan the development of leadership skills. One of the best methods is to call a meeting of the staff and ask about their ideas. The best method, however, is 360 feedback. It helps you in understanding your exact position in organization. Another widely used method is to gather as much information as you can about the life of great leaders. It will help you in adopting their skills and their secrets of the trade. Another way of developing leadership skills is to get familiar with your followers. It will help you in understanding their feelings and their needs, which in turn will help you in managing their needs. So we used different plans for the development of leadership skills including; seminars, meetings, training courses, self-help, learning from mistakes and a lot others. All these methods are very useful to plan the development of leadership skills. Seminars and workshops are very helpful in understanding the point of view of other people. Training courses help in understanding and overcoming new challenges. These courses help organizations to implement effective ways of getting things done. They also help in creating a learning environment in an organization. Meetings should be arranged regularly; this will help a leader in developing his communication and coordination skills. Another very important method is exchange visits. These are very helpful in developing leadership skills. These visits may be between different sections of the same organization or between different organizations. These are very helpful in developing the leadership skill of managing diversity.

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