Operations management refers to a process linked with analysis, review as well as control of processes and activities such as manufacturing, quality control, operations and other procedures associated with products and services of enterprise. This is known to be a process which begins with acquisition of raw materials from various sources and continues till conversion of this into finished products which are in a state to be consumed by customers in a marketplace (Boyd and Dougherty, 2016). This concept establishes a link between effective management and costs in the manner that the activities conducted results in least cost for the company along with maximised profits. The present report is based upon Unicorn Grocery which is a cooperative store democratically controlled by its owners. This is one of the biggest independent groceries within United Kingdom. This report includes the roles and characteristics of managers and leaders along with approaches of operations management. Besides this, it comprises of leadership approaches and factors impacting upon operational management.
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P1. Define and compare roles and characteristics of leader and manager
Leaders as well managers are inseparable elements of an organisation. Their roles and duties cannot be neglected while working towards achievement of organisational goals and objectives. In this regards, leaders and managers are collectively responsible for accomplishing the long term goals of Unicorn Grocery and their roles and characteristics are defined below:-
Leader: An individual who is accountable to the organisation for aligning the behavioural characteristics of employees to the achievement of organisational goals and objectives is referred to as a leader (Ellitan, 2017). Leaders of Unicorn Grocery utilise their positive and forward looking approach to motivate the staff members to work effectively and efficiently. This ensures timely completion of tasks.
Role of Leaders in Unicorn Grocery
- Leaders in this company are largely recognised for adequately directing the behaviour and performance of employees towards the vision of Unicorn Grocery.
- They make sure that activities are being conducted in the desired manner so as to facilitate efficiency of processes.
Characteristics of leaders in Unicorn Grocery
- Leaders of Unicorn Grocery maintain utmost honesty, integrity and commitment towards their performance so as to serve as role models for the team.
- Leaders within Unicorn Grocery have optimistic outlook towards the tasks and are generally able to influence individuals within the enterprise to undertake the same approach as adopted by them.
Managers: They are the persons who have the power as well as authority to manage the tasks being performed within the organisation in a manner that stipulated goals and objectives can be achieved timely (Eraki, 2015). Managers of Unicorn Grocery act as a linking pin between the top authorities and subordinates and pass on the information about hierarchical decisions and policies to staff.
Role of Managers in Unicorn Grocery
- The major role of managers in Unicorn Grocery is to carry out control, review and management of activities along with performance of staff.
- Managers within Unicorn Grocery are primarily held responsible for devising an effective business communication between top management and workforce to facilitate coordination and cooperation across organisational premises.
Characteristics of Managers in Unicorn Grocery
- Managers within Unicorn Grocery are usually found to be emotionally stable to not let the frustration or anger overpower their authority over the workforce.
- Managers of this organisation assign the tasks to employees within the company as per their professional as well as educational background. They possess the zeal to prioritise the tasks such that all of them can be achieved within targeted time (Fan, Liu and Zhang, 2015).
Similarities between Managers and Leaders of Unicorn Grocery
- Leaders, as well as managers in this company, work in coordination and cooperation with each other to achieve the common objective, i.e., sustainability of business and increased profitability.
- Managers and leaders of Unicorn Grocery aim at enhancing the morale of employees so as to make sure that task are timely completed.
- Strive to increase the morale and confidence of employee’s to ensure timely achievement of goals and objectives.
P2 Examples of application of the role of leader and function of manager in different situational contexts
Unicorn Grocery is a grocery store situated within England which aims to attract customers by providing high quality products. It deals in segments such as fresh, processed and dried food and beverages, body care, household, general merchandising and grocery items. This organisation operates in complex and dynamic business environment where unfavourable conditions and situations arise at regular intervals. This is due to rising competition from companies functioning within the same sector as well as the supermarkets which provides these goods at a relatively lower price (Ma and Sun, 2012). Managers of Unicorn Grocery conduct a number of activities such as planning, organising, monitoring and controlling the way in which work is being performed within the entity. It is essential for managers as well as leaders of this company to analyse the latest processes and techniques prevailing in businesses within this industry so as to execute the same within Unicorn Grocery and gain an edge in competitive market. Managers and leaders in this entity work in sheer cooperation and coordination to facilitate smoother functioning across organisational premises. In this regards, various complex situations arise which are taken into account by leaders and managers of Unicorn Grocery, these are described below along with the roles of leaders and managers:-
Team-building: It is considered to be one of the most complex as well as crucial tasks for any enterprise. Its importance arises from the fact that an organisation is a collaboration of people belonging to different cultural and national backgrounds. This gives rise to the possibility of conflicts within Unicorn Grocery. In this situation, managers direct the members of team towards creation a sense of cohesion across the company and commonly working towards achievement of organisational objectives as well as goals (Nayak, 2015). Besides this, leaders of Unicorn Grocery adopt autocratic style of leadership in order to facilitate coordination amongst the team members. Such practices by leaders and managers tend to create an environment which fosters collaborative working.
Project management: The success and effectiveness of many businesses solely depends upon the formulation of projects and tasks in the desired manner to ensure highest efficiency. It is considered to be yet another crucial and difficult task for any company as this determines the optimality of business strategies executed by an organisation. In this regards, it is necessary for Unicorn Grocery to make sure that workforce effectively utilise the resources as well as their potential to deliver the outcomes desired by entity. For this, it is the role of managers within Unicorn Grocery to assign the right roles and duties to the right employee so that there is no discrepancy or inefficiency within the organisational premises. Here, the prima-facie role of leaders is to evaluate the existing performance of workforce and conduct training sessions if the need to enhance current skills and knowledge of employees is recognised by them. Additionally, managers of Unicorn Grocery also have to provide the guidelines and framework within which staff has to perform to ensure that there is no breach of law or organisational policies.
P3 Application of different theories and models of approach, including situational leadership, systems leadership and contingency
Leadership refers to the process of leading individuals within a group or a company or even the capability to do so. This usually involves establishment of a clear vision, provision of data, procedures, knowledge and the techniques to achieve this vision and sharing this with individuals within the organisation to make them work in accordance with it willingly. Leadership within Unicorn Grocery is highly effective in facilitating a sense of belongingness and cohesion among team members and emphasizing upon their overall motivation to ensure timely realisation of goals. There are various approaches of leadership which are briefly described below:-
Situational leadership:This approach is used by leaders of Unicorn Grocery when they are required to adapt their style as per the given scenario and development level of their followers. This is one of the most essential and significant theories of leadership which gives equal importance to all the styles as well as approaches of leadership. This approach is not biased towards any particular leadership style and emphasizes upon acting according to the situation (Situational Leadership,2019).
Contingency leadership theory:This theory does not just give importance to leader but also to the situation according to which leader is acting (Wen-chao, Fan and Wen-wen, 2012). This leadership approach is utilised by leaders of Unicorn Grocery when their skills in relation to motivating and encouraging the employees of the company have to be enhanced. Here, leadership skills and situation both are evaluated and analysed.
System leadership theory:Thisleadership approach assists leaders of Unicorn Grocery in effectively creating a healthy and positive environment at workplace. This tends to motivate employees to perform to full of their potential to gain the desired outcomes. This approach is generally used by leaders of Unicorn Grocery while devising new policies which facilitate efficiency of operations.
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P4 Key approaches to operations management and role of leaders and managers
Operations management refers to the process which initiates at acquisition of raw material and generally continues till the time they are converted into finished goods ready for consumption (Wang, Jie and Abareshi, 2015). This practice of management within Unicorn Grocery tends to emphasize on maximum reduction of waste together with optimum utilisation of resources. The various approaches to operations management are described below:-
Six Sigma:This is an approach which is widely used within companies to eliminate any sort of faults, errors or defects which cause a breakdown in the timely completion of activities with optimum utilisation of resources (Plesser and et. al., 2014). This approach when used within Unicorn Grocery tends to enhance the existing productivity level of employees so as to ensure that the goals and objectives of enterprise are achieved in a desirable manner. This approach utilised a number of tools and techniques to make sure that the variances between the actual and desired outcomes are significantly reduced in order to facilitate efficiency of operations.
Total Quality Management (TQM):This approach is generally used by those companies whose primary aim is to maintain high quality of goods and services in order to ensure customer sustainability. Within Unicorn Grocery, this approach largely assists leaders and managers in making sure that customers stay in touch with the business for a long time. This approach largely demands skills and efforts from the overall workforce to make sure that customers get access to optimum quality products (Tristancho and Gutiérrez, 2012).
Role played by leaders:
- Leaders in Unicorn Grocery play a significant role in encouraging the employees at various units, levels and functions of company to effectively utilise productive techniques.
Role played by Managers:
- The major role which is played by managers of this company is to keep a track of workforce performance in order to ensure that work is being completed in a timely manner for which managers generally devise rigid policies(Wang, Jie and Abareshi, 2015).
P5 Importance and value of operations management in achieving business objectives
Operations management is defined as a process which is associated with operations within the company. This process is generally comprised of activities such as planning, controlling, organising, reviewing, monitoring etc. In relation to Unicorn Grocery, major goal of operations manager is to make sure that customers get access to high quality products. Importance of operations management is described below:-
Reduction of cost:Operations management tends to act as an optimum tool which assists in reducing the costs associated with wastage in Unicorn Grocery. Herein, managers of the company find creative ways in which cost of operations can be significantly reduced and quality of goods and services can be simultaneously enhanced (Williams, 2015). Leaders motivate the employees by conducting training sessions.
Enhancing overall productivity: Within corporate world, productivity is usually considered to be one of the most crucial aspects for a company. Managers and leaders of Unicorn Grocery render substantial consideration to this aspect to make sure that all tasks are timely completed in the desirable manner. Here, leaders create a positive atmosphere for employees while operations managers conduct such activities which enhance the productivity of workforce within the company.
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P6 Factors within business environment impacting upon operational management and decision-making
In an organization there are various factors which may affect business operations and functions and accordingly manger and leader of that company has to develop strategies and plans. These factors can be internal which can be present and directly related to a company or it can be external which is related to outside of a workplace (Yun and et. al., 2018). Leaders and managers conduct research of all these factors in order to develop appropriate plans and policies. Explanation of major internal and external factors in context of Unicorn Grocery is explained below:-
- Corporate social responsibility- It refers to those factor in which an organization do some activities and programmes that are beneficial for society. By doing this they able to enhance there goodwill which will directly and indirectly enhance profitability as well as market shares of a company. Manger and leader of respective company develop and modify their decision according to situation and condition of society.
- Business ethics- It refer to norms, values, culture and believes which is followed in an organization in order to conduct work in proper and effective manner. This help in reducing conflict leading to increase in productivity and profitability. So it responsibility of manager and leader to develop and maintain business ethics at Unicorn Grocery.
- Economical factor- This factor is related to economic condition of a company, country or customer of a particular company. It includes various aspects such as unemployment rate, inflation, interest rate, monetary policy and many more (XIANG, Chenand Zhang, 2013). So when any change occur in these aspects or factors manger and leader of Unicorn Grocery has to change their decision accordingly.
- Social factors-It refers to those aspects which are related to need, condition and demand of society, it is responsibility of a manager and leader of an organization to develop strategies accordingly. That leads to attaining goal and objectives in proper manner and attract large audiences. Manger and leader of Unicorn Grocery make their decision according to condition and demand of customers.
From the above discussed point it can be concluded that for effective and smooth running of business appropriate management and operations are needs. This helps an organization in attaining goal and objectives in effective and proper manner. Manager and leader play their roles in this regard. It has been evaluated that role and functions of a leader and manger change according to situation. It has been observed that leaders use various theories and approaches such as situational leadership, system leadership and many more to develop and maintain effective operational m