Operations management is refers to a distinct discipline which revolves around creating and managing process of production of goods and services. The various elements which are taken into consideration are planning, organising and coordinating and ultimately controlling the resources which are utilised in process of production. The role of operations management does not confine to transformation of inputs as it also focuses on adequate utilisation of resources along with resolving of delivery problems so that business targets are fulfilled (Benjaafar, Li and Daskin, 2013). This assignment focuses on the working of British Telecommunication which is formed in the year 2000 and operates its operations through its headquarters in London. This organisation is known to deliver communications services at a global level. The range of services are categorised on the basis of broadband and mobile services. This report will undertake a distinction between role played by leader and manager within an organisation along with identification of their application in different contexts. The various leadership theories and practices will be discussed as well.
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P1 Definition and comparison different roles and characteristics of leaders and managers
The leaders and managers in organisation play a crucial role in making sure that established targets are fulfilled. However they are known to fulfil their obligations in the manner which is different from each other. Management can be defined as an art of accomplishing the work through people and simultaneously attaining organisational objectives. The role of management in an organisation is very crucial as it aims to obtain organisational objectives through ensuring best utilisation of resources which are available with an organisation. The management is known to form a plan which acts a framework for employees necessary to get the job done. The focus of the managerial activities revolves around fulfilling of objectives with the help of utilisation and coordination of resources so that they could be achieved in an efficient manner. The crucial management functions are defined as follows:
Planning: Planning is defined to be an approach which focuses on bridging the gap between where an organisation is and where it wants to reach (Bozarth, Handfield and Chandiran, 2013). Planning for British Telecommunication abbreviated as BT stands important as well. This organisation is known to undertaken planning before venturing into a new nation for business purposes.
Organising: This functions of management revolves around bringing together various resources such as financial, physical and workforce so that goals which are determined could be fulfilled. This function is also Emphasized by BT as it aims to utilise framework which has been allotted through planning and its achievement through divisions of work and ideal utilisation of resources.
Leading: This function is known to identify methods through which tasks determined would be accomplished. The tasks of leading is also undertaken by BT as well, the reason being it helps in improving operational strength of an organisation. The manager working with organisation makes sure that they are able to channelise their workforce in attaining profits for business (Brandenburg and et. al., 2014). The tools which are undertaken in this approach are motivation, communication and supervision.
Controlling: It is the managerial functions which intents to make sure that right progress towards attainment of organisational goals. For instance: Organisation is aiming to enhance sales which is further measures and corrected if required, so that goals and objectives are fulfilled.
Leadership is referred to an ability of an individual or management to lead a group of people into achievement of challenging goals through prompt decision making and surpassing the competition. Mintzberg's have defined ten roles which are categorised into three broad segment which are as follows:
Interpersonal Roles: These are referred to be most crucial factor which can be emphasized by a leader in an organisation. For BT: interpersonal roles are mentioned to be most important as it helps in stating and communicating employees the task which they have to carry out along with catering them with guidance for attainment of objectives. The interpersonal category involves inspiring, leading and forming networks so that targets are to be achieved effectively (Dekker, Bloemhof and Mallidis, 2012).
Informational Category: This role which are fulfilled by leader on such ground involves processing of information which has been gathered by workforce in an organisation. For instance: When an organisation is making efforts into improving the sales by 10% in this financial year requires information which is to be gathered from numerous sources and processing and communicating the same to colleagues so that it could be utilised in attaining goals.
Decisional Category: the leader in this segment is known to form decision on the basis of information which has been gathered through various sources. The goals of increment of sales is encountered with numerous problems which are to be resolved through negotiation, resource allocation and handling of roadblock in goals (Dobrzykowski and et. al., 2014).
Comparison between Leadership and management
Leaders are known to set direction for employees which are to be followed by them.
Whereas, Managers on the other hand plan details.
There is lesser supervision and more of guidance which means employees are provided with freedom to perform.
There is an great deal of supervision by managers and makes sure that operations are carried out through status quo.
Leaders are known to be possess transformational approach and try to embed changes into the system on the regular basis.
Manager on the other hand opt for transactional approach in which they try to get the work done through reinforcement approaches.
P2 Application of role of managers and leader are applied on different situational context
A business organisation operates in the market which is very dynamic and complex. Such circumstances expose an organisation to various situation which are to be dealt effectively with suitable leading and managing approach so that goals are achieved (Drake and Spinler, 2013). The organisational situation can be categorised on the three major grounds which are stated briefly.
Stable organisational situation: The stable organisational situation undertakes aspects which have remain consistent for a longer period of time. The example for stable business situation focuses on economic aspects of this business as it has been successful in attaining stability in terms of income. The manager and leaders in such situation can plan activities and initiatives for longer period as they are possessed with stable sources of income. The activities which to be fulfilled can be easily organised and managed as the organisation is capable of providing adequate financial assistance.
Slow-to-moderate changing situation: There are numerous factors in the external environment of a business which have changed and possess a gradual change upon business. The changes in the government regulations and policies and customers preferences comes amongst slow-to-moderate modification in the business environment. The manager and leaders in the business environment make sure while planning initiatives for the future such factors are undertaken so that change in circumstances could be managed (Gimenez, Sierra and Rodon, 2012). The strategies which are undertaken for business are modified so that better results are achieved.
Fast changing situation: The technological aspects relates to this organisation are changing at a rapid phase therefore it has become crucial for an organisation to possess latest technology so that right competitive advantage in terms of service provision could be maintained. For instance: the technical revolution have been formed with the help of VoLTE (Voice over long term evolution) which improves quality of audio. The leaders and manager are enforced to alter their strategy and modify it so that it carries relevance to the environment.
To manage organisational resources it is essential to examine the environment so that right leadership approach could be selected. The major leadership approaches which can be practised and are suggested by Robert house (1996) in an organisation are as follows:
Directive leadership style: This is referred to be most practised style of leadership in business organisation in which a leader directs its workforce into tasks which are to be achieved by them. The leader in this style holds authority of formulation of decision without consulting any superiors and there is zero flexibility in an organisation (Griffin, 2013).
Supportive leadership style: This leadership style focuses on the delegation practices in which employees are provided with a extent of freedom to perform and catered with tools necessary to accomplish tasks. The leader in this approach work alongside employees so that tasks are fulfilled in the right manner. The crucial aspects which are undertaken in this leadership approach are time, emotions and training to employees so that they are able to manage the tasks which is provided to them. This leadership style is not practised at large and mostly implied upon organisation which requires creativity.
Achievement oriented leadership style: The management in this approach sets challenging targets which are to be achieved by employees. This leadership style emphasizes on providing employees with ideal training and improvement measures so that they are able to portray highest degree of performance through allotted task.
Participative Leadership style: This is referred to be most important leadership approach which has been practised in the British Telecommunication as well. This leadership style focuses on taking input from various stakeholders while formulating decisions but ultimate power lies with the leader itself. It might be a slower form of decision making but it has been identified that choices which are undertaken through this leadership style have emerged to be better than others. The decisions which are formulated are accepted by distinct members in an organisation and morale of employees is uplifted as well. Another advantage which has been availed by opting this leadership style is that it leads to higher retention of employees with the institution (Ham, Hitomi and Yoshida, 2012). For instance: BT is aiming to acquire latest technology which will lead to better provision of services, Under such circumstances leaders is asking for opinion of members to identify merits and demerits of the same so that better decisions are formulated. The selection of best method of fulfilling of tasks can be asked to employees so that best alternative is selected.
Therefore it can be ascertained that from the above statement that it is dependent upon the changes in circumstances which determine action of leaders and managers in an organisation. The leadership style is selected which carries highest suitability in terms of organisational performance.
P3 Application of different theories and model of leadership
This segment of the report attempts to answer questions which relates to the models and approaches of leadership such as contingency and situational practices and manner in which they tend to influence working of leaders and manager in an organisation.
Situational leadership: the definition by Blanchard and Hersey in 1969 defines that there is no leadership style which can be applicable upon varied business circumstances. It is the task of leader to identify suitable leadership approach by considering the circumstances. The modification of leadership style will make sure that goals are fulfilled. It is dependent on the behaviour of leader in which he is tries to adjust his leadership style according to the need of the business circumstances. The approach which is taken in this concept revolves around diagnosing the circumstances and further adapting the same so that movement of business resources could be managed. The individual on the development level are to be supported with directive leadership so that they are offered with right guidance leading to attainment of goals (Laudon and Laudon, 2016).
Systems Theory: it is referred to be an crucial approach to management in the contemporary times. This theory perceives business organisation as an open system which carries a direct interaction with the external environment through inputs, processes and outputs. This theory is helpful for organisation as it is an interdisciplinary approach which aims to integrate crucial functions which are to be catered by managers and ensure that operations and activities are performed in the most efficient manner. This theory is helpful in providing a framework within which operations will be carried out and reliance on feedback mechanism assures that new approaches could be identified.
Contingency Theory: It is a behavioural theory which is similar to that off situational approaches of leadership. This theory states that there is no perfect manner in which resources could be directed and organised within organisation as one theory may be successful in particular situation may not be relevant in others. The manner through which it could be identified whether leadership style is being fit for the organisation can be carried out through its adaptation of environment, differences in resources and operations and strategies undertaken to accomplish results (Moutinho, 2011).
Management by objective: It is a technique which is mostly applicable to the personnel working for an organisation. This approach aims to form goals for each and every component for an organisation which are later recorded and managed. This approach revolves around planning and perceived that employee performance could be improved through allotting them performance targets.
It can be said that there is no leadership style which fit universally, therefore it is essential for leaders and managers to critically examine business circumstances so that right leadership and strategies could be undertaken.
P4 Explanation of key approaches to operations management and role played by leaders and managers
This section of the report undertaken focuses on the various aspects through which management of operations of an organisation could be carried out. Operations management is referred to be an approach which focuses on getting things done in an efficient and effective manner (What is Operations Management?. 2017). The manager and leaders in the organisation are known to manager service production and delivery so that better results could be achieved.
The role which has been catered by managers in the operation management stands crucial. They are known to manager distinct resources in an organisation such as personnel, financial and inventories in the best possible manner (Paryani, 2011). They are known to form goals for various depart in a business and communicate the same to executives. On the other hand, leaders in operations management are responsible to lead a group of members in working effectively and efficiently. They are not inclined towards managing resources available in an organisation. They are focused to identify ways through which efficiency could be achieved and qualitative results are availed.
Six approaches to operations management
Total quality management: It is an approach through which an organisation is able to improve its internal processes which leads to higher customers satisfaction in an organisation. British Telecommunication can utilise this approach as it leads to significant reduction in the costs of service delivery. The emphasis is on the process through which services is delivered to clients along with emphasis on the quality provided.
Six sigma: Six sigma is another approach which focuses on improving quality of output which is being offered through elimination of shortcomings (Singhal and Singhal, 2012). It undertaken DMAIC model which begin with the identifying problem and ends with controlling approach which results in the solution. The telecommunication organisation can use this approach to identify shortcomings in their service such as call drops or connectivity problems.
Lean Production: Lean production is an approach which is initiated in the mega Japanese corporations in the year 1980's. This approach aims to embed feature such as flexibility and quality in the service delivery. The inventories are only purchased when they are required which leads to minimal wastages of resources. BT can opt for this technique by making sure that their personnel are able to perform distinct tasks and possess lower specialisation.
Just-in-Time: It is an approach which is similar to that of lean production, in which production efforts are carried out only when demand has been placed by the consumer. This organisation does not believe in building large stocks and known to deliver specialised products as per the requirement. This approach relies on forecasting to a major extent and are known to produce service only when desired by the consumer.
Continuous Improvement: This approach is known as 'Kaizan' which continuously focuses on improving process through which service is delivered. This approach to operations management aims to identify opportunities in workflow which could be improved. The formal development of plan takes place which is further implemented upon organisation to achieve efficiency (Tummala and Schoenherr, 2011). The disgruntled customers are to be reached of the organisation which would help a business in identifying opportunities for improvement which are practised upon.
Queuing: Queuing approaches focuses on the mathematical approach in carrying out of operations. The results which have been derived from this approach are commonly utilised in forming decision for the organisation. This technique can be employed by British Telecommunication in making sure that normal sales of the business could be retained through focusing on the manner through which customers arrive and are exiting the system.
It can be determined that all the mentioned approaches are undertaken in embed efficiency in the business operations. It is dependent upon the strategy of business which determines approach which is opted by the organisation.
P5 Explain importance of operational management in order to achieve business objectives
Operations management is a one of the important task for organisation in order to achieve goals and objectives in limited period of time. It is a manager responsibility to analyse client's needs and wants accordingly develop strategies which are help to gain high customer’s satisfaction in minimum efforts (Paryani, 2011). In this section covers main objectives of British telecommunication and its impact on sales, profitability, clients gratification, firm growth at market and many more. It also cover some important operational function like control on distribution channel, transformation of raw material into finished goods, process management, capacity manage, inventory as well as logistic management in the last activities time scheduling. Some main objectives of BT are explain as follows:
- Satisfying customer: Effectively meet all customer’s requirement to enhance their satisfaction. Accordingly operation manager develop product.
- Growth: Sustain long term growth in order to earn large profits on the behalf of shareholders. Operations manager has analyse market opportunity that help to grow.
- Increase selling: Maintaining contribution toward community or society which are include in business code of conduct. Through this firm build positive brand image which enhance sales.
- Survival: Provide higher value to their potential clients in order to gain high market position (Moutinho, 2011). For high quality product, operation department used latest technology which help to take benefits of long term survival.
- Higher profits: Develop employees self satisfaction toward their role and responsibility which help to maximise profits. Operation department has produce quality of product in order to increase profits.
In order to achieve all these objectives in limited period of time, management of BT has develop strategies and plan. Through this, firm has take competitive advantage as compare to their competitors in same industry.
Six main function of operational management are explain as follows:
Distribution and control system: Production house has build healthy relationship with their distributors in order to increase sales as well as profitability. They also control on their function so that distributor can not harm image company at market place.
Transformation of raw material into finished goods: Operation manager used Six sigma strategies in order to produce goods. Which help to reduce cost, better utilisation of resources as well as manage all operational process in an effective manner.
Process design: Management of an organisation design operations process and all employees are follow this plan in appropriate ways to achieve all objectives in limited period of time (Griffin, 2013).
Capacity management: It is administration responsibility to know their capacities and accordingly develop action of plan to gain objectives effectively.
Logistic and inventory management: It is most important activities of operations, they used lean inventory management strategies to manage inflow and outflow of material. It help to better utilisation of all available resources to achieve objectives.
Scheduling: operational manager develop blue print of all operations activities and assigning time period of all work that help to gain higher value of product and services.
P6 Assessment of factors within business environment that impact upon operational management and decision-making
There are many factors which that are present in business environment that have their vats impact upon business operations. These factors are divided into two parts which are internal and external. Intrinsic factors are controllable and extrinsic elements are non controllable for BT company. This section includes analysis of four factors that are corporate social responsibility, sustainability, stakeholders and organisation culture. Below are explanation of these factors.
Corporate Social Responsibility: This is a procedure of taking responsibility of company's action on environment and association also take initiative regarding their action which would not hamper any aspect and level of society. There are some effects which are taken by BT company for reducing negative effect of operational activities upon society and to minimise these elements. Corporate social responsibility framework is to be establish in organisation. This type of action is more necessary when government make some new laws and legislations related to welfare of society and betterment of environment. These laws should be taken into consideration and then this situation will lead corporation into strong position in marketplace and makes able in defeating all competitors by getting extra competitive advantages.
Sustainability: This is a term that includes management of all factors like finance, social and environmental risk along with obligations and opportunities. When association is able in managing all their functional area by these stated factors. This term sustainability includes three impacts that are defined as profits, people and planet. This approach is better say that when a corporation is able in establishing their footprints in market very efficiently by accomp0lishingt all tasks and operations in most effective manner.
Stakeholders: These are persons whom have interest in company is called as stakeholders. This word is constructed by two words, one is stake and other is holders whom are holding stake in corporation. This personnels are employees, suppliers, shareholders, customers, top management etc. When there is any changes in these factors then this action will hamper decision making because judgements rely upon taking care all these factors.
Organisational Culture: It is defined as values and behaviours that have some contribution in unique and peerless and psychological atmosphere on a corporation (Wu and Pagell, 2011). This term includes which kind of environment, a company is having. BT corporation have a healthy and friendly environment where all departments have feeling of cooperation and always share accurate information. When organisational culture is good where human resource management does not need to look forward for employees retention.
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The conclusion which can be ascertained from this report is that operations management stands crucial for an organisation and make sure that right services are delivered to consumers. The leaders and managers in an organisation can undertake distinct approaches to manage resources available and lead a group of people into achieving organisational goals.
- The recommendation to the chosen organisation is that they needs to focus on incorporating a great deal of flexibility so that right leadership approach could be selected.
- It is essential for leaders and managers to undertake learning and education practices so that contemporary approach to resource management can be practised.
- The participative leadership approach should be replaced with contingency leadership approach which going through a major change within organisation.
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