MBA Corporate Culture

Managing Corporate Culture In Nando Fast-Food Company

This post discusses corporate culture in great length. The operation of business on a global scale requires that firms should cultivate their international business by respecting the national differences in the countries where they expand to. This is what Nando had failed to observe. It has rigidly and excessively stuck to its corporate culture exhibited in South Africa. It failed to note that South African’s national culture is not the same thing as what applies in countries in European and Asian states.

Also, the Nando’s management in the South African headquarter had given no room for the management of its firms in other countries to operate freely; this has given them no room for innovative strategic marketing planning in observance to the environment in which they operate in. the national culture of South Africa has greatly influenced the corporate culture of the Nando’s organization and it thus constituted a negative impact when its adherence and transfer to other national culture that is not compatible, led to the unprofitable business operations in these countries.

The level of competition in the fast food industry in contemporary times is getting tense, with expansion in big firms and new entrants to the business. Thus for organization like Nando the need to observe people’s custom, taste, national culture in carrying out its strategic marketing this is germane for their effective and successful operations as they expand the business.

Introduction

The dynamic environment where modern businesses operate pose challenges for them to maintain effective management of innovation. These environments are also characterized by uncertainties. The managements of contemporary business and their resources are becoming ever tasking because of changes in management, which emanates from the introduction of new strategies, keen competition, and improvement in technology, inter-alia. Change is a constant phenomenon that is bound to occur, but in a situation where its vicissitudes become a frequent occurrence managers of business are put in a tight corner to adequately strategize in order to follow the trend in the industry and the environment where they operate. The external environment in which an organization operates goes a long way in influencing its strategic management. Hence, changes in these environmental segments- the demographical segment, economic segment, political/ legal segment, technological segment, socio-cultural segment, and global segment- these need to be inculcated in the organization strategic management for the organization to compete adequately with its rivals. In this view Peter (2005:7), argue, “Dynamic in nature, the strategic management process is the full set of commitments, decisions and actions required for a firm to achieve strategic competitiveness and earn above average returns”.

As an organization continues to expand in its operational base, it is a noticeable fact that these expansion tend to affect the pattern of existing corporate culture the organization had hitherto operated on. This becomes more prominent when the organization is venturing into a different environment or country with different corporate culture from the exhibited national culture.

Strategic marketing is thus, faced with high challenges in the aspect of cultural harmonization of an organization operating with several units and outlets in trans-nationals and across borders operations. In an ever increasing competitive global business arena, the need to strategies and be in tune with current trends in an industry, this is very germane to the success level the organization would attain.

This study looks at Nando a medium scale business enterprise with its problem in operations of its franchised business, as a result of the difference in environmental corporate culture where the firm plans to extend its operations.

Background of Nando

Nando is a South African fast-food firm with restaurants that operate in many outlets in the country. The restaurants have over the years operated an organizational and corporate culture that depicts the South African environment in which it operates. The local South African dishes are widely served. Nando’s corporate culture is built around preparing chicken delicacy with a corporate culture that reflects the ‘Nandocas’ (Nando’s people) attitude, values, pride, passion and their courage. Nando believes in 100 percent satisfactions of its customers. Thus, as an organization, it has embraced the phrase that “100 percent” and “GEES’ which means ‘spirit’ in Afrikaans language, to build a corporate culture in giving satisfaction to its numerous clients.

Nando started operating in South Africa since 1987, and has used its marketing strategy to effectively ensure growth for the firm, thereby making the firm to begin franchising its operation to other countries, outside South Africa.

Nando’s Corporate Culture and Failure to Franchise to International Markets

The Nando’s organization has sought for drive for its expansion into the international fast-food market. Thus, it has embraced the plan to expand its operation through franchising to other international countries. From the Rothwell’s five generations of innovation, Nando is currently applying the second-generation Innovation process (Rothwell 1994, pg 8). The firm wants to diversify its operations by making its appearance in new international market. However, it has placed more emphasize on static scale of economies by holding tight to its corporate culture. Thus, the pattern of Nando organizing new restaurants operations in the same old South African fashion and technology has made the organization fail in its franchising and plan to gain market share in international market.

The expansion of Nando organization to other countries, this has adopted strategy of management the organization in a way where it focused greatly and concentrated on its national organization’s corporate culture. The marketing strategy introduced into its operation in European and Asian countries have towed the culture in South Africa. Hence, the over concentration on the existing South African culture, with little or a little (insufficient) focus on existing cultures in countries where the Nando’s expansion operations are directed to, this has being a major reason why the attempt at the franchising the organization’s concept failed. The sticking to past way of conducting business in South Africa, is not enough to see its foreign operations to success; there is the need to carry out a thorough research and analysis on the corporate culture existing within a country where the organization intend to expand its operation to. In this view, Oden (1997:3) argues that “many of today’s most successful organizations continue to survive because many years ago they offered the right product at the right time. Most product, market and process venture decisions of the past were made without the benefit of strategic thinking or planning. However, present-day managers increasingly recognize that venture decisions must be made in the context of a venture strategy. As they find themselves in ever more complex and turbulent environments, their past internally oriented, reactive approach to decision making is giving way to an externally oriented proactive approach that requires more analysis”.

The need for Nando to analyze both its internal and external environments is a needed strategic framework for the organization to thrive in international corporate venture and strategy. Hence, this long-range strategic and proactive orientation to decision making is an important element of the innovation culture (ibid). The need for an organization to adapt to the corporate culture in the environment where it operates goes a long way to show how successful it would be. The strategy in place should take into cognizance those cultural variables that would blend with the environment and people’s life style and taste. This is where the management of Nando International has missed the mark. There is the intention to transfer the Nando’s South African corporate culture to countries that has no cultural similarities; such as Israel, England, Australia, Japan, and Canada. The reason why Zimbabwe could thrive is adduced to the fact that it shares the same cultural similarities with South Africa; Nando’s home country.

To buttress this argument Ulijn et al (2000), illustrated that, “when a multinational firm, such as Philips, operates in the United States, it is accepted almost as a U.S. firm since it is loosely related to the individualistic U.S. society where interaction is explicit, low context, and monochromic. On the other hand, to be successful in Japan, Philips should behaves as a Japanese firm, where national culture and corporate culture overlap in a tight, collectivistic society where interaction is implicit, high context, and polychromic”. The above illustration shows that every country has its own cultural characteristics and variables that would compact with the environment in which business operation is done.

Also, the head office of Nando in South Africa has no flexible guide on the operation of its international businesses outlets, setting rules and guidelines for their operations. This has prevented the management in the different international countries from considering the variables and existing corporate culture where they operate, and strategize towards this line for effective operation. These tend to constitute hindrance to a successful implementation of Nando’s franchising attempt of its concept internationally.

The Role of National Culture in Nando’s Expansion

National culture is a great reckoning force which the Nando’s organizations have greatly imbibed in. the emphasis on maintaining the South African culture, in the organization, this is shown in every aspect of the business. To make this national corporate culture to be retain every new staff are adequately orientated on the existing cultures they are recruited., and it is expected they keep to this culture. The adaptation to national culture by the Nando outlets and operation in South Africa, this can be say to be a major factor that has resulted in the success story recorded in the country. As the organization’s activities are built round the national culture, this is reflected in the management style, relationship between staff and management, selection of partners. The inherent national culture in Nando is a factor that has made its Zimbabwe operations to succeed. This is adduce to the fact that South Africa and Zimbabwe have similar national culture

Corporate identity is an important factor to enable an organization competes favorably in an industry. “Based on this notion the effective management of an organization’s identity result in the acquisition of a favorable corporate image and, over time, of a favorable corporate reputation which leads an organization’s key stakeholders and stakeholder groups to be favorably disposed towards it” (Balmer & Wilson, 1998). According to Balmer (1997), cited in Balmer & Wilson (1998), an important pre-requisite for a corporate reputation to contribute to business survival and success is that it offers a distinct advantage in relation to the organization’s external environment”. For Nando South African operations, it has greatly utilized its corporate identity and culture in building a favorable reputation for itself. And this has led to the success and expansion of the business. It can be said here that the corporate identity exhibited by the organization operations in South Africa, this is very conformable to the national culture of the country’s environment in which the organization operates. To show the level in which national culture plays in the success of Nando’s operations in South Africa, when the expansion of the organization gets to European and Asian countries, with the dogged move of the management to inculcate the same corporate culture in a different environment made the operation there unprofitable and unsuccessful.

As earlier stated corporate culture is a reflection of the national culture and the environment in which the organization operates. The national culture of a state should be adapted onto by the corporate culture for the organization to thrive in its operation.

The role of national culture in Nando’s expansion can be said to be effective and successful at the national level, i.e. in South Africa. But internationally, the excessive emphasis place on the national culture in the expansion operation in Europe and Asian countries, this is a negative aspect that has affected the successful outcome of operations in these countries. The Nando’s have concluded that the Nando’s national culture could be transferred to international operation; hence, there is the disregard for the inherent cultures existing in these international countries. Thus, this incompatible corporate culture and the existing national cultures in the international countries is a factor responsible for the unprofitable operations at this level.

Hence, as a way out of this, it becomes a difficult challenge for the Nando to blend its South African corporate-cum-national culture with what operates internationally. The advertisement of Nando’s product, services, and organization’s operations, this also goes to buttress the role of national culture on the organization’s operations; adverts done for the South African outlets cannot adequately be utilize for operations in European and Asian countries. This also goes to show that the Nando organization’s success in South Africa is greatly tied to its ability to compact with its national culture and the effective utilization of this for the organization’s advantage.

Industrial Analysis and How It Affected the Corporate Culture of Firms like Nando

The level of global competition in the fast food industry is always on the increase. This is adduced to the in flock of new entrants, the expansion of existing firms to other countries. Big name in the industry such as McDonald, which has over 23,000 restaurants in 110 countries, a close rival to MacDonald is Burger King which operates a total of 9,644 restaurants in 110 countries, followed by Wendy; second largest rival to MacDonald, with a total of 6776 restaurants in 32 countries, Hardee operates 3080 restaurants in 20 countries (McDonald. ca, 2005). With this high level of expansion of major players in the fast food industry, coupled with the springing up of new firms entering the industry, these have led to the increase in the competition level in the industry. An organization operating in this industry need to adequately strategize in its marketing activities for it to curve a niche for itself.

The high competition level in the industry can be analyzed using Porter’s five forces. The threat of new entrants in the fast food industry is significantly high, as there are new entrants springing up every moment. This is due to low capital outlay required in setting a small fast food business, also the basic skills required to run a fast food restaurant is basically not to high that would require long term training. And there are abundant of skill labour that can be recruited to man the fast food joint when created. These f actors are responsible for the ease at which new entrants flock the industry and this has helped in increasing the level of competition in the industry. According to Porter (1985), the intensity of rivalry among existing competitors depends on the balance of competitors, industry growth, the size of fixed or storage costs, the amount of differentiation or switching costs, the minimum size of investment, the types of competitors, the strategic stakes, and the size and type of exit barriers.

Another threat in the industry is the threat of substitute product or services. In recent times, most fast food restaurants have come up with innovative pattern of preparing there food and service delivery; some have developed services for a targeted group in the society such as busy workers. This innovative way of operating leaves the customers, and those who patronize fast foods, many room to choose from the available substitutes. The treat of substitute product and services tend to reduce the level of profit that is available for the organization operating in the industry. In this industry there are firms that produce similar products; this also tends to constitute a threat to the operations of firms in the industry.

The bargaining power of suppliers, who supply raw materials for processing the food in this fast food industry, is very high, since there are many firms operating in the industry they would have many buyers wanting to buy from them; thus increasing the demand level. Many big firms like McDonald, have engage on their own backward linkages programme, whereby they produce most of the food stuff and livestock use in operating their fast food restaurants. Buyers also may have high bargaining power in this industry, since there are different substitutes and operators in the industry; thus forcing the price down for buyers.

The strategic challenges thus facing firms in the industry has to do with how they ca n strategize and carry out their marketing function in a way to make them have competitive advantage in the mist of the high competition in the industry. And profit maximization tend to be low if the marketing strategy is not effective enough to increase the level of sales made available to a firm operating in this industry.

Recommended Ways Nando Could Develop Its Business Operation

As earlier stated the competitive level in fast food industry is very tense; thus, for a firm to operate adequately in this industry there is the need that an effective marketing strategy is put in place; which would be goal oriented and enthusiastically pursued. For firms like Nando that is expanding, its operation to foreign countries there is the need that the issue of environment where the expanded business is position, this is critically considered in line with the organization existing corporate culture. “…a number of theoretical perspectives related to the role of firm-specific knowledge in competitive strategy-resource-based view of the firm, dynamic capabilities knowledge-based view of the firm, organizational learning-have began contributing to our understanding of international strategic alliances” (Simonin, 1999). And it is germane that modification to existing corporate culture is made to be in tune with the features of the environment that are on g round. The importance associated with paying attention to a country’s culture and environment in the management of business operation, especially as applicable to fast food business, this is for the organization to operate effectively and adequately apply its resources in order to adapt to the environment and also to meet set objectives at the most efficient manner. “Given the global strategic perspective, the corollary that it should be accompanied by a universal standardization is difficult to sustain as such a stance is product oriented and in defiance of the marketing concept. It is also apparent that different nationalities buy similar products for different reasons and different versions of a product for reasons of values, custom and preference as well as price” (McCall & Stone, 2004:5).

From the fore going, organization such as Nando as should strategize in a way where the custom in a country, that the national culture is respected. It is not as if one is saying that they should lose their cooperate corporate culture and concepts, due to expansion, but people’s custom, taste, preferences, reasons for patronizing a firm’s product and service, all these are different. So it becomes germane that for the firm to operate adequately well in the international arena, these considerations need be put in place for proper marketing strategy.

The model below is modified to shows a full recognition to the external context environment and how it should Nando’s business units are coordinated to operate; and it identifies a two- way rather than a one – way relationship with organisational strategy. There is also important recognition of the impact of the role of the personnel function on the human resource strategy content.

Corporate Culture MBA
Corporate Culture MBA

Source: Original by Henry and Pettigrew, (1992:139) “Model of strategic change and human resource management” in ‘Patterns of strategic change in the development of Human Resource management’ in British Journal of Management.

The model above diagram shows the effects of Nando’s corporate culture on its outlets, in other international countries where the business is franchising. It shows that franchised business should be allowed to operate uniquely, but not totally out of the parent organization’s corporate culture. Certain environmental influences from political, economic and cultural and social segments of the environment should be recognised for the Nando’s outlet to operate adequately in the country there are established.

Suggested Innovation Approach for Nando

Scenario Building

Having looked at the failed bid of Nando to actually succeed in its expansion and franchising bids, it is recommended that the organization embrace a scenario building approach in studying the environment in which it wants to expand it business to before implementing the plans. This would enable the organization to be able to build up the right corporate culture and curtail challenges and uncertainties.

One way of managing the uncertainties associated in frequent change is through scenario planning. According to Ringland (1998), scenario planning is a tool for business to cop with the unpredictability of constant change and help them find better solutions for the future. Scenario are often thought of as a management development tool, which is use for creating shared vision, as well as better plans, in organization. Thus, it is utilized in facilitating strategic planning and helps in influencing people’s attitude towards questioning assumptions and accepting change (ibid). Scenario planning tends to be a better tool than other traditional management tools for the tackling high uncertainties and complexity in modern business management. Shoemaker (1991) defines scenario planning as a script- like characterization of a possible future presented in considerable detail, with special emphasis on causal connections, internal consistency, and concreteness. According to him, the focus is not on forecasting the future, or fully characterizing its uncertainty, but rather on bounding the uncertainty.

Thus, for Nando scenario building is a germane tool that would ensure cultural uncertainties from environments where it want to expand its fast-food operations are taken care of before the firm’s outlets are established.

Modelling as a way of improving innovation management for Nando

Corporate Culture Dissertation
Corporate Culture Dissertation

The above diagram shows the circular flow of innovative modelling. A model formulation is ensured through the desire to come up with a better model so as to gain more competitive advantage over rivals, and this need for improvement brings about the better allocation of resources that would result in the derivation of vital information for the effective operation of the organization. The derivation of better information would make Nando to see its previous innovative model as asymmetric and the desire to future improve this lead to another circle of innovative turn around and the engagement on new modelling session.

Two key aspects underlying this information innovation cycle are transparency and accountability. The transparency of information is in fact closely tied to accountability. Transparency can be defined as the ability of the public and of external regulatory bodies to view the actions, procedures, and outcomes of a particular business entity (or department within). Public access to information concerning the operations of a business or an entire industry facilitates independent evaluation (Ceres, 2003). Transparency translates to accountability when these independent evaluators have a significant influence over the fate of the company or industry in question. This influence might come in the form of policy making or buying power. When inferences made by the public have the ability to affect its welfare, such an entity becomes more than just morally or ethically accountable to that public. It also becomes incumbent upon that business or industry to perform in ways that are favorable and fair. Without transparency, therefore, there can be no accountability and without accountability, modelers will not have the motivation or incentive to take ownership of the models and therefore the cycle. However, with accountability and transparency working in tandem, model validation will foster an information innovation cycle, which in turn will lead to a lasting competitive advantage.

Conclusion

Corporate culture has a great effect on way an organization operates. It gives the organization its uniqueness, i.e., in other words corporate culture of an organization gives it corporate identity. The corporate culture may constitute a hindrance to the successful operation of the organization when the organization is operating a rigid corporate culture with no room for modification or change; this is more specially noticed when the organization is operating and expanding its business to different countries. As each country has its unique national culture, it then requires that when the organization is carrying out its strategic marketing planning this should be adequately taken into cognizance. Modification to existing corporate culture should be made so as to make the organization operates effectively and profitably well.

References

Balmer, J.M.T. & Wilson, Alan (1998) “Corporate Identity: There Is More To It Than Meets the Eye” in International Studies of Management & Organization. Vol.28, No 3

Ceres (2006) “Information transparency and corporate accountability” Ceres Benchmarking Electric Cost

McCall, J.B. & Stone, M.A. (2004) International Strategic Marketing: A (N) European Perspective. New York: Routledge

Oden, Howard W. (1997) Managing Corporate Culture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Westport, CT: Quorum Books pp. 51

Porter, Michael E. (1985) Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. New York

Proctor, Tony (2000) Strategic Marketing: An Introduction London: Routledge

Ringland, Gill (1998), Scenario Planning: Managing For the Future. John Wiley & Sons Limited

Rothwell, Roy (1994) “Towards the Fifth-generation Innovation Process” International Marketing Review, Vol. 11 No. 1

Shoemaker, Paul J.H. (1991) “When and How to Use Scenario Planning: A Heuristic Approach with Illustration” in Journal of Forecasting. Vol. 10

Simmonin, Bernard L. (1999) “Transfer of marketing Know-How in International Strategic Alliance: An Empirical Investigation of the Role and Antecedents of Knowledge Ambiguity” in Journal of International Business Studies Vol. 30, No 3

Ulijn, Jan et al (2000) “Innovation, Corporate Culture and Strategy. What is the Mission for International Business Communication?” in The Journal of Business Communication .Vol. 37, No 3. pp. 293

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Managing Team Performance

Managing Team Performance

Explain organisational policies, procedures, values and expectations to team members

Before your team can begin to work, they have to know what the internal structure of their company is. The most effective teams are built on a strong foundation of knowledge comprised of the following elements:

Organisational Policies – No matter what organisation you work for, there will be behind-the-scenes policies in place to make sure that the company runs smoothly and that the actions of the company are both legally compliant and representative of the company’s attitude.  These policies may include things such as:

  • Hiring policies
  • Policies regarding accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • Policies regarding ecological impact reduction
  • Confidentiality policies
  • Community outreach and impact policies
  • Quality and service policies

By learning and teaching your company’s organisational policies, you can learn exactly what makes your company tick, and will be able to explain to your team what the rules are, and why you are directing them to make certain choices. Make sure these policies are available to all team members who may want to read them, and that you are available to answer any questions that they might have relating to managing team performance.

Procedures – No matter who you are, it is important that you follow your company’s procedures, and that you teach your team-mates and co-workers to do the same. Not only have these procedures been designed and refined to make the job work safely and effectively, they have also been crafted with the input of legal consultants, human resources advisors, and other people in different fields to ensure that everything works smoothly for all parties involved. When the opportunity to discuss specific procedures arises, make sure to supplement your explanation with information about why the procedures are set up the way they are.

Values – When working with a team, conveying to them your personal values, as well as the values of the company overall, is vital to keeping everyone on track towards the goal, and to encouraging a personal connection to the work. A clear system of values will include core concepts, such as:

  • Leadership
  • Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Simplicity
  • Success

Posting your list of values somewhere visible, or including these concepts in your daily talks, can ensure that everyone is focusing on what is really important in their work.

Expectations – A clear set of expectations is the most basic piece of structure that you can provide for members of your team. Knowing exactly what you are asking of them means that they can sort out their priorities and do their best work without being confused or feeling lost. Furthermore, opening the line of communication regarding projects and expectations can make team-members feel more comfortable initiating conversations about goals, techniques, and other details.

Communicate work objectives, priorities and plans in line with operational requirements

Once you have set down the most basic foundation of your team, you need to convey to them what actually needs to get done, and how important each task is. The easiest way to do this is to follow this structure:

  • Clarify the overarching goals of your company as it relates to this project. If your company is striving to increase its reach, emphasize how your team can affect this outcome.
  • Lay out your individual objectives as a team, clearly defining the steps that you will be taking together to achieve the goal. Let your team know which objectives are of the highest priority, and if there are stretch goals or incentives. Encourage them to meet the most important goals, and then go above and beyond.
  • Share your plan to reach your goals, and discuss the procedural requirements that will be involved in the process. Make sure your team knows how to go about the tasks you are asking of them, and why you are asking them to do things in a certain way.
  • If possible, invite discussion from your team. Do they have any ideas on how to best accomplish a certain task? Does anyone have a unique passion or skill-set that could be used to achieve a goal? Your team is composed of unique individuals, and acknowledging their personal strengths can help enhance work ethic and effectiveness.

Setting out a clear plan of action, as well as clarifying the goals of your team, is the best way to start out a strong when beginning a new project. Confidence comes from knowing what is coming next, and the team that knows what they have to do is much more likely to exceed expectations.

Explain the benefits of encouraging suggestions for improvements to work practices

Because your team members are working directly on projects, they may come up with clever improvements for work practices that could enhance the working experience for your team, and possibly for your company. Encouraging suggestions from your team means that you are actively working towards a better situation for your co-workers and team members, and employees will take more pride in their work if they know that they have a chance to make a real difference in the company.

Provide practical support to team members facing difficulties

If one or more of your team members is not meeting expectations, or needs to improve a certain aspect of their performance, it is important to let them know about these issues as soon as possible, and to share with them practical advice and support for improving.

Not all workers come by every task naturally, and some people need a little more coaching than others to achieve their potential. Once these workers overcome their issues, they often make the best team workers and future leaders, as they are experienced with overcoming the difficulties that lead to success, and they will remember their own errors and be able to help others with similar situations in the future.

Managing Team Performance
Managing Team Performance

Explain the use of leadership techniques in different circumstances

Not every circumstance calls for the same leadership techniques, and not every technique may work for you. Here are some examples of different techniques, and when they are most effective:

  • Democratic Leadership – In situations where you need your team to feel enthusiastic and connected to the project, asking questions such as, “What do you think?” and, “What are your ideas?” is a great way to lead the team by serving as the proctor for discussion. This fosters creativity and increases the flow of ideas, and will increase the likelihood of developing a new technique or approach to a situation.
  • Coaching Leadership – If your team members are new, or if they are learning a new skill, you may need to step in as the leader who can show them how things are done, and make suggestions as to how to improve. Providing positive feedback and constructive criticism may be time consuming, but it can also help to strengthen the team and show that you are involved.
  • Caring Leadership – Building a team and fostering the relationships among your team members is an important part of being a leader. If you have the time and the flexibility, being a leader who is involved and considerate can be a great way to build the team and create strong, lasting connections.
  • Pace-Setting Leadership – If the pressure is mounting, a great way to get the team moving is to take charge and set the pace. This leadership style involves stepping in front of the team and working at the task, saying, “Watch me and do what I do,” which is a great way to motivate team members, if you don’t have other commitments that would keep you from doing the work at the best of your abilities.
  • Authoritative Leadership – Taking authority without being demanding is important if you have other projects that you need to work on, but still want your team to follow your directions implicitly. Projecting an air of confidence when asking your team to trust you is vital to your success, and remember that this style of leadership will not work if you do not already have your team’s respect.
  • Commanding Leadership – For emergency situations or rush projects, you may have to bluntly tell your team what to do and expect them to meet your expectations. This technique will not be taken well by your team if it seems unnecessary, but if time is tight and tension is high, your team will appreciate clear and concise direction.

Knowing when and how to mix and match these techniques can be the difference between an unpleasant working relationship and a leader that makes a real difference for the team, so consider your approach carefully, and be sure to gauge the responses that you receive from your co-workers.

Give recognition for achievements, in line with organisation policies

Positive reinforcement is a psychological tool that has been used for over a century to encourage good behaviors through rewards and positive attention. As long as you are not infringing on your company’s policies, rewarding your workers for a going above and beyond is the best way to keep them working hard, and to encourage other workers to step up their game.

Explain different ways of motivating people to achieve business performance targets

Motivating your team to reach their business goals can be difficult. While some of your employees may self-motivate, you may need to use other methods to get your entire team working at their best. Techniques to motivate your employees include:

  • Perks and Rewards – Some people will be best motivated by rewards like bonus pay or extra time off, while others will be more enthusiastic about things like tickets to sports games or being taken out to lunch.
  • Public Recognition – For others, being promoted or publicly congratulated in front of their group can be a great motivation. This also serves to encourage other team members to perform better so that they, too, can receive recognition.
  • Increased Responsibility – Even if you don’t promote a team member for doing a good job, you can give them different or increased responsibilities that they might enjoy, and that will make them feel more ownership towards their work.
  • Consistent Feedback – Feedback as simple and heartfelt as a “well done” can really mean a lot to an employee, especially if they feel as though they work hard but may not be being appreciated. This kind of positive motivation is free and easy to give, and should be used liberally.
  • Personal Analysis – If your team member really seems to be struggling to get motivated, having a private and personal conversation with them can do wonders to help them sort out their goals. No matter how much an employee might say that they want to succeed at work, if their perceived cost is less than their perceived benefit, they will always struggle to focus. Figure out how to convince them that the results will be worth the effort, and they will be much more likely to work effectively.

If you’re not sure what will motivate a member of your team, there’s nothing wrong with asking him or her specifically. Each person has their own specific needs and desires, and figuring out the way each member of your team works is vital to being a good leader.

Managing Team Performance

Allocating responsibilities making best use of the expertise within the team

Your team is composed of unique workers, which means that you have access to an arsenal of different talents. Learning what these talents are and putting them to the best use can make all the difference when it comes to reaching your business goals, so you should look for employees who demonstrate:

  • Good Interpersonal Skills – If you have a team member that is good with other people, make sure to put these skills to use. Let them out in the field, have them communicate with clients, and let them represent the group in meetings, if needed.
  • Creative or Critical Thinking – If you have workers who are better at problem solving and innovation, make sure that they are allowed to exercise these skills as much as possible. Putting all of the brain power that you have available to work solving problems and developing new ideas is important, and your team will be more successful as a result.
  • Detail-Oriented Nature – Workers who have a good grasp on details are just as important as the rest of their co-workers. Use these workers to filter the ideas and products developed by the team and make sure that no errors make it through to your customers.
  • Patience Under Pressure – For the worker who has the patience needed to repeat tedious tasks, even under the shadow of looming deadlines, the rest of the team should be infinitely grateful. This is the teammate who gets the work done, no matter how slow or arduous, and who is calm and steady enough to keep the team together in times of stress.
  • Specialized Knowledge – Some tasks require different expertise than others, so keep an eye on the skills and passions of all of your team members. It does not matter if their knowledge has been learned through the pursuit of a hobby or an advanced degree program; there is a chance that this specific information will be useful in the future, and you will want to have the most experienced team member on the task.
  • Quick Learning Abilities – In the event that no one on your team is proficient in a certain task, you should know which of your workers is versatile and quick to learn. Knowing which of your team members can be put to any task can help you to quickly adjust and compensate for unusual situations, and can make your team more adaptable and fluid.

Consider the responsibilities of each position within your team, and think about how each of your workers fits into those roles. Fitting people to the right roles for them will increase your team’s productivity, and it will make your team happier in the long run and improve managing team performance.

Agree SMART objectives with team members in line with business needs

By spending time and effort to develop SMART objectives and sharing them with your team, you ensure that everyone involved with the project has the knowledge and understanding needed to contribute effectively and comfortably. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound goals allow the team to work toward one common goal, and give them the support they need to help your team to succeed

For more on the benefits of SMART objectives, refer to Unit 1.

Provide individuals with resources to achieve the agreed objectives

Of course, if your team does not have the resources to achieve their goals, they will be unable to do what they need to do. It is your job as a team leader to ensure that everyone has the tools, information, and support that they need to meet their goals. Communicate frequently with your team and explicitly ask them if they need anything to increase productivity or meet their goals, and you may find that there are ways to speed up the working process that you have not yet addressed.

Monitoring individuals’ progress, providing support and feedback to help them achieve their objectives

A worker cannot make positive change if he or she does not know that there is a problem in the first place. It is your responsibility to make sure that every worker is taken care of and directed towards excellence by following these steps:

  • Monitor Individual Performance – The easiest way to make sure that a worker is not having issues is to watch them work and examine their success. If a worker is having issues, you will most likely be able to see them, and that is the first step to identifying any possible problems. We will discuss techniques for monitoring performance in the next section.
  • Listen to Comments from Co-workers – If a worker is having problems cooperating with other members of their team, or if they are slacking or falling behind, other members of the team may come forward to discuss this issue with you. Because this sort of information is hard to acquire from a management standpoint, you should strengthen this line of communication or arrange for peer reviews to foster feedback from your team.
  • Provide Feedback – Once you have identified a weakness in a worker, you should discuss this issue with them privately. Make sure to have clear examples of the problems, and to avoid an accusatory tone. If a member of the team feels attacked, they are less likely to improve, and distrust may form within the group.
  • Offer Support – After discussing the issue with your team member, make sure to offer continued support to them. Simply revealing the problem to them may not be enough to make them change it. Instead, provide more feedback and assistance as needed, helping them to improve and avoid backsliding.

As the leader of the team, your workers should look up to you for advice and instruction. It is important that you provide these things and encourage them to improve.

Explain techniques to monitor individuals’ performance

There are many strategies for monitoring your team’s performance, which is an important aspect of being a team leader. You can decide how intensive you want to be when monitoring your employees, as there is a wide range of techniques, including:

  • Physical Drop-Ins – The most basic of all monitoring techniques is simply getting up and checking in on your team members. Although anyone who has bad habits may stop as soon as they realise you are approaching, this method can be used to catch a majority of workplace issues.
  • Results Monitoring – Looking at the results of your team’s work, be they sales numbers or product reviews, can be an easy way to identify problem members. Anyone whose performance seems unusually low-quality should either be monitored further or called in for a discussion.
  • Video Surveillance – In some cases, video surveillance of the working area may be necessary. Employees’ actions can be directly viewed at any moment, and even the presence of the cameras can decrease the tendency to slack on shift. This, however, may come at the price of the trust of your team.
  • Call Monitoring – Especially for phone-based sales or customer service teams, call monitoring can be an invaluable tool for change. Recorded calls can be played back for training purposes, and can be used in the case of customer complaints.
  • Computer Monitoring – Similarly to call monitoring, computer monitoring can be used to track internet correspondence for sales and customer service teams. This can also curtail the use of business computers for personal reasons, such as internet browsing and social media.

When you are developing a monitoring system, you should be careful to consider your employees’ rights, and make sure that they are aware that they may be monitored.  You should also consider the legal rulings on monitoring and privacy in your area.

Report on team performance in line with organisational requirements

You should make frequent and detailed reports to your managers or other company officials regarding the performance of your team. Not only will this allow them to evaluate you as a team leader, but it will also provide them with important documentation on your team members, which will be invaluable if one of your team members is to be promoted, or needs to be subjected to disciplinary action. Make sure to use your company or organisation’s approved channels for making these reports so that the higher-ups can deal with them in the appropriate manner.

Be able to deal with problems within a team

Assess actual and potential problems and their consequences

To make sure that your team works smoothly and cooperatively as a group, you will need to be prepared to address inter-group problems. These problems, or the potential for problems, can present in many ways, such as:

  • In-office dating
  • Racial, sexual, religious, or other discrimination
  • Incompatible personality types or beliefs
  • Uneven distribution of effort
  • Fights
  • Harassment

If any of these situations arise, you will need to address the conflict as soon as possible. For things as simple as arguments or workers who are not pulling their weight, you will most likely be able to address the issues on your own. If deeper issues such as harassment, discrimination, or inappropriate relationships arise, however, you may have to report these problems to Human Resources or higher management.

Report problems beyond the limits of your own competence and authority to the right person

In the case of an issue that you feel you cannot address, you should compile a comprehensive report and bring it to your direct manager, or whichever authority is dictated by your organisational policies. Include details from your observations, as well as any observations from other employees or customers. If you have photo, video, or audio evidence, bring this along as well.

Bringing in the proper authorities at the earliest possible stage will help you to avoid further conflict and risk of lawsuit. There are people in your organisation who are specially trained to handle situations in a professional and legally secure manner, and trusting your team into their expert hands is the best recourse in situations where the security and comfort of the group has been violated.

Take action within own limits of authority to resolve or reduce conflict

If an issue arises that you do feel comfortable handling, you should take immediate action to isolate the conflict and address the issues with the parties involved.  Separate the parties and get their individual accounts of what is going wrong, and then work with them together to find the best solution for everyone.

In some cases, one or more parties may be unwilling to change or remedy the situation. If you find that you may need to use more drastic measures than simple mediation, be careful not to exceed your authority or make any firing decisions without consulting with your manager.

Adapt practices and processes as circumstances change

As your team grows and develops, your circumstances may change. It is necessary for you to keep up with this change by adapting your practices and processes to fit with the times, and to be open to change from both within and outside of your group. If a fight breaks out between two team members, be prepared to rearrange your teams to separate the two. If an important team member leaves, be willing to change your process to account for his or her absence.

An inability to change is the most damaging factor a team can face, and as the team leader, it is your responsibility to lead the group in adapting to your situation and improving yourselves. If you can succeed in evolving your team, you will be able to succeed in business.

If you enjoyed reading this post on Managing Team Performance, I would be very grateful if you could help spread this knowledge by emailing this post to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you.

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Business Management in Grocery Stores

Business Management in Grocery Stores

The revenue of a grocery store depends on the number of products that customers will purchase. Although most customers have their predetermined item lists before shopping, thirty to fifty percent of sales are created by impulse purchases. From this fact, people can conclude that increasing the likelihood of impulse item purchase by customers also increases the revenue. Many scholars have studied the behaviour of buying impulse items and the way to best attract customers to buy impulse items by different marketing strategies for example, by changing layout shape, promotional sale, and discount. None of them, however, have considered the use of a systematic method to place the product so as to increase the likelihood that “impulse” items are purchased. The current topic addresses this research gap and provides a systematic method for item placement within a store to increase impulse purchase. Customers visiting a grocery store purchase items according to their needs and specific utility of the item. When a customer visits a grocery or convenience store, they typically purchase a basket of items that contains a predetermined item-list which people name as must have items, and are inclined to also buy impulse items which are purchased only if the customer  passes by them during his/her visit to the store. Many people define a customer category with reference to a set of must-have items and a set of impulse items, and assume that customer categories are known along with the sale price and potential purchase quantities for impulse items. In the model, there is a need to assume that a customer plans his/her route in the store using a nearest neighbour approach on his/her list of must-have items. The value of the layout is defined to be the total sales from impulse items. Therefore, all the issues and aspects related to Business Management of Grocery Story will be discussed in detail.

The mechanisms of store layouts

Store layout is an important issue in the success of a grocery store. The main objectives of a store layout are to guide the customer around the store and entice increased purchases to create balance between sales and shopping space to create effective merchandise presentation. Selling floor layouts are extremely important because they strongly influence the in-store traffic patterns, shopping behaviour, shopping atmosphere and operational efficiency. The three major types of store layouts are:

(a) Grid: The grid layout is a rectangular arrangement of displays and long aisles that generally run parallel to one another. It provides customers with flexibility and speed in identifying preselected items which appear on their shopping list.

(b) Freeform: The freeform layout is a free flowing and asymmetric arrangement of displays and aisles, employing a variety of different sizes, shapes and styles of display. It is mainly used by large department stores. The freeform layout has been shown to increase the time that customers are willing to spend in the store.

(c) Racetrack/Boutique: In the racetrack/boutique layout, the sales floor is organized into individual, semi-separate areas, each built around a particular shopping theme. It leads customer along the specific paths to visit as many store sections of the departments as possible, because the main aisle/corridor facilitates customer movement through the store (Chin, 1998, 617).

Past research on Grocery Stores

There has been a lot of research on and in grocery supermarkets to understand consumer behaviour. There are ongoing as well as completed studies focused on consumer buying behaviour, travel pattern, etc. A customer purchase can be categorized as a planned or unplanned purchase. A planned purchase is characterized by deliberate, thoughtful search and evaluation that normally results in rational, accurate and better decisions. Impulse buying results from spontaneous buying stimuli, prompted by physical proximity to desired product. Beyond spontaneity, impulse buying is an unexpected urge to buy without regard to the consequences of the purchase decision. Impulse buying could be categorized as (1) Pure Impulse Buying, (2) Reminder Impulse Buying, (3) Suggestion Impulse Buying, and (4) Planned Impulse Buying (Stern, 1962). Studies show that almost 90 percent of people make purchases on impulse occasionally and between 30-50 percent of all purchases were classified by the buyers themselves as impulse purchases. The choice of customer travel path has also received considerable attention. The researchers known as Farley and Ring in 1966 developed a model to predict area-to-area transition probabilities for traffic in supermarkets and proposed a stochastic model of supermarket traffic flow that provides a framework for predicting conditional probabilities of shopper’s traffic flow. The researcher known as Burke in 1996 studied consumer grocery shopping patterns using a virtual (simulated) store. The author known as Sorensen in 2003 tabulated purchase and time-of-stay statistics at different locations within an actual grocery store. The researcher known as Larson et al. in 2005 categorized grocery paths using a clustering algorithm, and identified 14 different canonical paths (Chopra, 2004, 154).

In a traditional retail channel structure, a retailer typically sells multiple differentiated products produced by multiple manufacturers. Manufacturers determine wholesale prices and the retailer selects order quantities, sets retail prices, conducts in-store promotions and manages the sales staff. We refer to this traditional structure as a retailer-managed retail (RMR) system because the retailer determines and manages the marketing environment faced by consumers. This structure may be advantageous because retailers typically have better information about consumer demand in the local market and possess core competencies in retailing activities such as merchandising and promotion planning. In addition, previous research has found that using a retailer as an intermediary may reduce competition between manufacturers and thereby may be preferable for manufacturers whose products are highly substitutable. However, RMR suffers from well-known channel coordination issues such as double marginalization and information distortion. These coordination challenges make it difficult for manufacturers and retailers to resolve their conflicting interests and maximize the total channel profits (Gainer, 1991, 602).

Manufacturing Related Steps

Recently, manufacturer-managed retailing (MMR) systems have become increasingly popular in select product categories and in Asian markets. In contrast to RMR systems, in MMR systems manufacturers set up selling counters and hire their own sales staff to sell their products inside the retail store. In return, the retailer is paid a percentage of the total sales revenue based on a revenue sharing contract. MMR is currently very common in department stores in China and Japan. A recent survey from 30 upscale department stores across major Chinese cities indicates that about 80 percent of product categories are manufacturer-managed. While less widely used in North America, MMR has been adopted in department stores in U.S. such as Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, for categories such as jewellery, cosmetics and apparel. MMR is also a common practice for online retailers. For example, Motorola operates an online store within In Phonic websites, a leading online seller of wireless products and services. Amazon.com also provides marketplaces where individual sellers can list their items and decide selling prices. In exchange for the hosting services, Amazon receives a percentage of the sales price usually 10% – 15% if an item is sold. These channel innovations have attracted recent academic interest. In particular, the researchers known as Jerath and Zhang in 2009 study the economic incentives that make the store-within-a-store (SS) business model, which is very similar to the MMR system, attractive to both retailers and manufacturers (Gavirneni, 1999, 24).

Under MMR manufacturers have full autonomy in determining retail prices, setting inventory levels and managing their sales force. A possible consequence of direct competition between manufacturers within a store is aggressive pricing. However, because this system virtually allows vertical integration from manufacturers, MMR can resolve channel issues such as the double-marginalization problem, and reduce the frequency of stock-outs. Furthermore, manufacturers may have a strong incentive to provide better in-store service. The researchers known as Jerath and Zhang in 2009 argued that the SS (or MMR) business model is more useful for product categories (such as cosmetics and high-end apparels) for which inter-store substitutability is higher than inter-brand substitutability. A possible reason for the popularity of MMR in Asia is that retail stores in highly populated cities such as Shanghai and Tokyo are typically close to each other.  This may results in intense competition. If MMR mitigates these competitive forces it may provide benefits to both retailers and manufacturers. Jerath and Zhang also emphasize that in order to implement the SS business model retailers need to possess sufficient bargaining power to dictate terms to manufacturers (Halter, 2000, 94).

The Design of Supply Chain Methods for Grocery Stores

In addition to the analytical work, there is a growing body of research that empirically examines the vertical relationship between retailer and manufacturer. The researcher known as Kadiyali et al. in 2000 measure the power of channel members by looking at how channel profits are divided. They find that greater channel power results in greater shares of the total channel profit. The author known as Sudhir in 2001 studied competition among manufacturers under alternative assumptions of vertical interactions with one retailer. The researcher known as Villas-Boas in 2007 extends this work by allowing for multiple retailers. These studies typically use cross market or cross-store data and rely on structural assumptions of vertical strategic interactions between manufacturers and retailers. The study provides empirical testing of the economic consequences using a quasi-experiment within a retail store. Another stream of relevant research is the supply chain management literature (Jackson, 1996, 1121).

 When there is demand uncertainty, retailers may carry safety inventory to satisfy demand that exceeds the amount forecasted. This causes the bullwhip effect as demand fluctuations are more pronounced upstream (manufacturers) than downstream (retailers). Numerous channel structure changes have been proposed to mitigate the bullwhip effect, such as common data definitions, information sharing, electronic data exchanges, collaborative forecasting and planning, and reducing the number of intermediaries in a supply chain. Vendor-managed inventory (VMI) is an increasingly prevalent approach where retailers provide manufacturers with access to real-time inventory levels and let them decide inventory replenishments. Direct-Store-Delivery (DSD) is another approach in which upstream manufacturers are responsible for delivering product to retail stores, managing store shelf space and inventory, and planning and executing in-store merchandising. The author known as Chen et al. in 2007 empirically examined the economic efficiency of DSD systems using cross-market. In MMR manufacturers also have the autonomy in controlling inventory and product delivery but, in addition, they also set retail prices and manage product selling within stores (Lee, 2000, 643).

Pestle Analysis of Grocery Stores

Pestle analysis is one of the most important tools used by the business to assess their external environment. These days, every organisation makes use of Pestle Analysis because of the benefits it provides to various companies. The external factors such as political, economical, social, technological, legal and ecological create a strong impact on the businesses in different ways. The political factors are the biggest concern for the countries that operate in developing countries. The reason is due to unstable political environment, unrest and the riots that place at regular intervals. However, in the case of the current grocery store, they are operating in UK which does have these problems but there are other issues related to investment laws and taxation that needs to be taken seriously by any firm operating in the country. The investment laws and taxation requires businesses to follow some strict regulations. The economical factor also carries immense importance and is in fact the second biggest concern for the businesses. The economic factors such as a decline in the currency value, recession, high operating costs and rising unemployment leads to serious consequences for the businesses. The grocery stores are even facing the similar problems in UK and are affecting their business operations to a very large extent. However, once these problems would get resolved, then the Grocery store is going to experience a positive impact on their overall business operations. The best thing for the company is to prepare effective strategies to handle any situation faced by them (Louise, 2002, 617).

The social factor also has its own value. Though, it does not produce a strong impact on the overall business operations, but the grocery stores needs to take this impact seriously. Grocery Stores did not face many problems in this area because of the nature of their business but they need to be careful in the future to deal with this aspect in the best possible way. The fourth factor is the technological aspect that is important for those businesses that depends on the technological developments. The awareness of the latest technological tools is a key for most of the businesses that operates under a competitive environment. The application of E-commerce tools has increased rapidly over the last few years and most of the businesses are increasing the usage of e-commerce tools. This phenomenon is becoming common in those businesses that are highly dependent on Information Technology (Nicole, 2009, 713).

Business Management in Grocery Stores
Business Management in Grocery Stores

In the case of Grocery Stores, they even depend a lot on technological tools and are also increasing the usage of E-commerce applications in their business. This is the reason why this impact is certainly very useful for them. The fifth factor is the ecological issue in most of the businesses. The ecological issue deals with the environmental aspects of the businesses that have also gained lot of value in recent years. This is the reason why the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility has become quite popular these days and many businesses are investing huge amount of money to fulfil the requirements of Corporate Social Responsibility.  In the case of Grocery Store, they also need to give importance to this factor. Since they are having large operations and huge budget for various operations, they can afford to invest money to fulfil the requirements of environmental issues. This will produce a significant impact on the goodwill of Grocery Store and might even set as an example for other companies operating in the same industry. The last aspect is the legal issues that are there for every business. Legal issues carry lot of value in those countries that gives lot of importance to the rule of law and various principles that are created by the Government for the whole population. In the case of Grocery Store, they did not have any issue related to legal matters but it was important for them to comply with all the rules and regulations of the country (Phillips, 1997, 66).

Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

The model of Porter’s five analyses was developed for the sole purpose of assessing the business operations and then comparing it with their rivals. This model has succeeded for most of the businesses that operates in an industry that has lots of competitors. In the case of Grocery Shopping Store, the threat of entry in their industry was low because the involvement of any other business required huge amount of money for setting up the business. The threat of entry is the first component that is measured by the company. The second aspect was the power of buyers which was not very high. The reason was the strong market position of Grocery Store that had placed themselves well in the market and was even looking for diversification to further strengthen their overall market position. The power of suppliers was not even high because it measures the overall value which the business has and it keeps them in a position to negotiate with the suppliers. The fourth aspect is the threat of substitutes which was low because of the inability of many businesses to earn the same position which Grocery Shopping Store has. This aspect is only high in those businesses when there is an opportunity available for the competitors to enter the industry. The fifth and the last aspect is the existing rivalry which is operating in the industry. Grocery Shopping Stores have few competitors and they did not pose any threat to the because it was very tough for them to gain the same position which the other major super chain store has. However, the competitors can work hard and give tough time to Grocery Shopping Store because they would need lots of effort in achieving this position (Schutt, 2006, 114).

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is one of the very old techniques in measuring the value of the business. SWOT Analysis assist businesses in finding out their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The reason because of SWOT Analysis is conducted to help the businesses in regularly assessing the value and then preparing appropriate strategies to deal with the problems that are affecting the business operations. This is the reason why Grocery Store needs to conduct SWOT Analysis to assess the overall value. Even though, they are having a good position but still the businesses do not ignore the importance of conducting SWOT Analysis because it helps them to identify crucial factors which are very useful for business (Sherry, 1998, 123).

The Importance of Shopping For the Consumers

Spaces of shopping are locales where consumers browse for, and purchase, goods and services. They have also been called service scapes or places where people, processes that shape the selection and acquisition of products and physical attributes of the location interact. A more colloquial term is retail venue. Throughout history, locales where people acquire items to satisfy their needs and wants have become increasingly elaborate, and different types of retail venues have waxed and waned. Popular shopping spaces around the world in the early twenty-first century include shopping malls, boutiques, open-air markets (e.g., farmers’ markets), themed venues, kiosks, mom-and-pop shops (e.g., family-owned businesses), franchised stores, supermarkets, discount stores, regional shopping centers (including factory outlets), and destination retailers. Of the spaces that have declined in popularity, department stores are noteworthy because they dominated the retail landscape in consumption-oriented countries throughout most of the twentieth century (Williams, 2006, 94).

Shopping also takes place in the home through home-shopping parties, where an organizer sponsors an event to demonstrate goods offered by a particular manufacturer. The norms of social obligation and reciprocity that these parties engender within social groups help these parties remain highly successful means of selling goods, even as some consumers resent being invited and being expected to buy. Moreover, Internet home shopping has revolutionized the retail landscape; indeed, it is now often the case that Internet sales outpace those at traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. For example, although most retailers suffered sharp declines during the 2008 Christmas shopping season, Amazon.com actually reported its busiest Christmas season ever. All of these forms of shopping demonstrate the relevance of the home as a key retail site, even as changes in the workforce and increased concerns over crime have diminished other home-shopping activities (e.g., door-to-door sales). Finally, the destination retail outlet typically features themed merchandise, aesthetics, and aspects of retail entertainment. Two attributes distinguish it from all other spaces of shopping: an exceptionally large retail space and a setting that is both stand-alone and typically outside the perimeter of a major urban area. The fact that consumers choose to sacrifice time, money, and effort above and beyond what they would normally expend on typical shopping activities to visit these sites makes them destinations in their own right. Such venues position themselves by offering unique assortments of merchandise and value-added amenities that are designed to surprise and delight customers. One highly successful global destination retailer is IKEA, which offers a unique self-serve line of mid-quality furniture with a high level of design, a Swedish restaurant, a grocery store featuring Swedish-heritage food and gift items, a game room for children, and a bargain level where consumers are literally overwhelmed by a huge assortment of low-priced choices for the home. Another destination retailer, Cabela’s on its website promotes one of its locations outside of Austin, Texas, as an 185,000 square foot facility that features a décor of museum-quality animals, a shooting gallery, and a large aquarium (Zukin, 1998, 839).

Thus, the department store introduced the practice of selling by association. The excessive use of electric lights, modern ventilation systems, telephones, and pneumatic tubes for communication created a rationally managed and comfortable environment for both the public and employees. Technological novelties, such as escalators, not only facilitated mobility within the store but also functioned to stun the public as a kind of enchantment of modernity and rationality. The main public of the department store was the broadly defined middle class. An extensive range of goods was offered for prices accessible to a large public, and historians therefore often talk about the democratization of luxury, to use the words of nineteenth-century French author Émile Zola. The fact that department stores also offered a range of services, entertainment, and facilities that could be enjoyed by anyone for free supports this interpretation. On the other hand, new means of differentiation were introduced. Different departments were often hierarchically situated within the stores, with a bargain department, or bargain basement, on the lowest level. The more expensive the goods, the higher they were placed in the building. In addition, middle-class style and manner was not only shaped and sold by the stores but also expected from the customers (Nicole, 2009, 713).

The Role of Organization Theory for Grocery Shopping Stores

In the last few decades, a major theme of organizational theory has been the increased openness of the environment in which organizations operate. No matter how theorists and scholars try to answer the question of openness there is unanimity in the belief that organizations are now influenced by an increasing number of entities, and need to accommodate their specific demands. This extra burden on organizational resources, in an ever-changing environment, necessitates the need for businesses to have coalitions and engage in multifaceted and intricate transactions within their environment. The bottom line is that modern organizations are now facing a dynamic and an active intrusive environment. The new groups and entities, created by technology and several other conditions under globalization, are interested in what the firms do and how they conduct their business. These entities are not only affected by the firms but they can also influence firms. These changes, therefore, have altered the view that organizations are only answerable to their shareholders (Schutt, 2006, 114).

As already explained descriptive stakeholder theory tries to describe the firm as a centre of many converging and diverging interests representing numerous stakeholders. Descriptive theory also tries to show the impact of stakeholders on organizational decision-making. In short, it explains how organizational decisions are made and what affects them. On the other hand, instrumental stakeholder theory attempts to explain and establish a link between stakeholder management and firm performance. The researcher known as Dill in 1975 gives a broader concept of stakeholder management than the corporatist view, and covers both descriptive and instrumental aspects of the stakeholder theory. He argues that management must increase focus on strategic planning and, through kibitzing, bring stakeholders into the process of decision-making. Otherwise, the organization will be subject to increasing mistrust and loss of confidence. Dill not only talks about stakeholders that can influence the organizational decision-making processes but also mentions intermediaries like representative protestors, communicators, and opportunistic protestors, who intervene on behalf of the stakeholders, and aid them. He recommends that the management needs to deal with stakeholders by increasing the scope of their interactions and by making an effort to help the stakeholders understand the concerns and issues of the organization. The researcher known as Freeman in 1984 defined stakeholders as any entity that is affected or can affect the firm. He gives a long list of stakeholders and their possible interests. Freeman admitted that the list provided in his book is static and simplistic. In reality stakeholders have relations with other stakeholders, their interests change, and over time their salience can also vary. His model was basically a how to do guide for managers to assess the stakeholders’ interests, and formulate processes that will help them in dealing with these interests. Freeman’s model is instrumental and represents an enlightened self interest on the part of the managers aimed at creating a successful organization (Halter, 2000, 94).

The researchers known as Hosseini & Brenner in 1992 described organizations as having influence from a number of stakeholders, and give a descriptive stakeholder theory that focuses on stakeholder influence. Most of the scholarly works claim this aspect of multiple pressures on the decision-making process of the managers, but Hosseini & Brenner actually give a methodology to ascertain these pressures created by the stakeholders. They give a methodology to assess how ethical values are introduced, and subsequently influence managerial decision-making. They propose an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), which they propose is a solution to the multi-attribute and multi-dimensional problem posed by stakeholder theory. The researchers known as Donaldson and Preston in 1995, as already discussed, give an instrumental, descriptive, and normative stakeholder theory. They move beyond Freeman’s enlightened self interest view and say that all stakeholders have interests with intrinsic value and are important irrespective of the fact that they add to the value created for the shareholders. Their work is normative as they consider norms to be at the core of the organization. It is descriptive as they describe organizations as centres of multiple interests. It is instrumental as they consider that there should be a link between stakeholder theory and performance. The researcher known as Jones in 1995 developed a formal instrumental stakeholder theory. The main assumptions are: firms have relationships with many groups, each with either power over the firm, or with a stake in the firm; relationships between firms and their stakeholders can be described with the term contracts; contracts can be of many types (forms of exchange, transaction, delegation of decision-making authority, and legal documents); firms are nexuses of contracts; top corporate management has a special strategic position, therefore, firms are recast as nexuses of contracts between its top managers and its stakeholders; finally, markets move towards equilibrium and that produces a tendency for efficient contracting (Gainer, 1991, 602).

Based on the above assumptions the contracting process gives rise to a number of issues like: agency problems, transaction cost problems, and problems related to opportunism and commitment. If the firm is able to solve these contracting issues it will have a competitive advantage. Finally, Jones gives his solution that firms that contract through their managers with their stakeholders on the basis of mutual trust and cooperation will have a competitive advantage over firms that do not. The researchers known as Wheeler & Silanpaa in 1997 argue that long term value of a company rests on: knowledge, ability, and commitment of its employees; and its relationship with investors, customers, and other stakeholders. The basis of this relationship is how the company adds value beyond commercial transactions. There are two types of values an organization can produce: social and commercial. Both these values are mutually reinforcing and lead to loyalty and corporate resilience. The scholars follow Freeman’s 1984 definition of stakeholders and divide stakeholders into primary and secondary. They argue that basically stakeholder management is a question of creating a balance, and they predict that stakeholder inclusive organizations will outperform stakeholder exclusive organizations in the 21st century. The researchers known as Preston & Donaldson in 1999 did not really give a detailed model but they described the basic ingredients of stakeholder theory. They state that the stakeholder view includes firms and their networks of stakeholders, involved in collaborative relationships and routines, to increase firm revenue and reduce risk and cost. The collaboration works through stakeholder linkages and implicit agreements based on trust, mutual control, and ownership of collaborative activities by the firm and the stakeholders. Finally, organizational wealth-that is the aggregate value of a going concern-can be enhanced by appropriate linkages, both formal and informal, with most, if not all, corporate stakeholders. Hence the pursuit of organizational wealth is an appropriate goal and justification of stakeholder management (Jackson, 1996, 1121).

Different Aspects Related To Shopping

In many papers, the researchers found evidence of peer effects among retail cosmetic salespeople. The peer effects are not simply productivity spill over’s, as people also identify likely strategic responses by workers to the ability of their peers. The direction and magnitude of these effects depend on the compensation system used by the brand. When faced with high ability peers within the counter, workers under individual-based compensation employ two strategic responses. First, they discount the prices offered to customers. Second, they focus on retaining high-value repeat customers, who likely are more loyal to specific brands. Still, they lose (especially low-value) customers since they are unable to compete with high-ability peers in selling ability. Yet high-ability workers do not appear to benefit much from the losses of their peers. The reason is that workers at IC counters are less able to compete with outside peers, especially those from TC counters. Focusing on competing against each other, workers at IC counters can only devote limited effort to outside competition and are therefore greatly hurt by high-ability outside peers. The results show how the relationship between worker heterogeneity and team performance depends critically on compensation system under individual-based compensation, heterogeneity can lead to internal customer and price competition, and loss of sales to outside competition (Phillips, 1997, 66).

In contrast, heterogeneity enhances team performance under team-based compensation. Many researchers find that high-ability workers significantly improve the sales productivity of their peers. Workers appear to coordinate on which customers they serve: low-ability workers may focus more on loyal high-value customers while high-ability workers compete for the casual walkthrough customers who are most difficult to gain. Workers at these counters, finding it unnecessary to exert effort toward within-counter competition, can focus all effort toward outside competitors, and may also benefit from the help of high-ability peers. Consequently, these workers lose fewer customers to outside peers and offer less discounting to customers, hence suffering less revenue loss. High-ability workers at TC counters, on the other hand, have much larger negative effects on outside peers than do their IC counter peers. The peer effects identified in this study are conditional on the compensation system and workers chosen by firms. We test the treatment effects of two brands that changed the compensation system in a later period. The consistency of these results with the broader sample suggests that a large part of the relationship between compensation systems and peer effects is indeed causal. Similarly, the observation that compensation changes do not coincide with personnel turnover indicates that whatever endogenous hiring processes exist do not explain the compensation-specific peer effects (Williams, 2006, 94).

Conclusion

It can be concluded that the proper business strategies in any business can lead towards better operations for their whole business. The same case was with the current grocery store that needs a proper business management to run their operations in the best possible way. There are certain elements which are very crucial for any grocery store which they need to consider before conducting their operations. The same case happened with the present grocery store that also required a suitable strategy for running the business. In the future, the grocery store will be able to run its business operations in the best way that will satisfy the stakeholders and customers as well. Therefore, all the issued and aspects related to the Business Management of Grocery Store have been discussed in detail.

References

Chin, E, (1998), Social Inequality and the Context of Consumption: Local Groceries and Downtown Stores, Service scapes: The Concept of Place in Contemporary Markets, Chicago: NTC Business Books, pp. 591–617.

Chopra, S, (2004), Supply Chain Management (2nd edition), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, pp. 133-154.

Gainer, B, (1991), To Buy or Not to Buy? That Is the Question: Female Ritual in Home Shopping Parties, Advances in Consumer Research vol. 18, pp. 597–602.

Gavirneni, S, (1999), Value of Information in Capacitated Supply Chains, Management Science, pp. 16-24.

Halter, M, (2000), Shopping for Identity: The Marketing of Ethnicity, New York: Schocken Books, pp. 55-94.

Jackson, K, (1996), All the World’s a Mall: Reflections on the Social and Economic Consequences of the American Shopping Center, American Historical Review, vol. 101, pp 1111–1121.

Lee, H, (2000), The Value of Information Sharing in a Two- Level Supply Chain, Management Science, pp. 626-643.

Louise, C, (2002), Shopping, Space and Practice, Environment and Planning vol. 20, p. 597–617.

Nicole, T, (2009), Consumer Mourning and Coping with the Loss of Strategic Rituals: The Case of Marshall Field & Co, Advances in Consumer Research vol. 36, p. 688-713.

Phillips, R, (1997), Stakeholder Theory and the Principle of Fairness, Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 7, Issue, pp. 51-66.

Schutt, R, (2006) Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research, 5th Edition Sage Publications, pp. 91-114.

Sherry, J, (1998), Service scapes: The Concept of Place in Contemporary Markets, Chicago: NTC Business Books, pp. 68-123.

Williams, C, (2006), Inside Toyland: Working, Shopping, and Social Inequality, Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 70-94.

Zukin, S, (1998), Urban Lifestyles: Diversity and Standardization in Spaces of Consumption, Journal of Urban Studies vol. 35, pp. 825–839.

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How To Write A Business Management Essay

How To Write A Business Management Essay

Title: Business Management Essay. This blog post is an systematic guide on how to write an effective business management essay, it outlines some of the frequent pitfalls of management essay assignments. It also provides management students with a factorial program to business management essays and research papers. This is also intended for business related courses like human resource management, marketing, accounting, economics, systems consultancy, and others. I hope you get a better understanding on how to write a business management essay.

People read management essays to acquire valuable current information that is timely. Moreover, management essays connects theoretical knowledge to concepts prevalent in the market. Management essays offer students an opportunity to apply theoretical information in the field.

After all, management is a soft skill that requires development outside of the class setting. The essays enable students to reflect on the theories and various management frameworks applied in class. Writing a business management essay can be a daunting essay and a management student almost always requires support in meeting all the challenges related to the task.

A management essay writer should design an essay that tests existing knowledge and develops it. The act of preparing the essay should be aimed at developing particular subject knowledge on management – Enhancing your know in a familiar subject is recommended. Your management essay should bear in mind that the instructor is interested in determining the level of knowledge of the student, thus the flow of reason is crucial. You should build logic arguments just like in a debate.

In other words, you should be able to make the readers of your essay think logically, and do not just expect them to believe the statements made by the essay. The method of justifying your claims is quite crucial. One of the best ways to do this is to offer evidence for every claim made. An evaluation of the evidence will also come in handy.

While writing management essays, it is always crucial to provide theoretical backing to claims and arguments. Connecting current affairs to conceptual ideas enables your readers to connect current information to past scholarly ideas. This provides room for critical thinking and the reader is left to be the judge of what they read. Some essays demand that you do more than a single task.

For instance, some require that you provide an outline of the main organizational theories underneath modern management spheres. They also require a discussion of their importance to professional career situations. Such questions usually require that you do more than just describe the theories. The most usual written comment on management essays by examiners is something similar to “you have not responded to the question set”. Marks are never awarded in such instances because you have answered a question the examiner did not set.

Business Management Essay Topics
Business Management Essay Topics

Before writing a business management essay, it is crucial to have a plan. There are two types of plans that are crucial in writing management essays. Firstly, it is crucial to plan for the time you will need. Secondly, you need to come up with an essay plan. The amount of time is hard to determine as it depends on a number of elements. However, the most vital factor to consider while making a time plan include the level of knowledge you have on the topics that you intend to write about.

If you intend to write on a topic you have little knowledge, chances are high that you will spend so much time. Management writers are always advised to focus on topics that they profess so much knowledge. These could include your most favorite topic or even topics you studied through case studies and field trips.

Before writing the essay, make a plan of the possible visits. This could include visits to lecturers and tutors, social events, or field trips to management professionals. At this juncture, make a point of availing possible textbooks, journals, newspapers, articles, and other relevant materials on management issues.

The internet can also offer vital information for the management essay. Making an ample data collection process is a crucial step in coming up with a management essay. This is because this stage can offer current and past information that can be used to contextualize the topic you are planning to write about. The nature and length of planning depend on the amount of information collected and length of the management essay.

Before writing a business management essay, it is crucial for you to analyze the expectations that your audience are likely to have. Moreover, you should strive to ensure that the tone of your paper is formal and on point. Most management essay readers are elites and researchers seeking the underlying idea in every statement.

Business Management Essay Structure

Determining the structure of the essay is crucial before embarking on the writing process. Most management and academic writing present the structure to include the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction is the most vital part of the essay as it sets the pace for both you as the writer of a management essay, as well as the reader. The introduction is used to captivate the attention of the reader, thus it should be as interesting as possible. The introduction contains the synopsis of the management essay, and introduces various theoretical frameworks. The last part of the introduction should have a thesis statement. A thesis is a statement of claim made by an essay writer. The thesis statement offers the threshold on which the writer measures all other arguments and claims in the essay. A thesis statement provides the direction and tone of the essay hence should be constructed rationally.

The introduction is followed by the body of the essay. This is the section where you present various claims, arguments, positions and knowledge. All the data collected are analyzed and their deductions presented for analysis. The body of a management essay should be able to connect past knowledge with current knowledge. For instance, when writing about organizational behavior, you should connect current organizational behaviors rampant in existing businesses and connect to classical management trends.

It is also crucial to relate organizational practices to outside factors. Some organizations behave the way they do because of external elements like government policies and competition. The body of a management essay provides an explanation of the points introduced at the introduction stage and should reflect a clear flow. You should present your points in a systematic pattern of presenting your points from the strongest to the least strong. Before writing the essay, you should create an outline of the main points as this will facilitate a systematic flow.

Highlighting the points will also ensure that you maintain your word count. It is always important to adhere to typographical and other guidelines provided by your university lecturer. This will help secure marks lost through simple mistakes. Another important reason for highlighting the main points before embarking on the real writing process is to ensure that the essay observe consistency. A good management essay should stick to explaining and developing specific points of view rather than offering a discussion of every management aspect. Showing a clear connection of the arguments with the topic throughout the research is crucial.

The body should offer an analysis of data and measure them with respect to the thesis statement. Usually, data is collected with the objective of determining the validity of the thesis statement. After presenting an in depth argument in the body section, the next important step after the body is the conclusion. This stage is crucial as it consolidates what has already been debated. The tone of the conclusion is vital as it offers more persuasion for your readers. This section should not introduce new knowledge but should just reinforce what has already been discussed. The concluding stage presents the end of the paper and should offer an ending tune.

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