Role of a Leader and Function of a Manager

Role of a Leader and Function of a Manager

Executive Summary

Operation management is the process related to the production and it is the way of transforming the raw materials into final goods in a very systematic way. The report is prepared on the management and operation system of the Marks and Spencer Ltd. by focusing on role of leader and manager. In this report firstly we have focused on the managers are leaders roles based on the roles and characteristics. There are various examples are given depending on the situation. Many models and theories of management and leadership approaches are discussed throughout the report. Various approaches of operation management are included in the next part of the report. By focusing on the report till the end importance of operation management and various factors relating to management and operation can be understand from the perspective of the specific organization we have selected. It will provide a clear idea about the management and operation function and their uses in the organization.


The importance and usefulness of operation management are beyond description to become successful in the competitive business world. The term operation management refers to the maximization of the output by utilizing the inputs in an efficient and effective way. The process is related with the production management of the specific with the help of technology and finance. The objective of the operation management is to maximizing the profit and minimizing the cost (BARRACLOUGH, 2016). The report is prepared on the management and operation process of Marks and Spencer Ltd by focusing role of leader and manager. Marks and Spencer is the multinational retailer shop of clothing which have their outlets and online shop worldwide for the fashion concern women with varieties of clothing preferences.

Differentiation Between Role of a Leader and Function of a Manager

Leader: A leader is the figurehead of the subordinates follow to reach organizational aims and goals. He leads the whole organization and tries to achieve the success. Leaders’ motivate employees to bring the best outcome of the organization. They help the employees to improve their performance and increase efficiency of their skills (BARRACLOUGH, 2016). They set the new direction and vision for the organization. They are the spearhead of the organization.

Manager: A manager is an individual who leads a group for the specific task, design work method and schedule in the organizations. The prime function of a manager is to develop the strategies and implement in the business organization. There are many managers in different level of the organization. They maintain each level of the employees and their team strategically. Managers lead the employees’ performance and measure them to get better.

Difference Between Roles and Characteristics of Leader and Manager

In business world leader and manager are considered same but in practically their functions are different from each other. Managers set vision; mission and objective for any organization and leaders communicate the vision, mission and objectives with the employees (Bisen and Srivastava, 2009). The main function of the leaders is to communicate the organizational visions and objectives with the employee’s. The role and characteristics of leader and manager are different and they are given as follows:

Leaders Managers
Leaders will focus on objectives which are developed by managers. Managers will develop business objectives for the organization.
A leader interacts with the employees. A manager interacts with the leader.
A leader works with team. A manager gives instructions to groups.
Leaders implement the ideas of the managers. Managers invent the ideas.
They focus on employees They focus on resources.
Their main responsibility to inspire employees Their main function to develop plans
They motivate workers for the performance improvement. They instruct the subordinates perform better.
Leaders can influence employees to give the best outcome. Managers encourage the leaders to motivate the employees.

The case of Marks and Spencer to Roles and Characteristics of Leader and Manager

Marks and Spencer Ltd is a European multinational retailer shop of clothing running their business worldwide especially in North America, Europe and in some significant developed countries. The company has many successful managers and leaders to guide them as it is one of the most successful companies UK. The managers of Marks and Spencer develop business strategies and future plans for the organization whereas the leaders implement those plans according to the design (Bisen and Srivastava, 2009). Leader of the organization deals with employees and increase their productivity and guide their minds to meet up organizational goals designed by the managers. Managers of this company improve standards of performance for the workers each and every time with the situational changes and the leaders implement those guidelines to bring out best outcome from the employees (, 2017). Leaders have better interpersonal communication strategy to convert the policies of managers for the betterment of the organization.

Applying the Role of a Leader and Function of a Manager

A leader performs many roles in the business organization and managers are involved in doing various functions in business operation. So the role of  leader and manager are applied in different situational contexts as follows:

  • Planning: Planning refers to pre-determined schedule for different situations of the organizational objectives and goal designing. The managers of marks and spencer develop the plans goals and objectives to minimize the cost and maximize the revenue (Bisen and Srivastava, 2009). The prime responsibility of the leaders in to bring out the best performance of them to communicate with the employees and achieve the preplanned goal with the best effort.
  • Organizing: Organizing of the raw materials and resources are very important to utilize the materials in the best possible way. It also reduces the wastage of the resources and ensures the efficient use of them (Chopra and Meindl, 2016). The leader’s role is to organize the resources according to the plan and motivate the employees to perform effectively.
  • Directing: Direction is the most crucial task for the managers and leader to instruct the employees in the right order. The leader direct and motivate teams in such a way so that the task can be accomplished effectively and efficiently. The main goal of them is to motivate the employees to achieve the goals and objectives properly.
  • Staffing: Staffs are the assets of the Marks and Spencer. Leaders and the mangers of the company make their staffs most efficient and work with them as team member to bring out the best performance from them (Chopra and Meindl, 2016). The managers recruit staffs and find out their skills and abilities. They also help the staffs to improve their work capability by providing training and other necessary benefits.
  • Co-coordinating: Coordination is necessary to perform according to the plan. It ensures the bond between the departments and functions to bring out the best outcome for the company. It helps the organization to coordinate and communicate among the departments and establish their work link for the extra benefit. Leaders help the department to bring together and managers ensure the departmental motivation towards the work performance.
  • Controlling: Another vital function of the managers is controlling. To ensure the performance quality leaders and managers need to control the situation and the employees of the organization (Chopra and Meindl, 2016). It ensures the proper implementation of planning and work accordingly.

Applying Different Theories and Models of Leadership

There are many leadership and management theories applied by Marks and Spencer Ltd. in their business operations. The management and leadership theories which are used by the organization are given below:

  • Contemporary theory of management: Marks and Spencer Ltd. use contemporary management theory to deal with higher production cost in current situation. Managers of the organization try to reduce the cost of raw material by negotiating with suppliers (Giuliani and Kurson, 2007). The leaders motivate the employees to cope up with new suppliers and maintain their performance outcome.
  • Management by objective (MBO): Organizational objectives are achieved by employees and managers of Marks and spencer with their combined effort. Here managers lead the team to complete task accordingly related to the standard of performance.
  • Classical management theory: Classical management theory helps to improve productivity of the organization. The theory is also known as Kaizen. This strategy does continuous improvement in the production process (Giuliani and Kurson, 2007). Participative leadership style is followed by Marks and Spencer to decision making and improvement of production.
  • Behavioral theory of management: Transformational leadership is followed by the leaders in behavioral theory of management. Marks and Spencer applied the theory in their operation management and all the skills and abilities of the employees are closely observed by the leaders. Effective leadership is followed to maintain the communication between the leader and employees.
  • Contingency theory: Contingency theory focuses on changes in strategy with the changes in situation (Management by Objectives: A Management Tod Arthur Johnson, Principal Williston (Fla.) High School, 1982). The organization uses the theory to minimize the risk and in this situation leaders play the most important role to make changes and help the employees to cope up with the market condition and changes of situation.
  • Situational leadership: The leadership strategy depends on the skill and abilities of the employees to complete the job within the time limit (Giuliani and Kurson, 2007). Marks and Spencer use this leadership strategy to meet up their demand of different situation.
  • Systems leadership: It is applied by the leaders of Marks and spencer to control the employee performance and communication in different situation. It influences the workers to perform according to the organizational demand.

An Appreciation of Role of Leaders and Managers play in operations functions of an organization

The key approaches to operation management and the role that leader and manager play in the Marks and Spencer Ltd are given as follows:

  • Six-Sigma: Six-sigma is the process which focuses on the team effort in task completion and performance management. Here the task of managers is to make a plan for ensuring the best utilization of the resources globally (Management by Objectives: A Management Tod Arthur Johnson, Principal Williston (Fla.) High School, 1982). The leaders use the six sigma strategy to enhance the team bonding and ensure the effective performance of the employees.
  • Total Quality Management (TQM): Total quality management is used by almost every multinational to ensure the efficiency of the production process. This approach concentrated on improvement of product and service quality to meet up the actual demand of the target customers. The cost of the process is less than any other strategy. The prime concern of the strategy is to satisfy the customers and suppliers (Management by Objectives: A Management Tod Arthur Johnson, Principal Williston (Fla.) High School, 1982). Here the leaders and managers both encourage the employees to give their best performance to provide better quality product and service to the customers. The strategy is used by Marks and Spencer Ltd to satisfy their customer base and meet up their demand.
  • Just in time inventory: It is a popular inventory strategy in business environment which refers to the process of ordering raw materials just before the production process. So the efficient use of inventory can be ensured and inventories do not stay idle for long time. This approach saves time and in the production process (Rollins and Thompson, 1978). In this case the role of manager is to place order just in time to the suppliers and leaders make employees performance evaluation of maintain schedule of inventory use right in order.
  • Continuous improvement process (Kaizen): Kaizen means change for good refers to continuous improvement process. The theory is applied by marks and spencer for better production efficiency. Here managers try to develop the efficiency and effectiveness strategy for the improvement of the product (Rollins and Thompson, 1978). The leaders help employees to work in a flexible workplace with motivation and encourage producing better product for the fulfillment of customer satisfaction.

The Importance and Value of Operations Management in Achieving to the Business Objectives Respective to Marks and Spencer Ltd.

Operations management is a very crucial subject for the business operations to maintain properly. The importance and value of the operations management in achieving to the business objectives are described as follows on the analysis of the organization Marks and Spencer Ltd.

  • Production efficiency: Production is the prime area of cost minimization for any company. By the proper cost calculation marks and spencer can avoid the high costing and ensure the production efficiency of their product.
  • Profit maximization: The main goal of any business is profit maximization and the goal can be fulfilled by maximum sales to the customers and efficient operation management. Marks and Spencer need to focus on their customer base and increase the base with attractive offers and promotions.
  • Satisfaction of the customers: satisfied and happy customers make a business man satisfied and successful. This statement proves that key of success lies in the customer satisfaction. So the company need to provide their customers with their demand and satisfied them with their desired product varieties (Rollins and Thompson, 1978). This is also done by the appropriate implementation of operation management.
  • Effective utilization of the resources: Operations management ensures the proper utilization of the resources. A strong operation management planed each and every sector of utilization of the invested resources in the production and operation process.
  • Management of Inventory: Operations management ensures the best use of inventories. Marks and Spencer use total quality management (TQM) inventory strategy which saves resources and ensures effective production of the clothing and their selling time (Ulrich, Dyllick and Probst, 1984).
  • Capacity management: Capital investment is managed by the operation management properly. All the resources and capital utilization done properly in various working process. Operation management prevents the wastage of unused capital and ensures the safety for future use.
  • Improvement of product quality: Mark and Spencer is very careful about their product quality and their maintenance. Continuous the company is trying to improve their product quality to make them better and more preferable to the customers, which is one of the prime concerns of operation management (Ulrich, Dyllick and Probst, 1984).
  • Create strong operation skill: The skills base of the employees can be improved by the operation management planning. Operation management helps to build the strong employee base and ensure the skilled workforce supply for to compete with the global market.
  • Improvement of working condition: Working condition is very important for employees work motivation which is ensured by the operations management. The workplace safety and comfort depends on the operations management. The more facilities become well, the better performance can be expected from employees.
  • Supply chain management: Operations management ensures good relationship with the suppliers to ensure their raw material supply for a long time and maintain a long term relationship with them (Ulrich, Dyllick and Probst, 1984). The relationship with intermediaries and suppliers can get better with the help of operations management.
  • Scheduling Management: Operations management plan a schedule of work for business to perform on a daily basis to ensure long term success. All the business tasks are pre scheduled and scheduling helps the managers to maintain co-ordination of the operation in the organization.

Relationship between leadership and management in a contemporary business environment

There are some factors affecting the operation management and decision making of managers and leaders of Marks and Spencer Ltd. which are discussed as follow:

  • Global competition: Global competition is an important factor which is affecting the operation management and decision making of the Marks and Spencer Ltd. As a multinational retailer they have so many varieties of clothing options offered for their respective customers but other competitions worldwide affecting the customer base of the organization (BARRACLOUGH, 2016). Without the online shop they need to focus on the Asian market to grab more customers and attract them to compete globally.
  • Material and capital security: Raw materials and capital are the most crucial ingredients of operation management. The organization need to have close observation to secure them and ensure the proper utilization of the materials.
  • Quality, customer care and expenditure challenge: Customers want quality product with better service and affordable cost. But maintaining three of them can maximize the cost of production. So providing customers with better product and service quality is a big challenge for the Mark and Spencer Ltd.
  • Social responsibilities: Each and every company has to perform some social welfare for the local community and maintain good relationship with the society (BARRACLOUGH, 2016). Because these kind of social issues can seriously ensure the improvement or damage the company’s business condition.
  • Expansion of technology advancement: Technology is a must for the Marks and Spencer Ltd to make manufacturing and processing of operations easier and convenient for the employees of the organization. The technology advancement forces the organization to target new market, customer base and group of people with their expansion of it (BARRACLOUGH, 2016). As a multinational retailer Marks and Spencer need to make their technological advancement decision very carefully and to use them in a very specific way to make the best use of it.
  • Legal considerations: Marks and Spencer Ltd need to be concern about their legal rules and regulations in various sections like tax, export-import, vat, tariffs, and government policies. Any disobedience can affect the business negatively and hamper the business condition. So the decision should be taken with the proper observation of the current legal situation wherever necessary.
  • Business ethics: Marks and Spencer follow each and every primary business ethics of the business environment. They practice their business operations by maintaining the code of ethics so the business policies does not hampered with any adverse condition (, 2017)


Managers and leaders are interrelated term in business environment but they are not same from the perspective of their function, roles and responsibilities. They have some differences in their characteristics too. Leaders are the figurehead of the organization and managers are the followers of the organizational goal and objectives. Organizational improvement and goal setting is done by the leaders to ensure the efficiency and productivity of the certain organization and managers communicate with mission, vision and objectives and lead the subordinates to meet them (, 2017). Moreover, both of them plays very crucial role for the organization to help in different level of functions.

Written by

Md. Shadequr Rahaman

Email: [email protected]

Role of a Leader and Function of a Manager

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