Leadership styles vary any each setting, the type of leadership role that is best taken is transformative leaders that possess the traits that include fearlessness, humility, and knowing when to take charge. The behavioral theory and contingency theory is best utilized in explaining the leadership styles of Tesco. Tesco’s leadership styles can be categorized in three lists. Autocratic, which is an authoritative stance which tells the staff what to do, by giving clear direction to the employees this can lead to undervaluing the input of their employees. Democratic leadership allows input from the employees, allowing them to participate in decisions which helps to increase employee morale. The last style is laissez-faire that takes total hands off approach trusting the team to make their decisions. In Tesco, their main driver of success is being a customer oriented corporation that focuses on offering products that provide the best value for the customer, and to deliver high quality in service. As Tesco wants to expand and attract new customers, it wants to always keep their loyal customers happy. Their business strategy is to maintain their customer base in order to grow the business. According to the case study, Tesco has over 30 percent of the market share in the UK grocery market. Their annual revenue exceeds almost £40 billion and employ close to 300,000 people. (Tesco Case Study) In order to maintain their top position they have to employ skilled staffs on all levels in order to keep the company operating successfully. The management roles in Tesco involve supply chain management, business development, finance, marketing, store operations, and personal management.
Over each area, the need for effective leadership is required. In developing their leadership qualities within their individuals, their philosophy is, “we believe in treating each other with respect, with everyone having an equal opportunity to get on, ensuring Tesco is a great place to work. (Tesco Case Study) Just like in the case, there is a difference between management and leadership. Management requires technical, communication, and administrative skills that are needed for organizing planning, and coordinating activities. (Leonard, 2013). Leadership requires more than just a good personality, “people frequently confuse personality traits for leadership. They assume that assertiveness or the ability to make a compelling speech or giving people crisp order, is leadership. It is not.” (Zengor-Folkmen, 2005) Leadership is about motivating, inspiring, and influencing people. The roles of the leaders are to seek out individuals to create strong teams where workers are committed to the overall goal of the organization. The responsibility of the manager is to decide on the targets that need to be achieved, and the appropriate steps needed to reach those goals. These steps involve delegation to dole out responsibility, empowerment of the employees that are able to decide on how they will reach these objectives.
The leadership styles of Tesco managers vary based on situations. The Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory, “The theory states that instead of using just one style, successful leaders should change their leadership styles based on the maturity of the people they are leading and the details of the task” (Mindtools, n.d). In the case of Berian, he manage a group of 17 in the in-store bakery. His management approach involves allowing the team to take responsibility for themselves in achieving their goals required. His approach to leadership style was effective in solving their problem that help to split break times so that productivity could be maintained. In his approach to management skills, Berian’s produced positive outcomes and help to increase team motivation. (Tesco Case Study) Another manager, Stephen that is the manager of Tesco store directly manages 20 departmental managers that oversee almost 300 people. His leadership style allows managers to make most operational decisions, but if a problem were to arise Stephen would take prompt control. In this instance, Stephen is exercising a democratic approach and autocratic approach where he allows the team to participate, but he has the ultimate decision. In another approach, Martin that is the Tesco Programme Manager for Education and Skills in the UK he uses a combination of democratic in setting the budget, he gets managers to suggest ideas that are used as a cost saving measures to jointly discuss the budget. In testing if the approaches in leadership style are effective it is clear from their continued success for Tesco.
Omissions however, are a part of every leadership style. Great leaders are not without mistakes that can be evident in their approaches that can distract from the effectiveness of the leader. “Only when leaders come to see themselves as incomplete—as having both strengths and weaknesses—will they be able to make up for their missing skills by relying on others.” (Ancona, Malone, Orlikowski, Senge, 2007) The managers’ approaches generally leave decisions in the hands of their team, but based on the theories outlined, when the need to make quick decisions arises, some managers may not be mature enough to fess up to problems if they pop up and can leave the leaders out of the loop. Lack of communication can distract from leadership, sending mixed signals by allowing for team input then managers making the final decision can discourage teamwork. These can lead to a breakdown in relationships, communication, and making sure that the overall goals are completed.(Pfeiffer, 2006) While the Tesco managers have found success in their approaches, it is clear that they try to value each of their team’s opinion, but also set clear lines that they are in charge. The approaches they have adopted is what works for them in their situation, adapting to the changing environment.
Leadership is defined by several individuals, in total there is no clear definition. Leadership styles are based on a number of factors, and the type of leadership is rooted in the individual and the situation. In the theories of behavioral and contingency, it can be drawn from the conclusion that the managers of Tesco follow the Hersey-Blanchard Situational Theory and behavioral theories in which they can be autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire. The approaches that have been the most effective to Tesco leadership is a combination of democratic and autocratic approaches. While these approaches have seen success, there are certain areas where omissions to the approaches could distract from the leadership effectiveness. These include sending mixed signals, immature managers, and other factors that need to be handled in order to continue the success of Tesco.
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