Comparative Analysis in the Context of Woolworths

  • 14 Pages
  • Published On: 15-12-2023
1. Introduction

Leaders and managers play an important part in improving the degree of business operations while addressing the strategic growth and development based needs. It has been observed that the leaders of an organization contribute towards an organization through guiding the same through their decisions and the long term visions (Petriglieri 2020). On the other hand, the managers of an organization work towards developing goals while achieving the same as per the organizational objectives which contributes towards the continuous growth and development of the businesses. In this connection, the businesses must identify and possess a detailed insight on the roles and characteristics of the leaders and the managers and the manner in which they contribute towards the operational success factors of businesses. The current report would identify and compare between the roles and characteristics of leaders and managers while developing insights on the different situations where the roles of the managers and the leaders are best applicable in the context of the chosen organization, Woolworths.

Background of the business

Woolworths is an Australian chain of supermarkets which was founded in the year 1924 and is currently holding a market share of 34% in the Australian markets. The organization specializes in proposing a range of groceries, household propositions, stationeries and the like while addressing to the changing needs and requirements of the customers. The business has also developed capabilities on e- commerce and online service propositions which has increased the scope of sales for the business. The key areas of change in the organizational operations are based on the efficient functioning of the different systems while addressing the strategic needs and requirements of the customers.

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2. Definition and comparison of the roles and characters of a leader and a manager

2.1 Leaders

Leadership role is specifically focused towards guiding the operations of an organization towards meeting the strategic objectives, vision and mission of an organization. According to Liphadzi, Aigbavboa and Thwala (2017), leaders take the initiative of predicting the strategic pathway for businesses through their vision while making decisions on the basis of the change needs of a venture. In the continuously changing business environments leaders takes the opportunity of developing cognition on the different areas of change in the industry and develop coherent mission and vision with the purpose of empowering the organizational performance while competing with the international players. Shim et al. (2020) stated that decision making, long term vision, communicability, risk taking developing insights on change requirements and delegation are some of the most important attributes that are expressed by successful leaders while contributing towards the success factors of the businesses. Therefore, it might be stated that the leaders take on the role of empowering change in the business processes with the purpose of improving the prospects of sustenance and growth.

2.2 Managers

The managers in the businesses acts as agents towards ensuring people management developing workplace related goals and addressing the organizational objectives through performance measurement and continuous improvement. Lawson and Hughes (2020) stated that the managers takes on the role of establishing the operational aspects of an organizational workforce while closely adhering to the decisions, mission or vision of the venture. Therefore, it might be stated that the managers play an integral part in improving the design of the operational processes while driving the performance of the workforce towards meeting the organizational objectives or the mission and vision that is proposed by the leader. The managers coordinate with the workforce, identify and resolve the sources of tensions, conflicts and concerns in the operational processes while ensuring the continuity of the business functions for addressing the strategic goals. Moreover, the leaders take the initiative of measuring performance and empower the continuous improvements for optimizing business performance.

2.3 Comparison between leaders and managers in businesses on the basis of their roles and characteristics

Leaders create vision whereas the managers develop goals to accomplish the vision:

The leaders of an organization take the initiative of identifying the changing business situations, the market dynamics, the competition and the shifting preferences of the customers while developing visions. Simić (2020) stated that the visions that are devised by the leaders play an important role in guiding the overall operations of an organization while contributing towards the fulfillment of sustenance and growth of businesses. It has been observed that the leaders take the most vital decisions of the businesses while guiding organization towards exploiting different prospects. In this connection, the strategic vision of organizations, the corporate culture and the different areas of change that might be considered in the business models are identified by the leaders in order to improve the position of businesses while competing in the international markets.

On the other hand, the managers take the initiative of developing goals and performance targets for the workforce in order to bring the vision or mission of a venture to reality. Gächter and Renner (2018) opined that the managers identify the targets that would support businesses in achieving the organizational vision, identifies the training based needs of the employees, resolves conflicts and tensions in the workplace, develops performance criteria and measures the performance of the workforce in alignment with the corporate aims or objectives.

The extensive range of activities that are facilitated by the managers are specifically reliant on the attribute to empowering the continuity of the business operations while streamlining the efforts made by the workforce towards the achievement of the strategic goals and objectives as per the corporate vision. On the other hand, it has been observed that the leaders focus towards achieving the long term goals of businesses whereas the managers concentrate on the short term goals, specifically bi- monthly targets. Successful business leaders take the initiative of making use of managers with the purpose of micromanaging the different areas of operations while optimizing the overall performance.

The managers of an organization specifically focuses towards the achievement of monthly or bi- monthly targets whereas the leaders focus towards the long term growth and development of a business while competing with the different market players (Markova and Todorova 2017). Therefore, it might be stated that the leaders create the pathway for change in the organizations whereas the managers take the responsibility of implementing strategic interventions with the purpose of improving the performance to achieve the common targets or goals that are devised by the leaders. The coordinated functioning of the leaders and the managers support a business in improving the potentiality of growth and sustenance with optimized rate of operations.

Leaders take risks whereas managers control risk

Consideration of risks plays a vital role towards ensuring the continuous growth and development of businesses. It has been observed that the decisions that are taken by the leaders includes a variety of risks which are considered by the same while guiding a business towards ensuring the long term sustenance and growth related aspects. Liao and Ma (2019) stated that the decisions that are taken by the leaders involve huge risks which might drastically affect the capability of the businesses in maintaining continuity and sustenance. For an instance, when a leader takes the decision of making a market expansion higher risks are encountered by the business due to uncertainties like the inadequacy of sales, insufficiency of target audience and the legislative impositions. In this connection, the leaders take the initiative of taking up risks with the purpose of ensuring the exploitation of the growth prospects.

Valiga (2019) noted that every decision or action that is taken by the leaders involves a high amount of risk that might determine the fate of business. On the other hand, Plessa (2017) opined that the business leaders take risks with the purpose of exploiting the different opportunities while making a market growth. Therefore, the leaders take the risks with the purpose of guiding businesses towards their growth and optimized potentials. On the other hand, the managers take the initiative of managing the risks through different strategic interventions. It has been observed that the managers identify, mitigate, transfer and avoid the risks with the purpose of maintaining the continuity of the business operations.

The key areas of change in the organizational operations are based on the efficient functioning of the workforce. Managers tend to correlate the activities while adhering to the different decisions that are made by the leaders with the purpose of ensuring the development of the business operations and optimization of performance. Gandhi, Sengupta and Sengupta (2021) stated that the continuous development related aspects in businesses are reliant on the mitigation of the challenges and risks. Therefore, the managers take on the role of devising different strategic interventions with the purpose of avoiding the risk contents while empowering the workforce to operate in accordance with the decisions that are made by the business leaders.

Leaders act as change agents while managers manage the change

The leaders of an organization devise different change requirements for empowering the growth and sustenance of businesses. Do and Nuth(2020) opined that the continuous change in the business environments are identified by the leaders while implementing modifications in the existing organizational frameworks. Leaders consult with various stakeholders before making any decision on change that might be implemented in the businesses. The decisions that are taken by the leaders allow a business in gaining a competitive edge over the other existing market players in the different global economies. It might be witnessed that the leaders act as the major change agents in businesses through identification of the urgency, consultation with stakeholders, planning on the change and communicating the same with the different stakeholders.

Goodermote (2020) stated that transformational leadership style or approach of a leader supports a business in developing change capabilities and ensuring rational decision making with the purpose of communicating or convincing the people towards change. On the other hand, Dias and Borges (2017) opined that an autocratic leader takes on the responsibility of forcing the change in the business process which might affect the involvement of the stakeholders. Overall, the leaders, following any of the leadership styles or approaches, takes the initiative of developing insight on the urgency and identify the specific change ideas that would expectedly support businesses in conforming sustenance and growth in global; competitive markets.

The managers take on the responsibility of implementing the change that is envisioned by the leaders. Managers consider people management, develop competencies among the workforce, negotiate with the stakeholders and encourage the active participation of different people in the change process with the porpoise of successfully implementing modifications in the business processes. Waddock (2017) stated that the managers take the initiative of managing the people, identifying and resolving their concerns with the purpose of encouraging their active participation in the change processes that are envisioned by the leaders. Proactive participation of the different stakeholders in the change process supports an organization in successfully benefitting from the modification.

Change readiness among the stakeholders is again an important factor that is being considered by the managers in order to improve the degree of participation of the stakeholders in the different developmental processes. From the research made by McGowan, Elliott and Stokes (2019), it has been witnessed that the leaders take the responsibility of empowering change readiness among the stakeholders through troubleshooting, negotiation, conflict resolution and the like. Therefore, it might be stated that the managers play an important part in managing the behavior of the workforce and encourage their active involvement in the different change functions.

On the other hand, McKibben (2017) opined that the managers measures the performance of the workforce and reports to the leaders on the progress made while following the change process. The measurement of the performance and continuous reporting on the progress made in relation to performance through implementation of change processes supports organizational leaders in making the correct decisions while addressing to the organizational requirements. Therefore, the managers play a supportive role in resolving workplace conflicts, managing the workforce, convincing the stakeholders while empowering their participation and measure the performance with the purpose of ensuring the successful implementing of change.

Leaders build on relations while managers take the initiative of developing and creating processes

The leaders of an organization take on the role of developing efficient relationships with the different levels of stakeholders. Relation building is an important aspect that helps in maintaining the continuity of business operations while addressing the common strategic objectives related to growth and development. It has been observed through the research of Prufeta (2017) that leaders build relation with organizational stakeholders through efficient networking, transparent communication and delegation based skills. Efficient relation with a range of stakeholders supports a business in improving capabilities through collaboration, resulting to continuity of operations and optimization of performance. Therefore, leaders take on the role of developing efficient relations with the different groups of stakeholders, encourage their participation in the different organizational functions and create opportunities for growth of a business.

Leaders in different business organizations create a charismatic quality which attracts the business stakeholders and they blindly follow the steps that are guided by the leaders. Scott (2020) stated that most of the leaders create efficient relation with the stakeholders while encouraging the people to follow them as role models. Therefore, the charismatic leadership along with the transformational style allows a leader in improving the bonds of relations between the stakeholders and the business while guiding the same towards meeting the common strategic goals. On the other hand, it has been observed that managers employ employees while measuring their performance in order to optimize the growth and development of the business in the global markets. The differences in the perception of treating the employees and other stakeholders between the managers and the leaders are specifically based on the interests (Coleman and Bourne 2019). The managers operate as the agents of an organization with their primary motivation as the remuneration, like the other employees. On the other hand, the leaders, being the principals to a business, operate on the basis of their motivation related to organizational profitability and their returns.

On the other hand, the managers of an organization take the initiative of designing processes and structure for the workforce with the purpose of optimizing the overall operational performance. Efficient process designs and frameworks in an organization reflect the growth potentials of a business. Therefore, the manager of a business takes the responsibility of working closely with different levels of stakeholders and designs the processes with the purpose of maintaining continuity of business operations with optimized performance. The optimization of the business performance ensures the growth and development of the businesses in the international markets. According to Sahoo, Sarangi and Sahoo (2017), the key areas of change in the organizational operations are reliant on the efficiency of process designs. Therefore, the business managers take the responsibility of designing the processes while correlating with the visions and mission that are framed by the leaders for optimizing performance standards.

3. Examples of different leadership and managerial roles in different situations

The chosen organization, Woolworths, has been progressive with extensive market holdings in Australia. The secret to the success of the business is specifically based o the decisions that are taken by the leaders and the coordinated activities of the managers. It has been observed that the leaders of the concerned organization identified the continuous changes in the retail industry and the opportunities that are being exploited by competing firms like Coles. The leaders of the organization also identified their immense growth prospects through the integration with e- commerce rather than physical brick and mortar stores. In this connection, the business leaders employed the aspects of situational leadership with the purpose of coming up with new ideas to implement the e- commerce strategy.

Strukan, Nikolić and Sefić (2017) stated that situational leadership theory focuses towards identifying the different decisions and actions that are undertaken by the leaders in diverse changing situational contexts. Situational leadership theory offers a range of advantages like flexibility of operations, comfortable working environment for the stakeholders and workforce, works towards improving team bonding and efficiency and improves the capability of the leaders in identifying and providing training to the employees as per the needs (Evans, Arnold and Rothwell 2019). However, it has been observed that the situational leadership style is limited by the factors like it is mostly focused towards achieving short term goals rather than long term aspirations and is mostly ineffective towards task oriented environments. Therefore, it might be stated that the situational leadership theory is specifically focused towards ensuring the development and growth of the workforce while operating flexibly in order to achieve the strategic goals.

In this connection, the leaders of the concerned organization identified that their integration with e- commerce strategy would support the business in gaining a competitive edge and increased sales. The managers in the business coordinated with the leaders and identified several goals and attributes that might be conceived by the workforce while undergoing the change. The managers interacted with the stakeholders from the different departments and identified their training needs while running the e- commerce strategy in the business module. Resistances occurred out of the workforce out of the fear of losing the jobs. However the managers negotiated and convinced the employees and other stakeholders on the change process. The operations manager of the business d4esigned different process designs in order to maintain flexibility and continuity of the operations. The overall coordinated functioning of the leaders and the managers through conceiving the idea and rolling out the system respectively enabled the business in improving the prospects of their growth in Australian markets.

Systems leadership approach or the theory itself denotes a set of skills and capabilities that enables an individual, a leader or a manager, in supporting or undertaking systems level changes with the purpose of ensuring the growth and development of the business (Waddock 2017). Systems theory or approach has been observed as a collaborative leadership network with the purpose of building systems efficiently while encouraging the active participation of a decentralized network towards the continuous innovation related aspects. It has been observed that the efficient positioning of the systems theory in an organization allows in building effective process designs while driving the innovativeness and growth of the businesses in the global markets. The application of the systems theory of leadership in an organizational context supports the business leaders in correlating the venture or the systems in the venture with the environments. In lucid terms the theory supports the business leaders in developing clear cognition on the different changes in the business environments while driving the modifications in the systems with the purpose of maintaining their relevance and growth in the global competitive markets.

Again, in another instance, it was observed that the leaders in the concerned organization, Woolworths, identified a possible threat of the discounted pricing strategy of Coles which has been resulting to switches in the loyal customer base of the chosen business. The leaders took the initiative of employing the contingency leadership theory with the purpose of developing efficient capability even in the contingent situation. McKibben (2017) stated that the contingency theory of leadership focuses on identifying the capabilities of a leader in making decisions while being confronted by a contingent situation. The contingency approach of leadership is adaptive by nature and provides an immense scope to the leaders and the managers in amending their policies and procedures with the purpose of increasing the quality of outcome (Scott 2020).

The application of the contingency theory in complex projects is thereby supportive towards the development and growth of businesses while being adaptive towards frequent changes as per the situations. On the other hand, the contingency approach is often criticized on the grounds of being non- proactive in nature and its complexity. Wesselink, Blok and Ringersma (2017) stated that the complexity in the contingency approach is specifically due to the adaptable nature to different changing situations which might challenge the knowledge and insights of the leaders in the different emerging complex problems. In this connection, the leaders of the concerned organization took the initiative of developing efficient pricing strategies with the purpose of overcoming the challenges and ensuring the efficiency and growth of the business processes. The operations manager and the accounts manager had greatly supported the leaders of the concerned organization in identifying the different areas of change that might be implemented in the venture in order to ensure the competitive edge.

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4. Conclusion

Therefore, from the above assessment it might be stated that leaders and managers operate on the basis of their interests and their job roles mostly varies based on the expectations of businesses. From the research it was observed that a leader takes the initiative of conceiving mission, vision or change for a venture along with the induction of a corporate culture. On the other hand, a manager takes on the responsibility of designing the processes while implementing the processes and change safely in order to influence the continuity of business operations and growth in the global markets. The research also developed a clear view on the different leadership theories and approaches with the purpose of gaining an insight on the areas of operations and the responsibility that leaders and managers hold towards the growth and development of a business.

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