Essays on Business Strategy Exam Questions Article

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PESTLE as a tool and technique of analysisUsing PESTLE as a tool and techniques of analysing Marks & Spencer (M& S) would reveal the following: Political: From the case study, it is obvious that the liberal market environment gave consumers who would otherwise shop at M& S more choices in the form of alternative retailers. Still, Johnson and Collier (2011) imply that even when it was not performing as well as its shareholders would have liked; it M& S still had to meet its tax obligations. Economic: Consumers’ spending habits are generally dictated by the economic environment.

A well-performing economy generally inspires more spending by consumers. During the 2008/2009 economic recession however, Johnson and Collier (2011) observes that M& S performed impressively, despite the cautionary type of spending seen in consumers. Social: From the case study, it is apparent that M& S enjoys goodwill from a majority of British shoppers. However, it is also clear that trends in the society such as Corporate Social Responsibility have had an effect on M& S. As a result, more demanding innovations (e. g. the introduction of the re-usable carrier bags), the removal of artificial colours from food items, and the adoption of eco-friendly production processes are now some of the social demands that M& S has to deliver to its customers.

Technological: The Internet is among technological innovations that M& S has had to embrace. Online sales are increasingly popular and on 2007, the case study indicates that M& S launched the M& S Direct website, which involved working with Amazon. com in order to fully utilise the web platform as a sales avenue. Environmental: The case study indicates that M& S pays attention to: ethical sourcing of supplies; enhancing consumers’ awareness about ethical issues in fashion- e. g.

recycling; and stocking fair trade items among other initiatives. In 2007, the retailer launched a five-year plan dubbed ‘Plan A’, whose objective was to enhance the business’s environmental sustainability. Legal: In the case study, it is evident that M& S has had no major problems engaging in foreign trade. As such, the legal environment in which the retailer carries out foreign trade appears to be favourable. The investment regulations in some of its supply markets –e. g. Singapore- appear to be favourable to the retailer too.

Evaluate the quality of leaders, change management in Marks & SpencerAccording to Houston and Dockstader (2002) quality leaders are those that are able to make a positive difference towards the attainment of organisational outcomes through the successful engagement with other stakeholders. Since M& S commenced its decline in 2000 or thereabout, its quality of leadership has been faulted as being unable to provide the insight needed to help it meets it objectives. Specifically, it is argued that the managers (and leaders) who have been in M& S have been unable to match their management styles to the organisation’s nature of trade and its structure.

In the case study, it is indicated that “no one seems to fit” (p. 652). In a critique of the management, Pitcher (2004) suggests that the M& S manager at the time (Stuart Rose) was targeting a market that had already disappeared. If Pitcher’s critique was true, it was then indicative that the manager did not have a thorough understanding of the market that the organisation he led was targeting and was hence most likely going to make the wrong mistakes.

Incidentally, Rose’s stint at M& S turned the tides for the retailer turning it back to profitability. His successor Marc Bolland also managed to oversee increased profits by a 13 percent margin. According to Guthrie (2011), while charm seems like a prerequisite for M& S managers, decisiveness seems to be a lacking attribute in both Stuart and Bolland. For example, the two failed to decide the fate of underperforming stores, even though they were aware that keeping them open was tarnishing the M& S brand slowly, while closing them would be either damaging or salvaging for the company’s fortunes.

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