Analysis Of Marks And Spencer Plc

Marks and Spencer (M&S) is one of Britain's oldest and most widely known vendors of clothing, foods, home ware. M&S "make use of more than 60, 000 people worldwide, operate more than 450 stores in 30 countries, and provide tens of an incredible number of customers weekly".

The company was first set up by Michael Grades and Tom Spencer. Grades got immigrated to Britain in 1882 after fleeing anti-Semitic persecution in Russian Poland. Here he started out to eke out a full time income selling goods over a stall in Leeds town market. Due to his lack of English he made an indicator to go on his stall that read "Don't ask the price, it's a cent". His stall was so successful that by 1890 he previously stalls in five metropolitan areas across the country. Tom Spencer, joined Grades, in 1894. This relationship signified the development of M&S as we know it today. By switch of the century the business had expanded to 36 branches nationwide. Following the deaths of Markings and Spencer, the functioning of the company fell into the hands of Marks' 28-year-old boy Simon. It had been he that led M&S to "break with time-honoured English retailing tradition. . . by eliminating wholesalers and establishing direct links with manufacturers". The business continued to develop and in 1926 it became a PLC. 2 yrs later it launched its now famous St Michael brand and in 1931 in a drive to "focus on goods that acquired speedy turnover" it created food departments into stores.

During World Warfare II about 50 % of the company's stores were destroyed or damaged in air raids. Nevertheless the business rebuilt and in 1964 Simon Marks handed over the running from it to his brother-in-law Israel Sieff. In the subsequent decade M&S started to expand abroad in THE UNITED STATES and later European countries.

Sieff's child, Marcus Sieff became chairman in 1972. He was replaced by Derek Rayner 12 years later. Rayner became the first chairman to be hired from outside the Markings family. During Rayner's tenure as chairman M&S broadened into financial services by releasing their own charge card. Rayner retired in 1991 and CEO Richard Greenbury required charge.

In the 1990's M&S started out to rapidly expand across European countries and into Asia, opening stores in Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary and Spain. In 1999 following growing criticism of Greenburys' inability to expand the business enterprise fast enough and accept new ideas he was succeeded by, Peter Salsbury. For the reason that same year "continued poor sales led Markings and Spencer to minimize 700 jobs, close its 38 stores in Canada and part company using its clothing distributor of 30 years, William Baird".

Following this extended poor performance the business, was subject to an unsuccessful takeover bet by Phillip Green of the Arcadia group. In response to the M&S appointed Belgian Luc Vandevelde as CEO. The next spring M&S announced a recovery intend to rescue the battling chain, which involved selling off nearly all its global operations. As a result, "unhappy with the business's direction and its departure from older values, Grades and Spencer board users Sir David Sieff (the previous remaining creator member), Sir Ralph Robins and Sir Michael Perry left the panel in July 2001".

Within yearly and a half of Vandevelde's appointment "profits commenced rising, but although at that time Vandevelde was credited with a revival, it became short-lived", because by 2004 sales had fallen again and the brand had lost a few of its credibility. In light of the it was noticed radical changes were needed and in-may 2004 Stuart Rose, formerly head of Arcadia, was called CEO. Since his session Rose has instituted change programs within the organisation and given it new strategic direction. The effects of these changes already are beginning to be observed and M&S is demonstrating clear signs or symptoms of recovery. Nonetheless it is prematurily. to state whether this improvement is sustainable.

M&S was setup and run by a family group for an extended part of its record, its prices and culture derived from that. For quite some time it was viewed as being very patriarchal and inward looking. The perception people possessed of the company up until the 1980's was of quality, affordability and trustworthiness, embodied in the St Michael brand. During this time period leadership of the business was quite strong but inward concentrated. However, recent changes on the market place have offered a great task to the business which it is still addressing.


According to Huczynski and Buchanan "it is our perception of simple fact that designs and directs our behavior, not some objective understanding of it".

Marks and Spencer's corporate and business objectives are designed in its quest statement. This outlines what the business is and what it ought to be. Mission statements set out in writing the actual firm wants to achieve and often include home elevators the principles of the business enterprise. M&S describes its primary business as clothing and Food. Its financial targets is to provide shareholder value in terms of increase profits, but also in conditions of increase sales and market talk about in retailing. It beliefs and worth are discussed as "Our customers continue to see Grades & Spencer as the location to shop for special food, produced to exacting standards". M&S also sees its labor force as an important part of its plan and also considers modernising its stores as an integral corporate aim.

Vision: The typical against which all others are measured

Mission: Making aspirational quality accessible to all

Values: Quality, value, service, creativity and trust

M&S also outlines its corporate social responsibility in its quest assertion and considers the needs of other stakeholders too.

Customer Perception

Once founded, from the customers' viewpoint, M&S was considered the epitome of quality, affordability and stability which reached its apogee in the 50's and 60's when customers used to scramble to acquire M&S's reproductions of catwalk fashion. M&S's clothes lines became so popular that in the 50's "limits were place on development as everyone sought the affordable stylish Paris motivated 1950's glamour". This understanding changed through the 90's. As increasing choice was available on the traditional and a growing number of competitors surfaced as competitors in M&S's central markets. Vendors such as Top Shop, Warehouse and Space offered more fashionable designs and product labels, whereas others such as Next and Debenhams offered less expensive. Even food chains such as Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury's started out to encroach on M&S's market talk about in the well prepared grocery stores. In light of the people began to see the business as out-dated and old-fashioned. This negative belief of the business is just now beginning to be counteracted for reasons that i will feature later in discussing leadership.

Employee Perception

From the stand point of employees M&S was seen as an employer of choice in the middle-20th century. People sensed secure in their employment and viewed a job in M&S as highly attractive. Within the post-war period the company imposed a more explicit human relationships insurance plan. As Marcus Sieff, the incumbent chairman at the time, place it "the chief exec has a duty to treat his employees as he'd like to be cured himself, to do as he'd be achieved by". This image was strengthened by the way M&S treated its staff, "stores were furnished with good staff canteens, leftovers rooms, medical and dental hygiene, hairdressers, chiropodists, clean toilets and good training facilities". By 1980's and 90's it got stopped being viewed as a viable career course and became characterised as 'dead-end job'. This was shown in the pay, management and promotional set ups in place at the time. That is something following CEO's have had to address.

The Market

A company's branding and marketing strategies are essential tools in shaping the notion of it in the marketplace. Here, M&S has never conformed to the norm s and actually created a virtue out of not advertising. Instead, M&S relied until the 90's on word-of-mouth to promote the company's brand and image. This strategy is very cost-effective and renowned to be extremely powerful in influencing customer behavior. As a recently available study shows "word-of-mouth is now the main most-trusted way to obtain product information on a global scale, with advertising a faraway second". "Seventy % of consumers throughout the world trust friends, family, or other people first when looking for information or ideas on products to buy". M&S's decision never to enter mainstream advertising has reinforced its image to be a "household name" so famous, that like Rolls Royce it didn't need to market because the quality of its goods and services were undisputed.

The St Michael's brand was also very powerful with its connotations of faith which brings to brain principles such as credibility, devotion and devotion.

Therefore a huge departure emerged for M&S throughout the move of the century when they decided to launch one of the biggest promotional initiatives in retail with the slogan "Your M&S", embodied by well known models and celebrities from different age ranges such as Twiggy, Jodie Kidd, Shirley Bassey. This has been hugely successful and gets the effect of putting the company firmly back in the hands of the general public, giving them a sense of possession and a stake in its success.


This is the group of beliefs and behaviour of both employees and management that helps to effect decision making and behaviour with in the organisation. The simple way of explaining culture is what sort of things are done in a small business.

According to Huczynski and Buchanan "an organization's culture targets the values, beliefs and meanings utilized by its members to understand how its uniqueness originates, evolves and operates". Edgar Schein makes the variation between three levels of culture within an organisation recognized by their awareness to and availability by individuals, "surface manifestations of culture, organisational prices and basic assumptions".

Organisational culture and values: "The views of the original founder as improved by the business's current older management"

In the situation of M&S we can see that the original culture produced from the founders and the founder's family. In a sense you can say that these were family ideals, with an overtone of faith, let us remember that St Michael is the "champion of the Jews" and this Michael Grades was a Jew.

Culture in the first days was based on quick turnover, honesty, hard work and no frills attached. These values improved in to the company's culture which became paternalistic, an approach is often associated with family run businesses. The repercussions of the culture are in a way that if you aren't in the family you can popularity. This has an impact completely the company right down to the employees on the shop floor.

From the middle-19th century family organisations experienced the best sense of culture, one predicated on devotion, paternalism and community. Yet, in the 1960's, post conflict restructuring concentrated on capital mobility, acquisitions and mergers. The old types of recognition tended to break down and anyone who spoke of solidarity or loyalty was seen as archaic. With quick organisational growth it became very difficult for firms to keep up the family touch. So by the convert of the 21st century Grades and Spencer acquired become susceptible to hostile takeovers using its ever falling show prices and low profit margins. The inward looking culture of the company and the lack of strong leadership were blamed for its poor performance.

Stuart Rose's vision after he was presented with the position of CEO was to revert back again to old beliefs and simplify a culture which possessed become too perplexed and complicated.

The kind of culture of Markings and Spencer is a customer influenced culture. Customer driven culture is where everywhere in the business makes a genuine effort to improve customer service, general market trends, using right people, and training. The business is wanting to up night out the technology e- commerce. In addition, it has a positive culture where personnel and workers connect well. They also consider change as opportunity than not a treat. I also found they are simply dynamic, this in which a business is usually seeking to change the way they work. Always looking for new ideas.

The way I have found this is by changing the displays to make it appeal more to customers.


According to Huczynski and Buchanan management is "the procedure of influencing the activities of an sorted out group in its work toward goal-setting and goal achievement". Each goes on to speak about that "leadership is apparently a critical determinant of organizational effectiveness".

It is useful to distinguish between control and management. These two concepts are occasionally viewed as synonymous as management is seen as you element of the management role. However, other commentators on the subject make clear distinctions between your two. Market leaders are portrayed as "a person who produces drives new initiatives, [whereas] managers achieve balance".

Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus make the point that "managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing".

Due to the complicated nature of the subject a great effort has been made to distinguish the qualities that make a successful leader. This type of research has been greatly affected by the fantastic man theory. This argued that "leaders reach positions of effect that they dominate and guide the lives of others by drive of personality". In M&S's background, men such as, Sir Marcus Sieff could be observed to fall in to the "great man" category.

Leadership in the early years was quite definitely in the hands of the family and predicated on traditional family beliefs. It had been strong but essentially inward looking. From the later 90's when M&S was in big trouble there is a need for a change of leadership.

Nowadays a far more distributive form of command is required. One that creates "a vision of an possible future which allows [the innovator] as well as others to see more plainly the steps for taking, building on personal capacities and strengths". Examples of these types of head would be Luc Vandevelde and Stuart Rose.

Under Vandevelde's leadership a restoration plan was set up based on getting the business closer to its customers and coming back the company to its central strengths. Recovery was structured around concentrating on the UK, offering only their own brand and retaking demand of their source chain. His eye-sight was to return Grades and Spencer's to its reputation for quality, value, service and innovation.

Once articulated, the perspective is shared through events designed to disseminate it. Thus we have Vandevelde's address to the shareholders and Stuart Rose's mass motivational training for most of personnel. They use "catch phrases" to spell it out and share what is already happening also to encourage others. Inside the marketing campaign "Your M&S" Rose is embodying the main element values and beliefs on which the recently revived M&S is situated. In differentiating the client base and attractive to different areas through sub-branding such as Per Una by Sir George Davis for the younger customer and Limited Release for the more style conscious more mature customer, whilst preserving the offering of high quality standard basic principles to everyone M&S is now more competitive with other traditional merchants. Also the advent of the "Simply Food" stores accentuates one of M&S's traditional and continuing advantages- its food offerings.

14 Management styles and culture

14. 1

The management style is the structure of behaviour that he or she shows in carry out a management role on the period of time the most frequent management styles, are as follows:

- Autocratic

- Consultative

- Democratic

14. 2


Autocratic management style is one where in fact the manager can be used to supplying instructions like showing people how to proceed rather than asking them because of their options. The administrator is the sole person contributing to the decision- making process. This style of management is more typical of UK management between 1970s and 1980s, although you are sure to find it today. A number of managers who started up with this process find it too difficult or impossible to improve their ways. They are being used to holding on power and don't understand how the process of 'empowerment' might work. The consequence of this style is the fact that people of the group often dissatisfied with the first choice. This ends in little cohesion, the need for high degrees of supervision, and poor levels of motivation between employees.

14. 3


Consultative professionals are ones who seek to check with other people before deciding. Alternatively, they'll seek to talk to people before utilizing a decision. This sort of manager needs to get on more resources of view him or herself. The consultative director will have tuning in skills and also the ability to make the right sorts of channels to check with other people. In an organisation with a culture of assessment, there will be some mechanisms (e. g. news letters, team briefing, ideas bins, etc. ) that make it possible to receive the feel of the concerns of other people involved in the decision- making, as well as to draw on the expertise.

14. 4


This is one third type of management style is the democratic one, that involves empowerment. This gives individuals and team responsibility to make decisions, usually within the platform. The team is then placed accountable for the decisions it chooses to make. The manager with this style will feel safe allow others to make decisions. The democratic supervisor will also need to have a good overall knowledge of decisions being made, and can want regular give food to again on results. However, they'll be confidants that empower individuals and teams will use the responsibility directed at them prudently.

14. 5

The management style of Marks and Spencer is consultative so this would mean, that head consults with other before decision is manufactured. There will be a group effect in the final decision; even through it is made by the first choice. For example the marketing team, about weather to kick off a new selection of products may consider first than rushing straight into releasing the products. The decisions are all used to accounts.

The business of Markings and Spencer sometimes might use an assortment of Management Styles for example Markings and Spencer is consultative, the business may also be using democratic management style.

Laissez-faire- This is where people are permitted to do what they feel correct, normally, this is associated with medium position (e. g. Handling director - Marketing Director) probably because they're experts in their field so they know what their doing. Marks and Spencer have a number of management styles they often times give a choice to the management but it depends upon where they can be on the hierarchical scale. Those higher on the range are autocratic and notify staff what to do, from the creation collection to the logistical designers. Those professionals without managers below them will be the ones that have to utilize an autocratic style because those below them haven't any knowledge on the field, while those around the center are permitted to look at a laissez-faire frame of mind to management, they may be high enough in the business and have enough knowledge to work with the style properly and its maximum potential however the shareholders will have a eyesight on what there doing with any big decisions having a democratic vote on that.

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