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MS was founded by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in the year 1884. Marks and Spencer is a British origin organization with headquartered in the City of Westminster, London. It is also known as M&S, Marks and Sparks, Marks's or, Marks. Marks & Spencer has been there since the past 120 years and employees over 81,000 people. It specializes in luxury clothing, Financial Service and food products.
The M&S Company database is a vital asset to the M&S business that collects, preserve's and utilises data or information relating to different aspect from the history and development of the company. The Company database contains a wide range of materials from previous years such as documentation, people publications, pictures and films, garments and household products material. Marks & Spencer had made losses during the 90's due to the than management head autocratic structure of work and staunch belief that he wouldn't budget from his policy of accepting the usage of credit cards for the modes of payment, this has caused the company dearly and in the payment mode was finally accepted few years later.
M&S started off as a single trader in 1884 when Mr Marks opened up a stall in Kirkgate Market, in Leeds. He collaborated with Tom Spencer in the year 1894 who worked as the cashier in the wholesale shop where Mr Michael used to purchase goods for his stalls. Thomas Spencer wanted to start his own business and had £300 to invest. The two worked well together and by pooling together their experience and skills, the business expanded. Marks & Spencer became a Public Limited Company in London in 1926. Upon their death, the business was taken over by Simon Marks [son of Marks] and was assisted by his good friend, Israel Sieff, the business became a private limited company.
M&S products can be classified into three kinds:
General merchandise includes clothing, lingerie, accessories, footwear, home furnishings, toys, cosmetics and books. The food business includes preserved foods, perishables, meats, alcoholic and fruit beverages. Finally, M&S also sells financial services including a store credit card, personal loans, and life insurance, personal equity plans, unit trusts
Marks and Spencers has over 700 stores located throughout the UK and Ireland. Its largest store is at Marble Arch, London. Additionally, the company has over 300 stores spread worldwide, in more than 40 countries.
Marks & Spencer now has a business with a flatter organizational structure as compared to the previous structure. M&S has used a process called delayering the business that has reduced the number of layers of authority within the organization. People in the organization now have responsibility and decision making power related to projects. This enables quicker decisions within the organization as the no of layers or levels of decision passing has been reduced. The employees have more accountability towards the decision or task performed and the way it has been performed as compared to before. The organizational structure has become more people oriented than management oriented in the organization thus promoting "out the box thinking" and innovative idea creation along with the freedom of speech for employees within the organization.
Marks & Spencer follows the democratic leadership styles. Marks and Spencer's recent delayering policy has resulted in this. The employee share more power and decision making capabilities then before. The organization have given the employee the power tom take decisions at different levels of the organization this helps in giving better flexibility to the employee to make decisions and think and innovate with newer idea thus creating an active and innovative organization with people oriented culture than an autocratic culture that the organization use to follow. This new style has not only helped the organization to gain benefits but has also helped create a more employee friendly environment of working.
Marks & Spencer has a Constructive culture where people with the organization are encouraged to work as teams and coordinate with co-worker. Since Marks & Spencer is a business that works on customer service and provides fashion clothing directly to customer via online portal and stores it's very important to have people practises. They work hard towards retaining talent for business growth, this talent mostly about people who have strong people services. Clients are day to day customer's usually the ones who come to buy fashion apparels, in such cases it very important for employee to have good people practice. High customer satisfaction and efficiency in service is the back bone for such organizations.
Team Building /Group Dynamics
Good Team building and Group dynamics are like bread and butter winner of the organization. Being a globally recognized organization team's building strategies are more focused keeping the global diversity among different employees. Since Marks & Spencer have provided more power to the employee they have also stressed on providing training for creation of better team building and group dynamics than before. Shifting from giving the employee the project along with strategy to complete the projects the organization has now given more freedom to the people to take their decision as a team about what strategy they feel would be to provide the best quality of service in desired time.
To compete in this competitive world it is very important for any firm to manage change with precision and more predictable results. This is required to be done at a considerable pace that is faster and more effective than their peers. Now a day the traditional change management activities such as training and communication are not sufficient to help companies develop the ongoing change management capabilities they need. Since the company has been transforming to become more people driven than higher level management driven, basically from an Autocratic to Democratic organization they have also kept the client in mind. The clients have been given more flexibility to help than define their needs better, and make them high profile client.
Politics & Conflict Management
Considering the fact that Marks & Spencer is a globally available organization with stores all around, there is high amount of people diversity. This high amount of diversity results in different though process and understanding amount people which results in company politics. Initially since the organization use to follow the Autocratic style of leadership there was lot of power with few people. This resulted in favouritism among people, difference in promotions and recognition from the higher level of the organization has also been a major problem in the company for a long time. Even though there are company codes of Ethics and policies that people are bounded to follow there is still high politics and the attrition rate had also been very high. There was another major conflict that had taken place in the 90's for the usage of credit cards that had come into notice in the early 90' s which was being used by all organization slowly and steadily. This conflict has resulted in losses both business and customer wise if only the head of the management than would have listen and accepted decision apart from autocracy Marks & Spencer would still be no one today.
Innovation / Creativity initiatives
From being and Autocratic based organization Marks & Spencer have shifted to Democratic organization where people have been given more power for decision making. The delayering innovative technique taken by the higher level management has worked in benefit off the organization where the people have shown better service quality. Attrition levels have gone down as compared to previous years and employee are more active as a complete team and an organization than just being concerned with their own task. Innovation though has been an active part of Marks & Spencer organization strategy but the Delayering process has been the best change maker in the Marks & Spencer organization structure till date.
Current internal scenario of Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer internal scenario out of research and due to absence of my work experience within the organization looks to be quite helpful and people oriented due to changes that the organization have been going through. The transfer of power and authority and decision making capabilities being transferred to the people is making the working environment more people friendly and encouraging people to think and push themselves to make a decision, there by enhancing their decision making skills and understanding towards projects.
Suggestions and recommendations
Since Marks & Spencer is my dream firm that I would love to work under, I have no expertise in what possible changes Marks & Spencer should bring within its organization to help create a better environment for employee.