D/508/0488 Unit 4 Management And Operations

pages Pages: 4word Words: 890

Question :


Activity 1
P1 Different roles and characteristics of a leader and a manager
P2 Applying the role of leaders and functions of manager in different situational contexts
P3 Implementation of different theories and models of approach in different situation setting of Unilever 

Activity 4:
P4 Role plays and key approaches of leader and manager to operations management
P5 Explain the importance and value of operations management in achieving business objectives
P6 Assess the factors within the business environment that impact upon operational management and decision making by leaders and managers

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Answer :

Executive summary 

The paper is presented to discuss the impact and importance of leaders and managers in organisational success and business intelligence in the setting of Unilever. The paper has assessed the role-plays and key approaches of leader and managers in managing operations aligning with the theories that help in demonstrating the approaches in different situational context. Operations management plays the crucial role in accomplishing the organisational objectives with its effective quality management and improvised strategies and systemic frameworks of working methods.    


With the emerging business dynamics and changes introduced by globalisation has caused a dramatic impact in the business functions that requires effective strategy development and execution of the strategies through effective operations management. With the concerned area of operation management the emphasise has been reported so that effective role-plays of organisational entities respectively managers and leaders can be analysed to determine the key approaches in managing organisational functions. The paper has analysed the importance and value of operations managements in order to determine its influence in achieving business objectives. The paper has focused on the renowned, transnational consumer goods company, Unilever to accomplish the aspirations of the emphasised report. Unilever is British Dutch, transnational company with significant brand value and empowered leadership and management. The paper attempts to help the company to realise its objective by improving the operations management in the strategic and systemic order. 

Activity 1

P1 Different roles and characteristics of a leader and a manager

It has been evident for almost all manufacturing industry increased productivity, better performance, optimal growth and competitive advantage has been the core objective in performing the business functions in the competitive industry (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). In order to realise these objectives, manager and leaders have the significant part to play as these two entities of an organisation are the basic pillars in performing the organisational cure operation functions regarding management and performance. 


A manager of an organisation mainly deals with operating the business functions in such a manner that organisational certain goals and aim is met duly. In order to realise the organisational aspirations the manager plays different functions such as job designing, managing, organising, delegating, and controlling the work. Apart from that, managers perform all operation functions in a formal manner to maintain organisational culture and manage all functional activities in an effective manner. Manager’s main characteristics for performing the tasks involves experience and knowledge of management, communication skills, time management, effective delegation, ability to take risk  and supervising the tasks in effective manner. 

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Figure 1: Management of Unilever 

(Source: )


 Leadership is about leading a team in order to make the employees perform, in the most effective manner. Leaders are the most important entity of an organisation as the leaders able to influence and inspire the employees and the groups to contribute their key approaches in the organisational productivity in the effective manner.  Main roles of a leader involves building effective and empowered team, clarifying goals and objectives of the organisation, encouraging teamwork, promoting employees potential and ability to contribute in the tasks. Apart from that, the leaders are seen as tactician, visionary, facilitator and contributor. 

Figure 2: The distinguished difference between managers and leaders 

(Source: )

Besides, the characteristics and traits both of the entities share few similar functions to perform. However, it would be important to note that leadership and management are different from each other in bigger case scenario (Deresky, 2017). The following table comprises the comparison of leaders and managers:

Managers performs organisational functions as   management is a function Leaders performs to build a relationship with the team   to make the set functions done 
Managers organises, plans and controls the   organisational functions Leaders innovates method, creates the vision for the   plan and make creative approaches to perform the tasks 
Managers tend to accomplish organisational goals by   setting the goals and delegating cautiously Leaders make the employees perform effectively by   promoting creativity and fostering the abilities to accomplish organisational   goal
Managers follow impersonal and passive attitude   towards organisational functions  Leaders follow personal and active attitude towards   organisational responsibilities 
Emotional involvement is low as managers follow   formal approach towards the employeeLeaders hold empathy and emotional involvement is high   due to the strong relationship approach 
Managers administers and maintains the performance   Leaders develops innovates and inspires the performance   by making effective approaches in activities 

Table 1: Comparison of leaders and managers

(Source: )

With the discussed table, it can be evident that leaders and managers have significant part to play in the organisational welfare. With the given figure 1, it can be stated that the most significant difference of leader and manager is it in their basic functions as the figure clearly outlines, leaders creates the vision and develops the strategy coordinating with the manager and the outcome of the  implemented strategy is the organisational success (Bass, 2017). Thus, it can be stated managers mainly focuses on proper organisational functions of operations likewise, managing, organising, controlling and supervising. While, leaders deal with accomplishing the prerequisites and organisational objectives set by the managers through effective key approaches and by motivating the employees top incur best results to make the outcome effective. Apart from that, leaders and managers tend to follow different theories and styles to support their key approaches with theoretical forum so that the approaches can prove to be of great use and beneficial in organisational help (Donohoe and Kelloway, 2016). With the above discussion, it can be stated that, Unilever, a consumer goods manufacturing company will greatly be able to enhance and improvise the role and functions of organisational operatives with effective theories and approaches in style. The theoretical frameworks and models of approach such as Classical Management theory, Behaviour theory, Contingency theory, Transformational leadership theory, Transactional leadership theory and Action Centred Leadership theory can be applied in different organisational situations and functions to deals with the activities in the systemic and strategic order (Bolden, 2016). 

P2 Applying the role of leaders and functions of manager in different situational contexts

With changing business economics and business environment, the functions of organisations are shifting rapidly. In this case, role of a leader and functions of manager is required flexibility in adopting changes. In this context, different situations of Unilever have been considered to implement the functional activities of the occupational groups in the proper manner. Flexibility and change is required to drive the direction of performance in a positive way so that the company can attain further competitive advantage and effective performance in the competence business world (Govindan, et al. 2015). 

Figure 3: Management to leadership 

(Source: Govindan, et al. 2015)

It has been evident that, organisational changes are uncertain and have the potential to affect the performance by uncertain factors and complexities, in this regards, the leaders may imply Contemporary management theory. Contemporary management theory is greatly been able to facilitate the operations in time and cost effective manner as it focuses in incorporating changes through various techniques (Tourish, 2014). The company focuses on building effective relationship with the customers, in this regards to build and manage customer relationship in the proper manner, the company, Unilever can focus on applying changes on their manufacturing process. In this regards, the manager are required to design the work process in different way that would reduce cost and in the same time meet customers’ requirements in the proper manner. It has been evident that, Management theories are greatly been able to facilitate the dynamics of operations to plan strategically and manage systematically (Jeston, 2014). Apart from that, effective approaches of leaders can help in shifting the organisational production possibility to significant growth direction. It will help in increasing productivity and managing the employee performance effectively. Unilever can direct the promotional activities with effective advertisement approaches as promotional activities are considered as one of the crucial areas of functions that needs effective management. In this case scenario, the managers of Unilever can shift and switch the advertisement strategy with necessary technology and strategies. For instance, situational leadership style deals with shifting behaviour and actions according to the situation and if Unilever identifies to switch any changes in promotional activity, it can imply behaviour theory and situational leadership.  

Figure 4: Functions management of Unilever 

(Source: Fairhurst and Connaughton, 2014)

Apart from that, in organisational functions, focusing on fulfilling employees need is a major concern of the business operators as managing workforce is one of the essential tasks performed by the leaders and managers. Managing workforce with effective strategy and innovation is crucial as it helps in widening the production possibility with motivating the employees and fulfilling the needs. It helps in promoting the satisfactions stimulators and eliminating unsatisfactory instincts from the business approach. In this regards, the leaders can apply different motivation theories to promote the willingness of performance of employees to increase productivity and sustain the demand wave in the financial statistics in the proper manner (Fairhurst and Connaughton, 2014). Classical management theories can help the leaders and managers in this situation to shift their approaches and role-plays in the proper manner. Additionally, it would help in developing policies and codes of conducts so that sustainable maintained of performance can be witnessed by the company Unilever in the systematic order. Operations management even deals with the organisational other functions such as corporate social responsibility, finance, marketing, human resource and account management. In this regards, the roles played by the leader and functions of manager changes rapidly as changes in approaches varies according to the organisational situations and needs. Thus, it can be stated, Unilever can witness’s effective performance growth and sustainability in profit of the functions of operations are effectively performed by the leaders and managers in even difficult case scenarios of the organisation (Laudon and Laudon, 2016).   

P3 Implementation of different theories and models of approach in different situation setting of Unilever 

It has been previously mentioned that, different theories and models of approach are able to impact effective benefits to the organisational setting of Unilever as it helps in widening the path of accomplishing the objectives in the effective manner. Thus, different leadership theories and models are discussed in this context to identify the impact and influence the organisation, Unilever can get from its proper implementation (Lee and Tang, 2017). 

Figure 5: Leadership of Unilever 

(Source: Tourish, 2014)

Situational leadership: 

Situational leadership model mainly focuses on two significant factors that comprises of directive behaviour and supportive behaviour. The directive behaviour wave signifies the level of direction employees are provided with and the supportive axis signifies the support employees required to perform. In this model, the authors clearly defines that a leader chooses the leadership style according to the maturity level of the employees. Four sub factors are introduced in this model where directing, supporting, coaching, and delegation works effectively. Leaders of Unilever can incorporate the model to incur effective performance and experience maximum production possibility for organisational profit (Lord, et al. 2017). It will help in coping up with the changing business environment in terms of need and demand. Additionally, it will help in improving the visions in the proper manner top deal with the business management and operations in the effective manner. 

Figure 6: Situational leadership model 

(Source: Lord, et al. 2017)

Systems leadership: 

System leadership enables the frameworks of working methods to deal with the performance as it helps in creating the work in such a manner that people at all level can work productively. Additionally, it creates and environment of productibve work that effectively increases the production possibility as it has been evident that working condition has significant impact in the performance. Thus, Unilever operative team can incorporate this theory to set an environment that is positive so that all employees can work productively with their potentials to support organisational performance in the proper manner. It has nine main characteristics that help in facilitating the working procedures (McCaffery, 2018). The skills infer systems thinking; pay off, open mind set, empowerment, and co creation of working structures, focus on outcomes, effective communication, relationship and trustand unwavering the attention to DEI.  This will significantly help the company in going productive and effective growth in the competitive consumer goods industry.  

Figure 7: System Leadership 

(Source: McCaffery, 2018)

Contingency leadership: 

This theory mainly focuses on three significant variables in operation management that are leaders, follower and situation of the organisation. It is mainly attempts to explain the action based approaches that leaders and managers follow to deal with the contingent plan of work. Here, the followers are focused with motivation and capability, leaders are aligned with behaviour, personal trait and experience and situation is aligned with task structure and environment.  This leadership theory simply comprises of leaders style and ability of flexible adoption of styles in different organisational situations to deal with the changing environment of organisation (Northouse, 2018). Thus, contingency theory can help the management operators of Unilever in managing and safeguarding the performance from potential threats in the proper manner. Additionally, risks can be prevented that are able to hinder organisational operations in systematic order by switching the approaches according to the organisational situations. 

Figure 8: Contingency Leadership

(Source: Northouse, 2018)

Besides, Classical management theory, Behaviour theory, Contingency theory are significant management theories that can be implemented in the operation setting of Unilever. It has been evident from the recent researches that the company strives for employee performance growth, effective management of workforce and customer relationship. These three aspects are major concerns of business operators of Unilever as these have significant role-play in contributing and supporting organisational success and profitability (Michelli, 2014). Thus, the company’s main objectives ‘more growth, more trust, lower cost and lower risk’ can be complemented with the effective implementation of the different theories and models of approach in the proper manner.

Activity 4: 

 P4 Role plays and key approaches of leader and manager to operations management

Operation management team are considered as the most essential team for any organisation as this occupational team contributes effective key approaches in meeting organisational objectives in the effective and sustainable manner (Stevenson, 2014). Organisational operational management team is employed to design, plan, organise and supervise the production and deal with other related business functions. It has been evident that, Unilever’s main objective is to grow the business with trusted stakeholders, lower costs and lower risks in the organisation function. The goal is to be achieved with the effective approaches of leaders and managers (Otley, 2016). The team of Unilever operation management including leaders and managers are employed to serve the goal and realise the objectives in the proper manner. The main objective of Unilever is sustainable development of the company considering improved health and well being, reduced environmental impact and enhancing livelihood. 

Figure 9:  Objective of Unilever 

(Source: Parisio, et al. 2016)

As has been documented, manager’s role in accomplishing goal infers sub divisional functions such as HR functions, marketing, accounting and other functions. Thus, HR supports the Unilever vision by employing brand, introducing diversity while, leaders help by developing and driving productivity in the positive direction. Additionally, the key approaches of manager in accomplishing the sustainable goal initiated by Unilever, infers designing the work process in such a manner that employees can potentially perform the activities (Parisio, et al. 2016). Apart from that, leaders have the role-play in accomplishing the undertaken sustainable goal is to train and develop employees with all possible innovative ideas so that potentials of the employees can be improved and better performance can be gained.  Thus, it can be stated the organisational managers and leaders can play effective role in accomplishing organisational objectives in the proper manner. 

It has been evident that the leaders contribute certain key features and tactics aligning with the organisational visions in order to support organisational excellence. Through the hierarchy of management, top executives of leader contribute training and development sessions so that the employees can incur their best potential in their performances to achieve organisational objectives. As it is aforementioned that the business organisation Unilever is exposed to various threats due to various marketing competitors such as bargainers, stakeholders, new entrants, and intense rivalry, it is important to manage the workplace performance in such a manner that organisational efficacy can be sustained (Rosenbach, 2018). It has been evident from the accounted research, that Unilever was listed in the top consumer manufacture goods company in the sustainability report followed by Marks and Spencer and other companies. In this regards, sustaining the achievement is also lay upon the operation management function list. In this regards, managing the performance in sustainable manner is one of the core objectives of the company that needs effective approach of the manager and leader due to intense rivalry and competence. One more crucial area is present in the business that is managing organisational assets with necessary technology. Here in this regards, managers need to design the information technology in effective manner so that, the organisational IT department can operate properly to secure organisational data (Shafritz, et al. 2015). In this regards, it would be worth mentioning that, total quality management, continuous improvement process and sustainable development are the key are where managers and leaders introduces their role-plays and approaches to meet the organisational objectives. Finally, it can be stated that the organisational managers and leaders as the part of operation management team plays the effective role in dealing with the organisational functions and meeting organisational objectives.   

P5 Explain the importance and value of operations management in achieving business objectives

As an integral part of an organisation’s functioning, operations management is concerned with organizing and controlling a methodology which is required to transform Input to Output with objectifying profitability and suitability in using resources. Moreover meeting customer demands is quintessential since that defines the innovation quotient and is responsible for helping the organisation stay in competition. It in like manner ensures commitment of running business in a perfect world in eating up all of the benefits thusly ensuring productivity of the business. Essential drivers of associations are Quality, Cost and Delivery. Delivering products and services with Right Quality at Right Cost and Delivered at Right Time will bring about thriving of the business. Thus operations management thrives on these business drivers by focusing on all parts of business be it organization or collecting industry. It moreover ensures commitment of running business in a competitive and economically turbulent world for using up all of the resources thus ensuring efficiency of the business (Laudon, and Laudon, 2016)

One of the basic advantages of undertaking operations management in business decisions is that executives must focus on any confining resources that portray the limits of the organisation. Organisational leaders and subsequent managers would be all around served by examining the primary question of dealing with managerial structure with the objective that an association can be streamlined to achieve regard and most noteworthy sufficiency. Acknowledging the organisational and managerial blockages and abstaining from them are key drivers to long run success. 

Another point on why operation management should include complex theories and lean thinking is that the management is fundamentally vested with responsibilities to show a general plan of best practices. Thus they do not by any means pass on necessary information but instead aid by perceiving how a business can isolate itself from various associations in doing in that capacity. Department managers, for instance, can provide and apply creative thinking needed for business focus, innovative practices and providing quality thereby attracting/developing its colleagues, executives and accomplices to give organisational strength. 

Strategy decisions fuse the physical systems and the all inclusive community that pass on the organizations to the customer. An organization system involves the significant number of calendars, assignments and steps that are used to pass on organization to customers nearby the occupations and planning for organization agents. There are various ways to deal with sort out a methodology to give customer organization in a fruitful and viable approach to pass on the organization thing pack. A couple of musings have been advanced on the most capable strategy to design an organization methodology (Boyle, 2017)

Time and effort spent for organization plan via flowchart can be recorded, or an alternate regard stream guide can be manufactured. By then the strategy can be dismembered for time diminishes to reduce stopping and non-regard included steps. Changes are put aside instantaneously and changes to treatment of waste is overviewed. Waste is everything that does not accumulate to organisational surplus or inventories, likelihood of continuously self-organization, customer trouble, and deformations in organization. In any case, lean thinking in like manner expects thought in regards to the customer and the all inclusive community giving the organization. It is basic to apply basic benchmarks, for instance, thoroughly deal with the customer's worry, don't sit inactive and give definitely what the customer requires. Experts express that organization chiefs must comprehend that the customer will be sprightly if the organization given meets or outperforms wants. In like manner the relationship between the customer and the overall public giving the organization is central to achieve satisfied customers. Agent incorporation is oftentimes underscored as a component of lean thinking to achieve hoisted measures of obligation by organization labourers.

P6 Assess the factors within the business environment that impact upon operational management and decision making by leaders and managers

Every organisation has a functional limit, beyond which it cannot sustain operations. The goal or purpose behind most organisations incorporates the age of stock or conceivable benefits. To do this, they have to secure resources, convert them into yields and suitable them to their normal customers. Operations management and subsequent decision making procedures on all of the activities are required to make and pass on an affiliation's items or organizations to its customers or clients (Chang, 2016)

Inside broad and complex organisation errands is ordinarily an essential handy region, with people expressly relegated to accept risk for managing all or part of the affiliation's exercises shapes. It bases down to competitive networks since it expects a noteworthy activity in choosing how well an affiliation satisfies its customers. Because of private-part associations, the mission of the exercises work is for the most part conveyed similar to advantages, improvement and forcefulness; out in the open and deliberate affiliations, ordinarily imparted with respect to offering some motivation for money. 

The business condition gets affected by different external factors which impact the exercises of the business and moreover the fundamental authority part of the affiliation. Thusly it is fundamental from an affiliation's point of view to recognize the impacts of the external factors on the business condition so it can grasp reasonable frameworks and courses of action to diminish the impacts of the outside factors on the errands of the business and besides in the fundamental initiative piece of the affiliation. The distinctive external components which are perceived are political, money related, social, creative, regular and authentic (Ward, 2016)

The organisation must grasp momentary targets for them which should be profitable for the association as time goes on. Along these lines an association needs to make minor adjustments and deal from their part in order to practice the Corporate Social Responsibility. The affiliation ought to similarly ensure that a broad bit of their CSR procedure is dedicated towards the progression of the area arrange where they do their associations to help in the advancement of the general population of the adjacent system who had persevered on account of the development of the affiliations (Dyllick, and Muff, 2016).


With this emphasise reported, it can conclusively stated that, managers and leaders are the two most essential authorities of any organisation in developing the business in a successful manner. The paper has described different role and characteristics of leaders and managers aligning with the comparison to understand the potential of leader and manager in organisational success. The analysis of different theories and model of approach has enveloped the key contributions of leaders and managers in performing organisational operations and manage them accordingly to achieve organisations objectives duly. Thereby the paper has discussed the key approaches of leaders and managers in achieving the organisational objectives that reflects the main operational area of the entities that are Unilever’s initiative of sustainable development and cost reduction in the production growth. Further, it has been evident from the paper that, due to shift in organisational situations, role plays of leaders and mangers vary accordingly and in this case the entities are required to perform with the help of different theories and models of approaches.