Most organizations are usually unable to undergo successful change due to factors such as lack of innovation and the right skills and knowledge. Initiatives geared at implementing organizational change have been observed to fail in most cases than they succeed. Resources channeled in developing the change management process have also failed to lead to achievement. It may be attributed to inefficient management and supervision. Also, effective leadership is vital for change to be effective.
A.S. Watson Group has grown since its formation in 1828 as a small dispensary to one of the largest health and retail beauty groups. It has more than ten thousand stores functioning in over thirty countries. Additionally, A.S. Watson Group businesses range from health and beauty products, luxury perfumes, cosmetics, and food. It also constitutes beverages, food, and electronic products. The company has undergone various changes since its formation. It was moved to Hong Kong in 1841 and traded officially under the name A.S. Watson and Company. Hutchinson Whampoa then acquired the firm in 1981 where they launched various mergers and acquisitions in Asia and Europe until the 1990s. They employed the firm economic power of Hutchinson Whampoa to introduce the mergers and acquisitions.
One efficient strategy that has assisted A.S Watson Group to gain a competitive advantage is offering unique shopping experiences to clients. As such, their main focus is on clients who quality provision of goods and services is provided by effectively training their workers. A.S. Watson Group enhances the knowledge of their personnel regarding products, sales, and services. They also promote their business philosophies to every worker. The top management believes that the right training will facilitate employees' comprehension of the firm's strategy. In this way, change from being a regional firm to the global retailer will be easy. The managerial technique has thus assisted A.S. Watson Group to expand their business. On the other hand, the introduction of the personal care store that stresses on exceptional customer service and sells its brand products has boosted the growth and success of the change of the company. Therefore, the continued success of A.S. Watson Group is attributed to its competence to offer innovative products and services as a way of responding to distinct market preferences.
To identify and discuss two leadership style theories and behavior adopted by the top management team in A.S. Watson Group.
To evaluate the two theories selected by the top management team in A.S. Watson Group in attaining their accomplishments based on their managerial techniques.
To identify and discuss two activities or issues undertaken to achieve a smooth change.
To analyze and evaluate the implications of the two issues or activities conducted or raised that assisted A.S. Watson Group to become a global retailer.
Analysis and Evaluation
Relationship theories of leadership are also referred to as transformational theories. They concentrate on the connections developed between followers and leaders. Transformational leaders usually find ways to inspire and motivate their people. They also assist them to view the relevance of undertaking their tasks efficiently. As such, under the transformational leadership, members' success is vital, but they also have to fulfill their supreme potential (Winkler, 2010). Transformation leadership is an approach that results to change in social systems of an organization and individuals as well. It can further be purported to create a valuable and positive change among their followers. The motivation, morale, and performance of followers are enhanced through transformational leadership and application of various strategies. One efficient way is to connect the sense of identity of followers to the mission and collective identity of the firm (Avolio and Yammarino, 2013). In this way, the set targets will be easy to achieve.
A.S. Watson Group had the desire to initiate change in their performance which they did through equipping workers with the right knowledge and skills. As such, they were thoughtful and visionary when they embarked on focusing on offering the best services and products to clients through their workers.
The top management team of A.S Watson Group has also adopted the contingency theory whereby competent leadership is based on controlling a particular situation. The theory may also be assessed from the perspective of success is not only brought by the skills of a leader. It is due to the capability of the leader to solve issues in the right way. Also, it entails the interaction of the various problems to shape a particular outcome. The management team of A.S Watson Group assessed the situation of the business and environment and decided to introduce the "personal care store" concept as a way of expanding their business creatively.
The management team of A.S. Watson Group has been observed to apply the transformational theory of leadership effectively. Valuable and positive change has been created among the workers by the management team. It has concentrated on employing a different way of leading which is vital in being change to the organization. A.S. Watson Group has in the recent years focused on adopting various modes of training employees. All these have been targeted at enhancing their knowledge of the product, sales and services skills as well. For these to be efficiently undertaken, it is vital for the management to focus on individual talent of the personnel (Humphrey, 2013). Almost every staff in an organization is usually eager to learn and acquire new knowledge and skills. However, they also require space and an opportunity, to begin with, which are all created by transformational leadership.
Change in an organization further entails learning new behavior. It is difficult for workers to attain this without being supported and appropriately trained. The management of A.S. Watson Group has guided their workers and given them the self-assurance and reassurance they need to adjust to change. In this way, workers gained insight into the fact that change and new skills and knowledge will, in the end, produce added value. Trust is also vital in an organization and which is provided in the transformational leadership (Lussier & Achua, 2015). These factors profoundly contributed to the success of A.S. Watson Group.
The training given to workers also had to be accompanied by boosting their morale, motivation, and performance. Lack of this aspects would have resulted in inefficient performance among the personnel and in the end, affected the firm. Commitment to bring change and innovation to A.S. Watson Group was highly evident among the management team. They sought to integrate the newly acquired businesses with the existing ones. However, they did not have a ready solution as to how they would be successful in attaining this aspect. They had the option of depending on price wars and low costs to gain sales revenue and further expand their market share. The management team designed an innovative way of achieving competitive advantage through the provision of exceptional shopping experiences to their clients (Ludwig, n.d.).
On the other hand, through the contingency theory, A.S. Watson Group management team evaluated the market and observed that they could promote their business philosophy through the utilization of their employees. Moreover, based on the current situation, the organization further noted that transitioning to a global retailer could be achieved by offering the right form of training as it would facilitate employees to comprehend the policy of the firm. Effective knowledge of the company's plan would significantly boost the delivery of services to customers by workers (Martin et al., 2017). Also, the identification of the significance of the rising middle-class consumers can be defined as an innovative way or form by the management. The best way to take advantage of this situation would thus be through creating a business model to achieve their needs. However, it would be necessary to ensure that competitors do not imitate the business model developed. For the continued success of the firm, proficiency to offer innovative products and services as a way of responding to individual preferences of the market has thus been adopted by A.S. Watson Group (Nohria and Khurana, 2014).
The contingency leadership theory is thus evident in A.S. Watson Group due to their ability to apply the right strategies when faced with a particular situation. For instance, the decision to concentrate on offering innovative products and services was made after they realized that designing a business model may be imitated by competitors (Martin et al., 2014). As such, this was considered as the most efficient way to face that situation.
The change of A.S. Watson Group from a regional firm to global retailer successfully may have been brought by culture and a great competitive environment. Culture, in this case, means having a robust and extensively shared set of beliefs that are supported by the structure and strategy. The presence of a strong culture in an organization creates positive results (Ferreira and Kittsteiner, 2011). An efficient competitive advantage further leads to the creation of superior value that is usually above the rivals. The primary intention of the organization, in this case, is to create a wide gap between the perceived value and cost of the product or service as compared to the competition. Also, the competitive advantage has been boosted by the practice of innovation. Equipping the employees with the right techniques for detecting unique innovation chances is evident. Moreover, designing practical solutions to issues that may hinder the change from a regional organization to a global firm has been observed.
Change at A.S. Watson Group was necessary due to the identification of growth opportunities that would transform them from a regional firm to global retailer. Also, an essential part of the change in this organization was giving workers a chance to acquire new skills and knowledge through training (Stanford, 2013). Besides, the leadership of the firm shaped an excellent culture as well. The culture was developed by the trust between the organizational leaders and personnel. Trust between workers and the organization thus creates a positive corporate culture. The strong leadership skills also assisted in shaping a positive culture at A.S. Watson Group. The management team was able to inspire the aspect of trust from their workers who believed in the change and supported it as well (Daft, 2011).
On the other hand, a strong culture motivated workers and gave them a sense of belonging to the company. In the end, it inspired the elements of commitment and loyalty to A.S. Watson Group. Having the maximum concentration of employees boosts the productivity of the company (Hendry, 2012). Moreover, initiating the culture of training workers has been observed at A.S. Watson Group. The firm adopted various training models targeted at enhancing the knowledge and skills of workers on sales. Also, the training models were aimed at promoting the business groups philosophy to every worker. Comprehending the structure of the company has been identified by the management team as necessary in bringing in the required change. It can also be viewed as the culture of the firm which is imparted to the employees through training. As such, they are equipped with the required skills and knowledge in line with the needs of the company (Stanford, 2013).
Apart from improving the performance of an organization...
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