Organisational Behaviour in John Lewis Plc

Table of Content

Style or behavioural theory of leadership7 Sources of power8 Manager v leader8 CULTURE AT JOHN LEWIS9 CONCLUSION11 REFERENCES12 BIBLIOGRAPHY15 APPENDIX 1. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs20 20 APPENDIX 2 Difference of hierarchy needs for different type of employees:21 APPENDIX 321 Training to give the best customer service22 APPENDIX 4 Two-factor Theory of Motivation. 22 22 APPENDIX 5 Taylor’s Theory of Motivation22 APPENDIX 6 Table from Annual Report Reward Management 201123 INTRODUCTION The John Lewis Partnership, as we know it today, came into being in 1929 under the Chairmanship of Spedan Lewis.

It currently has 28 John Lewis department stores from Southampton to Aberdeen, 223 Waitrose supermarkets from Plymouth to Norwich. It also has several manufacturing subsidiaries which produce bedding and wooden furniture. Also it owes a 4,000 acre Leckford Estate in Hampshire which grows apples, pears, mushrooms, and produces milk, poultry, and eggs for sale in the Waitrose Supermarket chain. It also has an online shopping service, John Lewis Direct, as well as an agreement with internet grocer Ocado to deliver Waitrose products.

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It currently employs 64,000 to 76,500 (Wood,Zoe and Kollewe,Julia, 2011) staff (on different sources). Key numbers for fiscal year ending January, 2010: Sales: ? 7,421. 5 million One year growth: 28. 6% Net income: ? 306. 6 million Income growth: (50. 5%) (John Lewis Partnership, 2010) Profit sharing remains central to its partnership’s philosophy. Its present CEO and Chairman of the Board are Andy Street and Charlie Mayfield respectfully. Both have maintained the constitution, laid down by Spedan Lewis, which is the foundation of the ‘Partnership’s’ ethos and why the large majority of its employees are loyal and happy.

This report will aim to investigate the organisational structure of the ‘Partnership’ along with its culture and beliefs. It will describe the current leadership under its Chairman of the Board Charlie Mayfield (Charley, 2011), and apply this to various leadership theories along with team building, motivational politics and corporate culture. MOTIVATION AT JOHN LEWIS Motivation is a system of incentive forces which help the individual or group to find the drive to complete a task or goal. Within the retail industry as with many other industries a motivated workforce is more willing, cost less and has higher productivity.

There are in existence a number of motivation theories. These include: * Maslow hierarchy of needs * Herzberg two factor theory of motivation * McGregor * Taylor Scientific Management, etc. Theories of motivation have undergone immense changes through to the present day. Satisfaction of hygienic needs is not enough to motivate a modern worker. Society requires a higher level of work satisfaction. The form this satisfaction takes different levels from base aspects such as survival factors to self-actualisation achievement. (Maslow, 1987).

An a good example of this is the Constitution of John Lewis which states “the happiness of all its members, through their worthwhile and satisfying employment in a successful business” (John Lewis Partnership, 2009) The founder of the John Lewis Partnership, John Spedan Lewis, was a first owner of business who concluded that better and fairer treatment of his workforce in terms of the working environment and facilities. In 1907 he implemented a set of reforms involving the shorter working day, paid holidays, staff comities. They were revolutionary ideas for their time.

This innovative attitude continued and in 1920 he introduced the first profit-sharing scheme for employees followed by in 1949 he set up business as a Partnership with the employees. The forward thinking pioneered by John Spedan Lewis has continued through to the modern day John Lewis Partnership and profit sharing and staff satisfaction remain central to its partnership philosophy. (John Lewis Partnership, 2011). “We ask not only that you do your day job, but that you play an active role as an owner,” says Patrick Lewis a member of the partnership board and of the family (John Lewis Partnership, 2011).

By analysing the working conditions and reward system implemented by of John Lewis for their employees it can be possible to accord different theories of motivation. Maslow hierarchy needs Maslow in 1943 (New-York, 1943) divided human’s needs on five essential stages. Each upper stage cannot be reached until the lower stage has been fulfilled ‘Appendix 1’. However the pyramid of needs will change for ordinary worker and managerial staff ‘Appendix 2’ The motivation and support John Lewis provides to the employees ordinary workers and managers reduces the differences in their social gap. E. g. ll permanent employees on joining the John Lewis team do not just have their basic psychological needs met but also they simultaneously become equal partners in the business and have full access to all benefits such as holiday scheme, discounts, etc. ’Appendix 3”. In the author’s opinion, this range of rewards boosts the motivation of ordinary workers by satisfying the first four tiers of the hierarchy. Workers are given a sense of achievement and an artificial feeling of belonging to a higher social level than in reality. This makes the workers more self-driven, thus requiring fewer managerial staff to supervise them.

The result of these arrangements of motivation is to reflect and raise the company’s profitable activities and its reputation as an employer of the dream. Herzberg’s two-factor theory Frederick Herzberg in his two-factor motivation theory stated that people cannot be motivated by salary, safety, supervision, company policy, formal contracts, working conditions, etc. these he named a “hygiene” factors. (Herzberg, F. , Mausner, B. , & Snyderman, B, 1959) He theorised that only factors such as interesting job, growth opportunities, achievement, recognition, advancement and other intrinsic factors will motivate people. Appendix 4’ demonstrates how different factors influence job satisfaction. David MacLeod in his governmental report stated that working people ‘are central to its success’ at the John Lewis Partnership (David MacLeod, Nita Clarke, 2009), by motivating and empowering its employees through the use of motivators such as appropriate and timely communication, delegating responsibility and involving staff in decision making processes. Taylor Scientific Management One of the earliest theories of motivation, 1911, was Frederick Taylor. He stated that people motivated solely by money.

Simply put the theory lays down that: the more a worker produces the more they are paid. Appendix 5 reflects Authors vision of Taylor’s Motivational Theory. It is fair to suggest that based on this theory a logical progression of a system purely based on production-earning relationships will lead to higher level of spending/saving which in turn will lead to the need to increase their earnings. 1. Work- the more person produces then more he/she earns; 2. Money- the more he/she earns then more person spends/saves (depending on human’s nature both characteristics are driven equally); 3.

Spending/Saving- The more person get in savings or the more personable to spend the more he or she needs to earn; 4. More Work- the more person requires money the more she/he motivated they become to earn more; 5. – ? – Work-…- Money-… – Spending/Saving – More Work…-… John Lewis motivation approach directly or indirectly uses of combination of different motivational techniques to inspire its entire staff from the bottom to the upper management. They try to keep staff as happy as possible both in and outside the work place.

It helps to keep the company’s high reputation and high profit even in times of reduces demands. However the author is in agreement with the Chairman of JLP who has believes that, there is a tendency to focus all the attention on the profit share part of the motivation, and almost ignore the cultural beliefs that underpin the company’s day to day operation. LEADERSHIP AT JOHN LEWIS A leader it is a person who are able to motivate the employees and managers, who is a driven with new ideas, visionary, judge and predict changes and opportunities within the market they are operating in.

They are good decision makers who influence those around them in as part of the decision making process and have a deep believe in what they doing. There are several theories which are used to describe different styles of leadership: * Trait theory * Style theory of leadership * Situational theory of leadership * Sources of power * Manager v leader Trait theory Trait theory says that a leader is born not made. This implies that an individual is hard wired mentally to be a leader as opposed to being trained as a leader. In the case of Charlie Mayfield this natural leadership was first noticed during his time at Radley college public school.

On finishing school young Charlie decided to join the Army despite everybody’s expectations that he would go to University. This controversial decision again displays his ability to take responsibility and highlights his decision making qualities which characterises a natural leader. As his career has progressed he has demonstrated further qualities which fit the trait theory. He has displayed excellent communication skills, deep integrity and competence in the working environment. The main ideas of trait theory also describe a leader as achievement oriented, caring for their workers, loyal to the workforce and management.

Mr Mayfield in his interview to Marketing Society said “business partnership we have responsibility in our soul. It’s the whole point of our business, we’re based on the notion that if we treat our partners well, it will lead to good customer service. It should be a virtuous circle although we always strive to improve. ” (Marketing Society, 2007). Style or behavioural theory of leadership Kurt Lewin with his colleagues in 1930 identified three generic leadership styles based on decision making behaviour of leader (Ralph K. White, Ronald Lippitt, 1972). Now it is known as behavioural or style theory of leadership.

According to this theory all leaders defined as Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez-faire. The John Lewis Partnership’s business model set up, in 1949 by John Spedan Lewis, as a democratic style of leadership where all employees become partners in the business. From the research carried out by the author the was no clear definition of C. Mayfields management styles before joining JLP (John Lewis Partnership). However, his previews experience was clearly autocratic. Charlie Mayfield started his career in the Army, where leadership style is clearly autocratic in nature.

Further in his career he gained experience in sales, where in the last few decades the most preferred style of selling defined as aggressive selling. On joining JLP, Charlie Mayfield had to revise his management style and adapt to the existing environment. At the present as Chairman of JLP Mr Mayfield fully adapted to JLP’s methods of working and his current leadership style can be defined as primarily democratic. Mr Mayfield in his interview to MT said that he “most pleasure get is visiting shops” and talk with partners. (Gwyther, 2011).

But on his style of leadership also appear elements of Laissez-faire style where people have to make decision on their working place. But according of situational style of leadership Mr Mayfield cannot entirely distance himself from the autocratic training he received during his time in the military and sales. Sources of power Sources of power can be defined as the ability of one individual of affects the actions, motivations and incentives of another individual or group. French and Raven’s highlighted five sources of power: * Coercive power * Legitimate power * Reward power * Expert power Referent power If the five rules are applied to JLP it can clearly be seen that the reward source of power is the most suited definition as the staff are partners in the business and receive financial rewards based on the businesses performance in an equal percentage. In the case of Charley Mayfield however, he if mainly defined as having legitimate power as his power is gained through his position as Chairman. He also has a degree of the referent power partly from his own personality and experience and also purely from his position as Chairman to which others will look up towards.

Manager v leader Grace Hopper, an Admiral with the U. S. Navy(PBS TV,1986), clearly defined difference between leader and manager “You cannot manage men into battle. You manage things; you lead people”. In the real World however leaders to some degree need to be able to manage and conversely managers need to be able to lead. Charley Mayfield due to his military training and work experience he is clearly a leader with some managerial skills. Finally the most important task for C. Mayfield as a leader “to keep staff 100% happy” (Gwyther, 2011) Anyway J.

Kubicek in his book “Leadership is Dead: How Influence is Reviving IT” states that leadership is dead when it is focused on the leader himself (Kubicek, 2010). When leadership is focused on the people being lead it comes to life. This is the style of leadership practiced by Charlie Mayfield. Downside of leadership style of Mr C. Mayfiels, on authors opinion might by that long list of benefits of JL partners lives little room for the leaders to find new ways to motivate the staff to meet the new challenges coming from dynamic changes in economic markets both in the UK and Globally.

In addition the niche that John Lewis had carved for itself in the department store sector has a certain status to it. As the population move to reduce their costs in this trouble times, JL’s leaders need to find a means of addressing the lower cost needs of the population in general without compromising the standards for their partners and the image of company. CULTURE AT JOHN LEWIS Culture is a set of rules of general behaviour of people in society. In other words culture is a personality of organisation. The John Lewis Partnership is significantly different from all other major retail companies in the UK.

Culture within the company is defined by its own constitution to which every employee abides from the lowest shop flour worker to the Chairman. It can be viewed as a typical social enterprise with the philanthropic goal of employee happiness, which is written into its constitution (John Lewis Partnership, 2009). The most important aspects of cultural behaviour cover values such as * dress code * team work ethics * customer relationship * staff relationship * etc Every employee is part of the business and owns a portion of through a trust and shares and is thus in a partnership with every other employee.

Business policies, strategies and direction are decided using a network of committees and staff councils. This promotes dialogue with all the shareholder / employees. All individuals are encouraged to put forward their views about the business without any fear of reprimand. Its core values for its employees are respect, fairness, dialogue and collaboration. (Potter, 2010) This structure and cultural approach is difficult to define in relation to, Charles Handys model or the Johnson and Scholes Cultural Web. As for the Deal & Kennedy model, the closest ‘fit’ would be the process culture.

However the research indicates that John Lewis is far from being a lumbering bureaucratic beast, blind and insensitive to its customer’s feedback (Deal, T. E. and Kennedy, A. A. , 1982) John Lewis’s co-op style framework of business, is closer to Harrison’s or Handy’s ‘Person’ definition as the business places its people at its centre. This, unfortunately, does not entirely fit the structure or culture of John Lewis. It poses a robust management structure built up of Branch forums, divisional councils, a Partnership council and the Partnership Board, which guides the staff in their duties.

This management structure and approach has a closer resemblance to the ‘Task Culture’, but once again not an exact match (The Official Board. com, 2011). If using Johnson and Scholes web matrix, as laid our below, the resultant conclusion or ‘Paradgim’ is one of a customer focused, enthusiastic culture which supports its employees (Mindtools, 2011). Stories Is known for high quality and good service Symbols Reliable, Dependable Power structures All partners share decision making. Organizational Structure Social Enterprise Control Systems Staff rewarded through bonus Fairness, respect, involvement

Rituals & Routines Courtesy and competence from staff Paradigm Happy loyal staff that feel part of the business and provide top quality service thus promoting the brand Stories Is known for high quality and good service Symbols Reliable, Dependable Power structures All partners share decision making. Organizational Structure Social Enterprise Control Systems Staff rewarded through bonus Fairness, respect, involvement Rituals & Routines Courtesy and competence from staff Paradigm Happy loyal staff that feel part of the business and provide top quality service thus promoting the brand CONCLUSION

The John Lewis Partnership does not match any of the usual cultural or structural business definitions, but draws on a number of them. As such it could be argued that this is where the strength of the business lies. Its staff is well motivated but in a way that makes this motivation come from the staff themselves, so can be viewed as self-motivation, rather than coming from the leadership or management of the staff. Its managerial structure is relatively simple, uncluttered and inclusive of its entire staff from the bottom up. This promotes a sense if inclusion in the staff, which adds to their motivation.

As a business its leadership work on a long term plan looking as far as 30 years into the future and investing accordingly in new stores and distribution solutions. It is also very active, in the online markets with its home furnishing, department store and grocery shopping offerings. Its web business has outperformed many on its competitors in recent years and has a significant foothold in this area. As a business the John Lewis Partnership has attained a much envied position as a retailer for its customer service, levels of quality and as a first class employer.

All of this can be attributed to the culture of the business and its approach to its staff and its customers. However it can also be seen that there is a degree of institutionalism to this business which has caused it a degree of difficulty in the past. This is being dealt with by the reforms the business is currently undergoing and the improvements being championed by Charles Mayfield. Whilst these reforms are needed and welcomed to meet the need of the changing world, a note of caution should be made.

The expansion of the business both in the short and long term may lead to the business struggling to maintain its levels of quality and service. Lesser performing stores may become leeches to the better performing branches. Similarly reductions in its online sales, grocery sales or home furnishings may have a significant knock on effect to the other areas of the business. It has been seen many times through the years that over extension of a business can have rapid and adverse effects.

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