Qualification - Higher National Diploma in Business

Unit Name - Management and Operations

Unit Number - Unit 4

Assignment Title - Leadership, Management and Operation Concepts

Learning Outcome 1: Differentiate between the role of a leader and the function of a manager.

Learning Outcome 2: Apply the role of a leader and the function of a manager in given contexts.

Learning Outcome 3: Demonstrate an appreciation of the role leaders and managers play in the operations function of an organisation.

Learning Outcome 4: Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between leadership and management in a contemporary business environment.

Assignment Brief

You are the Human Resource Manager for [an organisation of your choice] and have been asked by the CEO to investigate the impact of leaders and managers on the operations of this ever-growing company.

You will need to produce a report for the senior leadership team that includes the following:

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1. Introduction to the organisation and management structure

The chosen organisation in this study is Sainsbury which is a largest supermarket retail chain within the UK dealing with a variety of products including, clothing, groceries, electricals and home ware. The organisation has 16% share within the supermarket industry and it has been the largest retail groceries since 1922. Currently, the organisation has been providing sheer focus upon delivery of its grocery items adhering to the safety measures due to covid 19. The operations of the organisation have been simplified and different programs have been organised in order to provide sheer focus upon the food quality. Sainsbury operates through decentralised organisational structure(Sainsburys.co.uk, 2021).

2. Definition and roles of managers and leaders, difference between management and leadership

Role of managers
Managers are responsible for "planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling". Henry Fayol has categorised the roles of managers into "physical, moral, technical, experience, mental and educational". As per these categories, managers have to have the ability to judge, learn and understand organisational situations and be adaptable towards the same. They must have firmness, energy, willingness to accept, responsible and loyal towards their work. Additionally, managers have to develop general acquaintances towards different matters and focus upon gaining experience. Along with this, conceptual skills, human skills and technical skills are the skills which would be used by managers at different management levels within an organisation. Some examples of a good manager can include "not micromanaging the team, being result-oriented, being a good coach and being productive" (Padma and Wagenseil, 2018).

Figure 1: Skills of managers used at different management levels
(Source: Padma and Wagenseil, 2018)

Role of leaders
Leaders are mainly responsible for "providing vision, inspiring, motivating, delegate, empowering, time management, etc". Leaders have to ensure that team members of the organisation are clear with their working direction and embrace right ways of accomplishing organisational goals and objectives. There must be proper coordination between the leaders and the team members which would make communication easier. Thus, planning, organising, leading and controlling can be considered as the roles which are shared by leaders and managers both. Leaders must also ensure to get organisational activities done by directing and motivating the employees at the same in order to make them satisfied. Examples of some successful leaders include Henry Ford, Fidel Castro, John Rockefeller (Mkansi et al., 2018).

Differences between management and leadership

Basis of distinction 



Focuses on 

Leaders are inclined towards bringing on change and encouraging new strategies to be implemented within the company 

Management effectively focuses upon bringing stability within the organisation 


Leadership is about influencing, increasing morale and motivating the employees for better performance. 

Managers through management are into making rules and ensuring that the employers have to abide by the rules. 


It is important for the leaders to have good foresightedness through which they would be able to suggest the right path to their team members. 

Management mainly focuses upon short-term perspectives. They believe that the employees must be followed towards accomplishing short-term goals successfully before long-term goals. 


Strategies adopted by leaders are mainly proactive

Strategies included within management are reactive. Through management activities, managers focus only upon getting things done. 


Leaders work upon trust with their team members 

On the other hand, managers tend to control organisational activities. 


Leaders are more into focusing upon guidelines and principles 

Whereas, management focuses upon implementing policies and procedures. 

Table 1: Difference between management and leadership

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3. Roles of management and leadership within different situations
Within an organisation like Sainsbury, there are different organisation situations where the leaders and managers have to act accordingly. For example, there can be situations within an organisation related to risk management; thus, it is important for the leaders and managers to develop strategies as per the demand of the situation. Considering the role of leaders within risk management, they act as role models and create suitable apprehension to identify risk (Zhan et al., 2021). They believe they act much as compared to their words. They would focus upon active participation, promote collaboration and go parallel with safety. Within Sainsbury, the leaders adopt Self-Report Risk Scale (SRS) which is a tool used for assessing risk within the company. Considering the role of managers within risk management, they effectively communicate risk policies and processes to organisational members. They would focus upon hands-on development of different risk models for better control of the situation. They also provide analytical support and conduct research activities. For example, managers have a great contribution towards handling the risk management strategy of Sainsbury which has helped in operational cost cutting, the most effective managerial strategy was "driver training, handling own vehicle damage cost" (Ramoni and Adepoju, 2018).

Managers and leaders will have different responsibilities, depending upon the situation or the department they are operating within. For example, operations management, operations manager would be responsible for managing activities which are related to production of goods and services. They would also focus upon "planning, control, performance improvement, embracing design and other processes". Strong communication skills, negotiation skills, motivational skills are the basic skills which are required to be focused upon by the managers. Focusing upon the role of the leaders, they are responsible for getting things done in an efficient manner to acquire better outcomes. Along with this, such leaders are inclined towards motivating their team members as well. They would provide them vision and assistance in making things done in an appropriate manner, they often adopt the strategy of delegate and empower (Kim and Takashima, 2019).

Focusing on supply chain management within Sainsbury, the role of managers is about overseeing the activities of supply chain process and logistics. All this would be effective for maximising profits, enhancing productivity and facilitating a better working environment. Managers also have a crucial role to play in maintaining good relationships with stakeholders like distributors or vendors. On the other hand, in the role of leaders, they integrate management of the employees and logistics systems both at the same time. Leaders are responsible for continually managing and analysing the current market trends, making decisions and supporting innovation for growth of the organisation. Leaders can adopt different leadership styles like transformational leadership theory or Lewin Theory of Behavioural Leadership theory. Managers can adopt Management by Objectives, Theory X and Y (Parnell et al., 2018).

4. Application of theories within the organisation for growth and sustainable performance
Sainsbury is highly sustainable in their approach from the past 15 years and the organisation has been successfully able to reduce 42% of carbon emissions and thus, is inclined towards Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions increasing the usage of renewable energy. The organisational values make it different to its competitors and enable them to support competitive differentiation. Brand trust and loyalty has contributed towards a sustainable plan (Mokhtar et al., 2019).

Chaos Theory:
Chaos theory emphasises upon "adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurial creativity" all these collectively are effective for handling future disorders. This theory is extremely helpful in guiding behaviour within an organisation which is directly related to organisational outcomes which are unpredictable. Through the mentioned theory, "effective leadership, guiding vision, organisational beliefs, open communication and strong values" are highly required. After the implementation of chaos theory, Sainsbury has operated through collaboration and has been able to contribute towards UN Sustainable Development Goals (Shaikh et al., 2018). The reason for Sainsbury being the UK's leading retailer is that they have successfully been working with stakeholders and other partners. The UK's retail industry is highly competitive and the concerned firm has been able to maintain its position within the market because of its performance, their responsibility towards the environment and community. Through sustainable performance, Sainsbury has been able to develop customer trust and brand image which has made its corporate operations more resilient and efficient, this has enabled the company to deliver a huge contribution towards sustainability within the UK and internationally as well. This theory has stimulated and drove the business activities in order to support a positive change within the communities of the UK and overseas (Our values make us different, 2018).

Management by Objectives (MBO):
MBO can be delineated as the practice which aims towards increasing organisational performance by stimulating organisational performance including different corporate activities. The importance of MBO within an organisation like Saisnbury is that it helps in better growth of the company and helps to determine the best ways through which the organisational objectives can be accomplished effectively. The sustainable approach of Sainsbury has highly contributed towards its organisational growth. There are a number of reasons responsible for this, "good brand portfolio and best price architecture". However, after implementation of MBO, Sainsbury has been successful in improving its competitiveness, also MBO has allowed the organisation to set their financial goals like sales projections, profits and reduced costs and other performance measures with the managers. Managers of the concerned business venture can focus upon implementing strategies like SMART goals or reward performance. Through these, it would be easy for the employees to focus on accomplishing their goals and objectives efficiently and also deliver their best performance for the betterment of the organisational productivity. It is also important for the managers to ensure that the employees are delivered with proper reward on the basis of their performance for the organisation (Islam et al., 2018).

5. Conclusion and Recommendations
In light of the above study, it can be concluded that leaders and managers collectively highly impact an organisation as they are responsible for planning, organising, controlling, providing direction to the employees, setting vision and corporate goals for achievement. In the study, Sainsbury has been undertaken as the selected business venture and best approaches for the organisation have also been selected. However, based on this, it is important for the leaders and managers to focus upon enhancing their skills and make improvements by implementing management techniques in future. This would include "reducing employee stress, enhancing quality of the meetings, encouraging team leaders for higher levels of productivity and boosting overall efficiency of the organisation". Continual training sessions can be organised for the managers and leaders where they would be able to work upon the loopholes of their skills and ensure to deliver their best to the company. Feedback loops again can be considered as one of the simple yet best recommendations for leaders and managers through which they would get informed about positive and negative aspects of their behaviour (Ufua et al., 2020).







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Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria:

Learning Outcome




LO1 Differentiate between the role of a leader and the function of a manager.


P1 Define and compare the different roles and characteristics of a leader and a manager.

M1 Analyse and differentiate between the role of a leader and function of a manager by effectively applying a range of theories and concepts.

D1 Critically analyse and evaluate the different theories and approaches to leadership in given contexts.

LO2 Apply the role of a leader and the function of a manager in given contexts.

P2 Examine examples of how the role of a leader and the function of a manager apply in different situational contexts.


P3 Apply different theories and models of approach, including situational leadership, systems leadership and contingency.

M2 Assess and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to situations within the work environment.

LO3 Demonstrate an appreciation of the role leaders and managers play in the operations function of an organisation.

P4 Explain the key approaches to operations management and the role that leaders and managers play.


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

M3 Evaluate how leaders and managers can improve efficiencies of operational management to successfully meet business objectives.

D2 Critically evaluate application of operations management and factors that impact on the wider business environment.

LO4 Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between leadership and management in a contemporary business environment.

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

M4 Analyse how these different factors affect the business environment and wider community.

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