Organization Structure Of Sainsburys Management Essay

J Sainsbury PLC is the parent company of Sainsburys Supermarkets Ltd, commonly known as Sainsburys, the third largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom with a share of the UK supermarket sector of 16.5%. [2] The group’s head office is in the Sainsbury’s Store Support Centre in Holborn Circus, City of London.[3] The group also has interests in property and banking.

Sainsbury’s was founded in 1869 by John James Sainsbury and his wife Mary Ann Sainsbury (née Staples), in London, England, and grew rapidly during the Victorian era. It grew to become the largest grocery retailer in 1922, pioneered self-service retailing in the UK, and had its heyday during the 1980s. In 1995, Tesco overtook Sainsbury’s to become the market leader, and Asda became the second largest in 2003, demoting Sainsbury’s into third place.


“To be the most trusted retailer where people love to work and shop.”

Mission Statement:

“Our mission is to be the consumer’s first choice for food, delivering products of outstanding quality and great service at a competitive cost through working faster, simpler, and together.”



People management:

2.1: Structure and culture:

Organization Structure of Sainsbury’s:

The organizational structure of Sainsbury’s is hierarchical because there is series of levels of people and the level above controls each level. Each level is the responsibility of the level above. For example senior managers are responsible for the line managers and line managers are responsible for sales assistants as shown in the diagram given below.

Business Structure:

Sainsbury’s stores:

Sainsbury’s continue to take advantage of the unique opportunity to grow their space. In 2011/2012, they opened 19 new supermarket stores, 28 extensions and 73 convenience stores, equivalent to 1.4 million sq ft of gross new space.

Sainsbury’s online:

Their online groceries and non-food online sales also continue to grow. The introduction and roll-out of their Click and Collect service, which allows customers the freedom to pick up non-food items ordered online at a store and time convenient for them, has also proven very popular with customers.

Sainsbury’s Finance:

Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including Insurances, Credit Cards, Savings and Loans. It combines the shopping experience and banking by offering customers great products at fair prices; while consistently rewarding them for choosing Sainsbury’s, for their finance and shopping needs.

Sainsbury’s Energy:

Sainsbury’s Energy launched in February 2011 as a fresh new brand in the energy market. We offer competitive and added value propositions through a dedicated team of energy experts in-store, with a focus on simplifying energy tariffs and providing energy efficiency advice for customer’s homes. Their award winning call centre in Cardiff is a one stop shop for all customer enquiries and consistently offers a great level of service. Our customers benefit from having a relationship with their energy supplier in-store, online and over the phone whilst collecting Nectar points on a range of our products.


Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. Today, the culture is influenced by the many groups of people that now make up the country.

Organizational culture:

Organisation culture over the decades has become a back bone for businesses and has recently had a lot of attention because it’s a matter of what people see and expect but then there are hidden and inner layer aspects that a business abides to that the general public don’t acknowledge the businesses interpretations.

When visiting Sainsbury the “visible aspects” of the cultural organisation shown was the complete obvious of uniforms staff wore, the displays of shelves, the colour schemes of walls, uniforms, different cultural members of staff, plus the labelling and layout of the store as Sainsbury has its own personality. But the hidden aspects are about the values, attitudes, beliefs, behaviour styles and that what makes a business, for example as it states on Sainsbury homepage “you should be passionate about working in a customer-facing environment”, this shows even when recruiting they look for people that relate to foundations of Sainsbury’s.

2.2: Leadership styles:

John Davan Sainsbury, who became Chairman in 1969 on Sir Robert Sainsbury’s retirement, had a forceful, autocratic style of leadership. In 1992 JD Sainsbury was retired and succeeded as chairman and chief executive by his cousin, David Sainsbury; this brought about a change in management style – David was more consensual and less hierarchical but not in strategy or in corporate beliefs about the company’s place in the market. As JD had an autocratic style of leadership, he compiled a management team full of “Yes Men” who were used to taking orders from JD. In contrast, David had a democratic style of leadership, and so with no senior management changes in 1993, JD’s “Yes Men” were suddenly unguided on what they should do.

Sainsbury’s began its leadership programme in October 2004 after the board developed a set of values that it thought would help the company achieve its goals. The six values that emerged were:

Individual responsibility, but team delivery

Treat every pound as your own

Great service drives sales

Respect for the individual

Getting better every day

Keep it simple.

2.3: Corporate Social responsibility:

“CSR is a process with the aim to embrace responsibility for the company’s actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere who may also be considered as stakeholders.”

Approach to CSR in Sainsbury’s:

To control the situation, it’s very important for the companies to recognise the importance CSR, adopt CSR and change this world into better living place for future generation. Though all the companies are claiming that no one other can be as responsible as they are and Corporate Social Responsibility matters to them yet analysis of the current and past situation is necessary to reach a point of view what is going on and what can be done more.

Respect for Environment:

To start with environmental issue, as the world has seen another problem in terms of environment which is Climate Change. This problem has changed the thinking of the world. As a well-wisher of the society, everyone needs to contribute towards the betterment of the society. The first step, according to the CSR report 2008, which they have taken, is that they have reduced the energy consumption. Sainsbury improved its energy efficiency from 425 kgCO2/m2 (2006/07) to421 kgCO2/m2 (2007/08). This thing has been welcomed not only by NGOs and government but civil society as well.

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Less water consumption:

Water consumption, and send waste to landfills are some other problems which effect the environment very badly. As far as water is concerned ,it is known as life and world’s most precious thing .The value of water can be asked the people who do not have it or get it with serious efforts. To do less consumption of the water Sainsbury has taken some steps like they have installed non-hazardous, microbiological urinal flushing system in many of their stores. They expect that this step only will save 201 million litres of water annually.

Community Welfare:

As community is also an important stakeholder of corporate world, so the importance of the society cannot be ignored. As responsible corporate one has to recognise and respond this important stakeholder. According to Department of health 1.8 million children in U.K are overweight in addition to 700000 more as obese and this figure can increase to 25% by 2050 if the serious steps are taken. Sainsbury has donated 52 million worth of sports and activity equipment to schools through Active kids. They have claimed to raise this amount to 100 million by 2011.Furthermore as a responsible they are sponsoring English Schools’ Athletic Association (ESSA)

Equality of rights:

A good socially responsible organization tries to accommodate all its employees regardless of their background, gender colour etc. Equality is another characteristic of Sainsbury’s social responsibility. They have reported in the CSR report 2008 shows that they have 24% female duty managers and 16% store managers. They have further announced that they will start a scheme of coaching the female managers. To deal the ethnicity they have announced to take some further steps.

Healthier Diet:

Healthier diet can make the society healthier and Sainsbury is deeply concerned with their commitment to provide healthy eating. In 2007 Sainsbury created a Nutrition Science Advisory Group and started working with British Nutrition Foundation and other organization to provide healthy foodstuff to the society. Some of the examples of the efforts are mentioned in Sainsbury’s CSR report 2008.Sainsbury in over 80% of their products has already met the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) 2010 salt target. They have removed 26.5 tonnes of salt from their sandwiches in the past few years.

2.4: Ethical Practices:

All employees contribute to Sainsbury’s reputation; therefore, it is important that all employees adhere to ethical guidelines. Always follow these principles:

Compliance with Laws:

Sainsbury’s business, whether domestic or international, must be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Honesty and Integrity:

All employees must be honest and honourable in all dealings with other employees, the public, the business community, shareholders, customers, suppliers, competitors, and government authorities.

Entertainment and Gifts:

Any gift, entertainment, or benefit you provide to a business associate must be modest in scope and value. Never provide a gift, entertainment or benefit that contravenes any applicable law.

Ethical Trading:

The organization has been working in support of the universal declaration on human rights and has put in place conditions in the supply chain which are in line with the demand of the policy. It has been promoting fair-trade and developing long-term sustainable relationship with the producers and suppliers.

Compliance with Accounting Controls and Procedures:

Employees must always comply with the Company’s accounting procedures and controls, and all applicable laws. They should properly record all financial data and transactions.

2.5: Leadership styles:

Sainsbury’s is one of the leading retailers in the United Kingdom and one of the largest food retailers in the world.The management and leadership styles analysed below, are approaches which are likely to be implemented by Sainsbury’s.

Blake and Mouton’s Management Grid:

‘The management grid identifies a range of management behaviours based on various ways that task-oriented and employee-orientated styles can interact with each other.’

In relation to Sainsbury’s, the management would identify themselves mostly to an Authoritarian management style, which has a high concern for production and efficiency and concentrates less on people. They take a task oriented approach which takes in hand the needs of the task rather than the wants of subordinates.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory:

Fincham and Rhodes (2005) stated that Herzberg’s two factor theory involved, firstly the ‘motivators’ and secondly the ‘hygiene factors’.

Hygiene factors involved supervision, salary, work environment, company policies and relationship with colleagues. The absences of these were seen as dissatisfying aspects of a job which can affect the morale of workers.

Motivatorsstated by Herzberg include; responsibility, achievement, promotion and recognition.

In relation to Sainsbury’s, subordinates of the managers such as shop floor employees are unlikely to achieve the motivators stated by Herzberg. Taking this into thought, it is vital for managers to tackle motivational issues of the workforce and see that the hygiene factors of employees are met, making it an effective approach to adopt.

2.6: Development of workforce:

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets employs over 145,000 people. Of these, 60% are part-time and 40% full-time. 62% of employees are women. Workforce development links staff learning and development to other human resource and business activities which includes strategic workforce planning.

Strategic workforce planning:

“Strategic workforce planning is the process of analysing and forecasting the talent an organization will need to achieve its strategic objectives.”

It is a critical activity that helps identify, develop, and sustain necessary workforce skills while satisfying the career and lifestyle goals of employees. Workforce planning is fundamentally a business-focused strategic exercise that is best completed within the annual business and strategic planning processes.

Strategic workforce planning is different. Instead of focusing on short-term needs and reactive hiring, the emphasis is placed on matching strategic requirements with long-term talent trends, external market influences and proactive planning. Most importantly, it provides a critical link between strategy and human resources (HR) interests, helping to ensure that HR programs and services are truly relevant. Strategic workforce planning helps ensure that an organization has the right people – with the right skills in the right places at the right time and at the right price – to fulfil its mandate.

Greater levels of workforce planning sophistication increase strategic alignment to business objectives:

Section 3:-


3.1: Organisational structure and its impact on people in Sainsbury’s:

Sainsbury’s is following vital parameters that influence business success and people are given below:

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1. The brand cares about customers as people to serve.

2. The brand works at thoroughly understanding its customer communities.

3. The brand treats different kinds of customers in ways appropriate to them.

4. Leaders encourage shared learning across the organisation.

5. There are effective enterprise-wide routines for collecting unduplicated customer data.

6. Quality customer information is available in a timely way at every point of need.

7. Leaders have a win-win attitude.

8. Leaders are promoting what they practice.

3.2: Organisational culture and its impact on workforce:

Culture is different in all organisations and they are expresses in their attitudes, values, beliefs, the way the business is run, history, rituals, rules and symbols. The dominant groups in an organisation build cultures over the years. All the staff at Sainsbury’s believes that the customers are always right. Sainsbury’s like to treat their producers and traders fair and to pay them a reasonable wage. Sainsbury’s do not produce products if they know that they are going to be a danger to their customers. The beliefs and values of Sainsbury’s link to its objectives because it intends to produce high quality products and services.

To separate employees from customers at Sainsbury’s, employees wear a uniform. Customers are then able to establish who work for the company in case they need any help or advice about in-store products. Generally, the colours that are worn by the employees are blue and orange. The uniform varies from one section to another within Sainsbury’s. If employees are working in the cold areas of the store, e.g. fridge and freezers, then they will wear orange fleece jackets and gloves to keep them warm. People who work on the tills wear blue shirts with squares of fruits on them. Even for the employees that don’t work in-store, like trolley collectors and delivery drivers, they still have to wear the uniform to represent that they are a part of the Sainsbury’s team.

3.3: Leadership styles:

A manager’s leadership style creates the climate within which employees work and influences the attitude and performance of his team. A manager will have a preferred style, but this will not be appropriate in every situation. To be effective, managers must learn to adapt their leadership style to the circumstances and in response to the employees they manage. Here are the six leadership styles Goleman uncovered among the managers he studied, as well as a brief analysis of the effects of each style on the corporate climate:

The pacesetting leader expects and models excellence and self-direction. The pacesetting style works best when the team is already motivated and skilled, and the leader needs quick results.

The authoritative leader mobilizes the team toward a common vision and focuses on end goals, leaving the means up to each individual. The authoritative style works best when the team needs a new vision because circumstances have changed, or when explicit guidance is not required.

The affiliative leader works to create emotional bonds that bring a feeling of bonding and belonging to the organization. The affiliative style works best in times of stress, when teammates need to heal from a trauma, or when the team needs to rebuild trust.

The coaching leader develops people for the future. The coaching style works best when the leader wants to help teammates build lasting personal strengths that make them more successful overall.

The coercive leader demands immediate compliance. The coercive style is most effective in times of crisis, such as in a company turnaround or a takeover attempt, or during an actual emergency like a tornado or a fire.

The democratic leader builds consensus through participation. The democratic style is most effective when the leader needs the team to buy into or have ownership of a decision, plan, or goal, or if he or she is uncertain and needs fresh ideas from qualified teammates.

3.4: Benefits of flexible working practices to individuals and organisation:

Sholarios and Marks (2004), (as cited by Bratton & Gold, 2007, pg.149) suggested that in this highly competitive labour market, in order to attract and retain staff, work-life policies and procedures are a must for any organisation. Strategic Direction (2008) explained that organisations that take a strategic view of flexible working practises are more likely to succeed and flexible working should be viewed as a business tool which in turn allows employers to get more value from their best asset; the employee.

In contrast, Hall & Atkinson (2006) suggested that flexible working whether formal or informal, is merely another management control in disguise, as workers who feel empowered and valued in the workplace will produce a higher standard of work and allow workers to take on more responsibility. Whilst the empowerment moves the control from the manager to the employee, this often results in more pressure on the employee to perform. Professional bodies have asserted that flexible working can assist both organisations and workers in organising work more effectively and thus reducing stress at work.

3.5: Impact of ethical practices on motivation level of staff:

The ethical climate of an organization can have both positive and negative impacts on employee job satisfaction. Unethical workplace behaviours create chaos and impact the organization in a variety of ways. The list below gives you seven examples of unethical practices by employees and leaders.

Unfair behaviour towards employees

Abuse of cell phones and internet

Calling in sick when not sick

Given credit that wasn’t deserved

Theft of time

Inappropriate relationships

Leaders who sweep problems under the rug

Motivation level impacts the organization on many levels. Low levels of job satisfaction lead to low motivation, decreased productivity and increased turnover. Dishonest management practices lead workers to be suspicious of their leaders. The most successful organizations include high ethical standards at all levels of the organization.

For any organization to have strong ethics they must understand the key points. The points below must be part of any ethics policy and procedures. You will then be on your way to building an ethical workplace.

5 key points that every Ethics policy must have:

Detailed and well defined in the form of a manual.

Provide training for new and current employees.

Use ethic policy for guidance.

Ability to learn from mistakes.

Zero tolerance

3.7: Use of CSR to motivate employees:

Employees are motivated by corporate social responsibility (CSR). The integration of social, environmental, and economic improvement through CSR makes workplaces sounder. Below are the some ways to motivate the workforce through CSR.

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Let employees participate in all the social activities done outside the company.

Let employees’ lead volunteer and charity efforts in the local areas.

Recognize attitude of the employees towards their job to raise the commitment and motivation level.

Encourage employee referrals to help retain and recruit talent.

Bring CSR inside the company to develop employees inside the company through training and tuition.

A strong CSR program can be significant in motivating employees to not only keep going to work but also showing up with real purpose.

Every employee that the executive team acknowledges should get a handshake and personal thanks.

3.8: Management styles to deal with difference in behaviour:

Theory X and Theory Y have to do with the perceptions managers hold on their employees, not the way they generally behave. It is attitude not attributes.

Theory X:

In this theory, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can and that they inherently dislike work. As a result of this, management believes that workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. A hierarchical structure is needed with narrow span of control at each and every level.Theory X managers rely heavily on threat and coercion to gain their employees’ compliance. Beliefs of this theory lead to mistrust, highly restrictive supervision, and a punitive atmosphere.

Theory Y:

In this theory, management assumes employees may be ambitious and self-motivated and exercise self-control. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties.They possess the ability for creative problem solving, but their talents are underused in most organizations. Theory Y manager believes that, given the right conditions, most people will want to do well at work. They believe that the satisfaction of doing a good job is a strong motivation.

3.9: Motivation theories:

The most commonly held views or theories are discussed below and have been developed over the last 100 years or so.


Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1917) put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay. His Theory of Scientific Management argued the following:

Workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control. Therefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasks. Workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one set task. Workers are then paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of time- piece-rate pay. As a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximise their productivity.


Elton Mayo (1880 – 1949) believed that workers are not just concerned with money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work (something that Taylor ignored). He introduced the Human Relation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together.


Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) along with Frederick Herzberg (1923-) introduced the Neo-Human Relations School in the 1950’s, which focused on the psychological needs of employees. Maslow put forward a theory that the five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work are psychological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualisation. All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy and only once a lower level of need has been fully met, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied.

3.10: Benefits of training and development to individuals and organisation:

Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees. This has an added benefit of making your company more attractive to prospective employees.

More motivated workers, which in turn tends to increase productivity and spur profits.

More effective and efficient use of workers’ time as a result of higher skill levels, combined with a better understanding of the job function.

Employees who know they are competent, and therefore feel more confident. Self-assured, well-trained employees are important in the debt collection function.

An increase from employees in the number of ideas, recommendations and suggestions for improving performance, or processes and procedures.

Lower overall employee turnover and less absenteeism.

3.11: People management strategies used in organisations:

Here are some key strategic factors on the management of people to reinforce the importance of them to businesses.

1. Understanding the competitive advantage they can gain from employing good people.

2. Developing people management strategies, structures and practices that align with the overall business strategy.

3. Attracting, training and retaining key people through effective recruitment processes.

4. Active leadership from business owners and managers through clear organizational communication.

5. Effective recognition and reward systems, including performance reviews and feedback.

6. Essential human resource systems to meet legislative requirements regarding employing people to ensure the business will avoid expensive litigation and employment problems.

Conclusion and Recommendations:

In conclusion we can argue that the human resource aspect of any organisation can be seen as the greatest asset for an organisation. However neither the knowledge of this resource or knowledge about this resource should be seen as static, instead for organisational strategies to be effective they must be dynamic and adapt to be external changes in the environment as well as internal information concerning this human resource.

Competitiveness will be acquired by those organizations such as Tesco that are doing well in formulating, implementing and communicating reliable people management strategies. For years, academic researchers have provided extensive awareness to the significance of creating complete, reliable, and innovative strategies. Strategic success can be understood by strategy operation of the Tesco’s central objectives so as to realize the long-standing objectives and mission of the firm.

Tesco have to understand that international marketing is a complex process. With the aim of effectively entering the foreign market the company have to make sure that all their resources are prepared to encounter the risks of such investment. As well, the Tesco have to be capable of identifying diverse factors that may possibly have an effect on the entry of the business to the market. The study reveals that Tesco have to be able to make use of a strategy which allows it to gain competitive advantage both in local and foreign market.

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