Selfridges Leading and Managing the Change within the organization


1.1 Company and Organizational Culture

Selfridges is a well reputed department store chain in the UK which is targeting the high end customers. In the 1856 the company was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge. They have opened the second largest flagship stores in London on 1909 and another prominent three stores opened recently. The company could be managed to come to the current position due to the perfect directions and leadership shown by the top management. This practice is already added in to the corporate cuture and values. (en/StaticPage/Our+Heritage/?msg=, 2010)

The fashion retail industry is extremely competitive due to the highly saturated marketplace. It is therefore vital for retailers to develop a competitive strategy so they can position themselves in the market to attain a sustainable competitive advantage and increase revenue.

Attaining competitive advantage is dependent on the careful construction of a clear vision and mission with perfect leadership that reflects and utilizes the competitive strategy and indicates the intended positioning while incorporating the values, culture and competencies of the company. By making the strategic direction of the company explicit with a set mission and values, all internal operations will have a clear foresight allowing them to position the company in a synergistic manner, achieving stated goals and objectives.

Aligning an organizations leadership to achieve the mission and position is therefore fundamental in remaining strategically fit, and this report will assess the extent to which Selfridges’ stated mission, values and objectives reflect their intended positioning in the fashion retail market.

1.2 The Vision, Mission and Values of Selfridges

As the initial step of the leadership, should have given perfect direction to the organization. Therefore it is necessary to have clearly defined vision, mission and values to achieve and adopt.

Vision Statement – ‘To be the most innovative and fashion forward department store in Europe, offering the most exclusive brands to customers of all ages in an environment that is entertaining and inspiring”.

Mission Statement – ‘To operate stores filled with brands and events that inspire customers and staff, to deliver profitability’.

Values – Selfridges have four stated values, which they uphold as a priority to maintain;

Customers: Our challenge to fulfill the high expectations that customers have of Selfridges makes our stores unique, entertaining and fashionable. We house the best designer wear products in the world and offer our customers exclusive access to highly seek after collections.

Employees: We recognize the importance of our employees, and how significant they are to the success of Selfridges. We strive to motivate, encourage and inspire our employees as they work to deliver objectives and push the boundaries of what Selfridges is capable of.

Responsibility: We are one of the UK’s top ten ethically responsible company’s and we endeavor to continue looking after the environment and society.

Innovation: We are an iconic brand because of our constant crusade to break boundaries, start trends and provide innovative in-store and online experiences for our customers.

1.3 How the Leadership Operates in the Selfridge

Vision – The vision statement is explanatory in what Selfridges want to achieve in the future, and this future vision will be useful to employees, as they will be aware of how the company plan to develop, and the direction they are pursuing. The language is clear and concise, and instills a sense of motivation for employees.

The vision is available through a few internal distribution channels; intranet, notice boards, contracts, monthly departmental meetings and team meetings. That the vision is so easily accessible will make its clear aims resonate throughout the company, and will ensure that all operations are working with that ultimate goal in mind.

Mission – The mission statement is not extensive enough in its scope regarding their competitors, their geographical scope and their specified target customer groups for it to satisfy employee’s want for knowledge of the company.

Despite this, it is very accessible. Like the vision, the mission is available via the intranet, notice boards, contracts, monthly departmental and weekly team meetings. The easy accessibility to the statement is certainly strength, however, the lack of clarity in what the company’s mission is regarding such vital aspects like competitors and customers, makes its existence like a brief summary of the vision.

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Values – Most employees at Selfridges, being among the best in the industry, will have most likely worked for a large company before settling at Selfridges. They will therefore know that a company, who addresses employees in their values, is a good company to work for as they consider their staff at the heart of their operations. This is what Selfridges are communicating in their values and their use of language such as ‘importance if our employees’ and ‘significance to the success of Selfridges’ are key words that will resonate well. The values are available via the intranet, contracts and staff guidebooks, yet they are not posted on notice boards in the same way the vision and mission are.

Leadership & Managing the Change

2.1 Leadership Style

There are number of leadership styles identified based on the reactions, objectives and practical applications with their leadership qualities.

1. Autocratic leadership

These types of leaders have higher powers compared to their subordinates and dominating the team. Other team members not propose their opinion and will not accept other suggestions. Due to this type of leadership employee turnover will increase and there is lots of absenteeism. This leadership is suitable for unskilled workforce to fore and get the task done. Anyhow this is not an acceptable method in the management.

2. Bureaucratic leadership

Bureaucratic leaders mostly consider the systems and procedures and use the recorded style. They will direct to be conducting the whole process as per the stick process. It is very important in the high risk areas in the factories and serious safety areas.

3. Charismatic leadership

This leader is very enthusiastic and energetic to bring their team to the established target. This person should have self confident about the leadership as well as the group achievements. They believe their team members and perfectly give directions to the target. There is a personal rapport between the leader and subordinates. If the leader left the company will affect to the organization. This type of leadership shows bigger responsibility compared to others and the leader has to spend more time and give the maximum commitment to the team.

4. Democratic or participative leadership

Get the decision contribution from the other members and leader will take the final accurate decision. This style will increase the soft skills and talents of the team members and creating enthusiasm. Team members feel as they are important people to the organization as giving personal views and decision making involvement. To take a decision will take long time, but the decision accuracy is perfect. As the result will be a common idea it will be a quality decision.

5. Laissez-faire leadership

Give the individual responsibilities and take decision to team members and leader will monitor the progress. Leader should maintain effective communication with each member as he is responsible to each decision made by team members. These types of leadership required, when the team members are well qualified and experienced of their job responsibilities. The manager / leader should apply sufficient controls and closely monitor the decisions and routine work of the each team member.

6. People-oriented leadership or relations-oriented leadership

The leader will not drive task oriented controls. They consider the people oriented achievements without forcing to the task. Some task oriented leaders are give directions to achieve the responsibilities without concern the major activities. People oriented leaders try to maintain their goodwill and not pressurized on team members.

7. Servant leadership

If the leader ready work on requirements of the team named as a servant leader. The entire team will participate in the decision making. Team members prefer to the leader as the person represent the whole team requirements. But the leader should maintain the gap between normal team member and the leader.

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8. Task-Oriented leadership

Leader required achieving the task only. Mainly force all member to go for given targets and closely follow-up and monitor the progress. Task oriented leaders not care about the well-being of the team members and consider only the achievements. This leadership is similar to the autocratic leadership and members will be not satisfied. Leader is trying to show his / her achievements to the top management and not bothering to think about the fellows.

9. Transactional leadership

All the members should obey to the leader and do their jobs properly. They cannot comment on the given responsibilities and leader is having authority to punish who fails to achieve the targets. Also the leader can give incentives and rewards to the successful members of the team. Mainly should be awarded the members who could achieve the management expectation and not the actual achievement. This is purely a management style and cannot accept as the leadership method.

10. Transformational leadership

Leaders are encouraging team members to go to the target and achieve the organizational expectation. Always the leader giving advices to each team member and solve minor issues will arise. Always the leader will look after the initiatives and add values.

(pages/article/newLDR_84.htm, 2010)

2.2 Feedback from Employees (3600)

This is a well accepted human resource management measurements to measure the actual attitude, talents, strengths and weaknesses of the any stage of the employee. Let the employee to set in to a circle / disclose all information and get feedback from manager, supervisors, peers, subordinates and top management. Also get the feedback from external parties such as customers, suppliers, and other stake holders who are the people deal with this person. Self assessment gives to do a self evaluation and find key aspects personally. Managers will give their feedback in traditional report format and other stake holders will just explain their comments in an email or telephone call to the relevant evaluator.

360 feedback methods shows the adequate areas of the person and easily advise and give proper training to develop his / her attitudes, talents and skills. If the result is very satisfied management can give promotions, financial as well as non financial rewards for the excellent performance and it will be a motivational factor to job satisfaction. This approach is mainly focusing to get personal development and add value to the organization. As this is a open policy can clearly identify adequate areas of the each person without considering the rank or the level of the employee. It is necessary to conduct this methodology once per annum to get the maximum result. Also should not de-motivate single employee and show the importance of this application.

2.3 Tuckman’s model

Under the Tuckman’s method there are main four areas realized and Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing in the team development stage. This is the well reputed team building methodology.

Forming Stage

This is the initial stage of the task and team members are not clear about the objectives and time limitations. Therefore the leader should clearly explain the team objectives, the way of planned approach, available resources and limitation. Team members will have several problems about the target and will raise lot of questions and tolerance. The leader should perfectly and specifically explain the team goals and the requirement to each employee.

Storming Stage

Even the objectives received team not aware that how to achieve them. There is some confusion in this stage as uncertainties. Team members are having issues about the individual responsibilities and how to arrange the process orderly. There are lots of negotiations, discussions and ideas will come in this stage. Supervisors and team leaders are required to negotiate this situation and minimize confusion. Most of the time tem leaders and managers should avoid this sage as time consuming and create personal issues with team members. Under a clear direction will be possible to neglect the confusion and achieve the target.

Norming Stage

In this stage team members should be clear about the target and the task. Team functions should be created by giving single responsibilities to the each person. As specifically nominate team members to the responsibilities can clearly identify the role they have to play in the team. After that team managers should link the all tasks together and make specified individual responsibilities to each member. All team members should give their maximum support to achieve the final objective.

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Performing Stage

The all team members will be clear about themselves and others job responsibilities and tasks. Under the clear supervision the team will goes to the target maintaining a shared supervision. If is there any problem the team members will solve the issue inside the team as they are having mutual understanding and clear about the target. At this stage team members no need help / assistance in instructions and guidelines. The leader has to set team objectives and the way of the achievement. Team members need help only in their personal and interpersonal developments.

(tuckmanformingstormingnormingperforming.htm, 2010)

Work Delegation

Managers can get more effective team performance by work delegation. But this task should be conducted in proper way. As he lack of knowledge number of managers are reluctant to give work delegation to team members.

The disorganized and inflexible management may be the major cause of not delegating work effectively. The insecurity in the work place and confusion about who is ultimately responsible are the other barriers for effective delegation of work. Managers cannot avoid their responsibility by delegating their difficult tasks to subordinates. They are always accountable for the allocated responsibilities for their designation. Accordingly, managers are responsible for the actions of their subordinates. This may results some managers reluctant to delegate their works.

There are different types of subordinates that can be experience by the managers. While some work hard to complete their task effectively, there are some people who would like to avoid their responsibilities and let their managers to make all decisions. Through effective delegation, these barriers can be overcome.

Guidelines for effective Delegation:

In order to practice effective delegation it is important to keep working relationships alive. Rather than completing a task solely, delegation has a better chance of succeeding. The following are some situations where ethics comes to bear in day-to-day organizational activities.


The basic prerequisite for effective delegation is the willingness of the managers to give freedom to their subordinates to accomplish delegated tasks. This means let them to choose methods and solutions to complete their tasks. This allows employees to make mistakes and learn from their mistakes. Mistaken should not discourage the delegation. Mistakes should be identified as the requirement for training support.

The second prerequisite for delegation is open communication between managers and employees. In order to delegate tasks effectively, managers should know the capabilities of each employee. Some employees are prefer to accept many responsibilities if their managers are willing to appreciate and reward them.

The third and last prerequisite for delegation is in the manager’s ability in some specific areas such as corporate objectives, the way to achieve the target, employee capabilities and etc.

Tasks of effective Delegation:

Clearly define the exact delegation areas specifically based on the requirement, delegating person and the time requirement. Should careful the secrecy and the importance on the particular task before the delegation.

Delegate the correct person will be easier and perfect. Have to consider that the task required any special competencies or developmental experience. Also better to check the previous records of the person to identify the special competencies available.

Provide required resources and special instructions accordingly. Organisation should have contingency arrangements and financial budget to give resources and trainings immediately.

Managers should provide all required date efficiently and effectively. Also necessary to maintain good communication with the delegated person and make further arrangements to get cleared sufficient details.

Feedback system reacquired to monitor the progress of the accuracy of the delegation.

(4760-barriers-to-delegation/, 2010)

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