Strategic Change Management in M&S

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Strategic change management

Marks and Spencer


M&S is well-known for both its quantity basis clothing comes in most colors, sizes and styles as well as its quality particularly in the Food Hall, where the produce is often considered superior to that in many super markets. M&S is known to a lot of people as Marks & Sparks or M&S, is one of the leading retailers with over 600 stores in the UK and over 200 more in 40 other countries. Although perhaps not the most fashionable place to shop, most of its domestic store sells both clothing and food since the turn of the country it has started expanding into other ranges such as home ware, furniture and technology. In 1998 it became the first British retailer to make a pre-tax profit of over 1 billion GBP, though few years later it plunged into crisis which lasted for several years. In November 2009, it was announced that Marc Bolland, formally of Morrision, would take over as chief executive from Stuart Rose in early 2010; Rose will continue as chairman until mid 2011. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.

Task 1

Using three relevant change management models you are familiar with discuss and evaluate how your chosen organization approaches strategic change management.

Strategic managing change at M&S

Speaking at the Economist’s recent Talent Management Conference, M&S group HR director Tanith Dodge conceded that the period of change facing the company is unprecedented. And Dodge herself will be playing an integral role in the organizations’ response to the global economic upheaval.

M&S is a high street behemoth with a remarkable heritage, having recently celebrated its 125th anniversary. It has survived two world wars, a depression and several recessions during this time- yet even a company such as this ia not impervious to the present prevailing challenges.

Background changes at M&S

The company now employs around 1200 staff in the irish republic, 80% working directly on the sales floors. Today 85% of the management team is irish compared with 25% in the ‘80s and 80% of the workforce is female. M&S commenced its operation in irish republic in 1979 at Mary St. in Dublin city, employing around 150 staff. A second store was also opened in Dublin in 1988, and another on the outskirts of Dublin in1998; a further store was opened in Cork in 1989. All promotional opportunities are advertised internally. The company is 98% unionized and collective agreements exist with two unions; MANDATE and SIPTU.

Step change at M&S

A transformation programme designed to deliver a step change in how the company services customer needs and operates, it will put particular focus on its multi-channel operations and brand communication with customers. It presents a major project for M&S – not least of all because the galvanization of its employees behind it is happening in the wake of job losses and store closures. Just like many other organizations in these troubled times, M&S has found itself working to ensure employees remain engaged and through tough trading conditions.

Project 2020 is indeed an ambitious vision.

Characteristics and Process of Change at M&S

The following actions were central to the change process:

*** a representative working party was created to examine best practices in trust building and communication. Although operating on an informal basis this group became in effect a clearing house for ideas and it facilitated discussion on a range of topic that might otherwise not have been explored or which might have been confined to adversarial based exchanges. The establishment of this arrangement was facilitated by the understanding that any major recommendation emanating from it would still have to be considered in the collective bargaining arena.

***where necessary subsidiary task group were set up to tackle and recommend on particular topic these groups reported to the working...
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