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1. Based on the above information, produce a report which critically compares the managerial style that is used in the retail industry with that of companies within the Built Environment. You should also make reference to the “culture” of both industries. 
 
2. You should go on to critically discuss how you would motivate staff within the Built Environment. 

Introduction to Retail and Construction Industries

Retail industry comprises of individual entrepreneurs and companies that are engaged in selling of finished products to consumers. The business from retail services can be privately owned or publicly traded in stock exchange. It is estimated that about two thirds of gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States emanates from retail consumption. It is therefore common knowledge that retail industry contributes to a great extent to a country’s economy. In 2014, $22 billion worth of retail says were recorded according to report compiled by emarket.com. This was projected to be rise to about $24 billion in the following year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, total annual retail sales have seen a tremendous rise over time resulting to an average increase of about 4.5% between 1993 and 2015.

Construction industry is diverse and operates within several areas with various players like constructors, designers, owners and management agencies. Success within build companies will depend on management and styles used by managers to implement ideas from different stakeholders. Different styles may be used in various combinations to achieve desired outcome. Different styles of leadership mostly used in build companies include participatory, free-rein and autocratic among others.

Leadership and management styles are words that attract attention to people in charge of organizations whose success depends on them. Management styles are important aspect in retail and build industry just as they are important in other organizations.

Management styles used in retail industry is found to be of commanding tone with more emphasis being put in delivering results in terms of sales. The environment in which today’s retail industry operates in is described as being omni-channel and constantly is not static but constantly changing. Traditionally, shopping was exclusively done in a physical store as opposed to current way of doing business where shoppers engage with brands online before making decision to make purchase in actual store or continue on online purchase (Baker & Saren, 2016).

From the subject point of view, the following stages of retail life cycle that an organization passes through are identifiably critical:

This stage is characterized by differentiated services and products, few competitors, moderate profits and rapid growth.

This stage is associated with increased sales, higher investments, emergence of competition, cost pressure and need for improved organizational leadership.

This stage experiences increased competition, decline in growth rate and general repositioning of retail institution in order to strategically plan various new formats and merchandise mix.

Importance of Management Styles in Retail and Construction Industries

The retail institutions may start incurring some losses as a result of losing competitive edges. It is characterized by negative growth rate, high costs and hence decreased profitability.

It has been observed that failure rate in capital projects are considerably high. Management and styles used are key factors that determine the success of projects in construction industry. Since the construction industry is responsible for undertaking expensive projects, management styles used should be able to control huge amounts of work and resources so as to convert them into success. It has been reported that construction industry is an area where up to 35% of cost can arise from remedial work and material wastage. In this regard, build industry is seen to be lagging behind retail industry.

Retail industry is much broader in scope particularly in the face of expansion of internet retailing and other modern channels (Çifci, et al, 2014). However, some of retail business are still operating in the brick-and-motor stores. These stores are characterized by bulky inventory which complicates tasks if not well managed. Managers in retail industry have products and people to manage as their general area for accountability. They will ensure that the stores are well merchandised and control shrinkage either from poor inventory or due to employee theft. High levels of such losses would significantly impact adversely the performance of retail business.

Retail management can be viewed as specific application of business management (Varley, 2014). While management in a company of built environment may involve spending time in office organizing, planning and making decisions, retail management involves provision of hands-on leadership in actual work at the retail floor (Fernie, &Sparks, 2014). Usually, retail managers hire and train staff to carry out their tasks in the retail store. In other type of businesses, this role is assigned to trainers. In corporate companies it is not common occurrence for managers to directly interact with customers, as in the case with retail managers.

Management in retail sector have for a long time claimed that customers are at the heart of all that they do. A quick analysis of from management reports reveals that they are mostly transaction based and in most cases, the customer does not matter a lot. The management is instead concerned with covering sales, stock levels and sales margin (Deresky, 2017). However, the truth of the matter is that today’s consumer wants to feel part of the supply chain and that feel a satisfaction that their opinion really matters. Such lack of customer-based data in retail is no longer fit. Traditionally, and quit often nowadays, retail management renders customers in the stores much invisible. It therefore becomes hard to know that a specific customers has been there and most importantly what events prompts their visits. The management is only concerned in knowing what sells but not who and why they bought it. There need to be a shift to build relationships from transactions in order to make a fundamental change in new and better retail operating models different from what is demonstrated by management in retail sector.

Critical Stages of Retail Life Cycle

Retail management has been found ignorant about what their customers view them (Schaltegger, et al 2017). Instead, some of them develop inconsiderate attitude towards their customer service. Lack of availability with regards to customer level is often not measured or addressed. This poses a challenge on efforts of achieving full customer satisfaction. It has been found out that for a long time, retailers knew little about the value of customers. The importance of customer segmentation was not clearly demonstrated in management styles in retail industry. However, today’s retailers are learning the importance of value attached to loyal customers and the effects losing them would result.

Due to loose management styles in retail sector, a number of challenges have arisen as a result. One most felt challenge is channel profitability. This is particularly felt in long retail chains like supermarkets where low margins do not give clearance for all the costs such as home delivery or online ordering. Moreover, most retailers are facing a decline in gross margin return on space due to customers shifting to new channels (Mullins & Schoar, 2016). It is evident, for example, that there is too much physical retail space in the UK and this has continued to put further pressure on returns. Attributed to this, increasing challenge of decreasing store productivity is the less accurate management styles. Pace of innovation in retail industry has been questionable. Retailers have been reported to take five to ten years to undertake major systems investments. In today’s fast changing world, technological innovations are key drivers of several business and those that are quick in adoption of new technologies are the winners (Lewrick, et al, 2015). Traditional mode of centralized IT department- a technic that is still used by retail managements to monitor business- is nowadays less effective and businesses are operating in localized development teams that generate high level of innovation.

Current construction industry performance. Construction industry is one which has been defined as competitive and performance is a key attribute towards assessing the competence of a company in this sector. Competitive price pressure associated with the industry worldwide has compelled most companies to work so as to deliver at lower prices. According to Warseck, the industry is currently operating in an environment where lowest price is the best value.

Management style in construction companies. Management styles and culture in construction companies are diverse whereby in some cases they are well developed and established so as to cultivate an environment that enhances stimulated productivity. In some cases however, management is more result oriented without clear reflection on what leadership styles that lead to better results. Here, practices in management do not inspire efficiency or quality as it should be expected.

Challenges in Retail and Construction Industries

As opposed to management styles in retail sector where the retail manager performs routine tasks, managers in construction companies work collaboratively with other stakeholders to realize specific goals that define a project. While the primary goal of a manager in retail store towards his employees is to train them and expect optimum performance level from them, the managers in construction companies use different techniques such as regular conversations amongst themselves, frequent use of feedback information as well as highly encouraging critical thinking in decision making. The style of management in construction sector is keen to build work atmosphere where success is due to collaborative efforts as opposed to retail sector where the manager takes credit of success. Organizational reputation forms a cultural emphasis in construction companies. Consequently, development is based on the idea that multiple perspectives should be encouraged in order to achieve diversity as far as opinions are concerned. While retail management styles have authoritative managers who are take-charge type, management in build companies encourages critical thinking and hard work.

While various factors can be used to motivate employees, some of them do not necessarily give the required motivation for day to day effort (Hançerlio?ullar?, et al, 2016). For example, an employee may experience a day in which work involves extremely overwhelming tasks. Although some motivators like pay and bonuses may help, improving working environment and cultivating a motivating atmosphere may do better. Some of different motivators that that would help maintain enthusiasm day after day are as discussed below.

Showing appreciation is one great way of building motivation among employees. Only a few moment of manager’s time to appreciate their employees would build their motivation as they feel that their hard work is recognized.

Although people like it when they are awarded bonuses and monthly pay, every employee would like to feel that whatever they are engaged in make a critical role in solving problems at hand. Creation of tasks and breaking it into modules that reflects success upon completion of each will constantly keep on motivating employees. Real progress is realized in every step towards solving the big and primary goal. When employees feel like the tasks they are engaged in are not contributing much to the company’s progress, they will not be motivated to completing it.

A goal is a target set to be achieved successfully after some defined period of time. By creating a set of reasonable goals that the employees can attain, they feel motivated every time they achieve them. The goals and achievements should be displayed strategically since the results of achieved goals would encourage efforts to achieve those not yet achieved.

Differences between Management Styles in Retail and Construction Industries

By showing that you trust in your employees, ability to make right decisions for the good of the company, their confidence is boosted and they will strive to prove indeed that are capable. It is a good idea to encourage employees to be creative in their tasks.

According to a study by Leadership IQ in 2006, 93% of employees interviewed felt that working with less competent colleagues decreases their productivity. The implication of this report is that the opposite is true. Top performers have a higher degree of self-motivation and will in turn motivate others.

Conclusion

Retail management styles continue to pose a challenge in retailing sectors since they are largely characterized by decision making exclusively by management. Failure to understand customers need as important just as the sales themselves have caused the customer retailer relationship to experience a gap. Despite the fact that the retailors are an import part of supply chain, the management techniques and skills they use to supply products to end consumer is largely affecting the consumers’ perception about some products. The retail sector therefore need to break the tradition culture of dictatorial management and adopt the corporate companies’ culture that encourage critical thinking and welcomes opinions from employees. This will be an important step if improved customer experience and employee’s motivation will improve in the retail sector. Endorsement of technology and new techniques that come along with increased use of internet will be of importance in transforming the retail sector from where it currently is to the next level.  

From the analysis of retail management styles, it has been found out that some of the reasons that cause hardship and low pay are ignorance by management about customers’ needs. The finality tone of managers in decision making shuns important ideas that employees could be having. In order to overcome some of the challenges retailers are experiencing, it is recommended that it is important to:

  • Adopt new means to respond to arising dynamics in the retail sector.
  • Replace manual sales planning with statistical forecasting and price optimization.
  • Adopt a well cultivated relationship between retailers and customers so that customers give information feedback in real time through their offline and online shopping behavior    

References

Baker, M.J. and Saren, M. eds., 2016. Marketing theory: a student text. Sage.

Çifci, S., Ekinci, Y. and Whyatt, G., 2014, July. A cross validation of consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) scales in fashion retail industry. In 2014 Global Marketing Conference at Singapore (pp. 1459-1468).

Deresky, H., 2017. International management: Managing across borders and cultures. Pearson Education India.

Dholakia, R.R., Dholakia, N. and Chattopadhyay, A., 2017. Indigenous marketing practices and theories in emerging economies: Consumer behavior and retail transformations in India. Journal of Business Research.

Edelenbos, J., Van Buuren, A. and Klijn, E.H., 2013. Connective capacities of network managers: A comparative study of management styles in eight regional governance networks. Public Management Review, 15(1), pp.131-159.

Fernie, J. and Sparks, L., 2014. Logistics and retail management: emerging issues and new challenges in the retail supply chain. Kogan page publishers.

Hançerlio?ullar?, G., ?en, A. and Aktunç, E.A., 2016. Demand uncertainty and inventory turnover performance: an empirical analysis of the US retail industry. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 46(6/7), pp.681-708.

Lewrick, M., Williams, R., Maktoba, O., Tjandra, N. and Lee, Z.C., 2015. Radical and incremental innovation effectiveness in relation to market orientation in the retail industry: triggers, drivers, and supporters. Successful Technological Integration for Competitve Advantage in Retail Settings, IGI Global, pp.239-268.

Mullins, W. and Schoar, A., 2016. How do CEOs see their roles? Management philosophies and styles in family and non-family firms. Journal of Financial Economics, 119(1), pp.24-43.

Schaltegger, S., Burritt, R. and Petersen, H., 2017. An introduction to corporate environmental management: Striving for sustainability. Routledge.

Varley, R., 2014. Retail product management: buying and merchandising. Routledge.

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