MGT307 - Management and Operations of Unilever


  • Unit No: 4
  • Level: High school
  • Pages: 13 / Words 3231
  • Paper Type: Assignment
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Organization Selected : Unilever
Question :

There are certain questions that enlist the requirement of the assignment are given below:

  • Give differentiation in the role and leader and function of a manager.
  • Apply the role of a leader and the function of a manager in a given context.
  • Explore the role of managers and leaders in the operations function of an organization.
  • Analyze the relationship between leadership and management in a contemporary business environment.
Answer :


Operation management refers to the process of managing the actions and activities of a company which are conducted by the administration of the a firm to run and operate the business. It can be the management of the resources like workforce, material and others which are essential to operate the business (Addo-Tenkorang and Helo, 2016). It is a vital component in business firm because it help in using the resources of the company to accomplish the goals and aims by implementing different plan of actions and concepts. This assignment is based on Unilever which is a British-Dutch international consumer goods organisation. This firm was founded in 1929 by William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme, James Darcy lever and Samuel van den Bergh. It headquartered in London UK and operated its business in around 129 nations with owns over 400 brands. This report will discuss about differentiation between the role of a leader and function of a manager, application of different theories and models and key approaches of operation management. Further, will discuss about the importance and value of operations management and factors in business environment that effect operation management.


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

Definition of leader:

According to Marry Parker, a leader is the one who motivates the group and help them to achieve and stay on a common goal. He is the one who supports, guide and direct and team members by making some good strategies to fulfill the objectives of the company. Characteristics of leader:

A leader possess many qualities and these traits make him/her a good leader:

Communication skills: A leader is very clear while communicating with the team. He possess great interpersonal skills with which he delivers the vision to the team, sets the direction and convey the tasks properly.

Optimistic: A leader is very positive and look for opportunities and positivity in every kind of situation. Other people also gets motivated by working with a optimist leader (Grant, Trautrims and Wong, 2017).

Roles of leader

  • They envision the future of the organization and sets vision and mission for the company and dream that how will it look after 5-10 years.
  • Leaders align the team members with the vision as well as mission of the organization and creates a charisma of himself among the top management (He, Liang and Fang, 2016).

Definition of manager:

According to Henri Fayol, a manager is the one who manages and control various functions and departments in the organizations. Managers do planning, involves in organizing and coordinating the activities and finally control each and everything which is his department.

Characteristics of manager:

Responsible and reliable: A manager has the quality of taking the responsibility of the things going under his/her department and is always available for the members of the organization. He supports the team and do the things that are promised by him.

Delegation: Manager is an expert in delegating the tasks to the team members. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of the employees working under him and delegate the work accordingly.

Roles of manger:

Informational Role: Manager's main role is to collect the information both internally and externally and also provides all the necessary information to the employees. He also acts as a spokesperson and conveys the plans and policies of the company to all the stakeholders.

Decisional Role: Manager acts as an entrepreneur of the company and take various important decisions, handles grievances, negotiate on important matters and allocate the resources (Heizer, Render and Munson, 2016).

Differences between a leader and a manager





Approach towards work

Leader establish the directions for the team members.

Manager do planning of all the details.


Leader uses “Motivational Style”.

Manager uses “Authoritarian Style”.


Leader's motive is development of team members while meeting organizational goal.

Manager's main motive is meeting and achieving the goals and results.


They put efforts for effectiveness.

They put efforts for efficiency.

Main Focus

Their main focus are the people they are working with.

Their main focus is following the procedures of the organisation.


P2. How the roles of a leader and the function of a manager apply in a different situational context

The functions a manager performs and the roles which are played by a leader helps an organization to meet their goals effectively. It helps the company in working properly and smoothly (Hitt, Xu and Carnes, 2016). Hindustan Unilever is facing the issue of increase in the operational costs with the rise in the prices of raw materials, rise in the fake or spurious products in the market and huge competition in the FMCG sector. In this situation, Unilever has to implement different functions which are there in management as well as use the skills their leader possess to overcome this challenge. So, Unilever uses various management theories and leadership efforts to reduce the operational costs.

Contemporary theory: Unilever use this theory in the way that the manager makes and plans the approaches with which they can get the raw materials at the best possible prices while the leader play a role to motivate the team members to reduce the overall cost by using best technologies and by building a positive environment in the whole organization.

MBO which is also called Management by objective is another theory used by Unilever in which manager sets the performance standards while working with the team members and the leader assigns various tasks to the members in the way which motivates them as well.

Behavioral theory of management is also used by Unilever wherein the function which manager plays is to follow the set policies and strategies by considering the talent of its team members while leaders helps in conveying the policies in the best way and follows the transformation leadership technique (Kopardekar and et. al., 2016).

P3. Application different theories and models of approach

There are various theories which companies use to improve the effectiveness of the organization and improve the overall management. These help in reducing various challenges in the organization and help in meeting the goals and objectives (Mahadevan, 2015). It also helps in understanding the situations of the company and accordingly help leaders in applying different leadership styles, theories and methods which fits the organizational culture and environment.

Situational Leadership:This is where the leaders adopt and changes their leadership styles as per the different situations and ability of the people working under them. The method focuses on understanding the requirements of the team and change according to them which benefits the whole company. As Unilever is facing various problems in its operations, this theory is very effective for them as the leaders can follow different styles of leadership whatever the situation demands. The increase in the costs of operations due to rise in the prices of raw materials and other issues can be very well tackled with the situational leadership.

System Leadership:This theory helps the leaders to set the situations wherein employees of all functional levels are able to work with full productivity and at their best level. Unilever apply this theory to control the way in which employees work and help them understand the conditions in which organization is operating. After this, they help the employees to work according to what the company needs and execute various strategies and policies which help to bring the overall cost down.

Contingency Theory:Contingency theory is also followed by Unilever in which the main motive is to alter the strategies as per the changing market situations. Leaders influence and convince the members to bring some alteration in operations to improve the overall situation and manager implement the changes to reduce the operational cost and also make changes in policies to implement them.


P4. Key approaches to operations management and the roles that managers and leaders play

There are different approaches of operation management that can be utilised and implement by the leader and administrator with the purpose of making control and measure the actions and operations of the company (Neelakandan, Tyagi and Nagalkar, Global eProcure, 2019). In Context of Unilever, they are as follows:

Continuous improvement- To sustain in a competitive marketplace, service here long term and do modifications as per market demands, it is crucial to the administration of Unilever to apply this approach. For instant, to administrate the in inventory and increase the cost of holding, the administration of the company can utilise this approach and assure effective consumer outlets approachable to buy goods and services so that the firm can administrate the stock (Reid and Sanders, 2019). With the assistance of it, the management of the company can offer products and services on time and can reduce the waiting time of the customers. In this approach, leader play an essential role by set up business performance measurement to analyse the execution of the workers. Managers are responsible to make development in the manufacturing procedure of the business.

TQM(Time Quality Management)- it is another approach which is used by the company to plan and implement a constant framework development activity. This tool make focus on prodigious consumer's expectation, identifying complexities, building cooperation and assistance open determination making between workforce. For instant, in Unilever, the management of the firm can it to form control on the conception and cost of quality. With the assistance of it, the firm can form continuous development in the goods and services. In it leader play a crucial role by finding out complex and issues in manufacturing activity and offer effective solution. Managers ply their role by forming and developing strategies and plans to make invariant improvement in the production process and goods & services of the company.

Six Sigma- This tool is known as quality control and data compulsive approach. In Unilever, the management of the company can utilise it as a philosophy for destruct imperfection in any action. With the help of it, the administration can reduce fault, make improvement in return sales, developing production procedure and minimise complexities in this activity. In it, leader assist by appreciating and supporting workforce endeavour and make essential in the manufacturing process. Manager play a crucial role by analysing the utilisation of this approach in manufacturing procedure and furnish response or support to workforce.

P5. The importance and value of operations management in attaining business objectives

Operation management indicates to the activity of administrating and controlling business actions and operation which are executed by the company regarding products and services (Shoolestani and et. al., 2015). The effectiveness and values of operations management can be monitored by its different functions. Some of them are mentioned as below:

Control and distribution system- It is a crucial utility in operation management and effective to make control on production process and assuring efficient provision of the goods in context of execution of the objectives of the firm. In Unilever, with the assistance of it, the management can formulate a strong control system (Swink and et. al., 2017). It also help the company making control of the wastage and allocation of the origins as per the various activities of wastage reduction and production of goods and services.

Process design- It is an effective function of operation management that is effective for formulating and improving manufacturing process of the firm. In Unilever, it help in making development in manufacturing process of products so that the firm can produce goods and services according to its target audiences necessities and demands. It will effective to meet the establish aims of the company and satisfy the desires of the consumers. The effectiveness of this activity is good for the company so that it can gain enhance productivity and gain profit margins by applying correct procedure.

Logistics and inventory management- It is an another crucial function because it support to logistic, finished goods so that they can transported to market at that time when they have high demand of it. In Unilever, with the help of it, the administration can make focus on the merchandise management to stock. It is good for the organisation because with the help of it, the company can accomplish its goals to maintain the effective supply of the commodities in the market during the time of requirement with the motive of fulfilling consumers needs. By using it, the company can deliver and render commodities in effective manner or right time by following a systematic process.


P6. Factors within the business environment that impact upon operational management and decision making

CSR- It refers to the corporate social responsibility which described as a business approach which contribute to the sustainable improvement by delivering economic, social and environmental advantages to all its stakeholders. The leadership and management in a company have a great role to play in order to corporate social responsibility (Uhl and Gollenia, 2016). In Unilever its play an essential role in decision making by formulating short term aims and objective s so that they can accomplish by the employees in effective or easy way. It impacts the determination devising system of the company as the contents of the CSR policy frame the company to make decision which are right in nature and will be effective for the welfare of the stake holders.

Value- It is advised as crucial component in the business firm as products and services because in the firm products and services are manufactured by the company by considering value of them. So that, if they have some value, customer attract towards them with the purpose of purchasing them (Weinmann and et. al., 2015). In Unilever, in decision making activity, values are granted abundant importance because in it administrators and leader concentrate on improving a proper culture in the company so that the workforce can perform their duties in term of producing goods with effective value.

Ethics- It refers to the process of performing activities by considering culture and values. Ethical business explained as business which is operating by the administration by considering ethics and provides it all benefits to its stakeholders with the help of its actions and activities. In Unilever, if the management of the company will not operate its business in effective manner and not provide the advantages to the stakeholders then it influence the determination devising unfavourably.
Sustainability- It indicates to a approach that concentrates on to meet the needs of the present generation without making any compromise with the need of future generation. In Unilever, it is crucial so that target audiences get more information about the firm and the business objectives accomplished in term of savings of origins that can be needed to the firm in future (Addo-Tenkorang and Helo, 2016). It affect decision making when there are fluctuation generated to meet present and future customers needs.

From the above-stated context, it can be concluded that the leader and manager have both different roles and responsibilities. The overall working for the both can be the same, focusing on the management and healthy outcome from the environment. But the deep-rooted knowledge must be there to understand the actual difference between these both. Often students face problems when professors assign tasks to write an essay on such types of topics but do not worry Instant Assignment Help Australia has solutions to all your problems, we answer the query of the students like for leadership essay help and management essay writing help


From the above information, it can be summarised that operation management is an effective aspects to administrate the business actions and operations which are performed by the company in order to manufacturing goods and services to meet customers expectation. Different roles are play by the leader and mangers so that the business can run properly. There can be different concepts which can be used by the leader & manager to work in different situation. To mange the operations functions of a company,several approaches can be implemented. Different operational functions like process design and others are effective administration of business actions and activities. To assess the business environment, the company can consider various factors that affect operational management and decision making of the company.

You may also like to read:


Books & Journals

Addo-Tenkorang, R. and Helo, P. T., 2016. Big data applications in operations/supply-chain management: A literature review.Computers & Industrial Engineering.101. pp.528-543.

Grant, D. B., Trautrims, A. and Wong, C. Y., 2017.Sustainable logistics and supply chain management: principles and practices for sustainable operations and management. Kogan Page Publishers.

He, L., Liang, Q. and Fang, S., 2016. Challenges and innovative solutions in urban rail transit network operations and management: China’s Guangzhou metro experience.Urban Rail Transit.2(1). pp.33-45.

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