Operations management is a wide concept associated with assessment, review and control of activities like manufacturing of goods and services within an organisation. It is a process which initiates from the control of raw materials and continues till they get converted into finished goods (Boyd and Dougherty, 2016). Also, it is concerned with maintaining the quality of products and managing to create a systematic balance between costs and revenues of entity. Leaders along with managers play an important role in operations management. The present report is based upon Japanese company Toyota which is a multinational vehicle manufacturing entity. This company is at sixth position in terms of revenue as per the reports of September 2018. It is headquartered in Toyota city, Japan. This report includes the roles and characteristics of managers and leaders. Also, it explores various approaches of operations management along with the applicable theories and models. Besides this, leadership approaches and pestle analysis of organisation have been discussed.
P1. Roles and characteristics of leaders and managers
Leaders and managers are inseparable components of an enterprise. By performing their roles and responsibilities well, they ensure the growth and profitability of the business concerns.
Leader: An individual responsible for motivating employees and aligning their behavioural characteristics towards the accomplishment of organisational goals and objectives is called a leader (Ellitan, 2017). Within Toyota, leaders make use of their confidence and positive attitude to encourage personnel for performing to the best of their potential. This ensures timely completion of tasks and realisation of goals of company in a timely manner.
Role of Leaders in Toyota
- Leaders within Toyota are known for aligning the behaviour of individuals towards the vision of company and ensuring that operations are being carried out accordingly.
- They ensure that work is being carried out in the stipulated manner so as to maintain the effectiveness and efficiency of tasks.
Characteristics of leaders in Toyota
- Leaders in Toyota are honest and committed towards their work, thus, they are able to influence individuals to undertake the same approach.
- Leaders of Toyota possess a charismatic personality due to which they become idols for their subordinates and enhance their performance.
Managers: A person who possess the authority of managing the way in which tasks are assigned and performed within an organisation is called a manager (Eraki, 2015). Within Toyota, managers pass on the instructions of top management to subordinates and ensure that operations are being carried out accordingly. They are the linking pin between top and low level management.
Role of Managers in Toyota
- The prima-facie role of managers within Toyota is management and control of tasks as well as performance of personnel.
- Managers of Toyota are responsible for communicating necessary and relevant information to lower level staff such that they can provide their support towards accomplishment of organisational goals and objectives.
Characteristics of Managers in Toyota
- Managers in Toyota are creative and emotionally stable so as not to let frustration and anger overrule their authority over subordinates.
- Managers of the enterprise prioritise the tasks according to their importance and the assign the work to individuals on the basis of their educational and professional backgrounds. This assists in timely completion of allotted tasks.
Similarities between Managers and Leaders of Toyota
- Both managers and leaders work together towards the same goal, i.e., business growth and enhanced profitability of enterprise.
- Leaders as well as managers within the organisation strive to increase the morale and confidence of employees ton ensure timely achievement of goals and objectives (Fan, Liu and Zhang, 2015).
Differences between Managers and Leaders of Toyota
Basis of Comparison
Managers within Toyota are innovators, decision makers and facilitators.
Leaders of Toyota are motivator, influencer and possess high confidence to lead the team well.
Authority and power
Their authorities include allotment and management of tasks, decision making and control of organisational activities.
Their powers include ensuring increased productivity of employees and timely completion of tasks in stipulated manner.
Managers of the enterprise have employees as subordinates.
Leaders have followers as subordinates (Han and et. al., 2017).
With regards to Toyota, leaders and managers within the entity make use of leadership and management theories in order to stay aligned with their roles and responsibilities.
Transformational theory of leadership: This theory of leadership largely assists leaders within an organisation in adapting the leadership to the current organisational and outer business environment situations. With the help of this theory, leaders of Toyota ensure that behaviour of employees can be influenced according to the leadership and their commitment towards work. Leaders make use of this to make sure that goals and objectives are achieved in a desirable manner within due course of time.
Classical theory of Management: According to the ideology of this management theory, managers of an entity need to emphasize upon enhancing the profitability of organisation. For this, managers in Toyota focus upon meeting the personal as well as organisational needs of employees so as to encourage them towards working in an effective and efficient manner. This is done with the help of optimal decision making policies which can ensure high profits for business.
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P2. Key approaches to operations management and role played by managers and leaders
Operations management is the process that starts from procurement of raw material and continues till its conversion into finished product. This management practice focusses upon maximum elimination of waste along with optimum utilisation of resources. The major aim behind this process is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of operations of Toyota. Operations management assists in keeping a proper balance between revenue earned and cost incurred by company. Various approaches being used within operations management are described below:-
Six sigma: This is a type of statistical approach which is widely used within organisations in order to eliminate or reduce any type of defects or errors that exist within the products and services being rendered by company (Plesser and et. al., 2014). Six sigma largely assists leaders and managers within Toyota in increasing the productivity level of employees within the organisation so that organisational goals and objectives can be achieved within due course of time. This approach makes use of a number of statistical tools and methods to substantially reduce the variances between desirable and actual results of production output. This operations management approach is used in Toyota for analysing and evaluating the performance of staff within company and finding out if there are any defaults. Six sigma approach is further classified into two types, namely, DMAIC and DMADV. This approach also assists management of Toyota in evaluating the current performance of personnel so as to take steps to raise their standards of quality.
Just in time approach: This approach is used by enterprises to eliminate the delay caused in procurement of materials and production process for converting these into final goods. This is being used by leaders and managers of Toyota to carry out effective inventory management. This methods makes use of lean methodology to enhance the existing performance level of individuals as well as organisation. Just in time approach emphasizes upon reduction of cost associated with inventory management along with eliminating the possibility of dead stock.
Total Quality Management (TQM): This is an approach used by such organisation whose major objective is to maintain the quality of products and services. Within Toyota, this helps in ensuring that customers remain loyal towards the brand for a long time. This is an approach which largely requires efforts from all the employees collectively so that wastages can be reduced and customers can get access to high quality goods (Tristancho and Gutiérrez, 2012). Besides this, TQM assists in enhancing the organisational culture of Toyota by promoting operational excellence across the enterprise.
Role played by leaders:
- Leaders within Toyota play a pervasive role as they encourage employees positioned at various levels, functions and departments within the organisation to make use of productive techniques.
- Leaders in Toyota make use of their self confidence and belief to act as idols for their subordinates and promote a culture where operational excellence and product quality are treated as supreme.
Role played by managers:
- Major role played by managers of Toyota is to maintain a track of the performance of employees so as to evaluate the variances between actual and desirable output. For this, managers often make rigid policies and procedures.
- Managers within the organisation are also responsible for assignment of tasks to employees and setting goals and objectives for individuals, teams as well as organisation. Goals are in both the forms, long term as well as short term. The accomplishment of these goals ensures the sustainability of business entity in market for a long period of time (Wang, Jie and Abareshi, 2015).
P3. Importance of operations management in achieving business objectives
P4. Factors of business environment affect operational management and decision-making by leaders and managers
From the above report, it can be concluded that operations management is an important element of any organisation and is present at all the levels and functions of enterprise. Also, it has been analysed that leaders and managers play a critical role in ensuring continuous growth of business and delivering high quality goods and services to customers. Besides this, it is also evaluated that leaders should use transformational theory and managers should adopt classical theory of management so as to ensure timely completion of goals in desirable manner. In addition to this, it is assessed that there are various factors within business environment that impact upon operational management and decisions taken by managers and leaders.