Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Research Background
“Culture” is defined as a set of common values, habits, rituals, and beliefs held by all members of the organisation, irrespective of age, ethnic origin, gender or religion (Farooq, Hao and Liu, 2019). Additionally, professional diversity and cultural disparities are a result of variances in work habits, education, and impairments. Cultural complexity may well have a number of negative consequences for the workplace. Negative effects may include misunderstanding, the establishment of barriers, and harmful adaptation behaviours. Staff members from a diverse range of cultures bring a range of views, ideas, philosophies, traditions, habits, ideals, patterns, and rituals to the table (Canestrino et al., 2020). The term “Cultural Differentiation” refers to a structured and maintained collection of socially learned ideals, beliefs, and standards of behavior that affects the selection of permissible activities that distinguish one society group from another.
Culturally diverse workplace has grown in popularity as a consequence of the globalisation of the globe. One benefit is that employees from various backgrounds often think very differently and therefore handle situations from a variety of perspectives. Cultural diversity may have both good and bad sides in the workplace (Vigier and Spencer-Oatey, 2018). Numerous negative effects have been identified, including dysfunctional tensions, reduced morale, and challenges establishing group cohesiveness. Positive results include a comprehensive knowledge base acquired via a variety of cultural contacts, an inside pool of foreign trainers and informants, and a greater propensity to expand its business into global cultures. The “Marks & Spencer” company is built on five fundamental values: “quality, pricing, service, innovation, and trust”. In general, the brand’s ‘mission’ is to make aspirational excellence accessible to everybody via the breadth and variety of its offerings. The preceding research highlights both the cultural variations within the M&S brand and the performance of M&S leadership and Organisational culture in preserving cultural diversity throughout the company.
1.2 Problem Statement
Cultural diversity has a detrimental effect on the workforce by increasing the likelihood of interpersonal conflict among Organisational staff. Workers from many cultural origins bring a range of perspectives, ideas, philosophies, conventions, habits, ideals, patterns, as well as rituals to the workplace. Given these potentially limitless proportions, the iceberg analogy quickly comes to mind; the visible characteristics of race, ethnic origin, age, gender, and disability correlate to the recognisable section of the iceberg and provide the foundation of the majority of anti-discrimination legislation globally (Stahl et al., 2017). These subterranean traits embody diversity’s real essence. Whenever culturally diverse workers are brought together to work toward a similar goal via collective effort and collaboration, these variations in viewpoint and other factors may obstruct the process of creating unity. Workers can engage in conflict with one another for a number of reasons, including some that may or may not be work-related. The causes underlying this may be severe or trivial. Interpersonal tension, irrespective of its cause, leads in reduced morale and the creation of unpleasant emotions among employees, all of which may be harmful. This research would look at the difficulties that exist inside M&S’s Organisation as a result of its cultural diversity.
1.3 Research Aim and Objectives
The research aims at the identification and comprehension of cultural differences and their impact on M&S business.
The Objectives of the research are listed below:
To understand the way cultural diversity impacts M&S business
To find out the effectiveness of M&S leadership and organisational culture in maintaining cultural diversity in the organisation
To identify challenges from cultural differences and their mitigation approach in M&S
1.4 Research Questions
The problem statement of the research can be broken into several research questions that the research serves to answer. The research questions of the research are listed below:
What is the organisational culture of M&S?
How cultural diversity in the organisation impacts the business of M&S?
How effective M&S leadership and organisational culture are to maintain cultural diversity across the organisation?
What challenges do M&S face due to cultural differences in its overall operation?
Which approaches are taken by M&S to mitigate challenges that emerged from cultural differences?
1.5 Research Purpose
Cultural differences relate to the varied set of values, behaviours, languages, customs, and vernacular terms associated with people from a certain ethnic group, class, or national or ethnic origin (Tompos and Ablonczy-Mihályka, 2018). While employees often have more lot of similarities, the variances may sometimes outweigh the similarities. While these numerous differences may help create a more vibrant workplace, they could also result in a plethora of cultural clash-related problems. However, for the most part, the results of Organisational cultural diversity are evaluated in terms of corporate leaders’ success in managing it.
With good strategic planning, management may maximise the beneficial impact of workplace diversity while mitigating the negative repercussions. Though M&S’s business culture has long been criticised for being excessively hierarchical. “Steve Rowe”, the chief executive, admitted that the organisation is “top-heavy,” inward-looking, and too “corporate.” The purpose of this research is to investigate the cultural challenges that exist inside M&S’s Organisation. The research also suggests approaches that M&S can adopt to remove the challenges, which have emerged in the Organisation due to cross-cultural variations.
1.6 Research Significance
The significance of this research on differences in culture is to understand the diversity of ideas, conventions, and traditions that affect how employees perceive, feel, interact, behave, and make judgments. Among the most egregious shortcomings of businesses is their inability to recognise the essential importance of cultural variations in doing business (Canestrino et al., 2020). The notion that cultures have really no bearing on an organisation’s performance is false. Since culture has an effect on how an individual or group behaves, it can have an effect on some areas of life. For example, how companies may effectively market their goods to a worldwide audience or handle their relationships with external stakeholders (Roberson, 2019). To conclude, cultural sensitivity helps all significant parties. Promoting diversity and enacting pro-diversity laws will always result in the establishment of a healthy corporate community. The proposed research on cultural variations in M&S will be most likely to produce significant data that will aid significantly in the effort of creating a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.
1.7 Research Structure
To obtain effective results out of the research, it is very important to form a proper research structure. The research structure for the following dissertation is listed below:
The first chapter, the introduction, offers context for the research and underlines its primary objectives and significance (Nakamura et al., 2019). The opening chapter offers a short description of the research environment and establishes the primary purpose and goals of the research.
The second chapter is dedicated to the literature review, which entails an examination of significant secondary data sources including such Scholastic journals, publications, eBooks, and other materials in order to give the authors’ views on the subject.
The third chapter addresses the methodology of the study, including data collection, sampling, and analytic techniques, as well as ethical concerns.
The fourth chapter includes the results, which summaries’ the study’s findings.
The fifth chapter, the discussion, summarises the findings and connects the research as a whole. Additionally, it analyses the findings and highlights the parallels and contrasts found within the research.
The last chapter’s conclusion summarises the whole text and proposes a solution to the research issue. Additionally, the concluding chapter acknowledges the study gap and identifies topics for future research.
2. Literature Review
2.1 Conceptualisation of Organisational Culture
Corporate culture has been recognised as an essential aspect in organisational study. Cameron and Quinn (2012) highlight that not only external variables, such as impediments to market access, industrial rivalry and the management of suppliers and consumers determine organisations’ success. The writers argue that certain companies have less to do with market pressures than the organisations’ ideals for their remarkable and sustainable performance. Whereas, from several narrative interviews and the subsequent questionnaires test, Hofstede et al. (1990) initially created the component of organisational cultures. The organisational culture structure based on theory is described by Sagiv and Schwartz (2007). They argue that the environment around them shapes organisational culture, its aims, the organisation’s personal relevance and the substance of its major responsibilities.
Organisations are incorporated into communities characterised by particular national cultural norms. Sagiv and Schwartz (2007) claim to influence organisational performance via social forces. Organisations also need to abide by the norms, customs and legislation, and therefore guarantee social and financial existence of communities that are accepted in the community. Companies include the person who incorporates an added value strategy and consequently shapes the organising culture of how people pick actions, evaluate individuals and situations, as stated by Dauber, Fink and Yolles (2012), and justify actions and assessments. Finally, the writers noted that actions that must also develop their cultural values for a firm. It appears to be related to Hofstede et al. (1990)’s perceived practise.
2.2 Impact of Organisational Cultural Diversity on the Business
In the twenty-first century, cultural diversity is increasingly essential. One of the key consequences of migration and globalisation is the significant increase in possibilities and the necessity for connection with individuals who are culturally varied. Therefore, the idea of cultural diversity changed from a melting pot to multiculturalism, according to Jonsson and Holmgren (2013). This means that enterprises will ultimately have to employ global employees. Of course, they are essential for their future success to handle the cultural diversity. Wang and Wang (2009) argued that the unavoidable tendency to hire more staff from foreign firms in a more globalised context is to employ a rising number of staff from different cultural backgrounds. There are diverse nations in their cultures, with cultural variations having an effect that can have an influence on team members’ experiences on beliefs, conduct, work ethics, working hours, ways of communication, valuable hierarchy and other such variables. Such behavioural differences might impair individual work or communicate and cooperate with team members.
Cultural diversity is an atmosphere in which people from different races collaborate and share ideas to maintain a good partnership (ANJORIN and Jansari, 2018). One individual honours culture by means of cultural diversity, as the researcher says. Equilibrium in society is thereby preserved. The word cultural diversity is sometimes employed to characterise numerous people in a country. People increasingly embrace each other’s identities to increase ethnicity. Cultural diversity also means that men and women are fairly represented in the organisation (Anita and Swamy, 2018). Cultural diversity increases workers’ resourcefulness and helps increase innovation in companies. For instance, companies might cooperate in the establishment of new technologies to enhance the company’s competitiveness. The creation of fresh concepts for the projects also contributes to cultural diversity.
The integration of an organisation’s cultural diversity helps employees to communicate healthily. Most researchers indicated that team heterogeneity enables organisations to provide more inclusive advantages (Ozgen, Nijkamp and Poot, 2017). Companies such as Morrisons, for example, have created inclusive initiatives to enable individuals from different backgrounds to collaborate. Morrisons CEO has stated that he wants the company climate to improve and work with his staff. Various employees will advise Morrisons on the appropriate method of reaching new clients. The success of the company is driven by workers who speak different languages and know the cultural norms of foreign markets (Li et al., 2017). Given the prohibition of discrimination at work in the federal legislation, Morrisons should embrace cultural diversity considerably in order to boost its reputation in the global marketplace.
2.3 Interrelationship between Culture and Leadership in Business Organisations
While economic advantages are the business performance of managing diverse companies, absence of excellent leadership and culture leads to diversified undertakings failure. Tsai (2011) has suggested that management teams lose influence in the enterprise as group diversity rises. The culture of its members is taught and socially conveyed; it sets behavioural standards. The employees must take into account traditions, opinions, assumptions and information about what to achieve and what to disregard in order to define the organisational cultural. A leader starts at the centre of an organisation and eventually becomes the leadership style of the organisation. The beliefs and the conduct of these leaders should direct the subordinates to make the behaviour of both sides more consistent. Tsai (2011) also noted that when excellent coherent behaviour, values and beliefs are developed, a solid organisational culture arises. Leadership and management teams must be aware of their responsibilities in terms of safeguarding a company’s cultural identity. In return, this ensures consistent behaviour, reduces disputes and creates a safe working environment for employees.
2.4 Importance of Managing Cultural Differences in Business
An intercultural interaction, intended to be a meeting of people with different customs and values, acting as representatives and customers, as negotiators, superintendents and subordinates, colleagues, task groups and members of the project group, is a feature of globalisation and international business. Budzanowska-Drzewiecka, Marcincowski and Motyl-Adamczyk (2016) have said in these respects that intercultural abilities may be seen as numerous three aspects of connection, which include the ability to understand different cultures, the ability to cooperate, and the capacity to remain in an intercultural setting. Cross-cultural communication is, on the other hand, a social process between participants in intercultural contact. The creation of people, occurrences and circumstances with distinct communications codes is vital.
A vast majority of firms operate internationally in a culturally important manner that has an important impact on transaction performance and maintains excellent relations between partners or workers with a diverse cultural environment, as mentioned by Adamczyk (2017). Recognition of and understanding of cultural differences is one of the world economy’s most significant skills that is vital in achieving competitive advantage in the global market.
The existence of cultural diversity in any workplace is a vital component of any organisation’s operation (Mateescu, 2017). The existence of cultural diversity inside the organisation sometimes gives the organisation a better chance and sometimes an unfavourable influence. Many relationships have shown that the use of all the cultural diversity aspects in the workplace contributes to a better link amongst the personnel and leads to improved potency in the companies. It has also been noticed numerous times that cultural diversity leads to different turmoil and disputes amongst personnel and bad results in organisations (ANJORIN and Jansari, 2018). The advantages of using cultural diversity at companies have thus been represented in this section of the research.
The advantages of cultural diversity implementation inside companies are:
It enables employees to pursue their greatest personal capabilities
The cultural diversity in the firm leads to great strength among its personnel. Because it makes it possible for employees to grasp the distinct strength and weakness. The collaboration inside the organisation allows them to expand their ways to complete their assigned duty effectively. Whatever the assignment is and how the task is allocated, someone from the team or group of employees can take part in the work (Kemeny and Cooke, 2017). This helps kids acquire the notion of the power and the potential they have.
It provides many possibilities for many groups of individuals, particularly minorities
Because the many cultural diversity aspects are present inside the enterprise. It provides equal chances for varied and distinct jobs for everybody. Regardless of the background of the employee or the gender of the employee. People all have the same opportunity to obtain an equal chance to gain employment (Velten and Lashley, 2018). The use of the presence of cultural diversity inside the organisation thereby supports everyone to achieve a level playing field in the enterprise irrespective of sex, culture or religion.
The organisation will be able to recruit more creative and inventive employees.
Cultural diversity enables every organisation to grow. It helps to get diverse people from different backgrounds (Gurung and Prater, 2017). This results in the firm becoming more inventive. The company’s improvement hinges on this.
It allows the business to expand more quickly
Cultural diversity aspects aid to improve inventive brains in many civilisations. This means that the firm is growing quicker (Aulack et al., 2017). As well as allowing them to operate as a team if the different cultural workers work within the same firm. This leads to a more rapid project completion. In this way, the firm achieves its objectives quickly.
Having a diverse cultural background inside the firm contributes to gaining more sales and profits
Cultural diversity allows employees from multi-language areas to come together. This improves the company’s efficiency by distributing its business over several sectors across the world (Gurung and Prater, 2017). It thereby permits the firm to expand. This can lead to greater incomes.
It can assist increase innovation within the team
The cultural diversity of a job helps to promote creativity. Working as a team as diverse staff from different cultures. It helps to enhance fresh thoughts for every project. This enables the enterprise to increase its inventiveness. This will improve the organisation’s development.
Productivity improvement only due to cultural diversity
Implementing cultural diversity within an organisation enables them to gain more talent from other cultures. That leads to demographic concepts being developed. In addition, it helps to improve the company’s innovative performance (Kemeny and Cooke, 2017). And when these workers from many cultures collaborate, the firm improves its efficiency.
2.5 Challenges or Risks in Business due to Cultural Differences
Tedla (2016) said that as an organisation gets more multicultural, managers have more trouble managing and controlling capital. Cultural threats connected to the capacity of a firm to function in a country involve culture, language barriers, norms and consumer preferences. The worldwide activities of organisations with a distinct social structure during growth are performed by developing organisations. This new social framework affects the response of everyone concerned. There may be a lack of collaboration amongst cumulative diversity that prevents teams from cooperating; organisations should thus be effective and establish a workplace that encourages productivity and efficiency. Another such problem might be perceptive according to Ghemawat (2017). They tragedy, too, when cultural groupings come together, take preconceived prejudices with them. Another difficulty with different groups is inaccurate communication, which might occur for a number of reasons. One is misunderstanding because of speaker terminology not understood by other participants.
The drawbacks of the company’s use of cultural diversity are:
Due to the variety in ideas, cultural diversity generates problems
There may be numerous difficulties caused by the existence of cultural diversity. It works in the firm because of numerous sorts of personnel. Various personnel came from diverse backgrounds, leading to disputes and occasionally instability inside the organisation (Gurung and Prater, 2017). It has been seen several times that two personnel from various cultures create issues with the decision-making. For the firm, this is indeed a drawback.
The cultural diversity often leads to a reduction in the company’s trust
When any firm prioritises the execution of the project on cultural diversity, the quantity of trust on the workplace will decline gradually (ANJORIN and Jansari, 2018). Cultural and background differences might make working at the company more difficult for employees who are a part of that group.
It provides a barrier to communication within the organisation
As far as cultural diversity is concerned. Employees from various linguistic segments come from diverse cultures. It sometimes causes the firm a difficulty. There are often difficulties in communicating between two employees (Aulack et al., 2017). In two workers of the firm, this communication obstacle may also generate misconceptions of different sorts. This might represent several sorts of organisational issues.
The amount of complaint can often increase
Workplace diversity can result in numerous disputes among employees from different cultural backgrounds. Multiple employee backgrounds means that workers will bring various personal work habits and work styles. This might be a problem for the company (Velten and Lashley, 2018). This means that the deceived worker or the team can develop certain concerns about the other worker’s working methods or practises from a new backdrop (Gurung and Prater, 2017). The complaints of employees in the same firm or the organisation might therefore rise dynamically.
2.6 Mitigation Approaches to Overcome Challenges of Cultural Differences
Managers should ensure that their effort and work diversity programmes are implemented from the perspective of equal treatment and justice guarantees and objectives, instead of just taking advantage of the main benefits of the firm as per Frijns, Dodd and Cimerova (2016). Managers may reduce and optimise the advantages that a varied work force can provide to a company by deliberating, deliberate strategy to inclusion and diversity problems. Ely and Thomas (2001) expressed the view that members of a varied cultural workforce should make effective use of their collective diversity in order to reflect objectively on work issues, policies, commodities and practises in order to thrive in business. The cultural identity and variety of the group are strongly linked with the achievement of the firm. Working groups in multiple markets and with diverse clients enable them to get access to a range of marketplaces and because their diversity offers them credibility in trying to gain entry to other markets. This kind of workplace is instead a pragmatic diversity which does not strive to integrate or appreciate diversity into the organisation’s core.
In Baporikar’s (2020) opinion, Cultural differences are a major shift in the society of a person. There are structural, financial and socio-economic inequalities in the existing demographic environment of workplaces. It is a great effort for enterprises to maintain a richly diversified cultural population. Each person is distinct, depending on race, location, age, experience, comprehension, and other facets, and when diverse individuals are congregated, it allows for varied perspectives (Laird and Tedam, 2019). A workforce with a diverse cultural makeup is reflecting both the changing business environment and the way the workplace has developed. In order to efficiently handle cultural diversity in their workplace, organisations have to adopt the following techniques.
Specify greater communication priority
Companies need to guarantee their efficient interaction with their employees so that their workforce is varied. The declaration of Rahman (2019) allows for the creation of policies, procedures and health recommendations that accommodate cultural and language variations via the understanding of their roots and by using images and symmetries, where appropriate.
Treat the staff correctly
In Newsinger and Eikh’s (2020) opinion, companies should ensure their workers from different settings are not permitted to hypothesise. Companies should each analyse each employee rather to focusing just on the job backgrounds of those individuals and analyse their accomplishments and failures.
Encourage workers to collaborate in various groups
Different work teams enable employees to recognise and respect one another individually and help remove previous ideas and misunderstandings. The firms must thus urge their staff successfully to cooperate as a group. The employees’ knowledge and abilities might be improved, resulting in increased production (Laird and Tedam 2019).
Be open to thought
As stated by Khan et al. (2019), businesses should respect and motivate workers to realise that their own expertise, history and heritage is not just appreciated by the firm. Explore the integration of a range of experiences and talents into efforts to achieve organisational goals. Open thinking may improve employees’ knowledge and abilities and allow them to think about themselves while integrating their job.
Management of employee attitudes
An open and accommodating mindset helps people to examine and appreciate cultural diversity and beliefs. Eikhof et al. (2019) argued that criticising but relying on proof is not essential. The companies should note that it will easily jeopardise cultural growth since it shows that certain individuals are more driven and influenced than others. The objective is to preserve cultural diversity at work and create good working relationships.
Improving the ability
The training objective must be capacities that enhance cultural integrity, as indicated in this research on cultural diversity management equipment, as an uncompromising element of the workforce that is attainable for company leaders and employees. Information, teamwork, cooperation, and leadership via cultures, according to Baporikar (2020), are characteristics of the current working climate in which we live. It will also be a problem for organisations that wish to gain a competitive advantage in the 21st century culture to maintain cultural diversity in the workplace.
2.7 Theoretical Frameworks to be used by Companies in maintain the balance of Cultural Diversity and Company Performance
Numerous elements of diversity management have been explored in various theories at work. Theories assist management or owners recognise the good and negative consequences of inclusion in diversity. In order to identify cultural imbalance in retail industry these described theories will help.
The cognitive theory of diversity, as Liao and Long (2016) have mentioned, shows that cultural variances across participating groups or organisations lead to inventive reduction and creative problem-solving. In the beginning, homogeneous groups have the potential to perform better than various culturally varied groupings, but over time, this potential is greatly improved when employing a diverse collection of individuals. This idea shows that these advantages stem from the multiple perspectives of the cultural diversity of community members based on the premise of cognitive diversity. Due to their lack of previous knowledge, members of various genders will take longer to operate well together, since they are all first unaccustomed with each other, which is why heterogeneity is present early on in the group’s performance (Chen et al., 2019).
Some study suggests that diversity has no connection to group performance, whereas certain studies demonstrate a relationship. Some of the latter study showed negative relationships (more diversity implies lower group performance, fewer diversity is higher group performance). The variation in the way diversity can influence groups could be caused by these distinct results. Cognitive diversity refers to variations in the expertise, experience and viewpoints amongst team members (Chow, 2018). Many scientists argue that aspects of physical variety such like colour, age or sex (also called as biodemographic diversity) have favourable effects on performance as team members have their own demographic background and have distinct cognitive traits.
The idea of the scheme describes how individuals encode information about others depending on their demographics. Numerous details and pieces of information, as well as interrelationships and patterns, come together to generate comprehensive plans for figuring out who one is or how someone else is, in a similar manner to computer programming (Pidduck et al., 2020). Because of the knowledge or value already inferred, individuals categorise things, events and objects inside these systems. They then utilise these kinds to evaluate and establish their interaction with newly experienced people.
On the basis of the philosophy of the scheme, employees construct schemes due to race, gender and other diversity. They also create schemes on organisation, leadership and the working environment. Schemes that are established can be beneficial or bad, and they impact employees’ attitudes and behaviours (Graziano, 2019).
Social Identity Theory
Social theory states that, regardless of their choice to interact with others, people may have a harmful influence on the community and organisations (Shaker Ardakani et al., 2016). Social identity theory says that when we first come into contact with people, we classify them as members of a group (i.e., the similar community) or an offshoot (not part of the community). New findings state that exposure to people within our community rather than to those from outside of our community gives birth to this perspective. Extreme favouritism in groups is also present and seldom exceptions are made from other communities. Though it is true that in certain instances supporters of the minority party favour their own group members, the opposite is true in others.
Trepte and Loy (2017) believe that the width of contacts we have with members in our group and not with out-groups might lead to this perspective. In certain cases, the partiality of the group is great and out of the group members occasionally derogated. However, in other situations, minority group members don’t benefit their own group members. That can arise because of the constant exposure to general idea that white or males are good and that various minorities and women have a common negative attitude (Scheepers and Ellemers, 2019). Where favouritism in the group occurs, individuals from the majority groups must be employed, promoted and rewarded, frequently in violation of numerous laws, at the cost of members of a minority group.
The paradigm of justification-suppression shows in which scenarios individuals are behaving for their benefit. The mechanism by which people are wounded is characterised by Adegbembo and Esses (2019) as a two-stage process, in which people are prejudged by a community or individuals, but have contradicting sentiments about their inclination and are urged to overcome their biases, rather than acting on them. Many people would like to disguise their preference from the outside. This suppression might come from internal factors such as empathy, compassion and personal expectations of others. Societal pressures may also be the cause of suppression; socially unacceptable and frequently criminal open demonstrations are no longer permitted.
Sometimes though, the disadvantaged person seeks justifications for his/her disadvantaged views. Research has demonstrated that people are more prone to act in a disadvantaged fashion, whether physically or emotionally fatigued, if they can, or when social norms are sufficiently weak to prevent their disadvantaged behaviour (Obenauer, 2017).
3.1 Research Philosophy
The research philosophy is a research technique that gives new and correct research information (Zukauskas, Vveinhardt and Andriukaitien?, 2018). In doing so, selecting a study method, formulating a topic, collecting data, synthesising and analysing are fundamental to research. The model of analysis includes ontology, epistemology and techniques. In research, several philosophical methods based on the sort of knowledge foreseen for study are conceivable. Pragmatism, positivism, realism and interpretivism are the four primary research philosophies. The wide and depth of the data given by combining quantitative and qualitative techniques enhanced the transferability of research with pragmatism. Pragmatic method means relying on an abductive thinking version to connect theory with facts, which reverse and reverse inductions and deductions (Kennedy, 2017). Observations may be transformed into hypotheses, which can subsequently be tested in the real world. This strategy, stems from abductive reasoning, is typically utilised by researchers that employ qualitative and quantitative approaches sequentially, using inductive objectives established from deductive conclusions obtained from quantitative research. Therefore, pragmatism gives the ability to move from qualitative data to quantitative data, as well as the ability to move in the opposite direction, if that’s preferred. It allows researchers to seek for meaningful links between these two forms of data.
This research has used the pragmatic research paradigm, to investigate the cultural variations inside a particular enterprise (M&S). The ontological approach supports language, history and culture as opposed to the philosophical method which relies on conducting surveys, interviews, and case studies. As was pointed out by Vveinhardt, Andriukaitien?, and Zukauskas (2018), pragmatic epistemology stands alongside empiricism and acknowledges that what can be gleaned from experience is knowledge, and it is crucial to understand how cultural differences influence the organisation.
3.2 Research Approach
The research approach is a strategy and technique which starts with broad inference stages and proceeds through the systemic collection, analysis and assessment of data. It depends thus on the nature of the research. The perceptions of the study vary by setting, and the research technique frequently relies entirely on the researcher and the subject. Inductive, deductive and abductive research approaches are fundamentally three kinds. Inductive approach begins with detailed reality observations that are moving to more abstract assumptions and concepts (Fleischmann and Ivens, 2019). Following an inductive method, a researcher tends to establish empirical generalisations and to find preliminary connections, as his study advances. At the early stage of the research no hypotheses are presented and until the study is complete, the researchers are not certain of the type and character of the results.
This research follows the inductive approach of research. An inductive method, known as in inductive reasoning, begins with observations and is proposed by observations towards the conclusion of the research process (Graneheim, Lindgren and Lundman, 2017). Inductive research includes looking for observational patterns and developing theories to explain those patterns through a sequence of hypotheses. At the start of the research, no theories or assumptions are used to induce investigations and the researcher is allowed to change the path of the study once the study has begun.
3.3 Research Design
The research design may typically be described in several ways. It is obvious that the design of the research therefore relates to the sources of data; the methods for the collection and analysis; and the ethical problems commonly met to achieve the research aim. A mixed study is supported in many sorts of research designs: explanatory, exploratory, correlational and many more. Exploratory research generates qualitative data typically; but, in some situations, through survey and experimentation quantitative data for a wider sample may be generalised (Camargo, Pereira and Scarpin, 2020). The researcher is extremely flexible and can adjust to changes with the development of study. It is often affordable. It helps to build the basis for study, so that research may continue. It allows the researcher to determine early if the issue should be spent on time and resources and should be pursued. It can help researchers to identify probable sources of the problem and can be researched further to determine which of these is the most likely reason.
The researcher utilised an exploratory investigation technique to attain the objective of the following study. Research designs are conducted if the researcher has no previous findings or a few sample studies (Taheri, Jami Pour and Asarian, 2019). This analysis is occasionally disorganised and informal. It is an instrument of preliminary analysis which gives a hypothesis or a prediction about the study problem. The researchers were able to get creative insight into the subject through exploratory investigation. In that situation, the researcher was able to adjust the advances as the project progressed to a high level of adaptability.
3.4 Data Collection and Analysis
Two forms of data collection in research are essentially present: qualitative and quantitative. Primary and secondary data are available in both types of study. The primary data is one form of data that researchers acquire through interviews, surveys, tests and so on directly from key sources. Primary data is generally obtained from the source — from where data come and are considered to be the greatest type of study (Loomis and Paterson, 2018). Primary data sources are often selected and customised to satisfy specific study objectives or criteria. In addition, elements like the study objective and target demographic need to be defined before selecting a data collecting source.
Because this research was a mixed approach, two main data collecting methods were combined: interviews and survey (Crain-Dorough, 2020). In order to gain trustworthy data and information about the subject, primary quantitative (Survey) and primary qualitative (Interview) were applied. The interview was organised to provide facts and information on their recognition of culture in the company’s relevant management. The workers of Marks & Spencer, on the other hand, participated in a closed-ended survey. The survey helped to determine their impressions of the culture of their company. Both the survey and the interview has been done through the Google Forms tools.
Data analysis is the procedure of collecting, processing, and analysing data to get insights that assist in making decisions. Depending on the sector and the analytical objective there are different methodologies and procedures. The researcher adopted the approach of descriptive analysis in this research investigation. The method of descriptive analysis is the point of departure of any analytical process and seeks to answer the question of the events (Kemp et al., 2018). This is done via the orders, manipulations, and interpretation of raw data from many sources to make the study worthwhile insights.
3.5 Research Sampling
Research sampling refers to the group from whom data are collected through research. The sample size is known as the number or amount of sources for the sample, while the method to pick the appropriate sample group is known as the sampling strategy. Sampling is the method through which individual members or a sub-component of the population can be selected to provide statistical data on them to estimate population characteristics (Sharma, 2017). Researchers in market analysis are commonly employed to obtain different sample methods so that the whole population needs not to investigate to gather relevant insights. Additionally, the sampling is cost-effective and time-efficient, which makes it a cornerstone in every research. In research for optimal derivation sampling approaches can be utilised. In practise, sampling is best done using the probability method or the non-probability method. Therefore, these two root techniques have numerous branches: as random, non-random, snowball, purposive and many more. Random likelihood sampling and non-random purpose sampling have been studied in this work (Rahi, 2017). Purpose sampling is a kind of non-probability sampling, sometimes referred to as judgemental, selective or subjective, in which researchers depend on their own judgement in selecting people to participate for their samples.
In essence, Purposive Sampling is a sample method of survey which needs researchers to have previous knowledge of the objective of their studies in order to identify and approach people eligible for surveys correctly (Robertson and Sibley, 2018). When researchers wish to reach a certain subset of people, they employ purposive sampling, since each participant from the study is picked because it fits a specific profile. Random sampling is also part of the sampling method in which every sample is equally likely to be selected. A sample randomly selected is supposed to reflect the whole population without prejudice.
This research was conducted through both employees’ surveys and interviews with senior management staff to collect primary information. During this investigation, the probability or a random sampling approach has been used for choosing 50 employees. On the other hand, six M&S senior executives have been picked for profound professional information using a non-random purposive sampling technique.
3.6 Ethical Considerations
Ethics is a collection of regulations that are frequently written or unwritten. In the context of science, ethical questions mostly involve human or animal problems. In order to be a key part of research ethics, major research concerns include conduct requirements which understand how essential reporting findings are and prevent other research efforts from being fabricated and plagiarised (Steenkamp, 2021). This research in ethics demonstrates the objective of creating awareness and promoting popular interest in research. In short, ethical concerns show that the analysis is performed on the basis of certain criteria. Ethics is the foundation for correct guidance on study protocols, thereby eliminating some types of violations of confidentiality. It is, of course, the most important element of research analysis and thus has to be meticulously maintained while respecting the standard level of a research technique. In creating the research framework to achieve the ultimate objective, the researcher respects special ethical requirements. It is quite important to rely on particular ethical standards when trying to get a transparent conclusion (Noor, 2008). There is a lot of people from diverse backgrounds involved in research. These persons communicate different data and information in different formats that need to be defined in a good ethical manner.
A researcher is responsible for ensuring that every type of data is acquired from genuine sources in order to prevent the chances of mistakes and to remove the risks of misleading results. Researchers basically employ numerous data sources and study materials from different researchers (Saunders et al., 2015). The researcher must evaluate the necessity of consenting to the use of such information and take particular precautions to ensure that the information is not exploited without its genuine authorisation. In order for research to prevent any kind of bias and obtain the intended kind of conclusion, it is necessary to preserve the validity, secrecy and trustworthiness of materials.
Ethical principles generally refer to the characteristic of establishing the framework and techniques of study according to certain norms and directives. Multiple standards of ethics must be observed while doing research, and ethics of studies are typically characterised as a set of directives and principles to meet the study goal. During the study, the researcher was aware of the ethical rules and provide adequate security and security during the process of data collecting. Special care would be made to avoid a sharing of sensitive material so that the dignity of research is maintained (Clark-Kazak, 2017). For maintaining ethics in the current research study, the researcher has taken consents from each respondent through forms, where it has been clearly dictated that any personal data of the respondents will not be shared; there opinions will only be used in this research purpose; and after completion of the research all raw data will be destroyed.
Question 1: What is your Age?
According to the survey, 54% of the respondents were from 18-24 years old, 24% of the respondents were 25-35 years old, and 14% of the respondents were 35-50 years old. Also, there were 8% of respondents who were above 50 years old. This indicates the severity of new age workers in the workplace of Marks and Spencer, who should be more aware towards culture and diversity of culture.
Question 2: What is your Gender?
As per the survey, 54% of respondents were male, 42% of the respondents were female, and 4% of them were transgender. It indicates that Marks and Spencer does not allow gender discrimination while recruiting and selecting employees.
Question 3: Which cultural background do you belong to?
The survey reveals that 20% of respondent employees had come from Asian cultural background, 54% of them had come from European cultural background, 22% of the respondents belonged to Anglo-Indian culture and 4% of them belonged to African culture. The chart derived from the responses here indicates that being a European company, Marks and Spencer does have major numbers of employees with European culture. But, the company does support cultural diversity in the workplace that is why it has Asian, Anglo Indian and African employees also.
Question 4: Do your leaders follow the cultural diversity practises in your company?
According to the survey, 68% of the respondent believed that their leaders respect and obey the cultural diversity in the workplace of M&S, where 24% of the employees do not feel that way. Also, there were 8% of the respondents, who remained neutral to answer the question. The majority of the employees of Marks and Spencer who have responded to the survey indicated that M&S’s leaders are aware of cultural diversity and they also support it.
Question 5: Do your company has any policy to promote cultural diversity in the workplace?
According to the survey responses, 74% of the respondents agreed by saying “yes” that the M&S has several policies to support cultural diversity in the workplace. In comparison, 14% of the respondents had denied the fact and said that their company had not taken any step to promote a diverse culture. Also, 12% of the respondents were confused about this topic in the survey. M&S is a big company with numerous codes of conduct and regulations. An employee is always aware about the rules and regulations of the company. And, therefore, the majority of M&S employee respondents indicated that the company does have policies to promote cultural diversity in workplace.
Question 6: To what extent do you agree that the diverse cultural practises are advantageous for your company?
According to the survey, 22% of the respondents had strongly agreed that the incorporation of diverse culture in the workplace is beneficial for M&S, but also 2% of the respondents had strongly disagreed this fact. Besides, 38% of the respondents had agreed about the benefits of cultural diversity for M&S, where also 12% of them disagreed this. Elsewhere, 26% of the respondents were there, who remained neutral to answer about this topic. Cultural Diversity has been found to mostly benefit a company and its people. For M&S, the cultural diversity is found beneficial for most of its employee respondents. The disagreeing people are those who probably are resistant to cultural change.
Question 7: Do you think that your professional benefits will be adversely impacted by cultural diversity implementation in your company?
According to the survey respondents, 64% of the employees said that their profession had not been adversely impacted by the incorporation of cultural diversity, whereas 22% of the respondents had faced an adverse effect in their profession after the incorporation of cultural diversity in the workplace. Also, there were 14% of respondents, who stayed neutral to answer. As similar to the previous response, this survey response also indicated that most of M&S’s employee respondents does not think Cultural Diversity as a negative factor for their profession. The employees who think it is might be culturally orthodox.
Question 8: Do your company leaders mentor all the employees irrespective of their ethnicity, gender and race?
According to the survey result, 56% of the respondents said that leaders in M&S treat their employees regardless of their identity, whereas 22% of the respondents experienced racism in the workplace of M&S. Also, 22% of respondents were in the survey, who said that the leaders act maybe sometimes looks like racism-supportive, but sometimes it does not bother them. As the majority of M&S’s employee respondents indicated that the leaders mentored them un-according to their culture. The respondents who felt discriminated might be a victim of situation, that entailed them to feel that way.
Question 9: To what extent do you agree that your company’s leadership helps to maintain cultural diversity within workplace?
According to the survey results, 30% of the respondents strongly agreed that M&S’s leadership approaches assist in maintaining cultural diversity in the workplace, whereas none had strongly disagreed the fact. Also, 42% of the respondents agreed leadership’s assistance towards cultural diversity, whereas 8% respondents disagreed the fact. This survey response was the element that make the team (M&S is culture-supportive) heavier. All the responses above have at least slight diversified opinions, but this response majorly indicated that the M&S leadership is always helpful in fostering Cultural Diversity in the workplace.
Question 10: Do you think that you leaders in the company are prone to mitigate any cultural issue occurrence?
As per the survey depicts, 68% of the respondents said “Yes” to the fact that M&S’s leaders are prone to mitigate culture-related issues in the workplace. Whereas, 12% of the respondents denied the fact by saying “No” and 20% of the respondents were confused about the topic. This response added weight to the previous response and make the judgement clear to the researcher. A vast majority of M&S employees agreed that their leaders are always prone to support cultural diversity and resolve any issues occurred within this context.
4.2 Interview Summarisation
Question 1: What is the organisational culture of M&S?
The interviewees had given almost similar answers to this question, which can be demonstrated as the following:
The early days of culture were centred on fast turnover, honesty, hard effort and no frills. These ideals have grown into the paternalistic culture of the firm and a shared attitude to families. The consequences of this culture are that people can’t go to the top if they’re not in the dynasty. This has an impact across the firm right up to the shop floor personnel.
Familial institutions, one founded on loyalty, paternalism and community, had the strongest feeling of culture from the mid- 19th century. But after the war reorganisation focused on capital mobility, acquisitions and fusions in the 1960s. Anyone who talked about unity or allegiance was considered antiquated and the old modes of identifying had been tenderly breaking up. It became exceedingly challenging for companies to keep the family touch with fast organisational expansion. So, Marks & Spencer was exposed with its continually decreasing share prices and low profit margins by the start of the 21st century to aggressive takeovers. The company’s inner culture and lack of strong leadership have been accused of poor performance.
Stuart Roses’ aim was to return to the ancient principles and simplify a culture that has grown too complicated and perplexing after he was handed the post of CEO. The sort of culture that Marks & Spencer has is one that is focused on the consumer. Customer-led culture is a place for improving customer service, market research, proper people’s employment and training everywhere in the company. The company attempts to modernise the e-commerce technology. It also has a positive culture with good communication between employees and employers. They also consider change to be a chance rather than a treat. It is also discovered that they are dynamic, where a company continually wants to modify its working practises. Workers continuously seek fresh ideas.
Question 2: How cultural diversity in the organisation impacts the business of M&S?
Towards this question interviewees have respondents have answered in detail, which are summarised as following:
Following CEO Steve Rowe’s address to workers in the summer of 2020, M&S is pursuing efforts to promote inclusion and promote diversity. In its speech the retailer claimed that it was “not good enough.”
Rowe’s strategy is managed by group leader Cleo Thompson, who joined the company last year. She said that her objective is to make the company undergo long-lasting structural transformation so that M&S can provide an inclusive culture in a varied setting.
M&S is taking the following steps to become a more inclusive environment to work and shop:
Fostering the expansion of its seven networks of co-workers: LGBTQ+, Gender, Buddy (support for colleagues who face mental and physical problems), Culture and Heritage (for all races and religions), Veterans, Family and Carers and the newest Menopause Group network.
Customers with hidden impairments will benefit from the rollout of sunflower lanyards in M&S. The inclusion of quieter shopping hours for individuals with autism and other sensory disorders, and the requirement that all customer service representatives get assistance dog training is offered in M&S.
Partnership for transformation with external agencies. Besides the Inspiration given, M&S recruits 10,000 Black staff (offering paid work experience and training and development opportunities for Black communities and mentorship and sponsorship), introduced Halo Code (encouraging and inspiring black staff to be carrying their hair as they want to), Pearn Kandola (offering inclusive management training) and links to inclusive charities
Question 3: How effective M&S leadership and organisational culture are to maintain cultural diversity across the organisation?
According to the interviewees’ responses to this question, the summarisation would be the following:
The history of M&S has shown Sir Marcus Sieff to come under the category of ‘great man.’ In the early years, leadership was largely in the control of the families and built on traditional family ideals. However, it was predominantly inward-looking despite its strength. When M&S was in difficulties in the late 90s, a change of management was necessary.
There is now a need for more distributive leadership. One that offers a picture of a future scenario which helps the leader and followers to understand more clearly the measures to be taken, drawing on personal skills and power. Luc Vandevelde and Stuart Rose would be examples of these sorts of leaders in M&S.
Under the leadership of Vandevelde a recovery plan was established to bring the firm closer to its clients and to return it to its fundamental competencies. The company’s recovery strategy was centred on concentrating on the United Kingdom, selling its own brand, and regaining control of its supply chain. His aim was to re-establish the reputation of quality, value, service and innovation in Marks and Spencer.
The vision is shared once expressed through events intended to spread it. So, we have the address of Vandevelde to the shareholders and the mass motivating training of Stuart Rose for all our employees. They utilise ‘catchy phrase’ in order to characterise, communicate and inspire other people. Rose incorporates the main principles and ideas on which the newly resurrected M&S is founded in the advertising campaign “Your M&S.” By distinguishing the client base and attracting a wider array through sub-branding such as Per Una for the younger buyer and Limited Edition to the older customer who are aware of more style, M&S remains more competitive with other high-quality retailers, whilst maintaining its offer of high-quality standards. The emergence of the ‘Simply Food’ shops also emphasises one of the historic and continuing strengths of M&S, namely its food supply.
Question 4: What challenges do M&S face due to cultural differences in its overall operation?
Various challenges were demonstrated by the interviewees, but one of those were common. The summarisation of the responses is below:
The main cross-cultural management challenge analysed in M&S was unclear branding positioning. Brand positioning speaks about brand advantages concentrating on all touch points with a consumer, providing a cause to purchase the brand instead of others. Marks & Spencer have failed in this sector in the Chinese market, causing the corporation to withdraw and liquidate its businesses. It was a big problem since they were tied together with the same product for quite a long time, it was necessary to add a different range to the product list.
In this developing business, standing by and making a distinction are crucial for a good connection with the clients concerned. The consumers must have a strong conviction in the organisation and it is important that the organisation’s pricing plan does not differ greatly with other retail outlets in the market for this to take place. It is vital that the firm be aware that other organisations must quickly take corrective actions on the market and the appropriate strategy should be adopted taking into account the current state of the market.
The most serious of all the problems that the global supply chain has to deal with is the abrupt and ever-changing desire and taste for a particular product or service. Different study was carried out on printing, categorisation, decision-making, collecting, approach, performance, change of perspectives and the level of contentment to read about customer behaviour. The judgement made by customers across the world is influenced by the process they go through as well as the data that are available. The thing which counts a great deal is the customer’s pre-occupied thinking on the product and its objective.
Question 5: Which approaches are taken by M&S to mitigate challenges that emerged from cultural differences?
The interviewees also informed about various strategies and techniques that have been and are being implemented in M&S:
In the last year, we continued to acquire world-class talents and developed a strong team. As Chief Strategy and Transformation Director, Katie Bickerstaffe joined the executive team in January. Eoin Tonge will begin his job as Chief Financial Officer in June, and Richard Price will begin his role as Managing Director, Clothing & Home, in June as well. A number of new leaders have also taken on important roles within the company. Paul Babbs (from Adidas) will shortly come to join the head of the clothing & home service chain, Stephen Langford (from George) will be Head of the clothing & home services chain, in May, and in the Food team, Craig Lovelace (N Brown) will join the finance director. Will Smith (from Asda) joined as Proprietary Director in May; Helen Milford (J Sainsbury) is becoming Store Operations Director on 1 June. Approximately 40% of the leadership team is made up of these new hires, who bring a variety of expertise, as well as a combination of new perspectives and talent that has been elevated from inside the company. Initial efforts in establishing a more wide-ranging leadership team, M&S have moved from a “senior management” to a “turning management team.” But they need to be more active in sharing accountability and mission.
M&S has changed to a digital pulse monthly to measure our feeling from an annual colleague survey. The findings are communicated with fellow Members and read morals often. The company’s ownership has transferred from HR to managers. In order to respond to outcomes and integrate the follow-up to action plans in performance administration a usable online action management solution was put in place. After the first quarter’s findings, NPS (Net Promoter Score) was at 12 while engagement levels were at 81 percent; as a consequence, this quarter’s deep dive was used to identify trends across businesses.
5.1 Descriptive Analysis
The primary qualitative and quantitative data collecting techniques have been examined and confirmed for suitability for usage in conjunction with the well-proven analytical framework. Additionally, in addition to implementing existing literature, an analysis and a report provided extensive information about the ways in which cultural diversity and inequality in research have shown themselves through time. Different researchers’ knowledge has been gathered from various online sources, including examining journal publications, research papers, and books. This has resulted in a scattering of both theoretical and actual data collection techniques. The interview and the information gathered through survey participant comments are analysed in order to comprehend those composite occupations are prevalent across a wide range of culturally and economically varied situations, as well as socio-cultural contexts.
From the Literatures reviewed, the concept of cultural diversity has been defined as an environment in which individuals of different races interact and exchange ideas in order to preserve a positive partnership relationship (ANJORIN and Jansari, 2018). Employees in every organisation show respect for culture via the celebration of cultural diversity. Thus, the social equilibrium is maintained in the long run. The term “cultural diversity” is frequently used to describe the presence of a large number of individuals in a country. People are increasingly accepting of one another’s identities in order to enhance cultural diversity. It also implies that men and women are fairly represented in the organisation, thanks to its cultural variety (Anita and Swamy, 2018). Companies benefit from cultural diversity because it enhances workers’ ingenuity and encourages them to be more innovative. For example, firms could collaborate on the development of new technologies to improve the competitiveness of their own organisations. The development of innovative project concepts also helps to the promotion of cultural diversity.
On the same note, the survey has indicated that 22% of the respondents had strongly agreed that the incorporation of diverse culture in the workplace is beneficial for M&S and 38% of the respondents had agreed about the benefits of cultural diversity for M&S. It, therefore, justifies the impact of Cultural Diversity on the business of Marks and Spencer. And, it also indicates that Cultural Diversity has been an advantageous approach for M&S’s business and operations, as 74% of the survey respondents agreed that the M&S has several policies to support cultural diversity in the workplace and 64% of the employees said that their profession had not been adversely impacted by the incorporation of cultural diversity.
This mix of people from different cultural backgrounds, according to the survey respondents, contributes considerably to the formation of workplace disputes. The fact that all these difficulties are typically caused by poor employee response or by a variety of other factors such as insufficient communication infrastructure at work, differences in motivation and others, has also been noted. Following an evaluation of the literature and numerous other academic reports, it was discovered that several aspects of organisational management, such as the execution of appropriate communications, the establishment of joint and efficient time management, and the implementation of programmes, were necessary to evaluate, as was the formation of a cohesive team of various parties to carry out the programmes.
A publication of Tsai (2011) has been particularly reviewed for understanding the interconnection between leadership and culture in business. The author illustrated that while the economic benefits of running diverse firms are derived from their commercial success, the absence of outstanding leadership and culture results in the failure of broad endeavours. Theoretically, when group diversity increases in the workplace, management teams would lose their power, according to Tsai (2011). Teaching and conveying the cultural norms, behaviours, and values of its members is how a culture develops. In order to establish the organisational culture, workers must take into consideration traditions, views, assumptions, and knowledge about what should be accomplished and what should be avoided. A leader begins in the heart of an organisation and gradually evolves into the organisation’s overall leadership style and approach. Subordinates should be guided by the ideas and actions of these leaders in order to improve the consistency of both parties’ actions. A robust organisational culture is created when great coherence in behaviour, values, and beliefs are fostered, according to Tsai (2011), who also observed that when outstanding coherence in behaviour, values, and beliefs is fostered. In order to maintain a company’s cultural identity, management and leadership teams must be conscious of their obligations. As a result, workers may expect consistent behaviour, fewer conflicts, and a more secure working environment.
On the same note the survey also showed that 68% of the respondent believed that their leaders respect and obey the cultural diversity in the workplace of M&S; 56% of the respondents said that leaders in M&S treat their employees regardless of their identity; 30% of the respondents strongly agreed that M&S’s leadership approaches assist in maintaining cultural diversity in the workplace and 42% of the respondents agreed leadership’s assistance towards cultural diversity. Therefore, it indicated towards justification that Leadership strongly correlates with the Business Culture of M&S and it sustains the benefits of Cultural Diversity.
While finding the challenges faced by M&S during and after Cultural Diversity implementation, the interview responses provided a thorough knowledge. M&S’s executives said that the major cross-cultural management problem identified at M&S was a lack of clarity in the company’s branding positioning. Brand positioning is concerned with the benefits of a brand, focusing on all points of contact with a consumer and offering a reason for the consumer to choose the brand over others. Marks & Spencer has failed miserably in this area of the Chinese market, prompting the firm to withdraw from the market and liquidate its operations. Also, Ghemawat (2017)’s publication talked about the various challenges that cultural diversity can include in an organisation, that are communication barrier, confusion for diversified ideas, reduced trust and increased complaints. In response to this, the survey indicated that being a European company, Marks and Spencer does have major numbers of employees with European culture (54%), but the company does support cultural diversity in the workplace that is why it has Asian (20%), Anglo Indian (22%) and African (4%) employees also.
It therefore extends to the interview responses that were given by the M&S executives who provided a detail justification about the mitigation approaches of M&S against cultural problems. Interviewees said that M&S continued to acquire world-class talents and developed a strong team since the last year. They hired high-level executives from diversified cultures: Katie Bickerstaffe (As Chief Strategy and Transformation Director) in executive team, Eoin Tonge (as Chief Financial Officer) and Richard Price (as Managing Director, Clothing & Home). They also attracted various other leaders from their competitors, like Paul Babbs (from Adidas) as the head of the clothing & home service chain, Stephen Langford (from George) as Head of the clothing & home services chain, Craig Lovelace (N Brown) as the finance director in the Food team, Will Smith (from Asda) as Proprietary Director, and Helen Milford (J Sainsbury) as Store Operations Director. Approximately 40% of the leadership team is made up of these new hires from different cultures and backgrounds, who bring a variety of expertise, as well as a combination of new perspectives and talent that has been elevated from inside the company. For initial efforts in establishing a more wide-ranging leadership team, M&S have moved from a “senior management” to a “turning management team.”
The purpose of this study is to investigate the cultural diversity in the M&S environment. M&S is a well-known retail company in the United Kingdom. Cultural diversity creates various problems within a professional setting, and as a result of these disagreements, a diversified workplace atmosphere develops. When there is a hostile work environment, it has an impact on group practises. As a result, the M&S administration will have an impact on the company’s output; if it is unable to strike a balance between cultural diversity and profitability. “Cultural diversity” awareness in the workplace is always expanding or rising, and this has a beneficial impact on the “bottom line” in every situation.
The research was directed to identify the cultural diversity in M&S’s business, determine the effectiveness leadership in maintaining cultural diversity in workplace and distinguish the challenges fostered by cultural diversity and their solutional approaches. Primary Qualitative Interview and Primary Quantitative Survey mostly provided all the required information that are enough the justify the research objectives and questions. In addition, literature review sources added an extra weight to the justifications in meeting the objectives strongly.
In response to the first objective, it has been found that employees in all organisations, through celebrating cultural diversity, demonstrate respect for culture. The social balance is therefore preserved over the long term. The phrase ‘cultural diversity’ is often used to indicate the existence of many people in a country. In order to increase cultural variety, people increasingly embrace each other’s own identities. It also means that men and women, due to their cultural diversity, are equally represented inside the organisation. Also, Marks and Spencer’s kind of culture concentrates on the consumer. The culture of customers is a venue where customer service, market research, suitable employment and training may be improved throughout the enterprise. The firm is trying to modernise the technology of e-commerce. It also has excellent culture in which employees and employers have good communication. They are also discovered to be dynamic, when a firm wishes to change its work practises continuously. Workers are always looking for innovative ideas.
In response to the second objective, it has been found that in the history of M&S, Sir Marcus Sieff was a great man. Early management was largely families controlled and based on traditional family values. It was mainly inward-looking despite its strength. In the late 90s the management review was necessary when M&S was struggling. It now needs more distributional leadership. One which allows the leader and followers to understand the activities, which develop on their own abilities and strength. This is exemplified by M&S leaders such as Luc Vandevelde and Stuart Rose. Vandevelde has developed a recovery approach to bring the company closer to its customers and core competencies. The rehabilitation plan for the firm was centred on the UK, its own brand sales and control of the supply chain. It aimed to restore the reputation of M&S for quality, value, service and innovation. Rose’s “Your M&S” campaign contains the revitalised principles and concepts of M&S’s foundation.
In response to the third objective, in has been found that M&S majorly suffers from unclear brand positioning. The most significant issue confronting the global supply chain is the fluctuating demand for a specific product or service. Printing, categorisation, decision-making, collection, approach, performance, viewpoint shift, and customer satisfaction were all studied. Customers’ judgments are impacted by both the procedure and the data offered. The customer’s preoccupied thinking on the product and its goal counts a lot. And, in order to mitigate the challenges faced, M&S recruits diversifies leaders within their workplace. Almost two-fifth of their leaders are from varied cultures in integrating diversifies perspectives and ideas of marketing and business prosperity.
6. Conclusions and Recommendations
The research has been aimed to identify the various aspects of cultural diversity within the workplace of Marks and Spencer. The research was set with three objectives to direct the study in a particular way. Marks & Spencer is built on five fundamental values: quality, pricing, service, innovation, and trust. This brand’s mission is to make aspirational excellence accessible to everybody via the breadth and variety of its offerings. The main techniques of data gathering qualitative and quantitative were examined for compliance with the well-established analytical framework. A study and analysis provided extensive information on how cultural diversity and inclusion has developed over time in research. Online sources such as journals, research papers and books were collected by researcher information. Theoretical and practical methods to data collection are therefore dispersed. In order to establish which composite jobs are prominence in M&S in various cultural, financial and social settings, the interview and survey participants’ statements were analysed.
The research was integrated with various literature sources from various prominent business journals. Literatures made it evident that globalisation and international business need intercultural interactions between representatives and consumers, supervisors and subordinates, colleagues, task groups and project groups. Intercultural talents include the ability to comprehend other cultures, the ability to collaborate, and the ability to remain in an intercultural context. Conversely, intercultural communication is a social activity between individuals. It’s important to give persons, events, and situations unique communication codes. Most businesses operate globally in a way that fosters great relationships between partners or employees from various cultural backgrounds. Recognising and comprehending cultural differences is a critical skill for gaining a competitive edge in the global market. Cultural diversity in the workplace is critical to any organisation’s success. Cultural diversity within an organisation may have both positive and negative effects. Using all aspects of cultural diversity in the workplace has been demonstrated to increase employee relations and company performance. Cultural diversity has also been shown to cause employee unrest, conflict, and poor organisational outcomes.
Marks and Spencer’s culture is consumer-driven. Customers are a place where customer service, market research, proper employment, and training may be enhanced. The company is modernising e-commerce technologies. It also has a healthy culture of communication between employees and employers. They are also found to be dynamic when a company wants to modify its work practises constantly. Workers are continuously seeking new ideas. Sir Marcus Sieff was a major man in M&S history. Early management was dominated by families and traditional family values. Despite its might, it was mostly inward. M&S needed a management review in the late 1990s. That leadership is needed now. One that enables the leader and followers to recognise their own talents and strengths. Leaders like Luc Vandevelde and Stuart Rose epitomise this. Vandevelde has created a recovery strategy to bring the firm back to its fundamental strengths. The firm’s recovery plan focused on the UK, its own brand sales, and supply chain control. It intended to reestablish M&S’s reputation for quality, value, service, and Stuart Rose’s “Your M&S” campaign revives M&S’s founding ideals.
M&S has been found to have a nebulous brand positioning. The main challenge facing the global supply chain is changing demand for a particular product or service. Customer satisfaction was assessed together with print-outs and classification. The method and the data provided influence customers’ judgments. The customer’s focus on the product and its objective is vital. And, to overcome the obstacles, M&S selects diverse executives. The company’s executives come from all cultures, bringing diverse perspectives and ideas to marketing and commercial success. All these arguments gathered and interpreted from the previous literatures, Interview and Survey data collections justified the objectives set by research at the initiation of the research study.
There are many benefits to having a diverse workplace. For starters, organisations that commit to recruiting a diverse workforce have a larger pool of applicants to choose from, which can lead to finding more qualified candidates and reducing the time it takes to fill vacant positions. Businesses that do not recruit from diverse talent pools run the risk of missing out on qualified candidates and may have a more difficult time filling key roles, which increases recruitment costs (John and Roberts, 2017). Therefore, the following strategies are outlined by the researcher to provide M&S with an insight about effective cultural diversity implementation and maintenance.
Communication Should Be Prioritised
Marks and Spencer must ensure they communicate successfully with employees in order to manage a varied work environment. Policies, procedures, safety and other critical information should be created to remove barriers to language and culture by translating documents and utilising photos and symbols, where appropriate (Joubert, 2017).
Diverse Groups Must Be Included to Work
Diversified work teams allow workers to get to know and respect one another on a more personal level, and they can aid in the dismantling of preconceived conceptions and cultural misunderstandings (Li et al., 2017).
Encourage Employee Individuality
M&S should make no judgments about workers who come from a variety of various backgrounds. Rather of attributing behaviours to their history, it must see each employee as distinct, judging achievements and failures on the quality of the individual (John and Roberts, 2017).
Show An Open-Mindness
M&S should emphasise the fact that one’s own life experiences, cultural background, and heritage are not the only things that provide value to the company, and urge workers to understand this as well. The company also must identify and exploit opportunities to include a wide variety of viewpoints and abilities into activities to realise organisational objectives (Park, 2020).
Establish General Standards Based on Objective Criteria
The company should establish a single set of rules that apply to all groups of employees, regardless of their backgrounds (Joubert, 2017). M&S should make sure every job, including discipline, meets the uniform standards to ensure that all employees are being treated identically.
Hiring From Different Ethnicities
It is critical to attract and hire employees from a wide range of backgrounds in order to create a diverse workplace. Leadership and workers involved in recruiting choices must overcome bias while conducting interviews and evaluating potential employees in order to achieve this (Li et al., 2017). If M&S can disrupt their preferences and recruit the most qualified individuals, the appropriate ones should be able to get the natural consequence of their education, qualifications, experience and talent.
6.3 Research Limitations
This research was set during the post-Covid-19 situation which is why the interview and survey were conducted through Google Forms. Though participants had respondents spontaneously to the research along with their consents to use their responses in the research study, the interview responses would be more convenient if taken face-to-face. Also, the research lacks secondary information about Marks & Spencer’s business culture and its engagement with cultural diversity approach.
6.4 Future Research Scope
The research will further attempt to explore the secondary qualitative data about the retailer, Marks and Spencer’s cultural diversity and business performance. Also, this study can be used by the future aspirants in attempting other cultural impacts within the business aspects of Marks and Spencer.