Marks and Spencer Culture


Marks & Spencer is British institution. Opened up in 1884, the company emerged as a significant merchant of clothes, food, home items and financial services. By 1997, Marks & Spencer was an international company with sales of over £8 billion and very high net income.

However, the group experienced a shocking reversal in lot of money at the change of the 21st Century when its main customer platform, women aged between 35 and 55 commenced to avoid shopping at their stores.

This posed an extremely serious threat to the company's survival and Markings & Spencer thought hard and long about how exactly to rectify the problem. It did so by launching bold new moves changing its commercial culture and by building up existing systems and processes. In so doing, the company could regain its faithful customers and develop once again. Yet, the last few years have been challenging as the company was badly afflicted by the global monetary crisis.

This report outlines the changing framework and culture at Marks & Spencer's. It provides an evaluation of the efforts of the main element business functions to the organizational change. In addition, it identifies the key stakeholders of the business and the main element issues of managing them. Finally, a SWOT evaluation is done for Marks & Spencer along with an diagnosis of its long-term future potential clients.


All organizations have their own ethnicities, which contain the ideals and beliefs distributed by its users which determine to a significant degree how managers react to problems and opportunities. But commercial culture may become static and exceedingly bureaucratic over time, even among successful organizations (Huff et al, 2009).

An organizational culture is powerful because it automatically shapes the way members see their world. Any culture is deeply rooted in values and worth that participants have internalized. When values and principles are presented without challenge for an extended period of time, they are simply even less likely to be questioned (Robbins and Judge, 2007). The norms hardly ever change to support those who deviate from them. Inertia sets in and employees become stuck in a rut. Employees become resistant to improve and are unwilling to do things in different ways because they entail inconvenience and doubt. This could eventually destroy the business.

Like most successful organizations, Markings & Spencer was a sufferer of its own success. Its corporate and business culture because inflexible, rigid and repellent to change since it was thought that because the company was successful, there was no need to change. Deeply entrenched was a feeling of staff entitlement regarding remuneration and working hours. However, when it became clear that the old culture was struggling to manage changing demands of industry, the top management chosen a significant revamp.

As a result, employees became less tolerant to improve and started out to adopt new means of doing things. Employees were inclined to benefit longer time if it intended better pay plus they were less resistant to the fact that they could lose their careers if the business performed poorly. They were also directed for learning and education programs to provide them with new skills places so that they were better able to manage changes in the working environment. Each one of these efforts contributed to the change in commercial culture which is now more active and versatile.

A volume of major changes were also designed to the organizational composition. The formal chain of command word was flattened to a certain extent and in doing so the business became more agile and responsive to changes in customer demand and tastes. The regional management framework was simplified to delegate more responsibility to individual store managers to give them more autonomy.


3. 1 Finance

The fund function plays a crucial role at Marks & Spencer in chopping costs and getting rid of unnecessary expenditure. The entire value string was examined to find out where and exactly how costs could be trimmed. As a result, the company could keep your charges down, provide better prices to the clients and improve its overall success. Ultimately, it's the shareholders who stand to get the most from the initiatives manufactured in terms of maximization of shareholder riches.

3. 2 Marketing

To attract new customers and preserve existing customers at Marks & Spencer, the marketing function critically analyzed the reason for declining sales. The root cause negative customer conception of its main customer bottom - women aged between 35 and 55 that the clothes sold at Grades & Spencer were unfashionable and even dowdy. Therefore, the marketing function decided to split the long-cherished St Michael's brand into lots of categories to appeal to different customer needs.

Consequently, the company launched three new product categories for girls (www. marksandspencer. com, 2011). The first, an ideal and Classic ranges were for basic purposes, for example jeans, sweatshirts and plain t shirts. The second range, Autograph is designed for the more fashionable woman of a more substantial demographic group. The final range, per una, is targeted at the younger girl of age groups 25 to 35 and is also of average dress size.

By segmenting its products for different marketplaces, the company was able to regain most of the sales it lost. Different marketing campaigns are held for each and every range and this makes the business's products appear more appealing to customers.

3. 3 Operations

A amount of critical changes were designed to the company's operations. For one, the supply string was made leaner and in doing so, the company made substantial personal savings. Fewer suppliers were used which facilitated transparency and response time. The lead time was reduced and the company placed a greater focus on timeliness and quality. These contribute to leaner operations which lead to raised profits.

3. 4 People Resource

This function is critical to the successful implementation of a strategy. The HRM function at Markings & Spencer played an important role in changing staff mindset and changing the organization culture to be more attuned to the changes that need that occurs (Hitt et al, 2004). As a result, employees were more receptive to improve and aware of the sacrifices they need to make.


The key stakeholders of Markings & Spencer are shareholders, management, employees and customers. The following diagram shows their relative importance and power

Power of Stakeholders

Meet Their Needs Key Player

B, C A


Least Important Show Consideration



A - Shareholders

B - Management

C - Customers

D - Employees


Shareholders would like to maximize their prosperity. Show maximization is through share price gratitude and dividends (Aaker, 1996). Therefore, gratifying this group would require increasing income and the business profile.

Management can be involved about maintaining control over operations. Their goals are occasionally similar compared to that of shareholders but sometimes they differ (Daniels et al, 2007). Hence, you have the firm problem.

The employees at Markings & Spencer are most worried about job security and work conditions. Essentially, they might like careers that pay well and have good hours. However, this can be incompatible with the goal of riches maximization of shareholders as worker benefits will erode revenue. Likewise, if employees are unionized, they may cause problems to management and reduce its influence. Hence, management must affect a balance between making employees and shareholders happy.

Customers are concerned about fulfilling their needs and wants. Handling them effectively would require Grades & Spencer to improve its product offering to make satisfied customers who make do it again purchases.


6. 1 Strengths

Excellent control system for suppliers, inventory and structure of stores.

Very high quality products

Efficient and modern development techniques

Good understanding of its core customer platform.

6. 2 Weaknesses

Generic clothing that is often regarded as unfashionable

An image to be boring

6. 3 Opportunities

Global expansion

Utilizing more international suppliers to achieve cost advantage

Maximize use of existing technology to acquire competitive advantage

6. 4 Threats

Competition with premium quality clothing manufacturers

Competition with discount stores

Economic downturn


Marks & Spencer is facing a very difficult time. After its successful business turnaround, it is once more facing problems because of the recession. Indeed another couple of years may be a very difficult time for the company. Not only is it facing competition from high end vendors but discount stores as well. On the other hand, the middle class is shrinking if the company will not take vivid steps, it could collapse. To succeed, the company must grow its market show by penetrating new market segments or new product lines.


Marks & Spencer is a company with an extended background of success. To triumph over its current difficulties, it must draw on its talents, overcome its weaknesses and revamp its technique to stay relevant and competitive.

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