HNC Unit 3 Organizations and Behaviour

This is a solution of HNC organizations and behaviour assignment, given in UK college of business and computing and discusses ASDA Organization.

Task 1

P1.1 Compare and contrast the organization structure and culture of ASDA PLC to that of British Airlines

Organization structure and culture is very important for the success of any organization. There are various types of structures and cultures which are followed by various organizations and we will do a comparison of structure and culture of both the organizations which are ASDA PLC and British Airways. Organization structure is defined as the way the hierarchy and roles of employees are structured in the organization. Roles, job titles, responsibilities etc. are also the part of organization structure. Network of the employees and control is also a part of organization structure.

Hierarchical Structure for any organizational structure

ASDA PLC has hierarchical structure. In a hierarchical structure there will be a single person at the top and there will be some middle level managers who will directly report to the senior level executives (Tannenbaum, 1977). All the middle level will also have some employees who will report him directly. There can be many layers of middle level managers between the low level employees and senior executives. In ASDA PLC information flow happens from one layer to another. Low level employees cannot directly talk to the top executives. There is centralization of power and authority in ASDA PLC. In each level there is a person who is responsible for managing business at that level.

British Airways has totally opposite organizational culture if we compare it with ASDA PLC. It is following flat organization structure. In this type of structure there will be one person at the top and all the other employees will be at the same level. There will not be any middle level layers (Porter, 1965). All the employees in British Airways are divided into groups or circles. One group or circle will manage one division of the organization. So, it is also called as divisional organization structure. Decision making is distributed and employees are empowered. Employees have flexibility and they are motivated in British Airways. It helps in quick decision making which is very beneficial for the growth of the organization.

Culture of both the organizations is very different from each other. ASDA PLC believes in good customer service and providing best service or product to the client. It also believes in integrity and fairness in the organization. These are the signs of social culture in the organization. British Airways is following the market oriented culture. There is a huge competition in the market and employees are prepared to beat the competition by providing best service to the customers. It believes in getting the job done. British Airways is also trying to implement the clan organizational culture where employees have more flexibility and freedom. Employees live like family and friends and they are attached to each other emotionally.

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P1.2 Explain how the relationship between ASDA’s structure and culture impacts on its performance

Organization structure and culture are very much related to each other and it helps a lot in improving the performance of employees. In hierarchical organization structure roles and responsibilities of ASDA employees are clear and there is no confusion in assigning the tasks. All the employees know their goals and targets and they achieve them in the given time. One employee works under one leader and in one project which helps in concentrating on one job and it surely helps in improving the organization’s performance. Hierarchical organization structure is always recommended when the number of employees in the organization is large. Every unit or project in the organization has some goals which they have to achieve in given time. Employee can directly speak to his senior in ASDA PLC and take his suggestion and guidance in case of any problem (Hughes, 2004). Hierarchical organization structure has some negative impacts also on the performance of the organization. Employees are not empowered and decision making process is slow. Employees have to take approval from the next level for any important decision which takes time and impacts negatively on the performance of the organization.

In the above task we discussed that the organization culture followed by ASDA PLC is communal and clan organizational culture. Work environment and culture in ASDA PLC is very positive. It has very friendly environment. Employees stay like family and they are always ready to each other’s responsibilities. There is no feeling of jealousy and competition among the employees. It helps in improving the commitment of employees towards the organization. Employees are following rules and policies of the organization very strictly. All the above mentioned points help a lot in improving the performance of the organization.

P1.3 Discuss the factors which influence the behaviour of ASDA’s employees at work giving relevant examples

Behaviour of employees in an organization depends on lots of factors. Below are some of the factors which affect the employee’s behaviour in ASDA PLC:

  • Relationship with the manager also affects employee’s performance and behaviour. If the manager if friendly and motivation employee will be able to develop his skills and competencies and they will work for the objectives and goals of the organization.
  • Structure and culture of the organization also plays an important role in shaping the behaviour of employee in the organization. Flatter structure gives more power and flexibility to employees to develop his skills. Employee will be able to think out of the box and get some new ideas for the growth of the organization. Clan organizational culture helps in creating friendly and healthy environment in the organization. Employee’s always try to be helpful and positive towards each other. Employee’s stay away from any kind of politics in the organization.
  • Rules and regulations and policies in the organization also affect the behaviour of employees in the organization. For e.g. if there are strict policies against discrimination and any kind of sexual harassment, employees will stay away from any kind of these activities in the organization.
  • Leadership style in ASDA PLC will also shape the behaviour of employees in the organization. Leader should not be threating but he should be able to make employees comfortable with him. It will make employee confidant and he will be able to ask any doubt regarding his growth and any kind of idea which can be helpful in organization’s performance.
  • Technology in the organization is also very important. There need to be proper communication channels in the organization for right and accurate sharing of information or data. Accurate sharing of information will lead to lesser number of conflicts in the organization. Communication channel also helps in reaching to senior level employees in a shorter period of time.
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Task 2

P2.1 Compare the effectiveness of the leadership styles used by the CEO in ASDA to that used by British airways CEO

Leadership style used by the managers in an organization is also as important as organizational structure and culture. Effective leader is the one who is able to take all the team members towards a common goal. He is the one who leads from front and sets an example for all his followers. He should be able to motivate and encourage employees towards the organization’s goals and objectives. He should be able to assign tasks properly to all the team members. He should know the strengths and weaknesses of all the employees working under him and should be able to assign tasks on the basis of their strengths and weaknesses. He should also be able to help team members in developing their skills and competencies. Comparison of leadership style of ASDA and British Airways are as follows:

Leadership style in ASDA PLC:

Hardman and Norman are the two important leaders in ASDA PLC. They have helped a lot in making ASDA as one of the largest supermarkets in the entire world. The leadership style followed by these leaders is relationship oriented leadership style. According to this leadership style all the leaders try to maintain strong relation with all the team members (Cohen, 2004). They have also followed autocratic leadership style which helped a lot in increasing the number of stores and branches in the entire UK. Store managers were given power to take store related important decisions. Leaders also helped in any issues and concerns of store employees.

Leadership style in British Airways:

British Airways was about to bankrupt but because of the task oriented leadership styles used by Willie Walsh it became successful. Employees are not encouraged to make strong relationship but they are encouraged to complete the tasks at any cost. Leader tries to provide all the resources to employees and expect best results from time. After some time organization tried to get shifted from this style to participative leadership style where employees were given more power and were given chances to take decisions on their own.

P2.2 Identify any organizational theories practiced at ASDA and explain how organizational theory underpins the practice of management

Organization theory can be defined as the strategies used by the organization to increase the profitability of the organization. It also includes the strategies which can be used to solve any major problem in the organization. Organization theory can also be defined as the methodology or procedure used to run the business. ASDA got merged with Wal-Mart in 2000. Merging of two companies require lots of research before implementing the merger (Masters, 2004). Organizations have to face lots of problems and issues in a merger strategy. Employees have to adjust themselves with the employees of new organization. ASDA PLC had to work hard to prepare its employees for the new environment. Wal-Mart is one of the biggest brands in retail sector and it has created as sense of insecurity in the minds of ASDA’s employees. Employees have to get out of their comfort level and there is a risk of new work culture, structure and job satisfaction. In this case the higher management discussed with the employees and encouraged the employees to join Wal-Mart. Employees were made assure that it will not impact their job satisfaction and comfort level. Both ASDA and Wal-Mart are similar type of organizations which helped it a lot in doing this merger very smoothly. Organization theory helped senior level managers in taking decisions for the welfare of ASDA’s employees. They gained the confidence of employees which was very beneficial for both the organizations

.ASDA organizations and Behaviour

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P2.3 Evaluate the different approaches to management used by ASDA to that used by British Airways

Both the organizations have been following different structure and culture. Because of different structure and culture management approaches used by the organizations are different. In ASDA we have seen the hierarchical organizational structure where everything is well planned and organized. Leadership is very strong in ASDA PLC. ASDA focused a lot on appraising the employees and recognizing them for their performances. At the end of a certain period all the employees are evaluated and employees with top performance are given awards and rewards and employees with below average performance are put into improvement plans. Communication is the organization is very well managed. There are proper ways for upward, downward and horizontal communications (Simpson, 1959). Competition has been growing strongly for ASDA and leaders have to be very effective in designing strategies for these competitors. ASDA has also focused on innovation and implementing new technologies to beat the competition in the market.

On the other hand British Airways has flatter organization structure and the management and leadership style is also very different from ASDA PLC. Decision making is not systematic and managers are empowered to take decisions. In a service industry human touch is very important. Employees need to be very friendly and should have very good communication skills. Organization focuses a lot on improving the technical skills of its employees. Company worked a lot on its management or leadership styles when it was facing bankruptcy and hence it was successful in improving the operational efficiency of the organization with the help of new management style. It allowed its employees to be more participative in the decision making for the organization. Employees were given more flexibility. Organization always tried to keep the employees satisfied which helped in retaining employees for longer period of time. It was very helpful in reducing the cost for the organization.

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Task 3

P3.1 What type of changes could ASDA have engaged in, Discuss the impact that different leadership styles may have on motivation of ASDA’s staff in periods of changes

Organizations try to focus on customer satisfaction but employee satisfaction is also as important for the success of the organization. Employee satisfaction leads to employee motivation and employee try to work towards the goals and objectives of the organization with his full dedication. Leadership style plays a very important role in keeping employees satisfied and motivated. Norman tried to create friendly and healthy work culture in the organization. Employees were not under any kind of pressure. Employees were allowed to put forward their concerns and issues and they had the opportunity to directly speak to the top level managers. Employees were very safe in the organization as ASDA was following all the rules and regulations against discrimination very strictly. Business practices and process was changed because of new leadership style.

Communication plays a very important role in keeping the employee motivated because with the help of communication channel employees are able to take their concerns and ideas forward (Nader, 1988). ASDA give very much importance to the communication channels in the organization. Employees were always motivated to learn and improve their communication skills.

Finding out the weaknesses of the employees and train the employees to get rid of their weaknesses also motivate employees for better performance. All these strategies helped a lot in increasing the productivity of the employees. Employees got opportunities to develop themselves in personal and professional manner. Employees in ASDA PLC are very much satisfied with the leadership style.

P3.2 Compare the application of different motivational theories with special reference to ASDA’s employees as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Vroom expectancy theories and McGregor’s theory X and Y. Which theory is most applicable and why?

Encouraging employees through various means for better performance is called motivation. Leaders use some sources to motivate the staff members and these sources are called as motivational theories. We will discuss various motivational theories which can be used by ASDA to motivate its employees:

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:

This theory was given by Maslow and he says that there are five stages of motivation and these stages are different from one person to another. If the person is at one stage then the things from upper stage will motivate him. The five stages of needs are:

  • Psychological needs
  • Safety needs
  • Social needs
  • Self-Esteem needs
  • Self-Actualization needs

This theory helped ASDA in differentiating employees on the basis of their stage in hierarchy and finding out the ways to motivate them.

Vroom’ Expectancy theory:

This theory says that rewards and awards are very important to keep the employees motivated. It says that motivation through rewards or recognition can change the attitude of the employee towards the work. His behaviour will change. Employee should be recognized in front of other employees and this will be helpful in motivating other employees also. In ASDA all the top level performers are rewarded with monitory benefits which encourage employees to work with full potential.

McGregor’s theory of X and Y:

This theory was given by McGregor. This theory believes that there are two types of employees in an organization and there are two theories for each type. X-theory is for the employees who are free riders and Y theory is for those who are self-motivated. Employees under X theory needs to be threatened and employees under Y theory needs to be awarded and rewarded.

After studying various theories I can say that Maslow theory is applicable to ASDA as it tried to find out the needs of the employees and motivate them by satisfying those needs.

P3.3 Evaluate the usefulness of a motivational theory for managers. How could a theory like Hertzberg’s motivational theory be useful and relevant to the managers of ASDA?

Motivational theories give a way or an idea to encourage the workforce working under you. Managers can use these motivational theories like Hertzberg’s theory for getting the better performance from the employees. Motivating the employees is one of the duties of managers because it helps in getting better results for the organization. If the manager is able to use skills and competencies of the employees appropriately it will definitely help in increasing the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of the employees. Manager has to find out the strengths and weaknesses of is employees. He needs to make the best use of his employees’ strengths. He needs to find out the factors which motivate his employees. Sometimes employees are motivated by criticism but it is not the case with all the employees because some might get offended by the criticism.

Herzberg’s theory of motivation has explained two very important factors. It talks about factors which help in motivating the employees and in improving their performance (Herzberg, 2005). Recognition, responsibility, awards etc. are some of these factors and there are other factors which can cause dissatisfaction in the minds of the employee. Salary, hikes, job security etc. come under this category. These factors might encourage employee to leave the organization.

organization hieararchi- organizational behaviour

Managers in ASDA have to understand all the dissatisfaction factors. Employees should get proper salary to run their houses and they should get hikes in salary every year. Employee should feel safe in the organization. There should not be any kind of discrimination in the organization.

Task 4

P4.1 Explain the nature of the various groups that may exist among ASDA’s staff and how they may influence the behaviour of staff

In an organization there can be various groups and these groups can change the behaviour of other staff members. Employees might have divided themselves on the basis of race, religion, culture etc. We have seen in multi-national organizations that people from one country always stay together and they don’t like people from other country. The major problem which occurs because of these groups is discrimination and it inhibits the team work. Personal issues come in front of the goals and objectives of the organization.

Two or more individuals with same thinking and who work together for a common goal is called group. There are two types of groups which are usually found in the organization i.e. formal and informal groups (Oh, 2004). Groups formed by the top level managers are called formal groups and the groups formed by the employees themselves are called informal groups. Informal groups are also called as social groups.

ASDA PLC faced a major problem when it got merged with Wal-Mart. There were employees from two different organizations with different work cultures and they had to work together for a common goal. It was very challenging task for the managers to encourage the employees to work in a team. Mangers used Belbin’s theory which was very helpful in solving this issue. According to this theory strengths and weaknesses of the employees should be found out first and on the basis of that groups should be formed in an organization.

P4.2 Discuss the factors that may promote or inhibit the development of effective teamwork among the employees of ASDA PLC

Effective team work is very important in an organization for its success. The entire organization is a team which works towards the common goals. There are various factors which can inhibit and develop the team work in ASDA PLC. Some of these factors are as follows:

  • All the employees in a team should be given freedom and they should be given equal opportunity to put forward their points. All the team members should be given equal opportunity to speak and leader is the one who can take care of these things.
  • Organization structure and culture should be friendly and flexible. Employees should not be put under pressure.
  • Teams should be appraised and rewarded after regular intervals of time. This also motivates the team members to work for a common goal.
  • Leadership or management style in a team is also very helpful in the success of a team. There are various leadership building programs launched by ASDA PLC.
  • There should be mutual understanding between the employees in a team. Employee should be given some time to spend together which will help them in knowing each other and they will be able to work comfortable with each other.

P4.3 Evaluate the impact of technology on team functioning within ASDA PLC

Technology plays a very important role in making the team work effective. All the employees should have access to internet and personal computers which helps in fast sharing of information. ASDA has been using technology for its benefit. Recruitment of the new employees is happening online. ASDA has video conferencing facility. Employees from two different locations can also join a meeting (Kydd, 1994). They need travel to different location for just one hour meeting. All the employees in ASDA PLC are connected internally with the help of intranet. They can anytime chat with each other. Communication channels in the organization are integrated to each other. All the employees in the organization have facility of emails, phones, video calls, live meeting etc. And all this is possible with the help of technology. Employees are encouraged to use smart phones. Employees can check their emails anytime and from anywhere. They can even join the meeting through their phones. Hence in this era of strong competition and globalization technology has become the basis requirement in any organization. It has made all the processes very fast.


We studied various aspects of organization behaviour with the help of ASDA PLC and British Airways. Organization structure and culture in both the organizations was very different and both the structure and culture have their own importance in the success of the organization. Leadership or management styles used by ASDA PLC and British Airways had helped them in getting out of many difficult situations and also in dealing with major strategies in the organization. ASDA PLC knows the importance of team work and is working towards motivating its employees for team work. Technology plays a very important role in making the team work effective. 


Cohen, F., Solomon, S., Maxfield, M., Pyszczynski, T., & Greenberg, J. 2004. Fatal Attraction: The Effects of Mortality Salience on Evaluations of Charismatic, Task-Oriented, and Relationship-Oriented Leaders. Psychological Science, 15(12), 846-851. Herzberg, F. 2005. Motivation-hygiene theory. Chair in human resources at the State University of New York–Buffalo and was faculty director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership there. Hughes, A. 2004. Retail restructuring and the strategic significance of food retailers' own-labels: a UK-USA comparison. Retailing: Crit Concepts Bk1, 3, 240. Kydd, C. T., & Ferry, D. L. 1994. Managerial use of video conferencing. Information & Management, 27(6), 369-375. Masters, G. 2004. Wal-Mart's Global Challenge. Retail Merch, 44(5), 26-28. Nader, R. 1988. Leadership and motivation.

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