HND Business Unit 3 Organisation and Behaviour


ASDA stores Private ltd. is one of the largest supermarket stores in UK which indulge in retail business of grocery, general merchandize, clothing, toys, etc. In 2013, ASDA expand its business by providing mobile network which is known as ASDA mobile. The supermarket has over 550 stores across UK with over 175,000 employees working in it. The company has its head office in Yorkshire. This HND business organisation behaviour assignment report will analyse the human resource management of ASDA and compare it with British Airways another leading company in airline sector. The report will focus on the organizational structure and culture and the relation between the two in the success of the company. The report will also analyse the different leadership styles that are followed in the two companies. The report will further discuss various theories and models which forms the basis of management practices in ASDA. Finally, the report will analyse the importance of teamwork in ASDA and impact of technology in day to day functioning of the company.

Task 1

P1.1. Compare and contrast the organisation structure and culture of ASDA PLC to that of British airlines. Compare and contrast the organisation structure and culture of ASDA PLC to that of British airlines

ASDA follows hierarchical organization structure which is characterized by more number of layers and more job levels within the organization. Being a vast organization, it is essential that ASDA continues with hierarchical type of organization. The major drawback of being hierarchical in nature is that the major business decision are taken by the higher and senior members of the organization while the staff members and major workforce working in stores are not involved duringdecision making. This is important to make quick business decisions as flow of information is very slow in hierarchical type of organization as it has to flow through various levels. However, the culture within ASDA is in accordance with the organization structure of the company. The core values of the company are integrity, fairness, transparency and customer satisfaction. The supervisors at ASDA are involved with all the employees to make sure that every employee feels safe and secure to work. Thus, although ASDA follows a hierarchical structure, the management makes sure that employees are taken care of and should feel valuable assets to the company (Beer, 2000).

On the other hand, British airways are comparatively a Flat organization with very less number of layers. Communication becomes easier as the flow of information is easy and quick. All the people are considered equal and so all the people feel equally responsible. The work culture of any flat organization is work driven and there is no place for lazy and weak. Rewards are shared completely on the basis of effort and thus competition is high in such organization. The employee are given equal responsibility to take decision related to company specially while dealing with customers as a quick action may be required to fulfil ever changing customer request.

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

The three level of management plays an important role in the proper functioning of ASDA. It is important that a company which is vastly populated should have more layers so that as experience and seniority within the company increases, employees are benefitted with promotions to high job level. Thus, more and more job levels are important to distinguish between wider ranges of employees. However, it becomes equally important that the lower workforce who comprises of the majority of people should feel valuable and hence management plays an important role. The first level managers i.e. supervisors make sure that they maintain close relationship with all the employees working at stores and on occasions also offer their hand in work. The polite behaviour and emotional attachment between employees and manager helps the employees to keep motivated and does not let them feel left out. Thus, the culture at ASDA makes sure that the disadvantage of being hierarchical in nature is minimized and maximum efficiency can be attained from the employees which result in better performance.

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

Some of the important factors which influence employee’s behaviour at ASDA are discussed below:

  • Communication: One of the most important factors which keeps the employee motivated and interested to work is communication. Communication doesn’t only mean interaction. It is being attached emotionally and knowing each other. The supervisors know each employee in his or her team very well and are also attached on personal grounds. The managers make sure that they are always polite and respectful while talking with the employees. Thus, an employee feels respectful and works with integrity and efficiency (Newstrom, 1998).
  • Fairness: Fairness plays an important role in influencing human behaviour. A person wants that he or she should be appreciated on the basis of the work and effort put by them. Similarly, there should not be any discrimination while giving new opportunities to the employees and merit should be the only criteria. In ASDA, managers ensure that they offer equal opportunity and thus maintaining fairness among the employees.
  • Responsibilities: One of the most important factors which motivates and demotivated the employee is responsibility. Each employee looks forward to develop his or her skills while working for the benefit of the company. The employee expects that he or she should be given decision making power with passage of time. In ASDA, though major decisions are taken by the senior most people, however, decisions related to daily operations are shared and discussed with the employees. Therefore, it helps the employee to feel motivated to work for the company.

Task 2

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

Being hierarchical in nature, ASDA follows autocratic leadership style whereas British Airways being flatter organization follows democratic leadership style.

It is important that ASDA should follow autocratic leadership style because it is difficult to involve vast workforce in decision making. Involving employees from each level and taking their opinion and suggestion would mean delaying the decision making. However, ASDA follows transformational leadership style which is driven by change. The leader of ASDA knows that change is important and it is essential to bring changes to the way organization functions. The transformational leadership style lays more importance in interacting with employees, providing them with social and financial needs and a good work & business environment and culture where the employee can work without any tension.

On the other hand, being democratic in nature, British Airways gives power to make business decisions with all its employees. The employee’s suggestions are taken and analysed and then decision is taken. This kind of leadership is also known as consultative democratic leadership style. However, under the leadership of Willie Walsh, When British Airways was facing tough times; a transactional leadership style was used. Walsh laid down some strict rules and regulations and the employees were asked to follow those rules. The transactional leadership style was essential during that period, as the company need smooth flow of their operations rather than taking risk to bring transformation. Thus, transactional leadership style was what was used during those times.

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

ASDA’s management practices are based on Max Weber’s bureaucracy theory.

The theory is characterized by six main principles which are discussed below:

  • According to Weber, there should be hierarchical structure in an organization i.e. there should be multiple levels where the one level should control the level below it and should be controlled by one level above it.
  • Management laid down rules and regulations which should be followed by the employees of the company.
  • The work is divided based on the skill-set of the people. The teams are formed based on skills of people to do a certain task and are managed with the help of manager.
  • The main focus of ASDA is to make sure that all its stakeholders i.e. employees, customers, suppliers, governmental organizations, and other social communities are benefitted with the day to day functioning of the company. This type of approach is termed as “up-focused approach” according to Weber.
  • As mentioned above, fairness and transparencies are one of the most important values followed at ASDA. Weber also mentioned the same thing that organization should treat all the employees and customers equal and should not distinguish on personal grounds.
  • Lastly, it was mentioned by Parkinson that hiring and recruitment process should be done based on technical grounds. A person should be technically qualified so as to become eligible for hiring and recruitment process.
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It can be seen, that ASDA follows all the six principles laid down in Bureaucracy theory into its day to day management practices and therefore the theory forms the basis of daily operations carried out at ASDA (Hallsworth, 1997).

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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

Leadership in ASDA has been of transactional type where the main focus of the managers uses to get the work done and the interaction between manager and employee was through exchange of rewards and performance. However, with passage of time ASDA realized the importance of transformational leaders. ASDA has been fortune to have leaders who believed in brining change, motivating employees and engaging with them to make them feel responsible for the company (Bolino, 2003). The current CEO Andy Clarke joined ASDA in 1992 and was appointed the CEO by Wal-Mart owners seeing the vision and transformational style of leadership present in Clarke.

See here : HND College Organizations and Behaviour Assignment

ASDA being a big organization has all the three levels of management i.e. Board of Directors, General Manager and first class manager who are involved in taking decision related to strategy, tactics and operations of the company respectively. ASDA has transformational style of leadership being followed in all the three levels. Starting from supervisor till the Board members, each one strives to bring change in the company. The managers in ASDA make sure that the needs of the employees are fulfilled. The managers are even involved with the day to day operations that are carried out at the stores so that the employees feel respected and valued and thus are motivated to do well. The leaders are emotionally connected with the employees at ASDA which helps to motivate employees to carry out tasks which could not have been possible by simple performance reward exchange through transactional leadership.

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?

Vroom’s expectancy theory model for HND business organisation and behaviour assignmentMaslow’s theory of hierarchy of Needs

It can be seen from the above figure that Maslow mentioned about the various needs that an individual desire and is motivated to fulfil them. An individual is motivated to fulfil the basic i.e. the need mentioned at the bottom of the pyramid, physiological needs in the beginning. Physiological needs are need for basic nece3ssities of life like food, clothing, etc. Once the need is achieved, the individual moves up the pyramid and is motivated to fulfil the second need in the list. Thus, after physiological needs, an individual looks forward for safety, love and affection, self-esteem needs and self-actualization needs. The managers at ASDA keep close contacts with their employees and know them personally. This helps them to make sure that once an employee is able to achieve one of the needs, the rewards are raised so that the employee can be motivated to fulfil the next level of need and thus maximum efficiency can be extracted from the employees. Motivation is one of key attribute of transformational type of leadership and Maslow’s theory gives a clear picture to the managers how to segment the population and defines the rewards to be shared on the performance (Nehls, 2005).

Vroom’s expectancy theory modelVroom’s expectancy theory model

The figure clearly demonstrates Vroom’s expectancy model which says that efforts put in by an individual will directly result in good performance. Better performance will yield better rewards and desired outcomes for the employee. Better rewards will further motivate the employee to work hard (Gill, 2001). In ASDA, the managers closely monitor the effort put in by each employee at the stores. Employee staying after work hours are paid extra for their efforts and thus at ASDA stores, Vroom’ theory plays an important role in motivating the employees.

McGregor’s Theory of X and Y suggest that there are two type of organizations. The first organization does not connect with their employees emotionally. The managers are mainly focused on getting the work done and pay their employees accordingly. In this kind of organization, employee feels bored and uninterested in their work and needs to be controlled by the managers strictly to perform better. On the other hand, in organizations like ASDA where managers take care of social needs of their employees, the employees are motivated and interested to work. The employee understand the common motive of the organization as well as the personal development process and thus do not require any control from higher authority and is driven by himself.

Out of the three theories, ASDA follows Maslow’s theory to greater affect as the company has distributed reward system based on the level at which the employee is posted. The hierarchical nature of the organization also relates to the level of needs and the HR team finds it easier to define rewards for the performance based on the level at which the employee is working.

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?

Most of the organizations including ASDA realized the importance of human relationship in their later stages of operation. Earlier most of the company used to look into personnel management only, however, sooner the companies realized that managing human resource is important as it is the most valuable assets for their company and thus human relation management became vital for most of the organization. Any company likes to retain maximum number of employees. The exit of an experienced employee is not easily filled by a new employee as it takes time and effort to lean how daily operations takes place and how company’s values are incorporated into daily operations. Therefore, the HR team looks into various ways of motivating people so that employees enjoy their work and thus remain committed to their work as well as deliver high efficiency service every day (Landsberg, 2011).

According to Hertzberg motivational theory, an employee is not motivated by salary, perks, hikes, etc. which Hertzberg termed as hygiene factors. These factors do not bring any level of motivation among employees as they are expected to be given by the company. However, the absence of these things can result in de-motivation among the employees. According to Hertzberg dual factor theory, there are other things like sharing decision making power with the employees, sharing responsibilities with employees, etc. which brings motivation among employee. An individual always look for personal development. Hygiene factors do not contribute in personal development of the person, however motivational factors do. An employee feels valued and more responsible for his or her acts. Hertzberg motivational theory is followed by the management in ASDA where the managers allow the employees to take some important decisions related to customer service at the Stores. The employees can take decision related to customer service and are not bound by any fixed approach that needs to be followed. ASDA allows its employees to deal with customer freely in his or her way, which makes employees, feel more responsible and extra effort is made to bring maximum satisfaction to customers (Green, D. D).

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

The two types of groups that exist in ASDA are formal and informal groups. The difference between the two types of groups is: Formal groups are those which are formed by the business or the management based on the skill-sets, knowledge and experienced required for a particular job. Formal groups are well-structured, diversified groups which are well-managed by the leader or the manager of that group. Manager keeps all the employees working in the group to work cordially, without involving in any type of conflict and work towards the common goal of the team, together, in harmony to deliver high level of quality service.

The second type of group is the Informal groups which are formed by the employees of the company to share common interest and to meet common benefits. For example, being a UK based organization; ASDA also has employee unions which make sure that wages are properly distributed by the organization. The unions also make sure that employees are not exploited by the organization and thus work is done based on terms and conditions laid down by the employees. However, ASDA collaboration with Wal-Mart, a US based organization, which does not support employee unions, has not been easy (Burt, 2001). The company from being number one supermarket in UK has slipped down over the years because of the conflicts in the view of employer and employee since then. The staff behaviour has declined as job insecurity has increased with company’s owner wants to abandon these kind of group inside the organization. ( See here : HNC HR Management for service sector Assignment )

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

Some of the factors which promote an effective functioning of team inside ASDA and whose absence can result in negative returns are:

Leadership: Leaders at ASDA are not only people who set targets for their teams. Leaders at ASDA are people who facilitate communication among team, minimize conflicts, teach the team about the benefits of working together make each employee in the team understand the common goal of the team, motivates each employee in the team to work hard, etc. and thus help the team to attain synergy. Absence of leadership in a diversified team as present in ASDA can result in high level of conflicts because of different common interests and will inhibit team’s performance. Therefore, the most important factor which contributes to proper functioning of the team is leadership.

Transparency: Transparency about work among all the employees in a team is also an important factor. It is important that transparency is maintained among the team and each employee should be given due credit for his or her work in the team. This type of approach increases the competition level among the team members as each one knows that he will be benefitted from the efforts put by him. Employees also feel secure as transparency results in fairness where each employee in the team is given equal opportunity to demonstrate his or her skills. Lack of transparency on the other hand can result in demotivation and insecurity among employees. People lose interest when someone else is given the credit for their work and thus inhibit team’s performance.

Trust: Trust and healthy relationship are also important factors for smooth and proper functioning of any team. A proper communication in team makes sure that employees are connected to each other. It is beneficial if the employees are connected personally and emotionally so that each employee can also look for other’s benefits and feeling of harmony is maintained among the team. Lack of trust can adversely affect as people will not offer help to each other. The interest of team members will differ and each one will work on their own without any coordination. Thus, teamwork will be adversely affected.

Diversification: A team can progress and work progressively only when the team has employees coming from all parts of the world with different skills. Diversified team tends to offer new and innovative ideas which are important to drive the company in hours of changes. A well balanced team with senior and experienced members as well as young and new employees is also important for proper flow of knowledge and information among the team. Experience people share their experience to new employees while new employees bring along with them new ideas. (know more about contemporary hospitality industry)

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

Technology has been one of the driving forces in recent years. Companies these days try to incorporate new and emerging technology into their business to have competitive advantage over their competitors. ASDA stores are highly dependent in technology. ASDA use to be one of the leading supermarkets before its collaboration; however it used to lack in the field of technology and infrastructure. However, with its collaboration, the company gained benefits because of the large and extensive use of technology in Wal-Mart. The same concept was also introduced in ASDA. In ASDA a special team of 15s is appointed to make sure smooth functioning of all the teams. The team in ASDA is known as Information System Division. This group comprises of development team which looks to build new tools and software to have better solutions, the support team looks into the functioning of the software while the security team looks into the security and data integrity as ASDA (Yousept, 2005).

ASDA has also progressed a lot in e-commerce business and online shopping where people can order items from their home which helps them to save lot of time and effort (Yousept, 2005). Services like free home delivery and 1 hour delivery are some of the special features which are associated with online shopping and customer satisfaction in ASDA.

The use of technology has also been incorporated in hiring and training programs. The use of software and tools to conduct entrance exam for hiring new employees and use of latest technology while conducting training are some of the new features ASDA has set their foot into. ASDA is also using new packages and tools related to data collection and data analysis which is required for market analysis and understanding customer taste and preferences. Thus, ASDA is using technology in each and every phase of their operations.


Thus, it can be concluded that ASDA and British Airways are two companies which are completely different ion their structure and culture and therefore, required two different leadership styles to be followed to drive the company towards success. The leaders at ASDA and management have been successful over the year to manage their workforce. The company being an expert in retail business has some experienced people who understand how human resource management plays an important role in the success of the company and tries their best to provide better working conditions to their employees so that the employees can deliver high quality service at consistent rate.


Beer, M., & Nohria, N. 2000. Cracking the code of change. If you read nothing else on change, read these best-selling articles. 15. Bolino, M. C., & Turnley, W. H. 2003. Going the extra mile: Cultivating and managing employee citizenship behaviour. The Academy of Management Executive17(3), 60-71. Burt, S., & Sparks, L. 2001. The implications of Wal-Mart's takeover of ASDA. Environment and Planning A33(8), 1463-1488. Gill, V. 2001. Employee Retention in Small to Medium Enterprises in the Retail Sector (Doctoral dissertation, Dublin, National College of Ireland).

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