Management Assignment: Analysis Of Managerial Issue At Target
Task: In management assignment, you will analyse one of the management problems of the organization. You have been employed as a management consultant in this organisation and you have been asked to write a report for the CEO to enhance the future of the business.
You have been asked to discuss the causes and effects of the management issue and identify appropriate processes and/or strategies to manage the issue. Your report will include one of the Functions of Management.
Through this report, you will critically discuss the issue by combining the management literature (i.e. your research on management theories and concepts you have learned in the subject) and your knowledge of the organisation (through your brief research of the organisation). You will use a minimum of five (5) peer-reviewed journal articles. You may use the 2 listed in Assessment Item 1b if they are appropriate; you may change them if you want. You may use more journal articles and academic books such as your textbook if you want. You will use the news articles to introduce the company background and the management problem.
Both in-text citations and the reference list are required. At the end of report, you should provide a reference list which includes:
The peer-reviewed journal articles (minimum 5)
Your textbook if you used it in your paragraph (list it only if you use it in your in-text citation as well) The newspaper/web articles you used to complete the research on the organisation (list them because you will introduce the organisation)
Your reference list should be in the APA style
With rapid growth in globalization, it is stated herein management assignment that companies are facing increasing competition while operating in the global business environment. They face various management issues and challenges that often hamper the growth and development of the organization in the long run. In this regard, the Australian retailer Target has also been facing some issues in the recent years. It is one of the largest retailers present in Australia that offers affordable, high-quality and fashionable clothing apparel to the customers (Target, 2021). The outbreak of the pandemic has generated various negative effects on the company as it has failed to address the changing consumer behaviour and purchasing patterns (Minbashian, Birney& Bowman, 2019). This clearly indicates that the brand has been facing challenges in planning, which is one of the most important functions of management. It is essential for a company’s management to engage in proper and adequate planning before bringing change or responding effectively to the needs or preferences of the customers (Conkright, 2015). However, lack of proper planning in adapting to the new consumer behaviour and purchasing patterns has become difficult for Target.
The main purpose of this report is to analyse the management issue of lack of proper planning in Target for responding to the changing needs of customers in the market. For this purpose, the report has described the issue from a literature perspective and identified causes and effects of that issue.
The report has helped in understanding the management issue prevalent in Target from different perspectives because of reviewing various scholarly articles. Besides, it has further displayed the importance of concepts such as market research, consumer satisfaction, strategic planning and online shopping to better comprehend the issue.
2. Analysis of Management Issue
Target has already been facing intense competition and other issues from the structural change and disruption taking place in the Australian retail sector before the outbreak of the pandemic. For example, it has to close several stores across Australia running at a loss over the financial years of 2016 and 2017 (Ward, 2018). However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 further contributed to its struggle in the competitive business environment. The lack of presence of the brand over online platform and excessive dependence on departmental stores have made it difficult to address the shift in consumer behaviour and buying patterns changing towards online shopping (Kaye, 2020). It shows the lack of adequate planning for adapting to the changing retail environment that should have been undertaken by the brand long before the pandemic. Instead of setting out a plan for responding to these changes in consumer behaviour, market trends and buying patterns, the Target managers failed to prepare for these circumstances. They were incapable of acknowledging the inclination of customers towards online shopping with the pandemic outbreak (Collins, Earl, Parker& Wood, 2020). Furthermore, it also displays that no market research was undertaken by the management for identifying and analysing the latest market trends, competitors’ offerings or shift in consumption patterns. This implies the absence of an effective plan that should have been developed for undertaking a proactive approach to deal with unpredictable changes in the business environment. Besides, the Target managers could not also understand the importance of involving the employees and teams in developing and devising a proper plan for responding to the effects of pandemic and consequently, including them in the company’s operations (Schwarz, Sanders&Bouckenooghe, 2020). The managers also did not realize the importance of carrying out an internal and external environmental analysis to identify possible threats and opportunities. Instead, there has been a lack of any proper focus on dealing with issues or challenges that made it difficult for the brand to gain customer satisfaction.
2.2 Cause and Effects
There are various probable causes that might have prevented the managers of Target to engage in proper planning. Planning has internal inflexibility because of its determined objectives or policies and external inflexibility because of external factors that are beyond control (Saaty& Kearns, 2014). It is difficult to make planning work properly in a dynamic environment as future anticipations might not always be true. Furthermore, managers avoid planning as it hampers creativity of the employees, involves huge costs for the firm, does not ensure success and it is a time-consuming process. There are other barriers to planning that further make it difficult for managers to develop proper plans. Inability to plan is one of the significant causes of inadequate planning as not all managers are successful planners (Saaty& Kearns, 2014). Besides, absence of commitment of other organizational members towards the planning process and the lack of adequate information also leads to improper planning. Moreover, managers often focus more on the present by neglecting the future, concentrate on controllable variables and rely on the planning department, thereby leading to inadequate planning.
On the other hand, lack of proper planning leads to various negative effects as have been evident from the case of Target. The inadequate planning made it difficult for the company to cater to the changing preference towards online shopping instead of brick-and-mortar stores (Gratton, 2018). This resulted in declining sales and reduced customer satisfaction during the pandemic. Such low customer satisfaction and declining sales further affected the employee morale as their hard work and efforts could not be recognized. Lowered profits diminished their motivation and enthusiasm for work as they felt unappreciated and over-worked in the organization. This might also lead to high turnover and absenteeism rates for the company in the long run (Gratton, 2018). Furthermore, without proper planning employee productivity decreases as they have no mission or vision to look forward. Inadequate or improper planning also leads to various cash flow issues in an organization arising from late payments, additional interest payments and other financial penalties (Gratton, 2018). In addition, lack of planning can result in shortages of delays of important materials in the company.
2.3 Literature Perspective
From the analysis of the above management issue, the concepts of market research, strategic planning, online shopping and consumer satisfaction can be identified. Market research can be referred to as the process of identifying the current market trends, competitors’ offerings and other environmental factors present in the business environment that can influence the firm’s operations. It can be carried out with the help of surveys, focus groups, questionnaires and other methods for collecting relevant information from the market (Bryson, 2018). Furthermore, strategic planning is a management activity for developing specific goals to be achieved, implementing effective business strategies and evaluating the outcomes of the plan. It emphasizes on coordination across various departments in the organization(Papke-Shields & Boyer-Wright, 2017). Consumer satisfaction is an essential element that determines how satisfied the customers of a company are with its products, services and capabilities. It can be measured by carrying out surveys, ratings and feedbacks for changing products or services (Paul, Sankaranarayanan& Mekoth, 2016). In addition, online shopping can be referred to as the purchase of goods or services over the Internet through shopping websites or apps and getting them delivered at the doorstep of the customers (Al Karim, 2013). These concepts have become essential in today’s business environment.
The purpose of the report was to analyse the management issue present in the Australian retail company Target. The main issue present in the company was the lack of adequate planning that made it difficult to respond to changing consumer behaviour and market trends arising from the outbreak of the pandemic. The report provided a brief company background, purpose and scope in the introduction section. In the second section, it analysed the management issue by describing it from a literature perspective and identifying its related causes and effects. In this regard, the concepts of strategic planning, market research, online shopping and consumer satisfaction were explored. Lastly, the report pointed out that proper market research and strategic planning are the two important strategies that Target managers should undertake for addressing the management issue.
Target must undertake several steps for addressing the management of lack of adequate planning in the organization. The first step that the managers should undertake is conducting market research for identifying current market trends, changing consumer behaviour and preferences and competitors’ offerings. The constantly evolving market and external factors transform the buying patterns and tastes of the customers, produce new styles and designs of clothing and increases the competition in the market. This makes it essential to analyse each of these factors through proper market research before developing a suitable plan. Another strategy is to engage in strategic planning for catering to the changing business environment. In this regard, specific steps should be undertaken by the Target managers. These involve strategy formulation, strategy implementation and strategy evaluation. The company should assess its present situation by internal and external audit in the first step. Then, it should develop specific goals or targets for allocating resources and undertaking actions. Lastly, it should evaluate the outcomes of the strategy implementation with such specific targets to identify its success.
Al Karim, R. (2013). Customer Satisfaction in Online Shopping: a study into the reasons for motivations and inhibitions. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 11(6), 13-20.
Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.
Collins, C., Earl, J., Parker, S., & Wood, R. (2020). Looking back and looking ahead: Applying organisational behaviour to explain the changing face of work. Australian Journal of Management, 45(3), 369-375.
Conkright, T. A. (2015). Using the four functions of management for sustainable employee engagement. Performance Improvement, 54(8), 15-21.Doi: 10.1002/pfi.21506
Gratton, P. C. (2018). Organization Development and Strategic Planning for Non-Profit Organizations. Management assignmentOrganization Development Journal, 36(2).
Kaye, B. (2020). Australia's Wesfarmers to shut or rebrand over 100 Target stores in virus slump. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-wesfarmers-restructuring-idUKKBN22Y005
Minbashian, A., Birney, D. P., & Bowman, D. B. (2019). The thinking styles of managers: Dimensionality, profiles and motivational antecedents. Management assignmentAustralian Journal of Management, 44(1), 70-90.Doi: 10.1177/0312896218775150
Papke-Shields, K. E., & Boyer-Wright, K. M. (2017). Strategic planning characteristics applied to project management. International Journal of Project Management, 35(2), 169-179. Doi: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2016.10.015
Paul, J., Sankaranarayanan, K. G., & Mekoth, N. (2016). Consumer satisfaction in retail stores: Theory and implications. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 40(6), 635-642. Doi: 10.1111/ijcs.12279
Saaty, T. L., & Kearns, K. P. (2014). Analytical planning: The organization of system (Vol. 7). Elsevier.Doi: 10.1177/0312896219895065 Schwarz, G. M., Sanders, K., &Bouckenooghe, D. (2020). In the driving seat: Executive’s perceived control over environment. Australian Journal of Management, 45(2), 317-342.
Target. (2021).About Us. Retrieved from https://www.target.com.au/company/about-us
Ward, M. (2018). Target stores set to close after financial struggle. Retrieved fromhttps://finance.nine.com.au/business-news/target-stores-closing-australia-financial-problems-shops-retail/68d738e8-a4ee-4dad-9c94-6141fd6007d8