Tesco is a global renowned leading retailer that has undergone a lot of growth in the recent past. Although Tesco is a Britain based company, it has implemented globalization as the main strategy used by the company to expand the services of the company. Currently, the corporation provides its services to about 11 countries using its approximately 2711 retail stores across the globe (Gioia 2003). As such, the company is very big to the extent that it has a workforce exceeding 366 000 employers working in its subsidiaries. The nature of the business environment is dynamic and there is a need for rapid changes to ensure that an organization works properly within the market changes. As such, Tesco has considerably worked effectively to ensure that the changes are tapped to create a competitive advantage for the company. Consequently, this adjustment to changes in the market has resulted in the company growing from a simple market stall to an outstanding retailer in the world. The difference between the current Tesco and the pioneer shop that was started by Jack Cohen is the manner in which it has been able to respond to market opportunities and innovations.
Currently, Tesco is the leading retailer in the private sector based on the job employment opportunities that it has created for workers in the UK. Further, the company has diversified its stores from small (express sites) to large (Extras and superstores).on the other hand, the company operates in over 11 countries, but its main capital market in the UK. This international expansion is ideal to ensure that the company explores new markets to remain profitable even in a difficult financial crisis. Consequently, internationalization requires an elaborate communication mechanism that will maintain a strong brand of the company in the market. This report will explore the communication mechanisms used by Tesco in achieving its corporate goals. After an analysis of the communication methods used in the company, the report will focus on other ways of improving communication within the company to ensure that it is more profitable. In this regard, the purpose of this report is to establish a modest information knowledge system for the company that can be used to boost its communication at the workplace.
Part 1: Assessment for information and knowledge needs of Tesco Plc
1.1 Major decisions taken by management
Information is a vital component in the decision-making process of an organization because it provides the basis on which decisions are achieved. In the contemporary world, competition among organizations is based on how information is used to create opportunities or explore competitive advantages for the company. Information is a component of raw data that can be made into useful information when an individual who receives that information acts upon it. Here, such data is obtained from the measurement of phenomena or activities of the organization. Thus, information can be used for planning, recording, controlling measuring, and decision-making at the corporation (Christensen 2006). In the case of Tesco, there are three main levels of management through which information is passed before it can be used for strategic decision-making. These stages include planning, recording, and controlling. At the planning stage, the management team uses the information presented to develop thoughts that can be applied to the organization’s resources, market, and competitors to advance the company’s performance. The second stage of management called recording is used in the strategic administration of the business through past historical accounts. Controlling is used by an organization to control the actual performance of the company to ensure that it is strategic in its vision and mission. Here, the management will identify the problems facing the company and provide solutions that can be used to improve its performance.
The Decision-making process is at the center of promoting the performance of the company. On the basis of Tesco, its strategic decision is its choice to diversify its activities and products. The management decided to diversify its products because of the increased competition in the market. Currently, the company is a leading hypermarket that provides a range of products that are consistent with the customers’ preferences and needs. The decision was strategic because it is based on customer satisfaction and this promotes the performance of the company because it will attract a lot of customers in its retail shops. As such, another strategic decision in the company is the feedback that is required to improve the quality and appearance of the products. To enable its strategic decisions to be implemented, the company has initiated an “Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system” (Bloom & Reenan 2012). Consequently, the system has been comprehensive to ensure a good working relationship between the retailers and the suppliers to ensure that the products are delivered to the market in good time.
As a tactical decision, the company has decided to refurbish its stores within the UK. In this particular decision, the company has decided to demolish its 170 stores, which is considered a highly capital intensive program by the company. Most of its stores are old with ancient designs and this cannot work effectively in the modern era of competition in the retail market. This is a tactical move because the program will not save the company any money, but it is a long-term gain. In the short term, this move will present its main rivals like Wal-Mart with reduced competition to thrive. However, the idea to reduce the international distribution of their products is a move to ensure that it rebrands its stores to compete favorably with other competitors. In this particular decision, the company will be able to produce its products based on the customer desired quality and volumes. Another important example of tactical decisions by the company is the global expansion of its brand and products. The company was established with its corporate base in the UK, but the management decided to expand its services to about 11 countries outside the jurisdiction of the UK. For example, it has a considerable presence in countries like China, Malaysia, and India. This decision has also forced the company to increase its labor force across the globe. Therefore, the workforce is too large across the globe to the extent that it has created a global community that is effective in strengthening the global brand of the company.
The performance of an organization in the competitive market requires significant operational decisions. These operation decisions are very important in designing the policies of the company in achieving its corporate goals. Tesco has considerably achieved its success through the operation decision of “Every Little Helps.” In this perspective, the decision is vital for the organization because it enables the company to emphasize issues surrounding its customers, stakeholders, and employees. This is strategic because it controls the development of policies that can strengthen the brand name of the company. Consequently, this operation strategy has maintained the services and products offered by the company to be of high quality with particular specifications that make customers enjoy their products. Its competitors who continue to pursue the competition on other platforms have not initiated this differentiating strategy.
1.2. Information and Knowledge that promote effective management decisions
The first information and knowledge that can be used by the company to ensure the strategic resolutions are effective are through programmed decisions. Here, the managers through their respective levels of management can strategically resolve certain issues affecting the organization based on the structure of the problems and their frequency. For example, through the decision to install the EDI system, the company will routines identify the problems facing the company through the system (Nonaka et al. 2006). After the problems have been revealed, the management will use the information provided by the system to ensure that it resolves appropriately. This will make the administration process to become very effective because the required data is readily provided through the system. Therefore, the knowledge and information required by the management are to ensure that it regularly updates its information with great levels of accuracy. Similarly, it is important to evaluate the pieces of information at specific intervals to ensure that problems can be identified before they become drastic to the company. This approach will enable the company to solve its problems because the information will identify the weakest point and the decision made will focus on improving the situation.
In the context of tactical decisions, it is important for the management to implement the non-programmed decision technique to deal with the process. Here, decisions are made on critical operations of the company that are not structured. Similarly, tactical decisions are based on non-routine problems that are unique. Thus, using the information and knowledge basis, the nature of the problem can be sued to develop ideologies that can promote the activities of the company, for example, the tactical decision to refurbish its 170 stores is not supported by information collected from the market. However, the policy is based on systematic thoughts that can be implemented at the organization to promote its performance. Therefore, the managers should look and the current scenario affecting the company and evaluate if such activities can be effective in promoting the performance of the company in the future. The knowledge used in this process should be based on whether the decision will be viable in the long term. Short-term considerations are not important under this approach because they will not provide effective policies for future operations. This approach is important in promoting innovations in the products and services because it establishes the policies for market survival for the future (Capozzi 2007).
On the other hand, the competitive advantage of an organization depends on the capability of the management to develop strategic decisions. Here the decisions should enable the organization to achieve its corporate goals by creating an advantage in the market. In this regard, information and knowledge can be very useful in developing the strategies that will create this competitive edge. For example, price offerings can be used across Tesco products to create a competitive advantage. The basis that can help the management to achieve the policies is through careful consideration of problems and opportunities. For example, Tesco has developed its customer philosophy of “Every Little Helps.” To ensure that any simple information obtained at the organization is effective. For example, Tesco has a strong brand name both in the UK and across its subsidiaries. This can be exploited as an opportunity to expand its services to more markets in the world. Therefore, it is important for the management to ensure that it considers both structured and unstructured questions that occur within the organization to ensure that it can create noble ideas out of the problems. The problems experienced in an organization change with time and it is important for the management to adjust and develop policies that will address these challenges for the future. Consequently, this will be a source of the decision-making process within the organization to ensure that it remains competitive in the market.
1.3. Internal and external sources of information
Internal sources of information are collected and implemented within the organization to formulate its policies. In contrast, external sources are used to maintain the competitive nature of the organization compared to other rivals in the industry. In the case of Tesco, it has implemented the EDI information system to provide important information about its internal and external policies. This is an important source of internal information because it provides data about the operations of the company. The information provided by this system is reliable because it is electronically generated and it is unlikely that it contains errors. Similarly, a “Management Information System” can be implemented within the organization to provide and disseminate important information to the management and employees (Laudon & Traver 2014). Conversely, this is a very important source of internal information that can be initiated art the company to ensure that it achieves its objectives. The cost of an internal source of information should be effective to ensure that it does not interfere with another process within the organization. Accurate information provided by this system will automatically be used as a basis for a programmed decision.
O’Brien and Marakas argue that “an information system can be any organized combination of people, hardware, software, communication network and data resources that stores and retrieves, transforms and disseminate information in an organization” (O’Brien & Marakas, 2011). Based on this statement, it is obvious that the employees of a particular organization are an important source of internal information for the strategic decision-making process. Another source of internal information for Tesco is the computer systems and other technological apparatus that are used in the offices. Lastly, another source of internal information that can be used at the organization is data obtained from the company’s spreadsheets and other word documents. These sources require basic administration to ensure that it provides reliable information. The time and duration of information should be based on the company policy of providing reports. For example, the evaluation of the financial performance can be on a quarterly basis. This is to ensure that decisions are made based on the time that information was obtained so that the resolutions made from the data can represent a specific timeline in the future.
External sources of information are required to ensure that the company is able to compete with other rivals. For example, the pricing strategies of different products can be a vital source of external information. Here, the prices offered for products offered by Wal-Mart present a good basis to implement a new pricing offering for the company. However, external information is achieved from the environment through which the company operates. In the case of Tesco, external sources of information can be demography of the region, level of technology, prevailing political and legal issues, and socio-cultural aspects of people living in the surrounding. The decision made by the organization should be based on promoting the quality of life for these people. Similarly, the management should consider these sources of information as very vital because it initiates the process of exploring the target market. In the contemporary world, the CSR policies for organizations are developed based on external information obtained regarding the products and processes of a company to its external environment. In addition, external information is very significant to ensure that the organization is able to remain competitive or survive in a dynamic market environment (Kotler & Armstrong 2004). This will be a major boost for the performance of Tesco because it facilitates its strategic decision of internationalization of its products.
The information in this section has indicated that information and knowledge and fundamental in promoting corporate success. Therefore, it is important for the management of Tesco to ensure that information and knowledge systems are updated properly. In this regard, the information provided both by the internal and external sources can only be significant to the organization if can be reliable, thus, the reliability of the information is based on the methods used in collecting data. Internal information can be obtained from the employees of the organization. Therefore, through this method of collecting data, it is important to consider the perception of different people before making a concrete decision about the issue. Similarly, external information can be obtained from the external structures within the jurisdiction of the company’s operations. Thus, it is significant to have a wider view of the information to ensure that it provides a clear basis for the company to make decisions. It is obvious that the accuracy of information obtained from internal and external sources is justified through a wide view of the perspective. As such, I would recommend for Tesco use social networks as a means of collecting data. Social networks present an opportunity for people to articulate their opinions about certain issues in an organization. This will have a wider perspective because social networks have wider geographical coverage and many users. Here, the management will be able to make a decision that is widely informed and rational. In this regard, all decisions made by the management after an evaluation of data collected from the social networks will present the precise and actual position for the company to make a decision.
Part 2: Strategies to improve involvement of stakeholders in decision-making
The decision-making process is backed with comprehensive and accurate information obtained from internal and external sources. Organizational problems occur at a business entity and it is important for the managers to be rational in their decision-making process. In this regard, the stakeholders are a very important factor in the decision-making process. In the case of Tesco as a multinational retailer, it has several stakeholders. These include the customers, employees, management, and rival companies. The customers are important to the organization because they are the market for the products that are sold in the retail stores. A failure to include the customers in the decision-making process would lead to products or services that do not satisfy the customer’s needs. As such, the company will lose its customer base and the revenue will decrease drastically. Employees are another important stakeholder for Tesco because they are a source of internal information. The employees are in charge of implementing the decisions made within the organization. Therefore, they have to be included in the policy formulation process so that they can support the idea. The management structure of Tesco is divided into several departments that deal with different issues, conversely, all the departments are concerned with achieving the same corporate goals for the company, and therefore, it is important that they are included to provide a wide perspective of the decision-making process. Lastly, the rivals are a source of external information that can be used for making decisions on strategic and tactical issues. Here, their inclusion in the decision-making process will provide a competitive advantage for the company.
2.2 Contact and business relationships
Information and knowledge can be relayed in an organization to develop business relationships through communication. Here, all the stakeholders will be involved in the decision-making process through the communication process. Similarly, the stakeholders can be contacted through management information. Therefore, in order to develop a good contact, the information system should be able to link all the stakeholders. Specifically, the system should allow the stakeholders to understand the information and provide their feedback on the information they obtain. In this regard, the information sent out to the stakeholders through the system should be able to receive feedback. The communication mechanism developed in an organization can be verbal or non-verbal. Verbal communication can be used for stakeholders that are directly involved in the decision-making process of the company like employees and managers. This will create a good business relationship because every party to the discourse can articulate its issues. On the other hand, non-verbal information can be used for stakeholders that are not directly involved in the decision-making process like customers. Here, the feedback can be obtained to be used by the management in the decision-making policy.
2.3 Personal networking
Personal networking is the strategic results within an organization that is developed because of individual choices about a particular phenomenon. Foster & Seidman define personal networking as “is the outcome of each individual’s “social decisions” – that is the outcome of a set a set of “choices” by each individual in the population” (Kurtz & Snowden 2003). Personal networking within Tesco will result in various advantages that are strategic. First, it will initiate a culture of ownership to the stakeholders, which is very important for promoting productivity. Secondly, this network will provide an array of different ideas that can be tapped to create innovative policies for the company. Tesco can gain from personal networking through promoting a good working relationship and teamwork. As such, the company will have a good diversity approach that will form the basis of problem-solving tasks. Further, it will develop an avenue for acquiring new skills that will promote the realization of corporate goals. In addition, personal networking involves maintaining contacts that provide an opportunity to gain experience about their job responsibilities in the company (Nonaka et al. 2009).
Social networks are an ideal mechanism for developing personal networking. This can help to include that stakeholder in the decision-making process through exchanging information about the products and services of the company. Here, the management will use the feedback provided by the stakeholders to form the basis for evaluating the strategic decisions. Therefore, trust and confidentiality are vital in the process because they will encourage the stakeholders to provide vital information about the issues at hand. Consequently, it is important for Tesco to ensure that it has proper policies for confidentiality to develop trust among the stakeholders. However, incorporating the stakeholder issues in the decision-making process can be faced with several problems. First, the process of decision-making will be long and this will hamper the performance of the company. This is because some decisions should be made promptly to enable the company to deal with that immediate problem. However, by incorporating the stakeholders the process will be slowed down. Secondly, there is another challenge of reliability of the information. Some stakeholders may present faulty information or may take specific information to the competitors (Nonaka et al. 2009). This will expose the company and it may lose its competitive advantage.
2.4 Improving Personal networking strategies at Tesco
Proper decisions can be made within an organization through the use of information obtained from personal networking mechanisms. However, this system can be very faulty for the company if it is not properly strategized. In the case of Tesco, its Personal networking can be improved by following the policies outlined here. Firstly, all organization’s issues should be classified based on their request for actions. Those issues that require certain actions should be classified to gather and vice versa. After, this classification, the issue that is more urgent will be given precedence for action-taking. The second step is to gather important information about the issues listed to have a proper comprehension of their causes. The next step is to brainstorm about the issues presented to achieve a novel idea on how they should be resolved. Then, this is followed by a comparison between the pros and cons of adopting any of the brainstormed ideas. Only, the option that has the least negative with more input to the company should be selected.
Part 3: A suitable communication process for Tesco
3.1 Tesco communication process
Communication is the process of receiving and exchanging important information within an organization. The communication process is effective after the intended receiver is able to understand the presented information (Boisot 1998). Tesco has comprehensively used external communication as a strategy to exchange information. However, this has not provided better results for the organization and it is worthy to shift to internal communication. This communication process is ideal for developing strategies that can improve the performance of the company for the long term (Boisot & Canals 2004). Internal communication provides an important aspect of building the internal structures that are designed to promote employee engagement through internal mechanisms. This is important for the performance of the organization because it will promote customer satisfaction (Snowden 2002). Additionally, it will help the organization to present a structure for external communication of important corporate issues. Thus, it is ideal for Tesco because it will promote a good relationship for all stakeholders for long-term gain.
3.2 Improving Tesco communication process
The communication process takes place when information is sent from one point to the other and the recipient evaluates the information presented. This is a simple process within an organization, but it is very complex in its implications to the business (Boisot & Canals 2004). For example, a communication failure is the worst scenario for the management because it can send wrong information that is difficult to change. Thus, it is important to have a communication process that is consistent with its obligation and intentions to the employees. In addition, a communication process will improve time wastage that is common in the context of a misunderstood communication. In the case of Tesco, it can develop its communication process through accurate coding as its communication process. Here, the first principle is to make the message meaningful through a proper selection of words. Secondly, simplicity is the core of promoting a desirable communication process. In addition, the presentation of information should be made in point form to ensure that it is easy for understanding. Another important consideration is to restate the main ideas in the presentation to ensure that it is properly understood. Finally, the communication process should be developed on stressing the essential parts of the whole issue. On the other hand, this implementation process can be affected by cultural factors like corporate culture. Here, the stakeholders are reluctant to organizational change and this can hamper the performance of the organization.
3.3 improving own communication skills
Proper communication skills are the basis of a successful manager or employee. However, various obstacles to effective communication impede the exchange of information. . Therefore improving individual communication skills is important for the performance of an organization. The first step is to identify the barriers to effective communication within an organization (Ddicot et al. 2006). This will ensure that all internal and external issues are considered so that the communication process is effective. Secondly, it is important to understand the meaning of words and their interpretation in various contexts, understanding language skills will ensure that there are no misunderstandings during the communication process. Lastly, individual communication skills can be improved through learning from experience. It is vital to correct any bad experience that was encountered during communication.
Part 4: Improvement of different systems relating to information and knowledge
4.1 Information Knowledge Management
The advancement of information technologies across the world has established an avenue for organizations to alter their communication approaches. The modest requirements for information and knowledge for Tesco are innovations, problem-solving, and decision-making. Information obtained from raw activities in the market can be used in these processes within the organization to ensure that it provides a competitive advantage. A corporate decision is a chosen strategy based on the analysis of information that presents more than one decision (Robbins & Coutler, 2004). Based on George and Jones’s postulation, decision-making may be defined as “the process by which members of an organization choose a specific course of action to respond to both problems and opportunities” (George & Jones, 2005). The ‘Information Knowledge Management (IKM) is the system approach that has been implemented at the organization to collect, format, and store and disseminate information. This system is important for the company because it promotes performance through enhancing its competitive advantage (Goffee & Jones 1998).
4.2 Changes to improve the current approach
The business environment has undergone many technological advances in communication technologies (Boisot & MacMillan 2003). Therefore, incorporating digital technology into the management of information and knowledge is important to improve performance. Therefore, it is vital for the management to align their information technology to the administration policies. The best way to manage information technology is to incorporate new technologies into the management of the organization. In this case, the management should consider conducting a marketing analysis to determine the new technologies. This will enable the management to maximize the importance of information to the company. Therefore, the significant way of improving the current approach is through initiating new information management technologies
4.3 Implementing Information Knowledge Management at Tesco
IKM is a strategic process that improves the performance of the organization by enhancing its competitive advantage (Clarke 2001). To ensure proper implementation of the strategy, it is vital for the organization to select some employees to be in charge of the implementation process. This will enable the organization to achieve its strategic goals within the stipulated time (Firstone 2001). Secondly, the strategy requires aligning all the business processes into a single segment so that it becomes beneficial to the end-users. The next point of consideration is to perform a clarity draw out so that the approach is specific for the administration of information from the stage of collecting to distribution. Further, it is significant to develop an ideal communication so that knowledge is transmitted within the organization with special regard to front-line managers. The management should take care to ensure that there is the proper assignment of resources to promote the IKM strategy (Maier 2007). This is followed by the appraisal to evaluate the significance of the strategy to the performance of Tesco.
Tesco has considerably achieved a lot of success in the retail market through proper management of information. Information is important to be used in the decision-making process because it provides a basis for the decision-making process. In order to improve its information management systems, Tesco ought to use internal communication. The company will achieve its long-term objectives by formulating a strong policy for internal communication. Here, it is the task of the management to ensure that internal communication within the organization is well structured and defined to be used by the employees. This will promote the exchange of information within the company and facilitate effective decision-making processes. In addition, Information Knowledge Management should be implemented at the organization to be used for collecting, formatting, storing, and disseminating information. Lastly, it is important to consider the different perspectives of stakeholders to ensure that the decision-making process is very rational
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