LO1. Demonstrate a critical
understanding of leading and managing people in the current and future world
LO2. Critically evaluate a range of theories
in relation to leading and managing people to resolve organisational
LO3. Apply a comprehensive
understanding of techniques to develop leaders and managers to address
organisational challenges and drive success.
LO4. Critically evaluate personal
performance through the application of reflective practice.
This assessment is based on a case study which
provides a realistic business challenge and has four
questions of equal value to answer.
The new leadership team at C&C (case study) have
asked for your assistance to conduct thorough analysis of the challenges that
the business is facing. They would
like you to provide an evidenced-based essay to help them to prepare for
discussions at the next Board Meeting.
Coffee and Cake (C&C) is a privately owned
company that runs an established chain of cafes in sixty locations around the
UK. Most are located on high streets and in shopping centres, but there are
also units located in large railway stations and some airports. The company
sells a wide variety of speciality coffees, cakes, sandwiches and other
beverages. It markets itself as a sustainable business with high standards of
business ethics, which the business is committed to.
Throughout the Twentieth Century there was a
single C&C coffee house located prominently in Central London. This was
then taken over by a by a company that was keen to profit from the fast
growth in the UK’s coffee shop market. Much money was invested in building
the chain and for several years good profits were made. After 2015 though,
problems started to arise. Sales began to slump in a number of locations as
competition from ambitious independents and other coffee shop chains became
more intense. Issues arose concerning unpaid debts and the company started to
struggle financially. By the time of the Covid pandemic it was in serious
financial difficulty and in danger of becoming insolvent. In 2021 the company
was sold to a consortium of four former C&C managers with finance largely
provided by a venture capital fund. In
2022 the aim of the new leadership and management team is to expand and open
more stores nationwide. However, they
first need to ensure that C&C meets stakeholder expectations, reclaims its
reputation and returns to profitability in the next two years.
To enable these aims the leadership have made
the following commitments to be achieved over the next 3 years:
consideration to diversity and inclusion in everything they do, at all levels
of the business and across departments.
develop employees at all levels and provide opportunities for progression.
Role model an
inclusive work environment in our stores, a place where every employee feels
empowered and consideration of every person’s wellbeing is demonstrated.
in with teams and act on feedback with the key objective of making C&C a
more collaborative, open minded and inspiring place to work.
“A policy or written statement in itself is not
enough and we know that engaging with all levels of our business is
absolutely critical if we are to deliver on our promises and have an positive
and lasting intrinsic impact on our teams and employees of the future.”
The leadership team recognise that to achieve their aims, they
first need to:
Assess the current situation and
the challenges in the hospitality labour market
Examine the current approach to
leading and managing people and the impact this has had on employees
Establish a preferred approach
to leading and managing people and the benefits this will have
Identify the learning and
development needs to enable the new approach to managing people
To do this, the leaders particularly want to
address the poor management of people which has been a major problem for some
time. Their main concerns are that staff turnover was running at over 100% in
2019 and employee engagement levels have been very poor in several coffee
shops for some years. Both ‘employee turnover’
and ‘employee engagement’ have significant implications for the business which
is causing considerable concern for the leaders, and if not addressed their
ambitions for the next 3 years are at risk.
Evidence of these matters is found on the Glassdoor website where
hundreds of current and former employees have written troubling reviews of
their experiences working for the company. Overall ratings have been below 3
out of 5, which is considerably lower than the scores typically achieved by
C&C’s major competitors.
The following are a representative sample of
some of the recent comments that have been left in the Pros and Cons section
customers. Met some good friends”
supportive staff who were happy to swap shifts. Tips”
on cakes and food”
“The only good
thing was that it was located only three minutes walking from the place that
I used to live.”
basic management tasks and can improve your communication skills. Free lunch
“I guess it
pays your bills if you're single and live in shared accommodation”
“If you want a
culture where the quality of the product, the customer, the brand and the
staff are key to how the business works, avoid C&C.”
“Nothing at all
opportunities for advancement”
enough staff on shift. Bad at giving breaks, you can work an 8-9 hour shift
and not be given a 30-minute break. Never know when your shift will end.”
“Every unit is
soul-destroying, you're taken advantage of and paid very little and you are
spoken to by management like you’re a child (in front of customers)”
for anything, lazy people get paid the same as hard working employees”
terrible, consistently mess up pay and will throw the blame on each other
rather than own their own mistakes.”
only cares about the numbers, not the people”
are controlling to the point of bullying. While others couldn’t care less.
The unit managers and HQ are also incompetent. Nothing gets resolved quickly
management, no training at all”
company to work for expected to give absolutely everything for nothing in
return. Won’t pay for overtime.”
“A lot of
unfairness. If the manager is your friend you'll have advantages Senior
managers tend to be offensive and won't think twice before humiliating you.”
be super nasty. They will call you names and shout at you for the smallest
“The staff at
my store are nice. You get free food and drink, even though you aren't
officially allowed it. You get to keep your tips if you are a waiter.”
underqualified and not trained. Many health and safety violations, especially
regarding food. Equipment doesn't get fixed, and the lack of training means
things break a lot”
more concerned about reaching unrealistic goals than the wellbeing of their
staff or the quality of service provided.”
staff are not appreciated or rewarded. Low pay. Little to no training.”
listen, they tell us what to do with little or no consideration for us.”
customers sometimes, repetitive and same tasks most shifts."
to treat staff as a machine, they don’t know how to treat us.”
“People do not
stay with the company for long and there are not enough trained people to
work in the shops.”
“A very poor
company on SOOOOO many levels - they won't care about you - don't go &
work for them - they are full of the proverbial !!”
Question 1: Construct an
evidenced-based discussion to demonstrate how the approach to leading and
managing people in the current world of work, affects people’s performance
and as such the performance of the organisation. The answer should reflect the challenges in
the sector in which C&C operates.
Question 2: Using your analysis in question 1,
critically evaluate the existing and a potentially new approach to leading
and managing people at C&C, in particular on the retention and
performance of employees, and as a result the performance of the business.
Question 3: Using your analysis
in question 2, identify the key learning and development requirements for the
managers at C&C. Then, critically
assess a range of learning and development interventions to help leaders and
managers to retain and engage valuable employees and drive business success.
Question 4: Reflecting on your learning and experience
throughout this module, and using a reflective model, critically assess your
response which should include the following, this is the template for question
4 of your assessment:
Which session helped
you to best assess your own performance within this module?
How did this, and
also any other concept help you to develop the discussion in your assessment,
for example, how was your thinking challenged, how has your thinking shifted
during the module?
Include evidence of
your engagement with Studiosity (i.e. date and time, content of the session
and how you responded, and how you applied this to your assignment).
In terms of your reflection
and performance in this module, what will you do differently in the next
YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR WORK IN A
WORD DOCUMENT, PDF’S WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
It is important
that you familiarise yourself with the marking rubric for guidance, as it
applies to each question, and will be used to assess the quality of your
The assessment structure should have the
Introduction (gives context to your essay)
o Main body
(critical analysis of the topics, each assessment question could be used for
the topic headings within this section, with numbered sub-headings)
Full reference list at the end of the assessment
Appendix (only if necessary)
Write in full sentences and construct paragraphs
around the issues and topics you discuss. You can use some bullet-points but
try not to rely on this too much as it can restrict your ability to present
an analytical discussion which is required at master’s level study.
It is recommended that a minimum of 30 sources
are referenced. Use credible academic sources where possible, e.g. textbooks
and journal articles.
Your essay should refer to and be informed
by relevant academic theory, models and literature throughout, to present
YOUR ESSAY MUST RESPOND TO THE CONTEXT
OF EACH ASSESSMENT QUESTION, each
of the four questions carry 25% marks, see
further guidance below.
Information to help with Question 1: The leadership team believe that the world of work
has changed over recent years in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit
and the current economic pressures. For example, expectations of work
have changed the way businesses operate, the economy has provided
opportunities for some businesses whilst for others they are struggling to
survive, social issues and ethical practices seem to be receiving more
attention, placing pressure on organisations to operate in fair and ethical
ways. The leadership also believe that
expectations of employees have shifted, and traditional approaches to leading
and managing people are being questioned.
They are concerned that some sectors will experience a shortage of
high-quality workers and they want to avoid this. Instead, C&C want to attract and retain
high performing people to help drive their aims over the next three years.
Information to help with Question 2: The management team at C&C acknowledge
that the way they lead and manage people needs to change. They are conscious that staff turnover is
high which is likely to be affecting the quality of customer service and
profitability. The leaders want to
build a team that is motivated, engaged with their work and committed to the
organisation. To make sure they make
the appropriate choice, they have asked for a critical evaluation of the current
approach AND a potential new approach leading and managing
Information to help with Question 3: Leaders and managers will require learning
and development interventions to support the organisational aims over the
next 3 years. To enable appropriate
choices to be made, the leaders would justified, evidenced-based suggestions
on how learning and development interventions can support the shift from the
existing approach to leading and managing people to the proposed new
Information to help with Question 4: This question requires you to reflect on your own
experience during the module, you are expected to:
engagement with the module and the learning
Based on the
sessions you engaged in, discuss the most significant session for you
Identify how you
will apply this in the future to advance your career
Identify practical ways in how YOU can improve your
learning in future sessions, for example:
How has your knowledge and learning
experience on the module informed your thinking on the module.
Consider ways in which the understanding
of yourself, and the practice of leading and managing people has changed or
Consider how you gained the
learning, the processes of learning and to what extent you engaged with the learning
materials and sessions.
How have you used support that is
available to you from Studiosity, and the ASK Team, feedback from other
assessments and/or your PAT.
Has further reflection helped you to
develop a deeper understanding of your learning experience to help improve
this in the future? What could you do
differently in the future to improve your learning experience?
Information about Studiosity:
Available 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year.
For all students,
enabling them to submit up to 10 submissions/queries a year.
writing feedback on an assessment draft (minimum 500 words).
Can highlight areas
of inconsistency with referencing.
– so only top-level feedback about the assignment will be given.
Available via Moodle
texts and peer-reviewed electronic sources which you expect students to use
and can access.
Alvesson, M., & Willmott, H. (2012). Making sense of
management: A critical introduction (2nd ed.). SAGE.
Armstrong, M. (2022). Armstrong's handbook of performance
management: An evidence-based guide to performance leadership (Seventh
ed.). Kogan Page.
Armstrong, M. & Taylor, S (2020) Armstrong's Handbook of
Human Resource Management Practice London 15th ed: Kogan Page.
Belbin, R. M. (2010). Management teams: Why they succeed or
Bratton, J., &
Gold, J. (2019). Human resource management: theory and practice.
Clutterbuck, D. and
Megginson,D. (2005) Making coaching work: creating a coaching
culture. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Collings, D.G., Szamosi, L.T., & Wood,
G.T., (2019). Human Resource Management A Critical Approach (2nd
Garvey B., Stokes P., Megginson D. (2014) Coaching and Mentoring,
Theory and Practice 2nd Ed. Sage, London
Hook C and Jenkins J (2019) Introducing Human Resource
Management 8th ed. Harlow UK: FT Prentice Hall
Hooper, A. (2016). Leadership perspectives. Routledge.
Keegan, S. (2015). The Psychology
of Fear in Organizations. Kogan Page
Marchington, M., Wilkinson, A., Donnelly,
R., & Kynighou, A. (2020). Human resource management at work: The
definitive guide (7th ed.). Kogan Page, Limited.
Mullins, L., & McLean, J. E. (2019). Mullins :
Organisational behaviour in the workplace. Pearson Education, Limited.
Taylor S & Woodhams S (2016) Managing Human Resource
Management-People and Organisations 2nd ed London UK: CIPD
Chapter 1 "What is leadership: person,
result, position or process?" in Grint, K. (2009) Leadership:
limits and possibilities, Palgrave (scanned, currently under
BU7404 Leading and Managing Ethically)
Rees, G., French, R., & Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development. (2016). Leading, managing and
developing people (5th ed.). Chartered Institute of Personnel and
Northouse, P. G. (2021). Leadership: Theory and
practice (Ninth ed.). SAGE.
of occupational and organizational psychology
resource management journal
Institute of Personnel and Development
of Leadership and Management