Context Of Business  

Executive Summary

The report has focused on analysing the leadership, environment as well as CSR of Marks and Spencer. The organisation is one of the most leading retail companies in the world. The report has discussed the SWOT and PESTEL analysis related to the organisation. There has been a focus on leadership styles and CSR. Apart from that, a reflection has also been focused on in the following report.


The business environment provides an overview and planning of the internal and external environmental analysis of the organisation. Furthermore, the defined plans are determined through the business environment by implementing effective strategies for the growth and development of the business. Moreover, the business environment helps in understand the need for change strategy to determine future development. However, the outbreak of the pandemic has caused a huge downfall in the business operation of the organisation around the globe. The report will highlight the business environment of Marks and Spencer and their strategies to adapt to the new normal situations. In addition to that, the report will implement SWOT and PESTLE analysis and its impact on the business. Furthermore, comparison and contrast of various leadership styles will be discussed, and one will be recommended further for the company. Moreover, a brief discussion on corporate social responsibility in accordance with Marks & Spencer will be evaluated.



1. A Swot and Pestle analysis of Marks & Spencer

SWOT Analysis


  1. it is one of the most powerful retail brands in the UK.
  2. They deal with their own branded products.
  3. Marks and Spencer has a strong e-commerce infrastructure compared to other brands (corporate.marksandspencer, 2021).


  1. They have too much dependence on the UK market rather than entering a foreign market.
  2. The financial performance of the organisation is quite poor.
  3. The pandemic has caused a huge disruption in the sales of the products.


  1. Needs to expands its business and invest in the foreign market.
  2. The organisation needs to focus on simplifying the operating model
  3. Implementing different product lines to expand the market share.


  1. Strict and complex government rules for retail stores in the UK.
  2. Intense competition and lack of international expansion of the business.
  3. Post Brexit, a huge depreciation in Sterling.


Pestle Analysis

Political factors: The political environment of the UK is quite stable. Therefore, Marks and Spencer are delighted with a favourable political environment in the UK and other operating countries. Political factors also ensure that the organisation is in a good position in the foreign market. Moreover, the level of corruption is also low in the UK, which positively impacts Marks and Spencer’s operations (santandertrade., 2021).

Economic factor: Though, UK is considered on maintaining the 6th position in terms of GDP in the world. However, the outbreak of the pandemic, along with existing of the UK from the European Union, has incorporated various changes which have affected the functions areas of the organisation.

Social factor: In social factors, the nature, purchasing behaviour, social trends, population rate that helps in determining the understanding of the customers of the host country. Furthermore, a high population provides business opportunities for Marks and Spencer. Nevertheless, due to the changes in the law the human resources have been drastically affected as various documents and legal boundaries are to be completed before working in Marks and Spencer.

Technological factor: the UK is a technologically advanced country compared to others in any country. This has a positive impact on Marks and Spencer to gather talented employees with high technical knowledge. In addition to that, Marks and Spencer can incorporate the new innovative and latest technology to maintain the competitive advantage.

Legal factor: UK follows various laws and regulations based on which organisation has to operate their business. Legal factors include the employment act, health and safety law and others, along with taxation. Therefore, Marks and Spencer must maintain a proper balance of work along with positivity and flexibility in the workplace.

Environmental factor: There is various environmental law that is important for the sustainability of the business. Moreover, environmental laws include performing effective CSR activities and implementing business processes that are not harmful to the business and others. In addition to that, environmental law helps Marks and Spencer to recycle products and limit the wastage of water, which will gradually enhance the image of the organisation in the minds of the people.



2. Evaluation of the changes in Pestle factors that influence the opportunities and threats for the business.

Influence of Pestle factors on Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer have huge brand recognition in the retail industry. Therefore, the organisation gets affected by the threats differently as analysed through the external environment. Furthermore, the stable political conditions of the UK, along with the low corruption rate, opens opportunities for the company to expand its business in the foreign market (theglobaleconomy, 2021). Along with that, the social factors showcase that people of the UK are fascinated with the latest trends in fashion, which is favourable for Marks and Spencer.  However, the economic downfall has a direct influence on Marks and Spencer as it has affected the sales of the company. Moreover, it is a huge threat as their financial capability is also not so strong. In addition to that, strict governmental laws and regulations provide opportunities for Marks and Spencer to enhance its working management system. Moreover, the stable GDP rate also determines opportunities for the organisation to formulate growth and development for future endeavours. The technological factor shows that the UK is one of the high-tech companies and the organisation are highly benefitted due to it. Furthermore, the outbreak of the pandemic has created a huge dependence on technological advancement. Therefore, Marks and Spencer can use this opportunity to implement AI and machine learning systems to enhance the satisfaction level of the customers.

Strengths used for reducing the threats and weaknesses of Marks and Spencer

Strengths play a very effective role in further planning and implementing strategies for the organisation. In this case, the brand value of Marks and Spencer, along with dealing with their own branded products, can help the organisation to reduce its threat of financial incapability (Podsakoff and Podsakoff, 2019). Furthermore, it will also help Marks and Spencer to maintain intense competition within the marketplace. Nevertheless, having a wide distribution network within the UK will help the organisation to focus upon its customer base and retain the existing ones. In addition to that, a strong eCommerce presence is an added advantage for the organisation to contemplate the pandemic situation and enhance the sales of the company.



3. Compare and contrast the different styles of leadership.

Leadership styles are very effective as it supports the leaders and manager to take appropriate decisions for the betterment of the company. Furthermore, the styles determine the willingness, ability and readiness of the subordinate to reach a higher level of performance and satisfaction. Moreover, in the retail industry, leadership plays a definite role in managing the employees to adapt to the frequent changes easily.

Basis of difference Transformational Leadership Servant Leadership Situational Leadership Declarative Leadership Transactional leadership
Meaning In this leadership style, the leaders encourage, motivates and inspires the employees to create and innovate change (White, 2018). In this leadership, the leader put the interest of the employees first and shares their power and philosophy with others. This leadership style demonstrates that there is no fixed strategy that leaders can incorporate. Therefore, they need to incorporate changes based on the situation. It focuses on action oriented and provides motivation to the employees to work towards a definite goal (Fiaz, Su and Saqib, 2017). In this, the leader’s emphasis on compliance by motivating through both rewards and punishments.
Purpose The purpose of transformational leaders is to motivate and inspire the workforce to think distinctively and create new ideas. The purpose is to provide self-awareness and understand the needs of the employees. The purpose is to make decisions or make changes based on the need of the situation (nwlink, 2021). To make the employees independent and make them capable of taking make their own decisions. To create a motivation drive among the employees to accomplish a particular project in return for rewards.
Attributes Needs to influencing power and be well knowledgeable that others listens to them (Al Khajeh, 2018) Leaders are selfless and kind hearted to understand the grievances of the employees than their own. They are experts and have the ability to determine the situation and implement necessary strategies (Gandolfi and Stone, 2018). The individual needs to have the ability to delegate the roles or designation as per the capability of the employees. They are focused on short term goals and favours the policies and standards of the organisation.
Effect Helps the subordinates or employees to enhance their performance by setting an attractive vision. Promotes intrinsic motivation among the employees but can be harmful by trusting too much in the employees. Employee job satisfaction is high, along with a positive work environment. Employees are able to make their own decisions, but the manager or leaders are responsible for it. They mostly motivate the employees and depicts the future circumstances.



The above discussed leadership styles have their own distinct features, which has a contrasting effect on the people and performance of the organisation. Marks and Spencer follow situational leadership as it is effective for the changing trends of the retail industry. However, situation leadership focuses mostly on immediate needs rather than long term planning. Therefore, the organisation can consider other leadership styles for enhancing the overall performance of the business.

4. Recommendation of a leadership style

Marks and Spencer has a wide range of employees and also has different kinds of challenges regarding business management. In this case, therefore, the organisation needs to be very particular regarding the application of the leadership style.

In this case, Marks and Spencer are recommended to apply the transformational leadership style. Transformational leadership aims to provide freedom to the employees regarding the creativeness application. Transformational leadership understand the importance of giving the employees freedom at the workplace. In this case, it is not possible for the leaders of Marks and Spencer to control the complete international workforce by applying strong rules and policies. This could impact negatively on the environment of the organisation. Therefore, transformational leadership is recommended, where the employees would be trusted and responsible for the development of the organisation (DiFranza, 2019).

Benefit of transformational leadership:

Improves creativity: The transformational leadership develops the creativity of the employees, by making the leasers follow the needs of the employees. In this case, the need recognition of the employees also improves their effort to give their best at the workplace. For example, as per the leadership style, the leader of Marks and Spencer would be able to focus on the training and development as per the needs of the employees (Xenikou, 2017). The employees would apply their creativity to achieve the objectives after getting proper training.

Makes employees responsible: The leaders would not control the employees as per this leadership. This can help Marks and Spencer to develop the responsibility of the employees as they would take their own decision for the objective achievement.

Motivates the employees: The positive behaviour of the leaders would motivate the employees of Marks and Spencer. The improved behaviour of the employee’s would also help Marks and Spencer to improve the position of the business even in the challenging situation (Thompson, 2019).



5. Corporate Social Responsibility

A business or an organisation is not only about gaining the profit margin and expanding the customer base by making strategic formulation. The organisations should maintain certain responsibilities while conducting the business towards the society and people related or not related with the organisation. The CSR means corporate social responsibility, which includes, the customers, suppliers, employees and so on, as the CSR Marks and Spencer also maintains its responsibility towards these all aspects.

Environmental responsibility: The organisations need to focus on meeting their responsibility towards the society by developing the practice of business-related with environment. As per the environmental responsibility, the organisations must focus on developing proper production process and also must focus on using sustainable raw materials which are also environment friendly (Yu, 2019). Marks and Spencer is aware of this responsibility, and according to that, the organisation has 5 year “eco-plan”. As per this plan the organisation has reduced the energy consumption by 25%. Apart from that, Marks and Spencer has also focused on developing low-carbon usage at the production process to keeping the environment safe from its harmful impact.

Ethical responsibility: This responsibility has a complete focus on developing the ethical aspects of the business, therefore, it can focus on being fair towards the customers, employees, and the suppliers. Marks and Spencer focus on maintaining proper customer management and employee management policies by keeping all the terms and conditions transparent to them (Yu, 2019). The organisation has also focus on providing health insurance to the families of the employees as a part of their ethical responsibility towards the employees. As a part of the ethical responsibility, it provides all the ingredient lists are writing in the product packaging for providing the customers option to observe every ingredient they are going to have.

Philanthropic responsibility: It is important for the companies to make the society a better place to live. The responsibility ahs complete focus on this aspect. As per this responsibility, Marks and Spencer has focus on proper maintenance of the business and products, to become one of the most trusted and ethical brands in the retail market. To meet this responsibility, Marks and Spencer also has their own charity, which ensure food to the needy children and also it has contribution in the education system for the needy people (fibre2fashion, 2021).

Economic responsibility: The economic responsibility includes using the maximized profit margin for the development of the customers, employees and suppliers. As per this responsibility, Marks and Spencer focuses on contributing their profit ratio to developing the training and knowledge of the employees for improving their skills. Apart from that, the organisation also has contribution on the waste management by using the excess profit margin to reduce the waste production from it. It also has complete focus on contribution on the major disasters, regarding the environmental and health aspects. It has huge contribution on reducing the breast cancer (Middleton, 2017).

These all are some of the important corporate social responsibility, which Marks and Spencer maintains for the development of the society. These important responsibilities also help the organisation to improve the image of it in the international market.



6. Reflection

The following report is based on the global UK based organisation, Marks and Spencer, the organisation has faced various challenges and has also developed various opportunities. The business environment is changing each day; therefore, it is also important for the organisations to focus on the changing market trends for developing the sustainability of a business. The recent changes regarding the Brexit, and Covid19 has some significant impact on the business and economy of the international organisation (Kim, 2019). The report has developed my knowledge regarding the business management. The report has focused on the international organisation, Marks and Spencer, hence, it has enlarged my area of learning as I could focus on the broad area of the international business. During the report I could be able to focus on the PESTEL and SWOT analysis. In this case, it has developed my understanding regarding the impact of the internal and external environment of the business. This report has also helped me to understand the influence of these factors on business, hence I have also understood the importance of understanding the different internal and external factors while conducting any kind of business. Apart from that, I have also learnt about the ways of using the strengths of the organisation to negate the threats and issues faced by the business. There are different kinds of leadership approaches, which are also important to understand for understanding the impact of these leadership approaches. The leadership approach has also helped me to gain knowledge regarding the nature of these approaches and the impact of each one on the business development. I have also come to known that transformational leadership approach has some really good quality and have also understood the importance of it to develop an international business. CSR related approach related learning has been also developed during this report. I have come to known about the importance of the CSR and also, I have developed my knowledge regarding the various types of CSR (Cho, 2019). The following report has also developed my learning regarding the reflective aspect, along with that, I have developed my understanding regarding using the self-evaluation for the future development.

This report is one of the most useful and important one, which has a huge impact on my career development. The report has helped me to improve my knowledge regarding the business management. Apart from that, the following report has also developed my knowledge regarding environment as well as leadership and CSR which are necessary for a business management. Therefore, with the help of this advanced knowledge, I can be able to attract different kinds of job roles in management post after completing the module. Along with that, I have also developed my confidence regarding the management perspective (Adeani, 2020). Therefore, it has improved my knowledge and chances of getting a better positioned job in an international organisation. Apart from that, the advanced knowledge has also developed the chance of managing my own business. Along with that, as the report has focused on the impact of the Brexit, and Covid19, hence, it has developed my recent knowledge regarding the business environment relate changes. This has also developed my practical knowledge regarding the changes and the important steps needed as per the changes.




There are different business management aspects which an organisation must follow for developing the working practice and productivity. The following report has focused on analysing the impact of the external and internal environment on the business of Marks and Spencer. It is an international organisation, therefore needs to focus on analysing the various international business aspects for developing the future of it. There has been also a discussion regarding the various styles of the leadership. Apart from that, the report has also discussed about the suitable leadership style for the business. There has also been a focus on the CSR of Marks and Spencer. Moreover, the report has also focused on the reflection regarding the experience of conducting the report.




Books & Journals

Adeani, I.S., Febriani, R.B. and Syafryadin, S., (2020). USING GIBBS’REFLECTIVE CYCLE IN MAKING REFLECTIONS OF LITERARY ANALYSIS. Indonesian EFL Journal6(2), pp.139-148.

Al Khajeh, E.H., (2018). Impact of leadership styles on organizational performance. Journal of Human Resources Management Research, 2018, pp.1-10.

Cho, S.J., Chung, C.Y. and Young, J., (2019). Study on the Relationship between CSR and Financial Performance. Sustainability11(2), p.343.

Fiaz, M., Su, Q. and Saqib, A., (2017). Leadership styles and employees’ motivation: Perspective from an emerging economy. The Journal of Developing Areas, 51(4), pp.143-156.

Gandolfi, F. and Stone, S., (2018). Leadership, leadership styles, and servant leadership. Journal of Management Research, 18(4), pp.261-269.

Kim, S., (2019). The process model of corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication: CSR communication and its relationship with consumers’ CSR knowledge, trust, and corporate reputation perception. Journal of business ethics154(4), pp.1143-1159.

Middleton, R., (2017). Critical reflection: the struggle of a practice developer.

Podsakoff, P.M. and Podsakoff, N.P., (2019). Experimental designs in management and leadership research: Strengths, limitations, and recommendations for improving publishability. The Leadership Quarterly30(1), pp.11-33.

Yu, M., Cao, D. and Tan, J.Y., (2019). CSR-consumption paradox: examination of UK apparel companies. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal.

Website References



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