My Organisational Experience in The Body Shop
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This essay explores my organisational experience. I have chosen to write about this organisation because I think it is one of the most successful companies in the world. Also it is good example of how an inexperienced person can become a successful businessman.
In today’s changing global environments many companies have joined the open trade policies, and existing foreign opportunities available to growing companies with positive views and socially responsible attitudes.
It all sounds like a lot to cover in a short essay so I will introduce a company that has in its short, yet very successful existence transformed through all the levels and practices mentioned above. The company is called The Body Shop. I hope you have heard of it for that would make our journey more enjoyable.
The Body Shop Management
Management is described as the process of getting activities with and through other people. I will be examining the functions of management where the basics of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling apply to The Body Shop.
The founder of The Body Shop is Anita Roddick. She got tired of unsubstantiated claims of the cosmetics industry that their products couldn’t deliver. She decided to make a decision that would change her life forever. Anita became a manager of her own small business in Brighton England.
Planning proved to be the first big obstacle to learn in the road to efficient management. Taking care of buying from around the world for her special products had plunged Anita into a frightening and difficult role that she needed help with. Anita organized her financial burdens by taking on an investor Ian McGlinn, in turn giving him a 50 percent stake in the business.
Furthermore she sold the name The Body Shop to personal recruits, carefully lead and controlled by her own philosophies and ideals.
Anita Roddick had set the rest of the world and her society a great example of how one person can make a different and impact to our society. Never feel that you are too small or chanceless in doing something, as long as you have the heart for it, you can achieve it. Anita Roddick her self is the best example, she started the business with one shop just for the sake of livelihood, but now she is the founder of The Body Shop with stores in 46 countries.
I believe that Anita had become an ideal example of the classic top level manager taking on the responsibility of decision, communication, and information needed to project her company as a serious competitor, ready for today’s global market. She said once: “The business of business should not just be about money, it should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed.” I found these worlds very similar to my feelings and thinking about business.
Besides that Anita believes that business can be fun, it can be conducted with love and can be a powerful force for good, she had already had the basic fundamentals of today’s business ethics. Working within today’s rapidly changing business environments, it takes passion and ingenuity to stay competitive.
Like Anita I think that business can be fun and job can bring pleasure not only tiredness. One of my favourite short poems describes my thinking about this:
You are not suppose to have
Fun at work
Because you are working
And not having fun
But what if your work
Is what you think
Is fun for you
And not work at all
Jerry Abrahamson “Fun of Work”
I was meeting new people everyday, getting know more about The Body Shop products and the way the do business. So I can tell that everyday I had “fun” at my work place.
According to McGregor’s (1960) theory X and Y Anita is the Democratic Leader. She believes that her management has only a limited effect on the individual sales of each separate store. Anita has faith in her franchise owners that they will maintain the integrity of the name and conduct business according to the philosophy determined at the beginning of development and traditions of the original store. I think that this style of management encourage management owners to create systems that make the employees feel more important and effective.
The Body Shop follows the original general administrative theory of Henry Fayol (1841-1925). That is a sort of utopian environment that everyone involved in the company shares the same opinions as Anita Roddick, and tried to achieve harmony, one might say, within their own franchise of The Body Shop. Achieving this was done by personal interviews of potential franchise owners and continual monitoring of the application bureaucracy’s intended to find only the right people for the job. Establishing these bureaucratic procedures meant asking questions such as: “what kind of car do you drive? “, “what kind do you want?”, “how would you like to die?”, and “who are your favourite literary heroines?”. Based on the answer to questions like these she would either not give them franchise rights or move them along the way towards a business of their own with The Body Shop. The applicants are backed up due to the bureaucracies in place, as often is the case in any bureaucratic environment.
To sum up, the Body Shop has a very effective style of management with Anita Roddick still in control of the planning, leading, organizing, and making decisions for all the franchise stores.
The Body Shop using metaphors
The metaphor of the organization culture is a symbolic interpretation of the theories in the 1980s. According to Hatch (1997:52), which can be defined as: Image of the organization as a model of meaning is created and maintained by the association through the values, traditions and customs? However, many authors have different definitions.
Schein’s model is a model to explain the culture was carried out by the social psychologist Edgar Schein has come for the three levels of culture theory in the 1980s.
Schein’s theory (1985) shows that there are three levels of culture. First, there are assumptions, which are the beliefs and ideas of autonomy in the organization. There is no level of awareness of the population belonging to this organization
Secondly, there are values and norms. Values are the principles, the objectives that the organization believes they are capable of making a decision and know what is right and wrong. Standards are a guide to conduct unwritten. The values and norms are a higher level of consciousness. Finally, there are artifacts that are the most visible part of the culture of the organization. These events can be physical, verbal or behavioral manifestations.
In my opinion The Body Shop have tended to be more socially and environmentally responsible than its competitors. However, it should continue to benefit their business. It also tries to be innovative in creating a new way of doing business. The Body Shop has a lot of ethical values. For example, human rights, equality of opportunity in the workplace, training, communication, and wages are as good or better than other industries.
Also I believe that It tries to be innovative in the products. Transparency and supplier relationships, which become members and contribute to the long-term effectiveness. The Body Shop struggles for animal rights, to refrain from testing on animals. It also focuses on ecology through campaigns against pollution, for example. Fair trade is well developed. The above values are the foundation of the communication body shop.
The Body Shop has adopted a Charter of negotiation, set all the values of their contract suppliers. I strongly believe that The Body Shop staff involved in supporting campaigns. Employees are aware of the urgent global issue. Anita Roddick has become an artifact of the Body Shop has its culture. In fact, the basis for it because it creates the Body Shop values and reflects our own values. Can be changed, because it is no longer the Chief Executive. But it is still responsible for public relations and the creation and development of products.
Schein the model does not reflect the national culture, which has an influence on the international subsidiaries or franchise. Thus, the organisation of culture can vary depending on national culture. The Body Shop is trying to be aware of the development branch of the national audits. Are all employees sharing the same view, and which belong to this culture? I think, no.
According to Van Maanen and Barley (1985), there are sub-cultures within an organisation, people coming together for a first part of the culture, but adapt it to their group. So there is a difference between the subculture and culture of the organisation, which means that assumptions, values and artifacts may be different in the groups and individuals. The audits are relevant for this part. The social construction of reality and the theory of promulgation.
For instance, The Body Shop employees are different people from all over the world but one thing – one common culture makes them feel like they are all a part of the same culture. For example, I join only the organisations what I agree closely with. When I decided to apply for a job in The Body shop – it was not just money question. It meant that I appreciate this organisation, and its beliefs and ethics are similar to mine. For example, The Body shop founder proclaimed once: “I hate the beauty business. It is a monster industry selling unattainable dreams. It lies. It cheats. It exploits women.” I absolutely agree with her. There exist a lot of organisations
what promise their customers what the product what they buy will take years of their face. In my opinion they lie.
According to Berger and Luckmann’s theory of social construction of reality (1966) and Weick’s theory of adoption (1979), we create what we want and make sense of things, so there are much subjectivity in this metaphor. Subjectivity is a personal way of seeing things, but as everyone is different, how culture can be uniform, accepted and shared by all employees? Information can be manipulated.
To analyse the culture of an organisation must be part of it for a long period. This configuration is very difficult to analyse because there are a lot of interpretation, which is objective. In addition, when you are working there for a short period as I was working, it is difficult to find relevant information on culture; people try to hide what really happened and manipulation of information, e.g. interviews, annual reports.
The Body Shop is really ethical? The Body Shop does not seek to be ethical, but in some respects, because it is a PLC which also need to consider your financial needs and the needs of their shareholders. This may restrict their ethical practices to some extent and therefore do not meet the criteria to be ethical. Body Shop, which corresponds to the model of Schein, but has improved the awareness of national culture Hofstede. The three parties in the model of Schein theory: Assumption, values and objects are separated, but we can see that in practice, each other and make a whole. But the metaphor of the organisation as a culture of analysis focuses on people who are not present in some models such as the organisation and machinery. As the Body Shop is very human-oriented organisation, this is metaphor.
Open systems are open in the sense that they depend on their environment for contributions to feed and support their existence. The open system provides a conceptual model that is fundamental to modern theories. Environmental impacts throughout the system open. Customers are interconnected parts buyers of products from Body Shop.
Organisations that provide suppliers of Body Shop in the raw material to create their products. The Body Shop has to be aware of their competitors to maintain a competitive edge. The main inputs required for the socio-technical system are the raw materials such as containers, and ingredients used in the production line for the creation of products.
The Body Shop has created the culture through Anita Roddick of views on animal testing, ethical standards, environmental and social. The main structure is based on the franchise system independent, which allows each franchise to operate independently, but allowed to trade under The Body Shop regulations.
The Body Shop uses high technology to produce its products. Such as the automation of factory production control system and automated production, computer boxes, controlled distribution system, science and technology in the department of R & D. The socio-technical system produces a result, which is the product or service offered by The Body Shop. The whole system open to the needs of all parties, because they are all linked, if a party, if such changes affect the rest of the system.
The Body Shop International PLC is motivated by a high quality skin care and hair retailer famous for creating a niche market sector for naturally inspired skin and hair care products. The Body Shop is a leading company in question. It believes that its success depends on its relations with all stakeholders, including employees, franchisees, customers, communities, suppliers, shareholders and NGOs. Continues to maintain the focus on the brand naturally inspired products using traditional recipes. The Body Shop has developed a program of Community trade, which creates sustainable trading relationships with communities in need around the world. The keys to the policy of The Body Shop are the environment and protection against animal testing.
Four areas have been identified The Body Shop use the technology are in production, R & D, distribution and retailing. As The Body Shop products in bulk which have automated production systems with unskilled operating production machines. However, to remain in conformity with the image of The Body Shop also uses traditional production methods.
R & D uses more complex in terms of science and computer labs for testing of raw materials. Each franchise is the distribution network through a system called The Body Shop Supply Company Limited. The retail sector through technology is a routine use of packaging machines and packaging.
The Body Shop considers its employees as a group of key stakeholders of the organisation. The ideas and opinions of employees are considered important in the process of policy formulation. To obtain feedback from employees, employee consultation and surveys have been created and the results were communicated to employees. This is a good source of motivation. I felt valued and active in the organisation. Also I could give my recommendations how the shop where I was working can be improved. My supervisor always asked me about my opinion of different questions. For example the questions like: is the price for a particular product good enough for students and so on. However, the empowerment of employees in terms of decision-making is not a motivating factor if you have no job security.
The Body Shop in the operations of retail sales is mainly based on the franchise. The franchisees are individuals or independent businesses to grant a license to trade as The Body Shop. Franchisees that are responsible for each country can also sub-franchises to other persons and organisations. The franchise has often been suggested as one of the main factors contributing to the rapid expansion of The Body Shop. It can also be argued that the franchise has been one of the main reasons why the company has successfully crossed cultural boundaries and developed a multi-local rather than transnational in nature.
The organisational structure of shows such as The Body Shop is divided into separate sections. The Body Shop retail sales are mainly based on the franchise and operate, as independent companies have no authority over most major retailers. One way of The Body Shop is interacting through partnerships with franchisees and discussion groups. These consultations will enable The Body Shop to get the sub-franchisee earned the firm’s performance, communication and ethical standards.
Under the management outlets have much more control over employees, and employee participation is becoming an important aspect of The Body Shop in the management process. This suggests that The Body Shop is a democratic organisation, but in reality, management has the final say in any decision of what constitutes an authoritarian.
The open system metaphor is a good method to analyse an organisation in terms of functions and objectives, but it is not an in-depth analysis. This metaphor establishes the limits within which the organisation operates, but the system offers a socio-technical board, and does not understand the depth needed to make a good critique of the organisation. This has limited our review of The Body Shop as it is felt that we did not have the depth of knowledge and assumptions about the company that gave us permission to criticize effectively. Finally, the sample metaphor of the environment in a moment in time even if it may show how society is changing.
I have carried out this research with two different metaphors, which I have applied to The Body Shop. The cultural aspect of The Body Shop is very important for the firm because it is a human oriented organisation. Schein’s model highlights some deep-rooted characteristics without being complete. The Open System Metaphor shows the boundaries. However, metaphors have a limited set in the sense that there are static. Metaphors are theories based on experience whereas companies as The Body Shop evolve continuously in their daily activities. Therefore, metaphors cannot take into account the time.
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