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The modern world demands a wide range of abilities and resources from a diverse group of individuals to meet its many demands. That is why there is so much focus on building a cohesive team and developing great leaders. As a result, the leader may be tasked with forging the organization’s future. The pandemic of coronavirus has put a lot of pressure on business and non-business leaders alike. The COVID-19 catastrophe continues to reverberate across the retail industry more than a year after it spread over the globe. Having to close their physical storefronts and rapidly scale up their migration to online sales has had immediate consequences for merchants, such as the hoarding of food and additional clothing. This may change as a result of changing consumer habits and company practices, though. Team performance is on the cusp of altering due to shifting customer perceptions and behaviour, and good leadership is needed to steer the change. As a result, the emphasis of this study will be on determining if the COVID-19’s influence on team performance was made feasible thanks to effective leadership.
Developing the organization’s capabilities and competitive advantages are considered a top priority for leaders, as per Paais and Pattiruhu (2020). The effectiveness of a leader’s performance becomes crucial, as it has the potential to either boost team performance by encouraging its members or to degrade team performance, resulting in poor public services for the general public (Dias and Borges, 2017). The leader’s role is to assist people to develop a common understanding of the reality of the business and to encourage them to become involved by leveraging the intrinsic motivations of those around them. Organizational teams are becoming more important, as Paracha et al. (2012) declared and the leader’s job in guiding that team is becoming more and more important. Leaders cannot fix issues on their own. People in leadership positions are often accountable for generating and sustaining motivating characteristics in their subordinates. A leader’s capacity to consistently encourage his or her team may contribute to the development of a bond with those under his or her leadership (Niemeyer and Cavazotte, 2016). Organizational change has always been part of the landscape, and leaders may influence their teams more readily by preparing them for the inevitable transitions.
Leaders are needed at every stage of team development, according to Scholtes, Joiner, and Streibel’s (2003) ideas on the stages. As a result, although if all teams go through the same phases of team growth and transformation at the same pace, not all teams have the same style of leadership to aid in their transformation and development into extremely successful teams. The failure of a team is typically blamed on the leadership of the group. Everyone must do their share if the group is to attain its objectives as a whole, as opined by Wong et al (2014). As indicated in the study by Gadirajurrett et al. (2018), this may not just be a product of individual incompetence, but rather an issue with how well the members of a team can work together and sync up their efforts. Weak leadership and oversight are likely to be blamed for the majority of team failures. According to the results of Dias and Borges (2017), transformational leadership has a direct influence on team performance, which is consistent with the study. While transformational skills are important for leadership, they have little impact on team success for followers. Leadership theory is now at a period known as the transformational age, which is seen as the most promising and recent development. This kind of leadership refers to the inspiring leader who is capable of generating excellent team performance by energising their followers intellectually and by providing individual assistance.
It is frightening for all the stakeholders of business, including employees, to see how many people have died as a result of the epidemic triggered by the COVID-19. Howe et al (2020) opined that it is difficult for leaders to react to the epidemic because of its huge scope and complete lack of predictability, which aligns with the opinion of James and Wooten (2004). Companies of all sizes are taking action in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Alexander et al. (2020) has stated that the corporations are creating up “control towers” and “nerve centres”, and other crisis-response teams to cope with quickly altering priorities and difficulties by taking over some of the vital functions. There is a growing interest among managers who have seen the effectiveness of these teams in making quick, informed choices to expand their reach throughout the firm. The outbreak indeed has the markings of a “landscape-scale crisis”, which is an unexpected occurrence or chain of incidents of immense scope and irresistible speed that results in bewilderment, a sense of lost control, and intense emotional disturbance, according to Howitt and Leonard (2007). A year after the worldwide outbreak, the COVID-19 catastrophe is still resonating across the retail industry. In 2020, retail sales were predicted to see their worst annual decrease in the industry’s history, with total retail sales decreasing by 1.9% in that year (Khaliq, 2021). Volume sales of clothes and gasoline fell by 21.5% and 22.2%, respectively, in 2020 and remained below levels before the epidemic. Coronavirus’s impact on the retail sector has been profound as the after-effect from the situation settles.
The coronavirus pandemic is a catastrophe unlike any other in recent memory for many business leaders. At a time of crisis, as per Brion (2021), leaders must maintain a critical part of their role in having a good impact on the lives of others. In order to do this, managers must realise the difficulties that workers and others close to the face during a crisis on a personal and professional level. As a result of being forced to close locations and swiftly scale up their migration to e-commerce, retailers have seen short-term consequences, such as the hoarding of food and more garments. This may change as a result of changing consumer habits and company practices, though. However, in contrast to many other industries, the retail industry did well. These developments are, however, speeding up an industry realignment that had been in motion for some years and was already underway. According to Bradley et al. (2021), it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell which companies are leaders and which are laggards in their respective sectors. The stock market performance of omnichannel retailers may reflect the positive impact of the epidemic on their business, particularly in the retail sector. It was only a matter of time until the financial crisis gave enterprises with technologically sophisticated business strategies a significant advantage over their competitors in the market.
Both James and Wooten (2005) and von Hirschberg (2021) have recommended that, rather than relying on a predetermined response strategy, leaders in crisis situations should cultivate habits and attitudes that prevent them from reacting too quickly to the incidents of the day before and instead help them look forward. Some businesses have seen a marked performance improvement, while others have been destroyed. For example, Peacebird’s executive team has given the company’s front-line salespeople significantly greater power (Yu, Greeven and Shan, n. d). Different marketing strategies, such as live streaming, friend circle promotion, and bulk purchases are all options that a team might use to promote their event. Online sales data and expertise were made available to employees so they could keep tabs on the success and conversion rates of new formats. Along with standard operating procedures and customer-facing personnel evaluations, the firm established a virtual chatbot and an online sales assistance system. The technology keeps track of conversion rates to determine which online sales tactics bring in the most money.
The research will aim to understand the impact of leadership on business team performance in MNCs. To be precise, the research will focus on the success of a large retail firm like Tesco in the time of COVID-19.
Q1. How the changes after COVID-19 have affected the team performance of MNCs?
Q1. How the leaders in retail companies are influencing business teams to thrive amidst COVID-19?
Highly effective teams do not appear out of thin air or without a significant amount of effort and sacrifice. The retail sector’s success formula has changed in the last year and those that don’t adapt quickly enough risk being left behind. This research and its successful completion will provide the industry professionals and experts with sufficient data to understand the way they can manage and lead their business operations towards success, even if there is a crisis like no other. As a consequence of this knowledge and its implication, sales teams can be empowered, resources can be made accessible, and feedback can be supplied rapidly, which can improve the overall business performance of an organisation in the middle of the epidemic.
With a Reading Strategy, one may arrange his/her research in a methodical and timely manner, resulting in excellent data and informative reports. With less irritation and better quality comes less time and money spent on unnecessary activities. Researchers describe their research strategy and the experiments they will conduct to achieve their intended objectives in the Research Strategy section of their application (Basias and Pollalis, 2018). It allows a researcher to plan and perform research efficiently. It is the main objective of this area to convey the study’s important components: its research question, areas of significant attention, research design, and finally its research methodology. Choosing a research strategy should be based on the research questions, goals, time available, resources accessible, and philosophical underpinnings of the researcher. A researcher’s methodological approach guides data collecting and analysis. Thus, choosing the correct research strategy is crucial.
Research strategies are of many kinds, such as qualitative, quantitative, descriptive, analytical, action-based, basic, critical, interpretive, exploratory and predictive (Goodwin and Goodwin, 1984). The emphasis of this study will be on both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis. The collecting of numerical data, whether from primary or secondary sources, is a key component of the quantitative strategy. Data may be gathered by questionnaires, surveys, and polls or through secondary sources under this technique (Basias and Pollalis, 2018). This approach primarily focuses on the occurrence of a given phenomenon, including when, when, what, and how frequently. Qualitative methods are often utilised to get insight into the underlying causes or the opinions of the individuals involved in a given situation. Numerical information is not required. It assists in reaching the study goals since it gives insights into the research issue. Interviews, observations, open-ended surveys, and focus groups are just a few of the methodologies that might be employed (Basias and Pollalis, 2018). To find out when, when, what, and how frequently a certain event happens, a quantitative method will help gather numerical data in the form of surveys as part of this project. Using a qualitative technique to obtain non-numerical data might be helpful Useful when the researcher is interested in finding out what individuals think about a given truth or a particular situation.
In this context, pragmatist research methodology will be used in this study. Research under the pragmatist research philosophy is based on the actual data (�ukauskas, Vveinhardt and Andriukaitien?, 2018). According to this viewpoint, the research question is the most important factor in determining the philosophical approach to take. This research philosophy places a high value on the practical applications of the study. On top of all of this, pragmatism does not fit into any philosophical framework or reality, stated by Alghamdi and Li (2013). Researchers are allowed to pursue their interests as they see fit. They have the freedom to pick the methodologies, strategies, and processes that best serve their scientific research objectives.
Explanatory approaches, which employ the ideas and thoughts of a researcher to guide future investigations, will also be included in the study design. Following a first qualitative phase of data gathering and analysis, followed by a second quantitative phase of data collecting and data analysis, the exploratory sequential mixed methods design culminates in a final phase of data integration or linkage (Noor, 2008). The goal of the study is to uncover previously unknown patterns in a phenomenon and provide in-depth explanations for fundamental research issues such as what, why, and how.
A sample is a portion of the research population that researchers choose to study, and sampling is just picking a section of the population that represents the whole population (Landreneau and Creek, 2009). This research will focus on the selection of the sample from the population of professionals working in Tesco for at least over 2 years. The sampling strategy is the approach researchers devise to ensure that the sample researchers utilise in their research study is representative of the population. A sampling term is defined as a group of people who are randomly selected from a population. Samples include convenience, snowball, quota, purposive, simply random, and cluster. The aforementioned phrases and elements of the sampling process occasionally overlap, according to Noor (2008). Both probability and non-probability sampling are prominent sample designs. A random selection of components is used in probability sampling. It is more accurate to use probability samples. An equal and independent chance exists for each member of the population to be chosen for selection. When doing non-probability sampling, the sample components are selected at random. This type of sampling produces less representative samples than probability sampling. The selected sample under this strategy must fulfil the required criteria set for the research.
This research would follow the purposive non-probability sampling strategy among the population of professionals in Tesco. For the qualitative study, managers in the human resources department of the organisation will be interviewed. The purposive non-probability sampling strategy would be used to select the HR managers who have more than 3 years of experience in their current profession under this company. For the quantitative research, a survey would be conducted among the employees working in the different stores and units of the company, and fulfilling their crucial responsibility of performing as collaborative teams of employees at different tasks.
In order to answer questions, express research issues, test theories, and assess results, data collection is explained as the act of obtaining and measuring information on factors of interest. Primary and secondary data collecting are the two most common methods. It’s the data one gets straight from the source, known as primary data (also known as raw data), as per Igwenagu (2016). This makes drawing meaningful conclusions more challenging for those who have never had access to the information. A researcher has the option of using primary data or secondary data in his/her study. Secondary data refers to information that has been compiled from other sources, such as books, research papers, statistics, or survey findings. Since the topic revolves around a current situation and needs in-depth knowledge from an industry coping up with the situation, the primary process of data collection would be suitable to gather both qualitative and quantitative data types.
An important part of research data analysis is the reduction and interpretation of data into a narrative. The use of data analysis may break down a large volume of data into understandable parts. Qualitative and quantitative data analysis approaches are two of the most often used methodologies for data analysis (Awang, 2012). Businesses may benefit from a variety of data kinds by combining these data analysis methods, which can be utilised alone or in conjunction with one another. Both these data analysis techniques will be used for the numerical data obtained from the survey and non-numerical data obtained from the interview. In this process, a content analysis approach would be suitable for this mixed method of research.
The principles of validity and reliability are used to assess the quality of research. A method, methodology, or test’s ability to quantify something is shown by these metrics. The consistency of a measurement is what determines its reliability, whereas the precision of a measurement determines its validity (Colin and Julie, 2005). In this research, the method selected is reliable since it will make sure that the outcome can be reproduced under similar conditions. On the other hand, the validity of the research would be determined by observing that the outcome does represent what they are supposed to measure. Reliability is necessary for research, though it is not enough on its own. If an investigation has to be reliable, it needs to be valid as well.
Formal research can only be carried out with proper access, which is defined as the adoption of ethical and academic procedures that allow researchers to enter a particular community (Groenewold and Lessard-Phillips, 2012). Some important challenges arise while doing qualitative or quantitative research in accessing the required materials for the study. In the context of a study, “access” refers to the ‘how’ mental processes, interaction, communication, and location of researchers and participants work together. For the duration of the study project, access is a continuous and dynamic process that is always evolving (Riese, 2019). This research will contact the store managers of different Tesco stores first and consult about the purpose of the research. The executive body would then be contacted for permission to carry out the research with their managers and employees. Furthermore, HR managers will be communicated with and asked consent through the mail, followed by the same with employees with determining criteria.
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