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FBLT039 International Business

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FBLT039 International Business

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Course Code: FBLT039
University: Coventry University

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Country: United Kingdom

Question:
The recent Government Business Productivity Review (2018) emphasised the role of good leadership and management in helping to achieve sustainable economic prosperity and growth. This applies to all organisations, regardless of size, sector or location. Strong leadership and management is a key factor in fostering innovation, unlocking the potential of the workforce and ensuring organisations have the right strategies to drive productivity and growth.
 
Too many organisations, both in the private and public sector, are failing to achieve their full potential: managerial shortcomings and a lack of strategic thinking are holding them back. Overcoming these weaknesses and improving leadership and management capability is fundamental to creating a culture where more organisations have the ambition, confidence, resilience, and skills to respond to current economic challenges and compete successfully both nationally and globally.
Task 1
In order for organisations to excel and take advantage of business opportunities, the UK government has created a framework for business growth by providing specific support to those businesses with the most potential.
You are required to identify and assess TWO UK initiatives that have been implemented to support businesses (past or present). Provide an evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of how these initiatives would assist in the development of a sustainable, yet adaptive, business model that is internationally practicable and resilient.
Task Two
All government business support frameworks have limitations as well as strengths. Businesses also need to a critically review their current leadership practices, be prepared to make changes and where necessary invest more in management skills. For organisations that are prepared to take action the potential gains are clear; improved survival rates, better employee motivation and well-being, and increased profitability and performance.
 
Taking this into consideration you are required to select and critique one of the following leadership styles and evaluate how it could contribute to the sustainability of a global business organisation. 
· Trait theory· Behavioural theory· Contingency
Answer:
Task 1
After the decision of UK leaving the European Union there has been a number of speculations and agitations among the common people as well as scholars, analysts and economist in the region.  The government of UK is striving to support and guide the business in the region. As one of the largest economies in the world, UK has the potential to thrive without the support of the European Union. However, there are certainly challenges and barriers in the process.  The GDP of UK is approximately 2,565.05 billion USD in the financial year 2017 and there is a growth trend of 1.7 percent, which is lower than the previous financial year (En.portal.santandertrade.com 2018). The government of the country has been negotiating terms in leaving the EU, which has brought about uncertainties in the business environment as most of the frameworks and policies that were followed by the business in the region were framed by the EU. There are presumptions regarding the UK-EU trade relations as well which is can be a challenge for the business in the region. One of the key objectives of the government of UK is improving the productivity in the economy (Gov.uk 2018). The Business productivity review is a part of the Industrial Strategy white paper that is issued by the government. The document reviews the steps that could support the objective of the government (Gov.uk 2018). In order to improve the productivity challenge in the UK government has focuses on five foundations while developing initiatives and strategy: idea, people, infrastructure, business environment and place (Gov.uk 2018).
The two major aspects of business support that is provided by the government to improve productivity is clearly technological support. Technology is advancing in leaps and bounces and in order for the business to enjoy the advantages of these advances in technology the government has to provide them with the infrastructure to support the technology (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2018). The initiative that has been highlighted in the industrial strategy in terms of technology is a boost to the digital infrastructure by investing over £1bn. This strategy or initiative includes £176m investment on the 5G platform as well as £200m for local areas to develop fiber networks. This is a part of the infrastructure strategy that the government has set up (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2018).
The review has the list of initiatives that the government has taken in terms of providing the opportunity for business. There are a number of organizations in the region that operate on the basis of innovation and technology supports innovation. The review has identified four areas of technology that are mostly practiced by the organisations in the country these are: cloud computing, E-commerce, Accounting software, Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management software, HR Management software and Enterprise resource planning (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2018).  In order to support the requirements of the businesses that initiative of investment in development of infrastructure to support technology is important. Technological improvement will help the company to grow and develop; on the other hand it also helps the businesses to employee innovative ideas. It has been stated in the review that technology helps and supports a business in firm-level development. By adapting to technological advances business organisations can choose to achieve sustainable development as well as savings in the long-term. It is important for business organisations to maintain a consistent growth in order to be able to develop as well as expand the business opportunities.
This initiative focuses on providing the customers with ICT facilities, however, the listed areas that are used by businesses in terms of technology also includes skill and research investments (Gov.uk 2018). The government should also focus on building the infrastructure and opportunities for people to develop skills in order to support the technological requirements in the business environment. There are requirement to develop software and frameworks to support various requirements of the business organisation. Investment in developing knowledge and skill among the people is a long term and sustainable investment that the government could have provided. However, the investment on infrastructure of providing the businesses with platform will also help in identifying long term opportunities for business organisations with visionary and far sighted leaders. Infrastructure support will also help in dealing with the external threats by providing frameworks to support the structure or strategies taken by the company (Gov.uk 2018).  
The UK government understands the importance of trade and business in the economy. After the country decided to exist the European Union there has been a number of speculations among the business community regarding their prospect in the future. There are also a number of organisations whose businesses are dependent on a number of countries who are still a part of the EU (Gov.uk 2018). But the government has come up with a number of funding initiatives to support the small businesses. Cumulatively small businesses contribute a significant amount to the economy of the country at the end of the financial year.  The government has launched a new fund to support the growth of small businesses (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2018). Andrew Griffiths who holds the position of the Small Business Minister, in the government has unveil a new £8 million fund to improve the productivity and performance of small businesses in England. This is an extension of the Innovate UK plan, which will allow small businesses in adopting technologies and management techniques. According to the minister of small businesses there are around 1000 businesses being set up every day and it is important to support the businesses to thrive and grow. Testing new and innovative ways to support the business is one of the aims of the business basic fund.  It will also provide the business leaders with equipments and tools to support the business (Gov.uk 2018).
One of the major advantages of such a fund is that it not only motivates the people to invest in a business but it also helps and supports the people to ensure that the business stabilizes. In the initial stages of setting up a business there are a number of challenges and barriers in the process. This monetary fund and support from the government will help the entrepreneurs to overcome some of these challenges (Gov.uk 2018). This initiative is also aligned with the vision of the UK government to ensure that the UK economy is one of the most innovation driven economies. The funding is the part of the business environment focus of the government. Finances are one of the major challenges that are faced by the small businesses in the initial stage; there is significant capital investment for all the aspects in establishing the organisation. In such circumstances funding to help the investors is advantageous for the business. Innovative ideas have to be supported with financial backups, thus this kind of a fund will help the small businesses in developing innovative ideas as well as ensure that the business is at a sustainable position (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2018).
The disadvantage in the process is that the businesses have to apply for the fund and because the fund is limited there will be a number of people who will be rejected in the process which can lead to de-motivation among these people (Pierrakis 2018).  Furthermore, monitory help is a short term process the focus on providing people with long term opportunities will help the business to become sustainable and also to generate positive income for the investors.  To make a business sustainable in the business environment there are a number of factors that has to be aligned. One such factor is competition, funding in the small business will increase competition in the process which can furthermore give rise to threats in the process (Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk, 2018).
Task 2
There are a number of factors that impact the sustainable growth, development and performance of any organisation (Nichol and Cottrell 2014).  Leadership in the organisation is one of the major factors; the leaders of an organisation are the owners of the company, the people who are in the management of various departments etc.  The one who is responsible for calling the shots for the organisation is the main leader who drives the organisation by formulating the policies. The leaders of the organisation are also responsible to derive the objectives of the company as well as being the foundation of the culture that is prevalent in the organisation. For example if the leader of the company considers the employees to be the driving force of the organisation, the policies and work environment in the company will be employee friendly (Landis et al. 2014). There are a number of theories and frameworks developed over the years for understanding leadership. Developing differences between a leader and a manager as well as demarcating the line which makes authority different from leadership.  A leader is a person who guides, supports and helps the people in achieving the objectives that has been set, they also participate in the process to understand the challenges and barriers in the process of achieving the objectives. Some of the qualities of a leader of an organisation that every employee looks forward to are: sensitivity, vision and farsightedness, cognitive ability, effective communication skills, confidence and will power etc (Sharma and Jain 2013). A leader is someone the employees want to look up to and can also approach while in need. The role of a leader in an organisation is to develop policies and take decisions which is not only profitable for the business but also keeps in mind all the stakeholders of the company. The leaders are responsible for developing a culture in the organisation that is suitable for all the stakeholders and align the interest of the stakeholders with the objective of the company. Another major role of the leader in an organisation is to keep the people of the company motivated to perform not only that strive to improve the performance as well. There are a number of theories of leadership however; the one that is going to be discussed in this assignment is the trait theory (Landis et al. 2014).
The trait theory of leadership is the model that helps in determining the effectiveness of leadership in an organisation by drawing characteristic inferences from a number of successful as well as unsuccessful leaders (Chemers 2014). This theory focuses on personality and characteristic traits that help a person to become a successful leader. The implications of the theory are that certain traits are responsible for a certain type of behavior, this pattern is consistent and leaders are born with leadership traits (Dinh et al. 2014). Some of the important traits that are important for a leader to ensure that the organisation’s productivity and performance level grow sustainably, the employees of the organisation are motivated to continue their work with the organisation:
Intelligence and cognitive judgment: This is an important trait that is important for the leader as helps in understanding and developing policies and analyses the situations and develop policies accordingly. The leaders are expected to have level of competence in terms of skills and knowledge as well in order to ensure success of the organization. Until and unless the leader has full understanding and knowledge about the business and its process it is not possible to be the effective leader for the organisation (Nichol and Cottrell 2014).
Sense of responsibility: As a leader it is important to identify and understand the responsibility theta ones have towards the organization. There are also a number of people who are the responsibility of the leader and thus each and every action and policies of the company that are made has to be responsible and must be properly evaluated before implementation (Nichol and Cottrell 2014). To make sure that the business has a continuous growth the understanding of responsibility in the leader is important as it drives the decision making as well as policies of the organisation in a way that coincides with the interest of all the stakeholders (Dinh et al. 2014).
Motivating and inspiring: there are a number of ways in which an individual can be de-motivated while working with the organisation; it can be the nature of the job, the work environment etc. it is the role of the leaders to be an inspiring individual in the eyes of the employees. On the other hand, the leaders themselves also have to be motivated towards the objectives of the company and passionate about the idea and the vision of the organisation. A motivated leader is one of the most important traits to ensure sustainable growth, if the leader of the organisation is de-motivated and loses interest in the process of business and its development. The organisation will fall as the operation of the organisations to a large extent is dependent on the leader and the passion that the leader shares in achieving the objectives of the business.
Integrity: the leader of an organisation is expected to have traits of honesty and integrity, as the person is responsible for a number of lives who are dependent on the organisation. It is important for the leader of the organisation to maintain decorum and honesty with the stakeholders. The honesty among the leaders helps in establishment of trust and faith among the employees and other stakeholders of the organisation. This trust helps the leader to build the path of growth and development. In order to maintain a sustainable growth the company has to ensure that the people associated with the organisation remain faithful and loyal and this trait in the leaders helps in building this relation in between the stakeholders and the organisation.
Communication and interpersonal relation: effective communication is an important aspect in running an organisation (Hackman and Johnson 2013). A decision that is made by the management or the owners has to be communicated to the people who are being directly or indirectly impacted by the change. If this is not met there are chances of internal conflict as well (Nichol and Cottrell 2014). Communication forms the basis of running the business, right information should reach out to the right person at the right time in order to maintain the performance and the productivity. The leader is expected to have an understanding of the process of communication in order to ensure that the work is flawless. Interpersonal relations or people skills are also important in order to align the understanding with the people while achieving the objectives of the business (Hackman and Johnson 2013). Thus it can be said that effective communication is essential for the long-term development and growth of the company. Communication also brings about transparency in the organisation; it develops an understanding and trust in between the management and the employees. It helps in resolving conflicts and performs day to day operations of the business smoothly (Hackman and Johnson 2013).
Creativity: it is important for a leader to have an open mind and a broad vision to understand the opportunities as well as the threats that are associated with the organisation. In order to deal with these aspects and to be different from the others in the market the leders must have a creative outlook.  This will help the leaders in coming up with solutions which are new and innovative and thus ensuring a long term success rate for the company (Dinh et al. 2014).
Reference list:
Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk., 2018. Business Productivity Review. [online] Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/712342/Business_Productivity_Review_call_for_evidence_.pdf [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018].
Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk., 2018. Industrial Strategy Building a Britain fit for the future. [online] Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/664563/industrial-strategy-white-paper-web-ready-version.pdf [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018].
Chemers, M., 2014. An integrative theory of leadership. Psychology Press.
Dinh, J.E., Lord, R.G., Gardner, W.L., Meuser, J.D., Liden, R.C. and Hu, J., 2014. Leadership theory and research in the new millennium: Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), pp.36-62.
En.portal.santandertrade.com., 2018. UNITED KINGDOM: ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL OUTLINE. [online] En.portal.santandertrade. Available at: https://en.portal.santandertrade.com/analyse-markets/united-kingdom/economic-political-outline [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018].
Gov.uk., 2016. Technology boost for UK businesses. [online] GOV.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/technology-boost-for-uk-businesses [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018].
Gov.uk., 2018. Business productivity review: call for evidence. [online] GOV.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/business-productivity-review-call-for-evidence [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018].
Gov.uk., 2018. Government launches new fund to support small business growth. [online] GOV.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-new-fund-to-support-small-business-growth [Accessed 23 Oct. 2018].
Hackman, M.Z. and Johnson, C.E., 2013. Leadership: A communication perspective. Waveland Press.
Landis, E.A., Hill, D. and Harvey, M.R., 2014. A synthesis of leadership theories and styles. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 15(2), p.97.
Nichols, A.L. and Cottrell, C.A., 2014. What do people desire in their leaders? The role of leadership level on trait desirability. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(4), pp.711-729.
Pierrakis, Y., 2018. Public policies and public programs with a regional impact in promoting entrepreneurship: the case study of government backed venture capital schemes in the UK. In Global Business Expansion: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 128-158). IGI Global.
Sharma, M.K. and Jain, S., 2013. Leadership management: Principles, models and theories. Global Journal of Management and Business Studies, 3(3), pp.309-318.

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