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An Exploratory Study Into Failure in Successful Organizations: the Case of Marks & Spencer

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Paper Title:
An Exploratory Study into Failure in Successful Organizations: The case of Marks & Spencer

Author: K. Mellahi, P. Jackson and L. Sparks

Journal : British Journal of Management, vol 13, 15-29 (2002)

Web access:
This journal can be accessed through the Polyu library: Question: 1. Discuss the reasons of failure for M & S.

1 Top managers tended to underestimate the effect of external changes in the industry landscape and, at times, disbelieve external reports and studies.

2 M&S lost contact with its customers’ needs and wants.

3 Powerful managers focus on their own benefits in a large part, ignoring give some solutions to the development of company.

4 Some conceptions of management and old policy have become a block to develop in an entirely new circumstance. At the same time the leaders always avoid to answer some underlying problems and find some excuses.

5 a. Rather than continuously looking for new ways of managing the company under changing circumstances, it continued to preserve and do what was previously successful. Be

cause of its long and continuous success.

b. M&S not only stuck to its previous routine procedures, but when change was under- taken, the company initially exhibited modification routines by using similar change and modifica-tions made to the management and operation systems throughout the company’s history.

6 Internally there were ‘political’ rumblings within the company, particularly over the lack of relationship between the Chairman and his Deputy, and issues of succession.

Every emperor has a cabinet composed of his own favorites.


External environment changes: consumer’s desires and behaviours…...

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