Effectiveness of Leadership and Management Styles-Research Proposal Sample



Topic: Comparative Study on the impact and effectiveness of Leadership and Management Styles on Staff Productivity in the Retail sector in UK.

complete proposal : 4600 words

need 40 references

Proposal structure and instructions.

You are required to compile a research proposal that will allow you to demonstrate the application of your selected methodological approach to a well structured, coherent, realistic, achievable and well-argued proposal for a programme of professional research and development.

The research proposal should be (from January 2018 onwards) first developed as a presentation ( 30%) then written in the form of a report (70%). It should cover specific areas (outlined below) that will have been covered during the delivery of the module, with these also used as the basis for sub-headings:

  • Table of contents
  • Executive summary-including section on your presentation feedback and response to that
  • Title, introduction and rationale for the proposed research
  • Research questions/aim/objectives and conceptual framework
  • Literature review
  • Research philosophy, design and methods
  • Access issues and ethical considerations
  • Timeline
  • Conclusion
  • References





Executive summary

This research proposal sheds light on the effectiveness of both management style and leadership style in respect to staff productivity. This research proposal has chosen UK retail industry to analyze the factors related to effective management and leadership style which can impact positively in retaining employees to the organization. Along with the aspects related to critical analysis of the factors and the issues related to motivational approaches of the employees have been presented in terms of literature review. Moreover, through the methodological approaches, this proposal has discussed the importance of it along with justification in relation with this research. Positivism research philosophy, descriptive research design and deductive approach have been mentioned to support both primary quantitative and qualitative research. Primary quantitative data collection process has been mentioned for collecting data through the survey with 120 employees of Tesco and Sainsbury.

Table of Contents


Research rationale

Research aims and objectives

Research questions

Literature review

Conceptual framework 

Critically evaluating the current leadership styles used by the authority of retail sectors of UK

Critically analysing the importance of management style and leadership on staff productivity in UK retail business

Critically discussing the factors which can lead effective leadership style in UK retail sector

Evaluating the motivational approaches which can improve staff productivity in retail stores of UK

Critically discussing impact of leadership style and effective management style on productivity of retail sector of UK

Literature gap 15

Research philosophy

Research approach

Research design

Research methods

Accessing issues

Ethical consideration



Reference list



The financial crisis in global context can influence a wave regarding unprecedented challenges towards both economic and political order of world. In respect to this situation of turbulence, through dexterity and foresight, leadership has the potential to make changes to this situation. In case of retail industry, leadership can be considered as a process through which an individual can be influenced to enthusiastically direct the effort as well as abilities to meet organisational goals. This research proposal is based on the comparative study regarding management style or leadership style to enhancement of staff productivity. The comparison between the effectiveness of management style and leadership technique have been presented in this proposal to support staff productivity in UK retail store. This proposal has chosen Tesco, Sainsbury’s, the renowned retail stores of UK to identify the influential factors to the motivation of the staffs. Along with proper methodological approach, this proposal has presented the justifications to support the research activities.

Research rationale

The linking of the staff productivity and the leadership style will also be effectively studied from this research. In order to analyse the importance of staff motivation in relation to enhance the quality of performance of them, the practical data in respect to various renowned retail stores can be effective. In UK, the opportunity to be associated with a retail store has increased; as a result the employees can be able to switch over to other organization. Sainsbury’s has increased staff pay and has invested £100 million to the majority of the staffs (Butler, 2018). The basic issue behind lack of employee retention in retail industry is related to lack of motivational approaches. Tesco is stripping out a layer regarding management system from the stores in a move which can put up to 1700 jobs at risk and it has cut the costs by £1.5 billion (Butler, 2018).

This issue related to lack of motivational approaches to the staffs can be considered as an issue as it not only lead a loss of 1100 jobs from supermarket chain but also affects the customer services. The costs of these famous retails are rising along with increased national living wage to £7.83 an hour after going from £7.20 to £7.50 of last year (Butler, 2018).

Declination of sales volume in 2017-2018 has been key issue of Sainsbury and Tesco due to enhancing employee turnover. Lack of employee motivation within retail industry has been major issue due to which employees do not show enough interest to perform well. In 2018, employee turnover has been enhanced by 2.1% due to lack of motivation and support from leaders at the time of facing challenging situation. Current issues within retail industry of UK is related to lack of guidance and encouragement to lower staffs due to which large number of employees have taken decision regarding resigning job. One of the significant aspects is remuneration of all employees which has been key reason of enhancing employee turnover massively in 2018. Average labor wages has been reduced by 1.23% of retail industry of UK due to which life standard of employees of Tesco and Sainsbury has been affected negatively (retaileconomics.co.uk, 2019). Combination of different factors such as lack of motivation and support as well as wages has forced them to resign job from specific company.

In present day’s globalisation, employee engagement as well as employee satisfaction is the backbone of the success of retail sectors of UK. These issues related to lack of motivation among the employees in the present business context of retail sectors of UK can set barrier to the business of the organization to enhance the sales margin. In relation to this, the large retail stores face decreased sales and profit margin of retail business. Tesco has considered cutting staffs by 39000 over last three years (Ruddick, 2016).

The current research is significant as it demonstrates importance of leadership role and effective style of management for increasing productivity and developing business process. The main significance of conducting this research is that it will shed light on the issues of leadership in the retail sector in UK and will help in devising strategies to address these issues. Moreover, the productivity as well as profitability of the retail business can be affected by these issues. Researcher will focus on the factors which are able to affect the staff productivity in retail sector of UK.

Research aims and objectives

The basic aim of this research study is to identify the importance of the effectiveness of management style and leadership process on staff retention in retail sector of UK. The objectives of this research are as follows:

  • To critically discuss the current leadership style that are practices in UK retail sector
  • To critically analyse the impact of management style on staff productivity of UK retail sectors
  • To analyse the factors that govern leadership style in the UK retail sector
  • To recommend strategies related to leadership and management style which can help to enhance the motivational approaches to the staffs of retail companies in UK

Research questions

The following research questions will help the researcher to evaluate the understanding of the effectiveness of the leadership and management style to motivate the employee. The researcher will set these questions in order to identify the factors based on innovative strategies regarding management system of retail stores of UK. The research questions are:

  • What are the current leadership styles that are prevalent in UK retail sector?
  • Which of the factors play a significant role in leadership and management styles?
  • In what way do leadership styles affect the staff productivity in UK?
  • In what ways leadership and management style can be improved to enhance the motivational approaches to the staffs of retail companies in UK?

Literature review

The literature review will be conducted based on the analysis of the previous researches. The research papers will be chosen based on exclusion and inclusion criteria. A prisma diagram will be provided for the literature review.

Conceptual framework

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework

(Source: Based on views of Rambe and Modise, 2016, p.91)

Critically evaluating the current leadership styles used by the authority of retail sectors of UK

Though there are some similarities between leadership styles and management style of an organization, the difference between management style and leadership technique can influence the business process. As per the views of Bolden (2016, p.150), the strategic management system can be able to introduce the system of effective communication among the employees of retail stores. The relation between leadership and strategic management can be established through these aspects. Leadership can be considered as the process which can influence staff performance in respect to efficiency. On the contrary, the authorisation leadership used in the retail stores of UK can be considered as directorship. According to Rambe and Modise (2016, p.90), based on the aspects of this authorisation leadership technique, the leaders can dictate policies as well as procedures to decode the goals of the organization. The retail business of UK can develop the skill of leadership in order to influence communication and motivation among the employees.

Leadership play key role in encouraging employees and enhancing their interest to perform well. Based on that, organizational productivity can be increased significantly. As opined by Nawaz and Khan (2016, p.5), having great leadership role among leaders of an organization is the key strength due to motivating continuously and encouraging them to perform well. On the other hand, Landis et al. (2014, p.101) commented that organizational culture is the key influencing factor of overall productivity along with great leadership role of leaders. From this following point of view, it is clear that without having great leaders and effective organizational culture, staff productivity of UK retail industry cannot be enhanced. Through effective style of management, experienced managers of an organization set strategic mission and vision so that employees have key target on daily basis. Leaders show right path and cooperate all employees for overcoming different corporate issues related to remuneration and health as well as safety. With the aid of directive management style, managers of different organizations of UK retail industry can be able to direct group of employees by fulfilling their basic requirements. Thus, it would impact positively on organizational growth and overall business process significantly. As mentioned by Wheelen et al. (2017, p.37), maintaining effective management style and leading all employees towards the goal are strategic ways to fulfill business objectives such as long term sustainability. However, Landis et al. (2014, p.103) argued that without fulfilling requirements of employees, management group of an organization cannot be able to enhance staff productivity.

As per principles of Great Man theory, leaders have unique qualities due to which they have been given power and authority to control overall process and show strategic path to people. As opined by Nawaz and Khan (2016), effective leadership roles play key role in encouraging employees and enhancing their performance by encouraging continuously. Based on the following principle, it can be demonstrated that leaders having great leadership role of an organization show strategic path to employees so that they are able to fulfill organizational vision.

Apart from these, democratic leadership can be able to help the entire team to participate in group discussion. The discussion can help to influence decision making in relation to enhancement of business process. Parés et al. (2017, p.20) have argued that this style of leadership, participant leadership can support the voice of the employees to influence decision making. The leadership style maintained by retail organizations can motivate the staffs and it can be able to support the customer services. The quality of performance of the employees can be improved through the motivational approaches introduced by the leaders to the employees. The effective style or process of leadership not only can improve staff productivity by motivating them but also retail stores the vision to expand the business throughout the world.

The delegative leadership or laissez faire leadership style used in retail sector of UK can allow the members of workforce to make decisions. According to the aspects of this leadership style, Wong and Giessner (2018, p.780) has opined that it can motivate the people to perform optimally and it can give latitude to the staffs which can help to make proper decision. The approach of this leadership style can help the staffs to enjoy liberty to contribute with their own views. In relation to these factors, moreover, the level of self confidence of the staffs can be improved. Based on the discussion regarding various leadership styles used in retail stores of UK, the fact can be established that these approaches can motivate the employees and encourage them to contribute with better quality performance. Moreover, through introducing various aspects of leadership to the employees of retail industry, the engagement of employee or staff production can be enhanced.

Figure 2: Current leadership styles used by retail industry of UK

(Source: Wong and Giessner, 2018, p.781)

Critically analysing the importance of management style and leadership on staff productivity in UK retail business

The strategic management system can consist of the decisions as well as the actions which can formulate and introduce strategies to gain competitive advantages among rivals. The management style used by the retail organizations of UK can be able to make the relationship between the organization and the business environment. As per the views of Slack and Brandon-Jones, (2018, p.23), through effective style of management, the authority of the retail organizations can set their mission and vision. These approaches of management style by supporting the interests of the employees can promote them to contribute better quality performance and moreover, it can be able to help to evaluate the value as well as policies of the organization. However, a leader can lead the entire workforce to make the mission successful. According to Bolman and Deal (2017, p.24), the well established strategies related to the health and safety policies for the employees can attract them and can help to gain competitive advantages.

Figure 3: Management styles used by retail stores of UK

(Source: Grant, 2016, p.24)

Through introducing the reward and recognition system to the employees, the management team of the organizations under UK retail industry can enhance staff productivity. The management team of the retail organizations can pay attention to the employees by offering them the opportunity of competitive pay to form long term career. On the contrary, Grant (2016, p.28) has stated that effective leadership technique can encourage the employees to participate in decision making session within the organization. The management team of the retail industry of UK have the beliefs that success of a leader relies on the process to maintain happy workforce by introducing motivational approaches to the employees.

Apart from these, the democratic management style used by the retail stores of UK can encourage the employees by introducing the ways related to allowance in decision making. In relation to this, Kim et al. (2017, p.1350) have opined in a similar view that the way of operating can be considered as decentralised as well as information can be passed from management style. The concept of the management team of an organization regarding the employees and as the organizations can empower the employees by considering staffs as assets can motivate them. As per the views of Waring (2016, p.28), the importance of management style not only can improve employee productivity but also it can enhance the quality of performance regarding customer service.

Critically discussing the factors which can lead effective leadership style in UK retail sector

It is important for the leadership management team of the organization to focus on effective leadership style which can help to motivate the employees to be associated with the organization. In present day’s field of retail business, the increased rate of competition can be resolved by strategic thinking style in both management and leadership style. As per the views of Chou et al. (2016, p.490), strategic thinking can be considered as the ways which can influence the style of leadership. Apart from these, the communication skill of the employees in respect to communicate with the customers or the managers is important. The retail business of UK and the success of it rely on the effective communication and leadership style. However, collaboration and communication within the entire team of workforce can improve the confidence and the interest of employees to be associated with the organization.

Sociological factors such as education system and social culture are most significant influencing factors of leadership style. As opined by Buble et al. (2014, p.170), cultural background and economic condition both have strong impact on leadership style which is the key reason of enhancing staff productivity and rate of sales volume. On the other hand, Landis et al. (2014, p.101) commented that organizational culture mostly influence leadership style apart from cultural background and financial condition. From this following point of view, it is clear that organizational culture such as respect and good behavior as well as strong relationship between hierarchy and lower staffs are significant aspects in context of playing effective leadership style. With the aid of playing effective leadership role, leaders of an organization are able to guide employees properly so that they follow strategic path and fulfill business objectives such as long term sustainability.

In respect to this, trait theory of leadership can be mentioned as an important theoretical aspect to enhance staff productivity. According to Anderson and Sun (2017, p.95), the aspects of trait leadership theory can influence personal characteristics and it may influence individual differences. This pattern of leadership within the retail stores UK can foster effectiveness of leadership based on various organizational situation. Based on creativity, the decision making skill can be developed within the individuals along with the support of trait approaches of leadership. Along with these, the emotional intelligence, honesty as well as integrity can support the leadership style for the employees of retail industry. As per the views of Bolden (2016, p.157), transformational leadership theory can be applied to the workforce of the retail stores of UK which can support the interest of the employees. In order to meet the goals of the organization, the workers need to be motivated through motivation, stimulation, consideration and influence. These factors related to transformational leadership have the potential to influence the performance of the employees and staff productivity.

The training to the employees by the leaders to the employees can help to build strong relationship and to maintain ethical behaviour which can support the decision of the leaders. Based on the views of Antonakis and Day (2017, p.21), collaborative style within the leadership approach can be effective to influence the factors towards employee motivation. The teamwork in collaborative style can solve the problems and influence the decision making system for the organization. In relation to this, approaches of transactional leadership theory can be able to help to motivate the staffs. According to Dinh et al. (2014, p.60), both reward and punishment system to the employees can encourage them and motivate them. Through this system, the workers can be able to support continuous growth by enhancing their skill and potential to contribute to the retail organization. An efficient leader associated with a retail store can be able to maintain professional standards and be creative to take risks. These can help the employees to handle difficult situation and make difficult decisions for the organization.

Figure 4: Factors related to effective leadership

(Source: Meuser et al. 2016, p.1402)

Evaluating the motivational approaches which can improve staff productivity in retail stores of UK

The aspects related to motivational approaches like reward system for the employees and proper recognition can help to motivate the employees. The effective style of leadership and the communication skill among the employees can influence them to support the growth of business. The increased rate of competition in retail sector of UK can be insisting the organizations to introduce effective strategies for both leadership and management style. Du Preez and Bendixen (2015, p.90) have opined that if the management of the organization can arrange frequent training session for the employees or allow them to take part in decision making session, the employees can be motivated. The motivational factors based on the advantages, policies based on the interest of the employees can support the personal interest of the employees. In case of retail industry of UK, payment of enough amounts to all the employees and the facilities related to leaves and working hours can influence a happy workforce. Based on the opinions of Zablah et al. (2016, p.743), the system related to well communication, collaborative style regarding the working process can support professional standards. The skills of both efficient leaders and managers can influence staff productivity in retail business of UK.

Critically discussing impact of leadership style and effective management style on productivity of retail sector of UK

Great leaders play key role in encouraging employees and guiding them at the time of facing challenging situation. Based on which, employee show great interest to perform well and fulfill business objectives such as high rate of sales volume and long term sustainability in competitive market. As per views of Wheelen et al. (2017, p.37), leaders show right path through which employees are able to fulfill business objectives and develop business process. On the contrary, Nawaz and Khan (2016, p.5) argued that in case of playing effective leadership role, proper guidance to employees and establishment of strong communication are required so as to provide opportunities to them for freely sharing own problem regarding workplace safety and wages. From this following point of view, it is clear that, effective leadership role and management style are reasons of increasing interest of employees towards own work so that staff productivity can be increased significantly.

Literature gap

Based on the discussion of literature review, lack of contemporary information based on business of retail industry of UK can be considered as literature gap. The researcher will face some problems related to analyse the data collected from books, journals or online news article. Lack of information regarding the motivation of the staffs along with practical examples will set barriers to the research process conducted by the researcher. In addition to this, the researcher will not be able to describe the factors related to staff productivity of retail sector of UK which is identified as other gap of the research.

Prisma Diagram

Figure 5: Prisma diagram

(Source: Based on views of Zablah et al. 2016, p.743)

Research philosophy

The research will include the positivism research philosophy so as to share the knowledge that will be gathered from the research. Among other options of research philosophy, researcher will choose positivism philosophy to consider such path way that can contribute to the research along with natural phenomenon. Moreover, as per the views of Hughes and Sharrock (2016, p.28), along with the help of positivism philosophy, researcher will be gained positive knowledge regarding importance of staff productivity. This approach of research philosophy will help to derive information regarding effective style of leadership and management style of retail industry which can be interpreted through a logical way.

Positivism philosophy will assist researcher to gather evidence based accurate information based on specific factor from available resources. In the following research, researcher will chose positivism philosophy to include evidence based factors which influence leadership role and management style (Khan, 2014, p.219). Along with that, researcher will be able to gather evidence based positive information regarding impact of effective leadership role and management style for enhancing overall staff productivity.

Along with the support of this philosophy, the researcher will be able to establish theoretical aspects of leadership and management. The aspects of this positivism philosophy will help the researcher to acquire practical data based on the context of retail industry. According to Morgenthau (2017, p.182), positivism philosophy can be considered as an important sources of specific knowledge. Moreover, researcher will be able to present the information related to importance of effective management style of leadership technique through this approach of positivism philosophy in a logical manner.

Research approach

The deductive research approach will be chosen by the researcher in order to research on the effectiveness of both management style and leadership on staff satisfaction. Based on the views of Sik (2015, p.2140), researcher will use deductive approach to evaluate the significance of effective style of leadership and management.

Deductive approach will be key advantages for gathering appropriate information regarding specific factor from all available options (Saunders et al. 2009, p.52). Researcher will develop hypothesis based on collected information and significant information will be included in the research. In the following research, researcher will follow deductive approach to gather accurate information based on impact of effective leadership role and management style on staff productivity from all available options. The application of deductive research approach will help the researcher to analyse the challenges faced by the authority of Sainsbury’s and Tesco. In relation to leadership technique and management style for the employees of the retail sector of UK can be presented through this research approach.

Research design

Descriptive research design will be adopted as it will help researchers to analyse the factual data of the research. Researcher will undertake descriptive research design to analyse the factors which can motivate the employees of retail industry to support the fact related to employee productivity. According to Posavac (2015, p.46), descriptive research design will be chosen by researcher to meet the objectives of the research.

Descriptive design will assist in describing influencing factors of specific topic and the way of impacting significantly (Kothari, 2004, p.23). In this research, researcher will undertake descriptive research design to describe impact of effective leadership role and management style for enhancing overall staff productivity in a meaningful way. Along with the process to identification of the issues related to employee productivity in retail stores of UK. The factors related to descriptive design can be able to help researchers to analyse the approaches to employee satisfaction which can impact positively on productivity of employees.

Figure 6: Different methodological approaches

(Source: Deutsch et al. 2014, p.130)

Research methods

The research will ensue based on the quantitative research method were in survey of 120 employees of two different retail companies in UK. Employees of Sainsbury’s and Tesco will be chosen for the survey process and gather information on their leadership and management styles that are prevalent in these companies. This survey will help in determining the rate of satisfaction of the employees with the existing leadership and management styles in these 2 companies. The researcher will be involved in the likert scale based survey of the employees. The data collected will be quantitative in nature and will be analysed based on the SPSS analysis. The data will be analysed statistically with graphs and charts. For the qualitative research interviews will be conducted with the managers of the retail companies (Nassaji, 2015, p.130). 4 managers, 2 from and Sainsbury’s and 2 from Tesco will be interviewed to obtain their opinion regarding the prevalent management styles and rate of staff motivation from them. Different variables related to leadership and staff productivity will be chosen and based on that correlation will be conducted in the research. The research will include random sampling and Sainsbury, Tesco. The search of data will be done based on Boolean search and databases such as Proquest will be consulted for the journal search.

Accessing issues

In relation to the process of conducting data collection related to primary quantitative data collection will cause some issues. Researcher may face some problems in conducting survey with 120 employees of Tesco and Sainsbury’s. Lack of response of some of the employees and the managers of these organizations may cause hostile situation to collect data from them. Moreover, in case of conducting interview, it will insist the researcher to face problem regarding contradiction among the opinion.

Ethical consideration

In order to maintain the security of the collected data the researcher will keep all the data encoded as per the Data Protection Act 1998 (Legislation.gov.uk, 2019). As per the provisions of this act, the researcher will maintain the confidentiality and anonymity of the respondents taking part in the survey process. No data will be altered or manipulated. Data that will be collected from the external sources by accessing Proquest database will be interpreted authentically by refraining from any sort of copyright issues. Plagiarism will be avoided and consent form will be sent to the employees of Sainsbury’s and Tesco in order to make them aware of the survey topic and acquire their consent for participation.


(Refer to Appendix)


Through this research work, researcher will demonstrate the statistical data of the primary quantitative analysis. Along with that, researcher will be able to portray the impact and the effectiveness of the leadership and management styles on the organisational performances. On the other hand, importance of the efficiency of the employees will also be discussed in order to understand the effectiveness of the leadership and management style. Critical thinking as well as technical skills is key strength of the researcher. Along with that, academic writing is strength of researcher. On the other hand, good communication and interpersonal skill helps researcher to understand the goals and objectives of the research. Statistical and graphical data analysis helps researcher in primary data analysis of research. Primary quantitative data collection will help the researcher to analyse contemporary and practical data based on Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

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Time Frame for the research on effectiveness of staff productivity in UK retail

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