Management strategies and contradictions


This research investigates in to the strategies made by the management in fast food industry which contradict with the ethics or vision of the organisation and the impact these strategies leaving on overall functionality of business in particularly the employees and the customers. It particularly focuses on those strategies where management are reluctant to provide required resources but still insisting to retrieve the desired objectives. This research aims to unveil the perception of the management for planning these strategies using qualitative interviews with HR personals, area manager and the Restaurant managers in South London branches that are providing parameters for the budgeting and forecasting of resources required and their perceived results. The author will also investigate the realities by interviewing the employees of Pizza Hut in South London branches who are directly dealing customers and also are part of the operation and using surveys and questioners from customers about the product and customer services. The outcome of this research will be used to provide the bases of healthy culture in pizza hut where developing capabilities and interaction of people working in organization could bring together better standard of services as promised in Pizza Hut's mission statement Peoples capabilities first then customer satisfaction and profitability follows.

Introduction and background

In an increasingly competitive environment it is essential that organizations have clear vision and objectives to communicate, for that purpose all organizations, large or small, profit-seeking or non-profitable, private or in public sector, have a purpose which may or may or may not be articulated in the form of mission and/or vision statement. Strategies are made to achieve that purpose. Strategies must be made and implemented to achieve the objectives set by the organisation. All strategies made by the organisation must not contradict with the vision of the company as a mission statement is one of the most public documents for any organization that define the values and ethics of the organization.

The mission statement for an organization is a clear state of objectives or clear purpose of its reason of existence as (Pearce, 1982) explained, mission statement is a declaration of an organization's business or "reason for being." A clear mission statement for a company is really compulsory to effectively establish objectives, formulating strategies, setting goals, devising policies, allocating resources and motivating employees.

This research work will clearly look at, why management strategies contradict with company's vision and what are the impacts of these contradictions taking pizza hut as a case study. As Beck (1987) explained that far too many companies either have no goals at all, other than cost reduction, or their boss hides them in his head. There is no hope for companies in Britain unless more top managements accept the need for a widely communicated set of clear objectives.

Literature Review

Though vision and codes of ethics exist in many businesses, employees still view less than truthful behaviours to be a significant ethical problem. The current study examines the related and somewhat contradicted issue of less than truthful behaviours intended to further organizational priorities. Such behaviours risk violating one organizational priorities (e.g., adhering to a vision of the organization or violating shared values or code of ethics) to achieve another. William keep(2008) indicated four unique though non-mutually exclusive motivations: (1) to avoid confrontation or conflict; (2) to ensure quality in the delivery of a product or service; (3) to buy time for an organization's strategy to play out; and (4) for self-protection or self-enhancement. The evidence further suggests that enhanced managerial training, particularly in handling confrontation and conflicts, could reduce the contradiction between stated codes of ethics and actual behaviours.

Peter Beck (1987) quoted "The flame of competition has changed from smokey yellow to intensive white heat. For companies to survive and prosper they will have to have a mission and strategy. They will pursue the action arising from that strategy with entrepreneurial skill and total dedication and commitment to win".

Before we take it further, one needs to understand the management strategy. Who plans that and how it is executed. How the objectives are achieved. This is a process where management make their strategy and the employees carry it through the process and accomplish that so the desired objectives could be achieved. For all the processes the required resources and tools are provided so that could be done effectively and successfully.

So in simple word, the management strategy is concerned with generating options, evaluating them and then allocating the required resources to get the best out of that. We prefer to use the term management strategy as most strategies are originated from the management. One strategy could contain plenty of sub strategies to make the parent strategy successful. These sub strategies are also very carefully planned as all these processes are linked to each other and one failed sub strategy could lead to all strategies failed.

The importance of the mission statement is well supported in the management literature Staples & Black (1984) explained that a mission statement may be the most visible and public part of a strategic plan. As such, steps should be taken to insure that statement includes all of the essential components and attributes. In addition, a company mission should be evaluated to insure that it communicates clearly the desired feelings that will guide and motivate employees to action. As from the above criteria surely a mission statement is a public part of the plan and this is essence of the organisation which defines organisational ethics and values for all of its stake holders.

The definition of contradiction is, in classic logic contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. Contradiction comes when prepositions, taken together, yield two conclusions which form the logical, usually opposite inversion of each other. Illustrating a general tendency in applied logic. Aristotle's law of non contradictions states that "one cannot say of some thing that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time."

So if there would be contradiction in that there is a great chance for failure. John Thompson and Frank (2005) in their book Strategic Management: Awareness and change mentioned Companies often fail because their Strategies fail to meet the expectations of their stakeholders So that gives an idea that before making the strategies it is really important to investigate the expectations of the stake holders.

Wilson et al. (1995) pursue the significance of establishing an organizational mission statement as a representation of the interrelationship between strategic planning and other strategic perspectives. It is argued that ultimate responsibility for planning through the development of strategies and a hierarchy of objectives lies firmly with all managers. And managers are responsible for making such strategies which execute all functions without colliding with the vision.

Now question arises that why managers make such strategies that contradict, Herbert Simon (1960) introduced the concept of bounded rationality which accepted that, in practice, decision makers in organisations are under pressure and thus are likely to reach a decision 'that will do' or, to use Simon's phraseology, will 'satisfice'.

That means that mostly the decision makers are under pressure to make decision so they usually choose the first solution which they come across which could at least earn them a short term satisfaction. Though that will make their life comfortable for the time being of solving that issue but these issues will trigger and accompany by other complex problems.

Larry W Sanders (1980) in his article,' "contradiction" can spell trouble', narrated those who are not aware of the contradictions can become a greater organisational problem. They find themselves lost and confused. They either give up in frustration and return to their old methods or doggedly persist in their efforts, driving their subordinates up a wall. Some time the requirements of the long-term organisational development efforts are inconsistent with the requirements placed on managers and executive for the short time results. They may understand and agree with the OD concepts but they know that their personal success depends, not on the healthier organisational development five years from now, but rather on meeting performance goals today. As a result, their expectations may require markedly different practices by their subordinates than the practices we teach and encourage.

So that discussion means that while managers making their strategies they should have control on all sub strategies so there should be any conflict among the strategies. As Blake (1980) and Mouton (1980) pointed, we do need a clear articulated philosophy. It is important that we ensure that all the elements in our program, under our control and non contradictory and supportive of our overall training and development goals.

We have studied about the management strategies and contradictions and we come across with strong arguments that all contradictions comes when focus is on short term results and the main objectives for healthier comes under bar due to other elements becomes contrary. Now as management are making their strategies and for the implementation phase the resources are applied to achieve the objectives effectively and economically with less time consumption. Now we would see, in persuade of these objectives when sub-ordinates are allocated the responsibilities and tasks to execute the processes and when these sub-ordinates come across these contradictions then what effects they get from these contradictions.

Whatever effect the subordinates have of this contradictions would really shake the confidence of the subordinates and the productivity of the employees would be shattered. There would be great deal of uncertainty among the employees and also there would be deal of chances that employee will not trust the management for their loyalty on their strategies and the resistance element would also come for any strategy made. Or may be subordinates or employees will become ignorant, though they would be taking these strategies forward but the interest will be very less and the chances of availing new emerging options will be very less.

Most of the time these are the senior managers who plan these strategies without exploring whole context of the problem that could bring the solution for the issues which they tackling with but managers avoid looking at the effects of these options in a whole context of organisation which some time bring the contradiction and cause the failure of main strategies. Virany(1992) and Wong(2004) pointed out that senior team make those decisions regarding organizational forms and resource allocation processes such that their firms might balance exploration as well as exploitation.

Another reason of contradiction some time comes because of lack of communication for the clear objectives and usually top management just limit objective to them. Linda and Keith P (1991) explained that, for many businesses; organisational strategy or knowledge is tacit. They further explained that, tacit knowledge is held in the memory and experience of people within the organisation and tends to remain un-embodied. Therefore, according to (Picardi, 2001), this will result in a difficulty in its codification; in that, organisational strategy which is primarily in the form of tacit knowledge is not available to be disseminated on a wider scale and (Grant and Gregory 1997) further explained that it is difficult to transfer between and amongst employees in the organisation.

Argued: Contradiction Could Lead To Success:

As above discussion focuses about inconsistencies about making strategies which contradict but there is also scholarly literature which argues that these inconsistencies and contradiction can also succeed, though the top management literature has been particularly silent on teams dealing with contradictions(e.g Adner and Helfat 2002, Finkelstein and Hambrick 1996). This literature has focused predominantly on overcoming inertia and implementing innovation (Kaplan et al.2003, Van de Ven et al. 1999). To address this question of balancing inconsistencies, we turn to the organizational literature on paradox, contradiction, and conflict (Lewis 2000, Poole and Van de Ven 1989). This literature assumes that inconsistent and contradictory agendas coexist and can both succeed simultaneously. By shifting the perspective from choosing between contradictory agendas to embracing the contradictions, this literature provides an important lens through which to understand how to manage contradictions. Building on this literature, we argue that effectively managing contradictions is rooted in paradoxical cognition—managerial frames and processes that recognize and embrace contradiction.

A case study, about Toyota the auto industry giant shows that contradiction is healthy in organisations and that let the employees to contribute and be constructive. Toyota has become one of the world's greatest companies only because it developed the Toyota production system, right? Wrong, say Takeuchi, Osono, and Shimizu of Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. Another factor, overlooked until now, is just as important to the company's success: Toyota's culture of contradictions. TPS is a "hard" innovation that allows the company to continuously improve the way it manufactures vehicles. Toyota has also mastered a "soft" innovation that relates to human resource practices and corporate culture. The company succeeds, say the authors, because it deliberately fosters contradictory viewpoints within the organization and challenges employees to find solutions by transcending differences rather than resorting to compromises. This culture generates innovative ideas that Toyota implements to pull ahead of competitors, both incrementally and radically. The authors' research reveals six forces that cause contradictions inside Toyota. Three forces of expansion lead the company to change and improve: impossible goals, local customization, and experimentation. Not surprisingly, these forces make the organization more diverse, complicate decision making, and threaten Toyota's control systems. To prevent the winds of change from blowing down the organization, the company also harnesses three forces of integration: the founders' values, "up-and-in" people management, and open communication. These forces stabilize the company, help employees make sense of the environment in which they operate, and perpetuate Toyota's values and culture. Emulating Toyota isn't about copying any one practice; it's about creating a culture. And because the company's culture of contradictions is based on humans, who are imperfect, there will always be room for improvement.

Recognizing and embracing contradictions leads to increased success. At an organizational level, managers of the Toyota production System, the highly successful just-in-time manufacturing process, framed their organizational goals paradoxically—low costs and high specialization, low (or no) inventory, yet immediate access to parts (Adler et al. 1999, Eisenhardt and Westcott 1988). The organization then built routines nd processes to achieve these goals. At a team level, Murnighan and Conlon (1991) found that the performance mong British string quartets was associated with members recognizing contradictions inherent in their group processes—democracy and leadership, conflict and compromise.


Heath and Bryant (2000) defined hypothesis as a single conjectural statement regarding relationships between two or more variables that can be tested by empirical observations. For example, someone might hypothesize that, in a business organisation, employees would have higher performance morale if give automatic pay rise as oppose to performance-related bonuses.

However, the research hypothesis and reverse hypothesis would be based on academic literature and past research. Findings would be tested in the context of Tesco.


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