As I decided in the log-book, I will compare the operations of Tesco and Panda in this essay. I will explain the main comparison in five parts:
* Operational details of them, which include information about employee numbers, their positions, age structure, the ownership structure of the firm
* Locational details, which contain information such as companies' location, proximity to customer base and market, functional advantages / disadvantages to location, type of property, running costs, time at location etc
* Functional details, which means the structure of the two companies' management
* Environmental details, which include information such as impact of political, impact of legal issues, impact of economic factors including currency, impact of socio demographic factors, impact of technology, impact of public policy, impact of green environmental factors etc
* Product / service details, this part is about the nature of product / service, determination of costing, marketing aspects, resource implications, product / service lifetimes, level of innovation and development etc.
I will also explain some more from other points of view.
The most distinct difference between the two companies is: Tesco is a private company but Panda is a state company. Tesco operates 2,291 stores around the world and employs 296,000 people. It is the biggest retailer in UK market and one of the most powerful companies in its area all over the world. Panda established 5 national R & D centers and a post doctorate research work station, and it employs nearly 130,000 people. These dates show Tesco has its employees working in many dispersive working places while Panda has its employees very mass. This phenomenon is determined by the companies' characteristic: they are completely in different industry and the distributions of their employees are designed for their operation.
When Panda was a small company, there was only a few staff, which used to work individually, the employees constituted an autonomous group of experts, without too much control of their managers; they have done an efficient job, and the company become more and more large. At that time, the organizational culture of the company was very suit for its development. The style of leadership at that time is Laissez faire, which can give employees enough space to exert, the culture was appropriate to the people within the organization, it did fit the goals, objectives and image, and it was in synch with strategy as well.
After the success, the company started to expand and employed more and more people; meanwhile it changed its structure, because if too many people worked without a certain managing, there must be problems coming out from their works. The age structure of both companies are well, they have staff in different ages, however, as the job required, they chose staff with skills / experiences in their own area.
However, Panda spent more time training a staff then Tesco did, it is also required by its particularity: as a company which is in electronic industry, Panda need more staff with high-skills. Comparing to Panda, there are more kinds of jobs in Tesco, such as sales staff, till staff, security staff and different kinds of managers. In Panda, the concept of "position" is not such clear, while a staff service manager could be an Accounting centre manager as well; it is definitely a good way to save the labor.
The total number of Tesco's stores in the UK is 1,982, it also has a total of 230 stores across Europe, they opened their first store in Malaysia and they are going to develop their business in Thailand, South Korea, and Taiwan. Currently Tesco operates stores in the UK, which is equivalent to 18.8m sq ft of the sales area. This is Tesco's largest and most experienced operation serving a population into region of 60million according to statistics in the annual report. Its stores' locations brings many advantages, for example, the stores are very close to living area, in many towns/cities, the stores are just located in the centre. Customers can get there very conveniently.
As a high-technology company, Panda has not only five national engineering research centers (engineering research centre for A/V digital products, national technology development centre, mass production technology centre, micro-electronics technology design centre, and engineering research centre for mobile satellite communication technology), but also post doctoral scientific research station. It also cooperates with 12 large international companies such as Samsung, LG, and Panasonic etc.
By cooperating with them, Panda could entry to a bigger market, which is the international market. Panda's headquarters are in Nanjing city, which is known as the "technical city of China", in Jiangsu province. Being well in the top group of developed modern cities, Nanjing is also the provincial capital. Nanjing connects other cities with the several highways; the city has a convenient traffic system with fast-lane highways, a north-south railway line and two airports linking it with all major destinations within China.
Both of Tesco and Panda have a huge range of loyal customers in the market, for many years, the quality of their products prove the well proximity to their customers. Besides, they all put eyes on the international market, now they have already made a great effect to develop and there is a great future for them.
The structures of the two companies' management will be compared and explained in this part.
Some information in the log-book shows there are not only differences, but also some common points between Tesco and Panda. At first, both of them have grown from a very small size to a huge international group. In response to the change, the whole company was divided into different departments, each of they have different duties / aims.
In Tesco, each of the stores can be treated as an independent small organization, staffs are taking different duties inside the organization, although it is not as clear as in the company, but the whole company is made up of them. There is a little interaction between these department's employees although all of them are worked under the same company. The traditional management is bureaucratic, which organizational design involves domination in the sense that authority involves the legitimate right to exact obedience from others. All tasks will be divided into highly specialized jobs; management can hold them responsible for the effective performance of their duties. The overall information flows mainly in a vertical direction down a clearly defined hierarchy, the role are also clearly defined. Each employee is individually specialized and knows exactly what to do and responsible for.
At the functional level, all functions are worked separately; the organization almost faced stable and unchanging environments, as the employees worked in routine and follows the same processes (Gibson, Ivancevich & Donnelly 2000).
There is a totally different situation existing in Panda. After being a large organization, Panda was separated into several departments and two filiales; however, they are related to each other, any one of them can not work properly without others' support. The organization in the past had managed in the type of functions in a machinelike manner to accomplish the organization's goals in a highly efficient manner. Thus, the term mechanistic aptly describes the way Panda organized their company.
By the year 1996, the company had merged two small companies into one organization, the total environment almost changed from mechanistic structure to organic structure. Since the company had merged, they also practiced and promoted flexibility allowing employees to initiate changes to adapt to the changing conditions. Some roles are loosely defined, employees may performed various tasks and continually develop skills in new activities, which company expected the result of joint specialization and increased organization's productivity. When employees from different functions work together they can able to solve the problems together and will become involved in each other's activities, so they will bring a high level of integration.
Employees can share information and overcome problems that caused by differences in subunit orientation. Different functions also emerged as an organization's merger, so the company had to respond to increasingly of complex task requirements. The company had become more complex as it grew, and developing more functions, and more specialization within each function. As a result of the reorganization, these caused some employees to feel threatened, and some were illustrating the negative feelings experienced regarding the merger. Even further, some were also looking for another job. This is a serious problem Panda has at present.