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Anita Roddick Essay Sample

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Anita Roddick Essay Sample

How do you evaluate Anita Roddick’s management philosophy and style? How important a contribution did she make to the creation of The Body Shop? How important is her role in its ongoing management?

Anita Roddick’s Management Philosophy & Style
The 4 basic management functions of Planning, Organizing, Leading & Controlling can be analyzed in detail for drawing a picture of Anita Roddick’s Management Philosophy for The Body Shop.

1. Planning
* First major obstacle since she didn’t know anything about the cosmetics industry or running a business * Sourcing products from around the world
2. Organizing
* Knowledge of finances was unknown and her husband Gordon Roddick helped her with this * Investor Ian McGlinn invested £4000 for the second store and gave him a 50% stake in business * Took on the responsibility of decision, communication, and information needed to project her company as a serious competitor 3. Leading

* Leadership was very direct and involved.
* She travelled extensively (2 to 4 months a year) to look for new ideas and inspiration for new product line introductions * Championed causes she believed in like rainforest protection (Brazil), homeless boys’ job creation (India), GreenPeace, Friends of Earth etc. and used the Body Shop store premises to promote these causes among employees, franchisees and customers. 4. Controlling

* Follows general administrative theory of Henry Fayol where everyone involved in the company shared/ was expected to share the same opinions as her (This later proved to be a problem since franchisees were concerned with getting an unwanted political image rather than concentrate on it’s core business) * Control was exercised very highly even over selection of potential franchisee owners (5000 at a time) through very personal and quirky questions during personal interviews

There are some common values that she propagates that define her management style like a. Innovation (Strawberry essence, bottle refilling – Marketing Innovation in promotions and product delivery method) b. Eccentricity/Being different (Body Shop was positioned as a simple trading place rather than a sophisticated store) c. Bold/Radical (Supporting highly politically sensitive issues like environment conservation, animal testing, Third World economy job creation etc) d. Cared about people (Day care centers for employees) e. Risk Taking (Entered the communications-intensive US market with the same no-advertising strategy. However, her environment friendly business positioning was easily replicated by competitors like Estee Lauder and Revlon) f. High personal values (However, she herself says that this might have been a problem ‘………..I have never been able to Body Shop values from my own personal values’) g. Customer Focus (She says ‘…..The trouble with marketing is that consumers are hyped out…’)

All of these points to an inspirational/motivational and transformational leadership/management style with a focus on being different and innovative and at the same time holding humane values as the highest goal of business. Through the Body Shop she has used the ‘Environmental Product Differentiation’ Strategy to market the brand/product.

Contribution to creation of Body Shop

In 1976 an inexperienced Anita Roddick got tired of unsubstantiated management and The Body Shop claims of the cosmetics industry that their products couldn’t deliver. She decided to make a decision that would change her life forever. Anita became a manager of her own small business in Brighton England. Selling the natural secrets found throughout the world; learned from extensive travel while employed as a teacher with the U.N., she created a cottage industry of exotic personal body care products.

* Took a £4000 bank loan to start the first Body Shop
* Developed a line of 25 natural skin and hair care products (each product in 5 sizes i.e. 25X5 = 125 SKUs)
* First batches of the product prepared by herself
* Got a local art student to design the first Body Shop Logo for £25 * Created an innovative refill strategy to combine her passion for environmental protection with packaging cost reduction strategy to offer customers product offerings at a 15% discount * Positioned the brand as simple, honest, exciting and fun trading environment with a focus on consumer awareness movement (coincidence)

All in all, the company since it’s inception was an extension of her personal philosophy and convictions.

Role in ongoing management

Currently (1990s) the entry of Body Shop in the $12 billion cosmetics market with 37 shops (by mid 1900s) has thrown up many challenges given Body Shop’s political image, US market competitors like Estee Lauder and Revlon and non-existent advertising strategy. Also Anita and Gordon Roddick’s intentions for leadership succession are very visible in their statements (Anita’s ‘….Leadership of a company should encourage next generation…..’) Analysts also felt that the company had outgrown its historical strategy, organization and even its leadership

Therefore, it is our understanding that Anita’s involvement in direct operations (at least in the US market) will be reduced and new leadership will adapt and incorporate the existing organizational culture and value.

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