The company chosen for this assignment is Tesco Plc. Tesco plc is a British international grocery and general merchandising retail chain. It is the largest British retailer by both global sales and domestic market share, with profits exceeding £3 billion, and the third largest global retailer based on revenue, behind Wal-Mart and Carrefour. According to TNS Worldpanel, Tesco's share of the UK grocery market in the 12 weeks to 30 November 2008 was 30.9%, up 4.3% on 12 weeks to 2 December 2007. Across all categories, over £1 in every £7 (14.3%) of UK retail sales is spent at Tesco. Tesco also operates overseas, and non-UK revenue for the year to 24 February 2007 was up 18% on 25 February 2006. Firms are constantly looking out for strategies that will help them to cope with complexity and competition. Greater dynamism in the economic and social environment has prompted many firms to review their resource deployment and productivity strategies. In this climate, there is a growing realization that the most effective linkages between business activities are forged by people and the way in which they work together in groups is a key concern for management. The first section of this paper explores the perplexing phenomenon of teamwork and seeks to distil the wealth of literature into a descriptive model which encapsulates the characteristics of effective teamworking at Tesco. The literature review and modelling process can assist basic understanding of this concept and provide a basis for situational research into teamworking at Tesco in retail units.
In general, teamworking at Tesco is being seen increasingly as a means of improving organizational health (Woodcock, 1989), to redesign structure (Chance, 1989) and drive quality forward (Peterson, 1991). There are many types of teams documented in the literature. Huszco (1990), for example, mentions committees, task forces, quality circles, employee-participation groups, joint union-management teams, action committees, project teams, supervisory councils and autonomous or self-directed work teams. Teams of this kind are set up with a specific objective in mind and they meet periodically to discuss a pre-determined agenda. As a consequence, the conduct and behaviour of such team meetings are focused and members are usually clear about desired outcomes. Most business activity, however, takes place in natural work groups, particularly at operational level, where the functional team manager acts as a team leader. It may be suggested, therefore, that the focus of research should be to improve teamworking at Tesco in everyday working groups, where real progress can be made. Stott and Walker (1995) suggest that the extension of scope for participation in working groups can harness the creativity and ideas of their members.
Groups are, of course, an essential feature of any work organization, but especially in hotel operations where work is so often a group-based activity (Mullins, 1992). Hotel work is often done by departmental groups which are, paradoxically, interdependent but often in conflict with each other (Dann and Hornsey, ...