Management And The Body Shop Essay Research

Management And The Body Shop Essay, Research Paper

Management and The Body Shop

In this paper I will be taking a look at basic management functions. The

approaches, and the synthesis of two views of management. I will attempt to

take an overview of culture and its effect on a company.

In today’s changing global environments many companies have joined the open

trade policies, and existing foreign opportunities available to growing

companies with positive views and socially responsible attitudes.

It all sounds like a lot to cover in a short essay so I will introduce a company

that has in its short, yet very successful existence transformed through all the

levels and practices mentioned above. The company is called “The Body Shop”, I

hope you have heard of it for that would make our journey through it’s

development even more enjoyable.

Management is described as the process of getting activities with and through

other people. This philosophy has been so widely examined that there are

literally millions of opinions and differing views on the subject. We will only

be examining the functions of management where the basics of planning,

organizing, leading, and controlling apply to The Body Shop. In 1976 an

inexperienced Anita Roddick got tired of unsubstantiated Management and The Body


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.

Planning proved to be the first big obstacle to learn in the road to efficient

management. Taking care of buying from around the world for her special products

had plunged Anita into a frightening and difficult role that she needed help

with. Anita organized her financial burdens by taking on an investor Ian McGlinn,

in turn giving him a 50 percent stake in the business.

Furthermore she sold the name The Body Shop to personal recruits, carefully lead

and controlled by her own philosophies and ideals. Anita had become an ideal

example of the classic top level manager taking on the responsibility of

decision, communication, and information needed to project her company as a

serious competitor, ready for today’s global market. Management and The Body


The Body Shop follows the original general administrative theory of Henry Fayol.

That is a sort of utopian environment that everyone involved in the company

shares the same opinions as Anita Roddick, and tried to achieve harmony, one

might say, within their own franchise of The Body Shop. Achieving this was done

by personal interviews of potential franchise owners and continual monitoring of

the application bureaucracy’s intended to find only the right people for the job.

Establishing these bureaucratic procedures meant asking questions such as: “what

kind of car do you drive?”, “what kind do you want?”, “how would you like to

die?”, and “who are your favorite literary heroines?”. Based on the answer to

questions like these she would either not give them franchise rights or move

them along the way towards a business of their own with The Body Shop. The

applicants are backed up due to the bureaucracies in place, as often is the case

in any bureaucratic environment.

The Body Shop has successfully combined the two traditional management views one

of which is the omnipotent view. That is the view that management must take

charge as in the executive rule of accountability and direct responsibility. She

as coordinating manager of Management and The Body Shop

The Body Shop has total control over the propaganda and merchandise to be

displayed and sold within all the shops that carry the name, The Body Shop.

AS well as maintaining the omnipotent role she has synthesized with the symbolic

views that her management is has only a limited affect on the individual sales

of each separate store. Anita has faith in her franchise owners that they will

maintain the integrity of the name and conduct business according to the

philosophy determined at the beginning of development and traditions of the

original store. In keeping with the symbolic views of management owners are

encouraged to create systems that make the employees feel more important and

effective. Such systems include day cares for employees with children and even

paid hours of work for local charities and community projects.

Anita does keep abreast of the changing attitudes and social conditions of each

culture that effects individual store around the world. Through addressing

globally sensitive environmental concerns in each store and by management

training programs Anita alone has kept the public image of The Body Shop one of

a socially responsive and socially responsible Management and The Body Shop

company. This has proven to be a very successful style of managerial ethics

within her employees rank and also with her customers needed and wants. The Save

The Whales campaign and her addressing AIDS has been only a couple examples of

the company philosophy and ethical position. These are areas wherein all major

transnational and multinational companies could make notes on the programs of

The Body Shop.

The Body Shop operates in my opinion, as a multinational company only because

the major changes are dictated from England and Anita Roddick has control of

each promotion and product that each store carries. All the bureaucratic systems

are formed to send information and data respecting new owner applications and

informational material directly to Anita Roddick herself and she operates in

England and makes decisions from that one country.

This form of company relies heavily on accurate transfer of communication which

has so far in this case proven effective. Who knows were the future will take

this organization but it seems to be always one step ahead of change. Management

and The Body Shop

Through Anita’s passion and her belief that business can be fun, it can be

conducted with love and can be a powerful force for good, she had already had

the basic fundamentals of today’s business ethics. Working within today’s

rapidly changing business environments, it takes passion and ingenuity to stay


When dealing with other countries in trade, The Body Shop has broken new ground

above and beyond the trade agreements established by governments such as:

N.A.F.T.A., U.S. – Canada free trade, and the maquiladoras of Mexico. Anita used

her belief that trade not aid is the positive solution to economic hardships in

the developing world. For instance, she pays above average wages to orphaned

boys and girls to make custom footrollers in India. This is only one example of

thousands that she has specially designed trade agreements with improved


The Body Shop is also on the Internet now. In today’s shrinking global community,

is it essential to be available to whoever needs your services. By having The

Body Shop on the Internet, it gives access to anyone on earth to share their

products, services and ideas. I have looked through Management and The Body Shop

the Body Shop website and have printed out a few examples of what they have

there. The first page is the Body Shop Home Page. You can go to their “Ban

against animal testing”, products, Skin Care, and News sections just by clicking

on the appropriate picture. The second page is when I clicked on the NEWS button

on the Home Page. They issue articles suck as this one whenever they need to

keep the public aware of what they are doing, which is a great idea. The final

two pages I have included are very interesting and handy. They have a build in

Store Locator. You first select which country you want to go to, and then in

applicable, your province or state. I have printed the locations for Canada – BC.

If interested, the Body Shop Web Site can be located at:

In conclusion, The Body Shop has a very effective style of management with Anita

Roddick still in control of the planning, leading, organizing, and making

decisions for all the franchise stores. The general management views and culture

are responsive to the needs of their employees and their customers. The Body

Shop is a multinational company that is a pioneer in the foreign trade



Stephen P. Robbins and Robbin Stuart-Kotze

Management Canadian Fourth Edition (Prentice – Hall INC., ONT., 1994) pg.


Keegan, Moriarty, Duncan, Paliwoda

Marketing Candian Edition (Prentice – Hall INC., ONT., 1995) pg.


William G. Nickels, James M. McHugh, Susan M. McHugh, Paul D. Berman

Understanding Canadian Business (Richard D. Irwin, INC., 1994) pg. 199-


Dr. Kent E. Curran []

MGMT 3140 – Management Concepts and Practices (

~kecurran/lect-02.htm; August 25, 1996.)



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