An Exploratory Study into Failure in Successful Organizations: The Case of Marks & Spencer

16 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2002

See all articles by Kamel Mellahi

Kamel Mellahi

The University of Sheffield; Loughborough University - Management School

Paul Jackson

Coventry University - Business School

Leigh Sparks

University of Stirling

Abstract

Marks & Spencer (M&S) was one of the world's great retailers, enjoying legendary and iconic status, being often held up as one of the best managed and admired businesses in the world. Its "fall from grace" has been spectacular and dramatic and the company is currently fighting for its life. Based on extensive in-depth interviews with company managers and utilizing a case-study approach, this paper provides an exploratory study into failure at M&S and presents this in the context of the wider literature on organizational and managerial failure. It concludes that whilst external factors in the various trading environments affected the business, there were internal aspects of the crisis which exacerbated the situation and the problems.

Suggested Citation

Mellahi, Kamel and Jackson, Paul and Sparks, Leigh, An Exploratory Study into Failure in Successful Organizations: The Case of Marks & Spencer. British Journal of Management, Vol. 13, pp. 15-29, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=316047

Kamel Mellahi (Contact Author)

The University of Sheffield ( email )

Sheffield S, S1 4DT
United Kingdom

Loughborough University - Management School ( email )

Great Britain

Paul Jackson

Coventry University - Business School ( email )

Priory Street
Coventry, CV1 5FB

Leigh Sparks

University of Stirling ( email )

Institute for Retail Studies
Stirling FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

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