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HELL Pizza is a pizza business that was founded in 1996 by Callum Davies in Kelburn, and now has 66 stores in New Zealand (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 1). As a business, they are famous for their creative marketing campaigns and are extremely focused on creating fun and productive working environments (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 1). The four disciplines of management that will be discussed in relation to the HELL Pizza case study are communication, working in teams, leadership and motivation.


Communication is when there is a sender who encodes information through a

message/channel, and a receiver who decodes the information and perceives the intended meaning from the sender (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 380). Effective communication will result in the intended meaning of the sender and the perceived meaning are the same (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 380). The Shannon-Weaver models shows that the information source transmits a message through a channel to the receiver who decodes the message. Noise can be multiple different things such as lack of feedback, inadequate channels, physical distractions and differences in culture that obstruct the intended meaning of the message from being perceived (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 380).

Shannon-Weaver Communication Model

(Communication Theory, n.d.).

HELL Pizza are known to be excellent for communication, tackling big issues, and using social media to convey their messaging. Although, HELL Pizza has edgy creative marketing that has pushed the boundaries over the years, and therefore often sparked controversy. An example of this is when they included condoms with promotional material (the channel) for Lust pizza in 2006 (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 6). HELL Pizza was trying to raise awareness for sexual health purposes, but the initiative was not received in this way (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 6). The noise that interrupted the message from HELL Pizza (the sender) to the public (the reciever) were cultural differences in society relating to areas such as age, ethnicity, and religion (Communication Theory, n.d.). Many were offended by the campaign and feedback was given through media attention, complaints and social media (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 6). This is not the only occasion in which the public have not perceived the meaning of a message from HELL differently to the intended meaning. With a creative brand, they have often found themselves surrounded by controversy, including a highly complained about rabbit pizza billboard, made out of rabbit pelts (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 6).

Heirarchy of Media Richness

(Communication Theory, n.d.)

Media richness is also a factor of effective communication, which relates to how much data a medium can carry, clarity and ability to give feedback. (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 480). In terms of HELL Pizza sending messages to the public, media richness is somewhere near email and instant messaging in the model above (Communication Theory, n.d.), as the public reach HELL's through social media and emails, which is not high in media richness and can result in the perceived meaning of the message to be different to the intended meaning (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 6). However, HELL Pizza operates with small teams and control almost all of their social media and marketing in-house, so they are able to respond relatively faster than other business' who have to seek approval before taking opporunities and responding to them (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 6).

Working in Teams

A team is a group of people who use their skills to work together with a goal to achieve (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 480). A group involves people who interact and have shared norms and their roles are interlocking (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 481). Goups can be either formal or informal (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 481), with formal groups for HELL Pizza emerging from employees within a franchise working together and informal groups emerging from friendships made but not officially recognised by HELL (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 4).A group becomes a team when the group creates a purpose, the group's success can be measured by outcomes and leadership is spread throughut the members (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 481). Team work can provide affiliation, security, status, power and self-esteem for the individual staff of HELL Pizza and provide an environment for more efficient completion of tasks, information sharing and specialization for the business as a whole (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 482). The shared leadership model at Hell Pizza allows staff and franchisees the opportunity to put forward ideas for products, operating methods and marketing and have these ideas implemented (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 5). This creates a culture of team and shared ownership of the business. This is likely a key reason why the company have expanded to 66 stores nationwide, and the business is working towards achieving all of Callum Davies and Stu McMullin's goals.

Tuckman's stages of group development

(Wheaton College Massachusetts, n.d.)

Tuckman's stages of group development outlines how groups successfully form and thus working in the productive teams (Wheaton College Massachusetts, n.d.). The marketing team for HELL consists of two employees, with a small head office also and small groups of employees in the stores (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 5) These small groups makes it easier to develop as a team, forming, storming, norming and performing successfully (Wheaton College Massachusetts, n.d.). A sense of belonging is felt by the employees of HELL Pizza, and they are sociable within their teams (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 4).


Leadership is when a goal is achieved by one person interpersonally operating with a group and influencing this group to achieve (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 354). Leaders steer the business in the desired direction, whereas managers influence day to day process. The main approaches to studying leadership are trait spotting, style counselling, context fitting and new leadership. The leader's of HELL are Callum Davies and Stu McMullin, and the manager is Ben Cummings (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 2). HELL Pizza as a business are more employee focused than output focused, which creates a productive work environment.

Blake and Mouton's Leadership Grid  

 (Risk Profile Improvement, 2012)

HELL Pizza would fall into the category of middle of the road manager on Blake and Mouton's Leadership Grid, as they are relatively high in concern for people, but also manage to have high output (Risk Profile Improvement, 2012). HELL care for their employees is  by not using zero-hour contracts and believe their franchisees have always treated employees' with working hours (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 7). HELL Pizza also take into consideration feedback and creative input from employees and the owners and manager conceptualise pizza ideas, and these are tested on staff before they are put on the menu(Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 5). Employees also know that their franchisees cares about the store they work in. For example, a franchisee Sanjay Gadiyar lives in his store, which shows the employees his commitment to the success of the store and of themselves (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 4).

Vroom-Jago Leader participation model

(Schermerhorn, 2017)

The Vroom-Jago leader participation model shows the best way that a leader should approach different types of problems within the business (Schermerhorn, 2017). Callum and Stu were business partners successfully in HELL Pizza in New Zealand, and were always open to the ideas of staff and employees. This was disrupted when Tasman Pacific Foods bought HELL Pizza in 2006 and attempted to expand globally (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 3).The global financial crisis made this endeavor unfruitful, and HELL Pizza was bought back by Callum and Stu (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 3). This was a leadership move that resulted in a challenge for HELL Pizza, and the leadership being under Callum and Stu ever since has meant that HELL has flourished. Callum and Stu communicate with franchisees and employees come up with ideas for HELL Pizza and are able to test them. HELL Pizza use consultative decision methods (Schermerhorn, 2017), to remain in control but also to involve the staff of HELL to provide their input and keep progressing (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 6).


Motivation is what drives an individual to the level and direction of work they strive for and persistent effort expended as they work to achieve goals (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 411).There are two types of theories of motivation: content theories (which look at what actually motivates people) and process theories (which is how motivation initiated and how it works) (Schermerhorn et al., 2017, p. 411). As HELL Pizza owner's Callum and Stu are highly employee focused, many things that they do motivate the staff and employees at HELL.

Maslow's hierarchy of human needs

(McLeod, 2007)

Maslow's hierarchy of needs shows that there are different tiers of needs that will motivate people(McLeod, 2007). Until the tier below is satisfied, one will not strive for and be motivated any tier above, or by any below(McLeod, 2007). HELL Pizza has a great social environment, and also have had many parties after hours in the stores (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 4). This means that the employees are close and have a sense of belonging at the store, and thus they are motivated to strive for a sense of accomplishment and to achieve their full potential.

Herzberg's two-factor theory

(John Wiley & Sons, n.d.)

Herzberg's two-factor theory shows that hygiene factors must be maintained for an employee (John Wiley & Sons, n.d.). If these things such as working conditions, co-worker relations and base wages are not constantly maintained then a worker is dissatisfied and will not be motivated. The satisfier/motivation factors such as achievement and recognition increase job satisfaction and thus as they improve they improve the motivation of the employees (John Wiley & Sons, n.d.). Hygiene factors are maintained at HELL Pizza and motivation is enhanced by the way that opportunities arise from working for HELL over a number of years. Many employees can get higher up in the business and gain promotions (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 3). Callum mentioned that this is because those already working in the business understand how they operate, and thus they are ideal candidates to be general managers and in the head office (Meanger & Cox, 2017, p. 3). The scalable nature of HELL means that they have ideal motivator factors to increase the job satisfaction of employees.


HELL Pizza uses the management concepts of communication, team work, leadership and motivation to give HELL's the most effective output and work environment possible. Employees enjoy working at HELL Pizza, and the brand has successfully expanded across New Zealand, and hope to continue expanding and improving their marketing into the future.


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