II.Work in groups. Choose one of these companies.
BMW Coca-Cola Nike Levi Strauss & Co Microsoft Walt Disney
Write what you know about:
1. what each company produces or provides
2. where the company started
3. where the company operates
4. who its main competitors are
I. Skim the text to grasp the general idea.
There are many forms of business organization. Some businesses consist of just one person, while others employ thousands of people. Some businesses make products, while others are involved in providing services.
Describing a company
All business organizations:
- consist of a group of people who form a structure;
- have a structure with rules and authority;
- follow a set of objectives;
- use economic resources.
There are several ways in which a company can choose to organize itself, and we are going to look at the most important of these. We will take an imaginary company, Computercorp, and examine how it could organize its operations. The company produces computer hardware and software, and sells its products around the world. Its customers are business users and consumers.
Organizing the company:
The term refers to the way in which a company’s activities are divided into distinct units. The most popular forms of horizontal differentiation are shown below.
Organization by function.
The top management of Computercorp might decide that the company should be structured according to the functions it performs. The main function of the company are research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and finance. If the company chooses a functional structure, the result will look like this:
Organization by product
Computercorp makes two kinds of products, hardware and software. Top management may think that these products are so different to each other that it is better to organize the company on the basis of the different products it makes. If the company chooses a product structure, the result will look like this:
Organization by location
A third alternative is to structure the company on the basis of location. Computercorp’s headquarters are in London, but it has offices around the world. If the company chooses a location structure, the result will look like this:
Organization by customer
Another way to structure the company is by reference to the kind of customer that it serves. Computercorp sells its products to business users and consumers, so this kind of organizational structure will look like this:
This term refers to the number of management levels in a company. A company with many levels is known as a “tall” company. It looks like this:
Traditional manufacturing companies are “tall” organizations. There are many levels in the hierarchy, because there are many different production processes. Other examples of “tall” organizations include government bureaucracies and military organizations.
This kind of organization is difficult to control, and the lower levels in the hierarchy usually have to obey very precise rules, rather than plan their own work.
Jeremy Fitzerald, Management, Black Cat Publishing, 2001, p. 47-57
I. Complete the sentences below with the correct word from the following:
resource authority tall informal flat
horizontal formal objective structure vertical
a. A business organization consists of a group of people who form a ………………. .
b. A business organization has rules and ……….. .
c. A business organization follows a set of …………… .
d. A company uses economic ………….. .
e. The division of a company’s activities into different units is called …....... differentiation.
f. The number of management levels in a company is called ………. differentiation.
g. A …………….. organization has very few management levels.
h. A …………….. organization has a lot of management levels.
i. An organization with a stated purpose or objective is called a ……….. organization.
j. An …………. Organization does not exist to meet formal objectives.
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