Competitive Organisational Structures

Definitions from Chapter 18 of the AQA A2 Textbook


Organisational Structures

Organisational Structure: The relationship between different people and functions in an organisation- both vertically, from shop-floor workers through supervisors and managers to directors, and horizontally between different functions and people at the same level.

Organisation Chart: A diagram showing the lines of authority and layers of hierarchy in an organisation.

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Accountability and Responsibility

Accountability: The extent to which a named indivdual is held responsible for the success or failure of a particular policy, project or piece of work.

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Centralisation and Decentralisation

Centralisation and Decentralisation: The degree to which authority is delegated within an organistion. A centralised structure has a greater degree of central control, while a decentralised structure involves a greater degree of delegated authority to the regions or to the subordinates.

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Organisational Structures

Functional Organisational Structure: The traditional management structure consisting of a different department for each of the main functions of the business (e.g. marketing, production, finance and personnel).

Matrix Organisational Structure: A flexible organisational structure in which tasks are managed in a way that cuts across traditional department boundaries.

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Delayering: The removal of one or more layers of hierarchy from the management structure of an organisation.

Portfolio Career: A career in which income is derived from a variety of sources- perhaps a number of jobs, or a job and a business.

Teleworking: People working from home and other locations and keeping in contact through information and communications technology (ICT)

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Outsourcing: Using sources outside a business to undertake functions that used to be done internally by a section of the business itself. These sources include marketing consultants, call centres, and production and assembly plants. Outsourcing is linked to the issue of 'downsizing'.

Downsizing: Reducing the size of a firm to make it more responsive to market conditions- for example, by removing 'back room' activities such as office functions and call centres or the production and assembly of parts, which are then contracted out to other agencies.

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