Draw, interpret and understand simple organisational charts

An organisational structure are the levels of management and division of responsibilities within an organisation which is often represented by an organisational chart.

Key Features of an organisational Chart

  • Departments: Firms are organised into departments which each department responsible for a particular function or role. Examples are Marketing department, Finance department , Transport department.
  • Hierarchy: Organisational chart are also based on hierarchy which is allotted to different positions with varied level of authority.
  • Chain of Command: This shows how communication and tasks are passed down the business from the top to the bottom.
  • Delegation: This means that someone higher up the chain of command can give responsibility to perform a task.
  • Span of Control: This shows how many individuals or subordinates under the control of one manager.

This is often displayed in the form of an organisational chart. The 2 common type of charts are

Tall organisational charts – These have a long chain of command and a small span of control

Advantages of Tall StructureDisadvantages of Tall Structure
1. Easy to monitor subordinates performanceThe longer the chain of command, the longer the communication level
2. Chances of promotion are glaringMore management positions means more cost of running the business.

Flat organisational charts: A horizontal or flat organizational structure fits companies with few levels between upper management and staff-level employees. Short chain of command, wide span of control

Advantages of Flat StructureDisadvantages of Flat Structure
1. Faster communication processSlim chances of promotion as a result of few managerial positions
2. Easier to delegate task.Few managers and lots of workforce might make it difficult to detect errors

The role of management

Roles of managers in a business.

1. Planning

Planning is the first tool of the four functions in the management process. The difference between a successful and unsuccessful manager lies within the planning procedure. Planning is the logical thinking through goals and making the decision as to what needs to be accomplished in order to reach the organizations’ objectives. Managers use this process to plan for the future, like a blueprint to foresee problems, decide on the actions to evade difficult issues and to beat the competition.

2. Organising

The second function of the management is getting prepared, getting organized. Management must organize all its resources well before in hand to put into practice the course of action to decide that has been planned in the base function. Through this process, management will now determine the inside directorial configuration; establish and maintain relationships, and also assign required resources.

3. Coordinating

It involves the implementation of plans by mobilising individuals and group effort through motivation, communication, leadership and supervision. Coordinating may be defined as the process of activating the efforts of employees towards the achievement of organisational objectives.

4. Controlling

It is the process of regulating the ongoing activities of the organisation to ensure that they are in conformity with the established plans and produce the desired results. Through the controlling function, management can keep the organisation to its chosen track. It involves:

  • Establishing standards of performance
  • Measuring current performance
  • Comparing actual results with the established standards
  • Detecting deviations from the standards
  • Taking corrective actions for significant deviations.


Delegation is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. However the person who delegated the work remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work. Delegation empowers a subordinate to make decisions.

What makes an effective delegation?

To enable someone else to do the job for you, you must ensure that:

  • Objectives must be clearly defined.
  • Authority and responsibility of each subordinate must be clearly defined.
  • Subordinates show be rewarded suitably as a positive incentive for accepting responsibility.
  • Workers should be given adequate training for carrying out the task delegated.
Benefits for the manager
  • can concentrate on more important job and improve their productivity. The manager gets the opportunity to handle aspects of the job that no one else can do. These activities might include project planning, monitoring team members, and handling personnel problems as they arise.
  • Delegation ensures that specialist people are doing the job which reduces the chances of mistakes by the manager.
  • Manager can also gauge the efficiency of the subordinates.
Benefits for the subordinates
  • It motivates the subordinates as they feel more trusted.
  • Through delegation subordinates can be trained to handle responsibilities and future growth.
  • Increases team member involvement. Proper delegation encourages team members to understand and influence the work the department does.
For the organisation
  • Quick decisions can be taken as the authority to take decisions lies near the point of action.
  • Delegation improves a healthy relationship among the manager and the subordinate and thus fewer conflicts.

Leadership styles

There are 3 main leadership styles – Autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire

Autocratic Leader: One who makes all decisions and controls others closely in the way they should do it.

  • Makes decision alone
  • Everything depends on the leader
  • May de-motivate employees
  • May be an advantage for some businesses where decision needs to be made quickly

Democratic Leaders: One who takes consideration of others into decision making which is evident by subordinates playing a full part in making decisions.

  • Communication between managers and employees
  • Future plans are discussed with other employees
  • Motivates employees because they are involved in making decisions.
  • Sharing of ideas within the business.
  • Can delay decision making

Laissez-Faire Leader: literally meaning “let it be” . Leader sets objectives and employees makes decision on the day-to-day input and organise their own work.

  • Can be useful when creative ideas are needed
  • Highly motivational for employees as they control their own working life
  • Poor coordination and decision making
  • Relies on good team work

Factors affecting Leadership

  • Type of workforce
  • Type of business
  • Culture
  • Leaders’ personality

Trade unions

Trade union: This is a group of workers who join together to protect their interests and negotiate for better wages and working conditions.

Why join a trade union?

  • Improved conditions of employment
  • Improved work environment
  • Improved benefits
  • Improved job satisfaction
  • Advice/financial support
  • Strenght in number (many employees will join)


  • Cost money to be a member
  • May be forced to take action e.g. strike even if you don’t agree