Organizational Structures

Define: a hierarchical structure, span of control, chain of command, and delegation  

Refers to the levels of management in any organization. From the highest to the lowest level of authority.

Hierarchical Structure:
A hierarchical structure refers to a company’s chain of command, typically from senior management and executives to general employees.

Span Of Control:
Number of subordinates working directly under a manager

Chain of command:
The structure in an organization that allows instructions to be passed down from senior management to lower levels of management

The assignment of authority and responsibility to a subordinate (an employee of a firm).

The role and functions of management  

Good Manager’s purpose: 

To motivate employees, to give guidance and advice to employees, to inspire employees to achieve more than they thought possible, to keep costs under control, increase the profitability of the business

  • Planning:
    Ensuring the business has a sense of direction and is looking towards the future.
  • Organizing:
    Ensuring people within the business know what they are doing and that managers and supervisors are delegates tasks to an employee
  • Coordinating:
    Making sure that all departments within the business are working together
  • Commanding:
    Guiding and supervising tasks within the workforce
  • Controlling:
    Monitoring employees

Styles of Leadership:
Democratic, autocratic and laissez-faire 


Autocratic leadership is where the manager expects to be in charge of the business and to have their orders followed. They keep themselves separate from the rest of the employees.

  • Advantages of Autocratic Leadership
    Autocratic Leadership allows for easy decision making towards the manager
  • Disadvantages of Autocratic Leadership
    However, there is no opportunity for an employee to input key decisions, which can be demotivating


Democratic leadership gets the other employees involved in the decision-making process. 

  • Advantages of Democratic Leadership
    Better decisions could result from consulting with employees and using their ideas/experience. Can be a motivating factor
  • Disadvantages of Democratic Leadership
    Making decisions in this manner can be time-consuming, and unpopular yet necessary decisions, such as lowering wages, could not effectively be made using this style of leadership


French for leave to do. This leadership tends to make the broad objectives of the business known to the employees, but then they are left to make their own decisions and organize their own words. 

  • Advantages of Laissez-Faire Leadership
    Encourages employees to show creativity and responsibility
  • Disadvantages of Laissez-Faire Leadership
    This style is unlikely to be appropriate in organizations where a consistent and clear decision-making structure is needed, such as customer service.​

Why employees join a trade union  

Trade Unions: 

Employees generally share many of the same interests such as improving their pay, having a pleasant environment to work in, being given proper training, Forming a trade union is a way of helping employees to achieve improvements in these aspects of their employment.

Benefits of Trade Unions:

  • Improved pay
  • Advice if unfairly treated
  • Improved conditions of employment 
  • Improved work conditions
  • Possible influence on government decisions

Disadvantages of Trade Unions:

  • Costs to be a member
  • Workers may be required to take industrial action even if they don’t agree