Oakwood International 5CO01 Organisational performance and culture in practice


Knowledge and understanding for this core unit will be assessed by written answers to the questions below.

  • Organisations differ in terms of structure, the products and/or services offered and customers.
    • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of two types of organisation structures, including the reasons underpinning them. (AC 1.1)
    • Analyse connections between organisational strategy, products, services and customers. (AC 1.2)
  • All organisations are affected to some extent by external factors and trends. The impact of these factors and trends could be positive, neutral or negative, some are short-lived whilst others are long-lasting. Analyse a range of external factors and trends currently impacting organisations. Identify organisational priorities arising from the factors and trends analysed. (AC 1.3)
  • The CIPD’s report Workplace Technology: the employee experience (2020:2) states, ‘the impact of the latest technology revolution on how organisations create value and on the way people work spans all industries, economies and parts of society’.  Assess the scale of technology within organisations and how it impacts work. (AC 1.4)
  • Drawing on your reading, explain one theory or model which examines organisational culture AND interpret one theory or model which examines human behaviour. (AC 2.1)
  • Assess how people practices impact on organisational culture and behaviour, drawing on examples to support your arguments. (AC 2.2)
  • Many organisations have managed considerable change in recent years. CIPD’s report, People Profession 2030: a collective view of future trends (2020) identifies ‘internal change’ as a key future trend.
    • Explain different approaches to managing change (AC 2.3)
    • Discuss models for how change is experienced.  (AC 2.4)
  • CIPD’s Good Work Index provides an annual benchmark of job quality. Data is gathered on seven dimensions of good work, including ‘health and wellbeing’. Assess the importance of wellbeing at work and factors which impact wellbeing. (AC 2.5)
  • Discuss the links between the employee lifecycle and different people practice roles. (AC 3.1)
  • Analyse how people practice connects with other areas of an organisation and supports wider people and organisational strategies. (AC 3.2)
  • People professionals provide a service to internal customers but to truly add value, people professions need to understand their customer’s needs.  Discuss processes for consulting and engaging with internal customers to understand their needs. (AC 3.3)


Task – Questions

Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different types of organisation structures, including the reasons underpinning them. (AC1.1) Short references should be added into your narrative below. Please remember to only list your long references in the reference box provided at the end of this section. Word count: Approximately 500 words.
Type here… Functional/bureaucratic structure This is the most conventional approach/structure where people performing similar tasks or with a similar specialty are organised into one group. For example, accountants belong to the finance department while those who have specialised in marketing are found in the marketing department (Point Park University Online, 2022). Real-life examples are Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon. Reasons underpinning this structure are that it works best for large companies with distinct product offerings and those operating in diverse geographical locations (Organimi Inc., 2021). Merits Functional structures allow people with similar competencies and abilities to collaborate on projects. Secondly, since employees are grouped according to their skills, there is greater efficiency and effectiveness in functional departments. Employees already have requisite skills and their roles do not change. As such, they will spend very little, if any, time on learning. Functional structures also promote teamwork within groups (Indeed Editorial Team, 2020). Demerits Grouping of employees into functional departments may hinder inter-departmental communication, which could inhibit effective functioning in the company. The structure may also encourage unhealthy competition among departments especially if the executive director does not provide direction (Indeed Editorial Team, 2020). It may also hinder decision-making effectiveness as authority figures must be consulted before employees can make any decisions. In case managers or authority figures are not available when time-sensitive projects are being worked on, overall progress is affected. Divisional/decentralised structure Separate divisions are created to cater for the different products or projects that the organisation deals in. Unlike in functional structure where grouping is according to skills, grouping in divisional structures is done according to organisational outputs (Indeed Editorial Team, 2021). An organisation that uses the divisional structure is United Technologies Corporation, one among the biggest industrial firms in the United States. UTC has many divisions that include Pratt, Collins Aerospace, Otis and Carrier (Daft, 2020). Companies choose this structure when they shift to more complex projects or when they experience substantial growth such that the traditional hierarchical model no longer works adequately for them. It is also suitable for companies operating in multiple regions and with many products (Accounting Tools, 2022). Nonetheless, small companies with self-managing groups may also use the divisional structure. For instance, advertising agencies with dedicated staff together with budgets catering for major clients can use the structure (Gillikin, 2019). Strengths There is greater accountability for actions as well as results since every division is operated by a specific management group. Divisional structure is a great approach for companies to deal with market competition. Managers can swiftly shift their business’ direction to capture changes in the local market. Thirdly, a divisional structure facilitates cultural relevance and responsiveness because managers can customise divisional cultures and product offerings to meet local market needs (Accounting Tools, 2022). Weaknesses Divisional structures are quite costly because divisions operate as independent entities, each having its complete function set. They may also create unnecessary rivalries between divisions. This happens when divisions are not incentivised to collaborate or pursue a common purpose. Third, compartmentalisation of skills by divisions could also hamper skills transfer across firms, and this affects organisational performance (Accounting Tools, 2022).  
Analyse connections between organisational strategy, products, services and customers. (AC1.2) Short references should be added into your narrative below. Please remember to only list your long references in the reference box provided at the end of this section. Word count: Approximately 400 words.
  Organisations of all types and sizes need to have a strategy that will guide them in achieving their strategic goals. These strategies must build on the company’s mission and vision (University of Lincoln, 2021) and must outline how resources will be allocated to the different business activities so that business objectives are attained (Indeed Editorial Team, 2021). Organisational strategies are made up of three fundamental areas: analysis, development, and implementation. Strategic analysis involves assessing the company’s external environment as well as available resources within the company (Lynch, 2021). Strategic development is about generating options and applying rational thinking to select the most viable option. Implementation refers to applying the chosen strategy or option (Notes Learning, 2022). Connection between strategy and products/services The best perspective from which to explore the connection between organisational strategy and products/services is the business-level strategy. Business-level strategies integrate the strategies formulated by different functional units with the aim of coming up with distinct products or services that suit specific customer groups (Indeed Editorial Team, 2021). What this means is that managers must develop products and/or services that are superior to those of their rivals, and which cannot easily be substituted. Strategy and customers As companies decide how resources will be allocated, priority must be given to satisfaction of customer needs. Customer needs as those cravings, desires or wants whose satisfaction can be accomplished through product attributes. The meaning of this is that organisational strategies must clearly link products to customer needs by ensuring that the products offered fully meet the desires and wants of customers. In order to ensure customer needs are adequately met, companies should base their organisational strategies on an analysis of the macro environment. Frameworks such as PESTLE are useful in identifying what exactly customers want and linking products and services to these wants and preferences.  
Analyse external factors and trends impacting organisations to identify current organisational priorities. (AC1.3) Short references should be added into your narrative below. Please remember to only list your long references in the reference box provided at the end of this section. Word count: Approximately 400 words.
  Climate change In the current world, climate change is a huge concern for businesses. Businesses are facing the obligation of taking actions towards minimising carbon emissions, with some switching to the use of LED bulbs while others have gone paperless (Office for National Statistics, 2022). This factor has both positive and negative impacts on businesses. The positive thing about climate change is that it presents opportunities for businesses to restructure their processes by, for example, adopting reusable packaging which generates substantial cost savings. The negative side is that some business practices and processes may be completely phased out. Inflation Economic factors, which include inflation, tax rates, interest rates and inflation, are another dimension of the PESTLE framework outlining the different macroenvironmental forces affecting organisations. Inflation is, no doubt, one among the top concerns of businesses currently. As economies slowly recover from the deep financial shocks caused by the Coronavirus, businesses and consumers alike must bear with the high commodity prices. In fact, inflation has hit a record-high in most countries, including the UK, where it is reported that the month of October recorded the highest inflation index, compelling a revaluation of strategy among businesses (BDO United Kingdom, 2022). Without doubt, inflation has a negative effect on businesses in terms of reduced output. Sociodemographic factors Today, individuals and human rights groups have become noticeably vocal about the rights of marginalised groups such as persons with disabilities (Khan et al., 2019). At the same time, notable shifts in the composition of the consumer base have vital implications for business organisations. For example, life expectancy has increased such that many people are living longer than was the case in the past. Sociodemographic factors present opportunities for firms as they make appropriate adjustments to respond to the emerging needs of the population. Priorities arising Better use of resources: The high rate of inflation posing huge financial hardships to businesses calls for managers to adopt new business of models that can generate more results with fewer resources. Similarly, the threat posed by climate change calls for organisations to get more intentional with sustainability programs. Specifically, businesses must begin thinking of strategies of sharing and reusing the scarce resources available to them. Greater focus ought to be given on minimising or eliminating waste generation in favour of recycling (Angus & Westbrook, 2020). Digitisation: Adopting broad-based technology might help businesses to cope with the changes occurring in the external environment and gain competitive advantage. Tools like videoconferencing and teleworking might be helpful for organisations as they seek ways of minimising operating expenses as they await the economy to recover from the shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although digitisation could help enhance operational efficiency, its adoption may be hampered by lack of money as well as expertise (Experian Information Solutions, 2022). Diversity and inclusion: The changing demographics described earlier point out to the need for business to get inclusive. Taking the example of people with disabilities, organisations ought to prioritise equal accessibility and representation not only in their products/services but also in their recruitment and hiring policies and practices. This will help minimise prejudice around diversity. It is a priority for business to push for inclusion together with authenticity in their product developments as well as corporate strategies (Angus & Westbrook, 2020).  

Please click the icon below to receive this assessment in full