Business Studies Preliminary Course

Topic 2: Key Business Functions

Section 2.1 : Interdependence of Business Functions

Section Overview:

2.1.1 Identifying business functions — relationship to value chain

2.1.2 Coordinating business functions
      – Planning and controlling
      – Functional and market structures
      – Division of labour
      – Span of control
      – Chain of command

2.1.3 Interrelationship between business functions

Running any business, whether large or small, involves a number of different activities working together to satisfy the needs of customers.   In a small business, the owner often has to be expert in managing the basic functions of OPERATIONS, EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS, MARKETING, and ACCOUNTING & FINANCE.   In large businesses there are often specialist departments which look after each of these functions.   A manager needs to have an understanding of what these functions are, and in particular, their relationship to the VALUE CHAIN.

A) Operations
      The operations function involves organizing the production of goods and services in a business.   This often requires the implementation of a system which schedules, designs, operates and controls all inputs as they are converted into the finished product or service.

B) Employment Relations
      The employment relations function is responsible for organizing the business’s human resources – the people who work in the business.   Employment relations is involved with ‘hiring and firing’ staff, and everything in between – acquiring the right people with the right skills, training and motivating employees for better performance, and ending employment when necessary.

  C) Marketing
      The marketing function is the link between the business and its customers.   Marketing drives the business because it identifies what customers want and need and then plans the products and services that...