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Higher Business Management - Castlemilk HS > Understanding Business > Flashcards

Flashcards in Understanding Business Deck (15)
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Explain 3 reasons why an organisation would become a PLC. 3 Marks

Shares can be sold on the stock exchange therefore large amounts of finance can be raised.

Large companies can often operate more cheaply than small companies by utilising economies of scale. Therefore they can spend money in other areas of the business.

Finally, there are greater opportunities for raising finance and lenders are more likely to give money as they have greater confidence it will be paid back.


Many companies are now classed as multinationals. Discuss operating as a multinational. 6 Marks

One advantage is that the organisation may be given grants from governments to locate in that country and the grants will not require to be paid back improving their financial position.

Another is that organisations will become larger which may result in them being safer from takeovers.

Finally, it can allow organisations to increase their global sales which in turn should increase their overall profits.

On the other hand, legislation may be different in other countries which may require the organisation to alter its product/service.

Different languages will exist and this may mean that organisations have to employ specialist linguists to work with the organisation to avoid communication problems.

Finally, exchange rates could affect purchasing goods and paying employees in different countries.


Describe the main characteristics of a multi-national corporation. 4 Marks

Tip: NOT advantages or disadvantages.

MNC has a distinct ‘home’ base country.

They involve operations in several different countries

They will have a global brand. Examples include McDonalds and Coca-Cola.

Can greatly influence local economies


Describe possible methods of growth for a public limited company. 5 marks

One method is Horizontal Integration. This is when two businesses from the same sector of industry and in direct competition become one business.

Another is Backward Vertical Integration. This is when a business takes over/merges with a business in an earlier stage of production (a business taking over their supplier).

Another is Forward Vertical Integration. This occurs when a business takes over/merges with a business in a later stage of production (a business takes over their customer).

Businesses can also grow Internally (also known as organic growth). They do this by increasing the number of stores and launching new products.

Finally businesses can become a Conglomerate. This is when organisations in completely different industries combine together. An example is RBS buying over Marriot Hotels.


Explain how Horizontal Integration can lead to increased sales or profits. 3 Marks

Businesses producing the same products combine together therefore taking advantage of economies of scale resulting in lower cost per unit and an increased end profit.

By becoming larger they should become better known in the market resulting in brand loyalty and therefore increased sales.

They can dominate the market due to reduced competition. This means that they can set higher prices without putting off customers.


Discuss the effects of outsourcing on an organisation. 6 Marks

Advantages include allowing the main business to concentrate on doing what they are good at.

There is also less labour and equipment is required for outsources activities which saves money.

Finally the work should be high-quality from the outsourced business as it should have greater expertise and specialist equipment.

Disadvantages include the main business having less control over outsources work so quality may fail.

Clear communication between the businesses to make sure exact specifications are met.

Finally, the business may have to share sensitive information with the outsource business that could get into the hands of competitors.


Explain the effects that political factors could have on an organisation. 4 Marks

A change in or introduction of a new law.
>For example if minimum wages changed then the organisation would have to comply therefore extra costs being incurred for higher wages.
>Alternatively, new environmental laws may be introduced (plastic bag charge) and businesses may gain a positive reputation for complying.

Income tax rates may change which will affect the profitability of an organisation.
>If this was reduced customers would have a higher disposable income resulting increased sales for businesses as customers are able to buy luxury items.
>For a Public Sector organisation a decrease in income tax may result in less money being given to the Government meaning a poorer service (NHS, Education) being delivered.


Other than political - describe external factors can have on an organisation. 5 Marks


Economic – factors such as inflation, unemployment, recession/boom periods, interest rates will affect organisations in a number of ways as customers will have more/less money to spend on products.

Social – changes in trends and fashions mean that organisations must continually carry out market research to see what products will sell or if new products are desired.

Technological – as technology changes organisations must keep up-to-date. This has included selling online/social media increasing sales however will involve a large financial cost.

Environmental – organisations now need to attempt to be socially responsible and environmentally friendly to satisfy consumer groups.

Competitive – organisations must continually monitor their competitors’ prices and alter theirs accordingly


Describe internal constraints that make decision making difficult. 6 Marks

Tip: HR, Finance, Tech

Human Resources
>Manager’s ability, training and experience to make good decisions.
>How much risk the manager is prepared to take.
>Staff being resistant to change which will make implementing a decision take longer and more difficult.
>The skills and training requirements of employees.

>The availability of finance might mean that the most effective decision cannot be chosen.


Discuss methods of grouping which could be used by a multi-national organisation. 6 Marks

Functional Grouping
>Staff with similar skills and expertise are together allowing for specialisation and each department will become excellent at what it does.
>Staff know who to report to and can get guidance from more experienced staff in their area of expertise.
>However, the departments can become more interested in their own objectives rather than the organisations objectives

Product/service Grouping
>Allows for an organisation to be more responsive to changes in that market
>Allows management to quickly identify poor performing products and make a decision to change or discontinue
>However, the duplication of resources could occur which will increase expenditure for the business.

(Geographical, Technological and Customer could also be discussed)


Describe the main characteristics of an entrepreneurial structure. 2 Marks

Structure used primarily by small organisations when there is usually only one main decision maker, the owner.

Other staff may be consulted but the manager will make the final decision.


Distinguish between a centralised structure and a decentralised structure. 3 Marks

Tip: Use whereas

Centralised is when decision-making lies with top management in head office whereas decentralised is when decision-making is delegated to departments, which relieves senior management from routine day-to-day tasks.

Centralised ensures procedures are standardised which ensures consistency across the business whereas decentralised decisions are made by individual branches making it hard to have consistency across the entire business.

Centralised decisions will not reflect the needs of local markets whereas decentralised decisions means the business respond quickly to changing external factors which could lead to gaining a competitive edge.


Explain the modern day role of a manager in effective decision making. 2 Marks


>Giving subordinates the authority to carry out management level tasks therefore this will reduce the manager’s workload and allow employees to feel valued.

>Giving their team a reason to enjoy their work therefore this will increase productivity and ensure everyone is working towards same goal.


Distinguish between 2 types of decision that an organisation could make. 3 Marks

Tip: When, Who and Why

Strategic is the long term decisions made every few years whereas operational are short term decisions made daily.

Strategic decisions are made by Senior Management whereas operational decisions are made by supervisors and team leaders.

Strategic decisions are risker are relayed to the overall direction and focus of the business whereas operational decisions are made to help the running of the business on a day-day basis.


Describe the Interdependence that exists between different stakeholders. 6 Marks

Tip: Owners and Employees, Owners and Customers, Owners and Suppliers

Owners need employees to carry out their daily tasks in order to produce business products/service and employees need owners to pay their wages.

Owners need employees to be as productive as they can to increase possible sales and employees need owners to provide the necessary job training to make this possible.

Owners need customers to buy products from them to make profit and customers need owners to provide them with the product they want.

Owners need customers to become loyal to increase their market share and customers want to be rewarded for their loyalty.

Owners need suppliers to provide products on time and suppliers need owners to provide them with repeat orders to keep in business.

Owners want suppliers to provide quality raw materials to improve the quality of the final product whereas suppliers want quick, regular payments for orders.