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Week 4 - Big Business & Our Behaviours

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Organisations | ACCA Qualification | Students. The syllabus for Paper F1, Accountant in Business includes the theory of organisations and related topics. Candidates must be familiar with the different organisational structures that can be adopted, as well as related concepts such as departmentalisation, divisionalisation, centralisation and decentralisation, span of control, scalar chain and tall and flat organisations. In addition to these topics, candidates should also study some of the more contemporary organisational models. These include ‘boundaryless’ organisations and shared services organisations, both of which are examinable for the first time in 2014. This article provides an overview of some of these concepts.

An organisation is a group of people with a common purpose. Organisations have been around for thousands of years. The industrial revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries brought a need for more systematic and formal consideration of how organisations should be configured. Corporate governance | F1 Accountant in Business | ACCA Qualification | Students. The syllabus for Paper F1/FAB, Accountant in Business, requires candidates to understand the meaning of corporate governance and the role of the board of directors in establishing and maintaining good standards of governance. Specifically, the Study Guide refers to the separation of ownership and control, the role of non-executive directors and two of the standing committees commonly established by public companies. This article provides an introduction to corporate governance and some of the basic concepts that underpin it, and explains the roles of the board, the different types of company director and standing committees.

What is corporate governance? The simplest and most concise definition of corporate governance was provided by the Cadbury Report in 1992, which stated: Corporate governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development published its ‘Principles of Corporate Governance’ in 2004.

Key positions. Global 500 2014. Companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years ended on or before March 31, 2015. All companies on the list must publish financial data and report part or all of their figures to a government agency. Figures are as reported, and comparisons are with the prior year’s figures as originally reported for that year. Fortune does not restate the prior year’s figures for changes in accounting. Revenues Revenue figures include consolidated subsidiaries and reported revenues from discontinued operations, but exclude excise taxes. Profits Profits are shown after taxes, extraordinary credits or charges, cumulative effects of accounting changes, and noncontrolling (minority) interests, but before preferred dividends. Balance Sheet Assets shown are those at the company’s fiscal year-end.

Employees The figure shown is either a fiscal year-end or yearly average number, as published by the company. Medians Credits. Notes_on_the_Biggest_Business_Today.pdf. World Investment Report 2014: Annex Tables. Preparing for bigger, bolder shareholder activists. Activist investors are getting ever more adventurous. Last year, according to our analysis, the US-listed companies that activists targeted had an average market capitalization of $10 billion—up from $8 billion just a year earlier and less than $2 billion at the end of the last decade.

They’ve also been busier, launching an average of 240 campaigns in each of the past three years—more than double the number a decade ago. And even though activists are a relatively small group, with only $75 billion in combined assets under management compared with the $2.5 trillion hedge-fund industry overall, they’ve enjoyed a higher rate of asset growth than hedge funds and attracted new partnerships with traditional investors. As a result, they have both the capital and the leverage to continue engaging largecap companies. Shareholders generally benefit. Exhibit 1 Activist campaigns, on average, generate a sustained increase in shareholder returns. Enlarge Exhibit 2 What attracts activist shareholders? ShareAction | The movement for Responsible Investment. Global300 | ICA: International Co-operative Alliance. The Global300 Report was last published in 2011 and brings together information about the 300 largest co-operative organisations around the world, in order to demonstrate the movement’s scale, breadth and reach.

In 2012 the ICA lauched the World Co-operative Monitor in collaboration with EURICSE. Find out more about the World Co-operative Monitor. That report states that the world's largest co-operative enterprises, have collective revenues of USD 1.6 trillion, which are comparable to the GDP of the world’s ninth largest economy - Spain. This report analyses co-operatives in seven distinct sectors - Agriculture/Forestry, Banking/Credit Unions, Consumer/Retail, Insurance, Workers/Industrial, Health, Utilities, and Other – and details how the global financial crisis affected each industry.

The 2011 Global300 Report was kindly supported by IFFCO, Desjardins & Credit Cooperatif. To see the 2008 report and statistics visit the Global300 website, click here. Chart your success. 1 Familiarisation Think of your employer as a family and the organisation chart as the family tree. It’s good to have an overview of all the members and their relationship to each other. Smaller details can be just as, if not more, interesting. If the chart includes names or even pictures rather than just job titles – that’s an indication of relative stability.

Seeing where you fit diagrammatically can be an eye-opener – it may not always be reassuring, but better than not appearing at all. 2 Orientation The appearance of an organisation chart reveals a lot about a company and its philosophy. 3 Confirmation Charts are useful for confirming who can tell you what to do and who you need to impress. Corporate governance – external and internal actors. Corporate governance – external and internal actors Corporate governance is a process and a system – and as with any system, it has many parts. While each one has a role, they are not all a part of a company’s internal structure. Both internal and external actors can have a role in governance. Directors The most prominent group of actors in corporate governance are the company’s directors. Company secretary In most countries, the appointment of a company secretary is a compulsory condition of company registration. Sub-board management Sometimes referred to (ambiguously) as ‘middle’ management, managers below board level are a crucial part of the governance system.

Employee representatives (trade unions) The most common way of providing employee representation (to the board) is through a trade union. Although often assumed to be in an adversarial relationship with management, trade unions can play a very helpful role in corporate governance. Shareholders Stock exchanges. Podcast: corporate governance. Diversifying the board. The responsibilities of the board of directors have been on the corporate agenda for years. Acting as the agents of shareholders, directors are expected collectively to devise operational and financial strategies for the organisation and to monitor the effectiveness of the company’s practices. The board of directors forms one of the pillars of a robust corporate governance framework. This is evidenced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Principles of Corporate Governance stating that 'the corporate governance framework should ensure the strategic guidance of the company, the effective monitoring of management by the board, and the board’s accountability to the company and the shareholders'.

This, in turn, links to the fundamental concepts of corporate governance – namely, judgment, responsibility and accountability. Definition of board diversity Benefits of board diversity Diversifying the board is said broadly to have the following benefits: 1. 2. 3. Podcast: diversifying the board. How to fit in/corporate culture. Corporate culture – ‘the way we do things around here’ – gives each organisation its unique identity. We explain why both employers and employees must find the right ‘fit’ Company culture – the shared values, beliefs and behaviours of everyone involved in the business – tends to be shaped by the senior leaders' vision and behaviour, by the industry, the business environment and the national culture. All companies want to have a culture where their employees are engaged, committed and loyal, and one way of doing this is to provide an environment where people actually want to be at work. Take Google, for example.

Of course, not all companies can provide what Google does. ‘Good place to work’ Regardless of the industry, however, most companies aim to create a ‘good place to work’ or a culture where employees are treated well, where they are free to use their judgment and discretion to improve business outcomes, and where ethical business behaviour is promoted and valued. The right fit. Creating a cultural web. Organisational culture was described by Handy as ‘the way we do things round here’. Most of us are very sensitive to organisational culture and tread warily when joining a new school, college or employer: we want to see ‘how they do things round there’. With regard to organisational culture, the work of three academics is mentioned: (1) Handy’s four cultural stereotypes.

These are: Power culture Here, power is concentrated in the hands of one person, ‘the boss’. Role culture This is characterised by a traditional organisational structure in which jobs are arranged by function and seniority, and each employee has a distinct role and job specification. Task culture Here, the emphasis is on getting the job done. Person culture In the person culture the employee is following a personal ambition in the context of the organisation, and interacts with the organisation as little as possible. . (2) Schein’s determinants of organisational culture. Artefacts. Power distance.