Business Studies Revision Cards

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 17-03-11 09:57

Organisational Structure

  • Hierarchy refers to the management levels within an organisation.
  • Line managers are responsible for overseeing the work of other staff.
  • Subordinates report to other staff higher up the hierarchy. Subordinates are accountable to their line manager for their actions.
  • Authority refers to the power managers have to direct subordinates and make decisions.
  • Delegation is when managers entrust tasks or decisions to subordinates.
  • Empowerment sees managers passing authority to make decisions down to subordinates. Empowerment can be motivational.
  • The span of control measures the number of subordinates reporting directly to a manager.
  • The chain of command is the path of authority along which instructions are passed, from the CEO downwards.
  • Lines of communication are the routes messages travel along.
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Motivation Theory

Motivation is about the ways a business can encourage staff to give their best.

Maslow suggests there are five hierarchies or levels of need that explain why people work. Staff first want to meet their survival needs by earning a good wage. Safety needs such as job security then become important, followed by social, self-esteem and self-fulfilment needs. Moving staff up a Maslow level is motivational.


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Communication is about passing messages between people or organisations. Messages between a sender and receiver take place using a medium such as email or phone.

One-way communication is when the receiver cannot respond to a message. Two-way communication is when the receiver can respond to a message. This allows confirmation the message has been both received and understood.

  • Internal communications happen within the business.
  • External communications take place between the business and outside individuals or organisations.
  • Vertical communications are messages sent between staff belonging to different levels of the organisation hierarchy.
  • Horizontal communications are messages sent between staff on the same level of the organisation hierarchy.
  • Formal communications are official messages sent by an organisation, eg a company memo, fax or report.
  • Informal communications are unofficial messages not formally approved by the business, eg everyday conversation or gossip between staff.
  • A channel of communication is the path taken by a message.


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