BAT Company and the Structure Group, UK: Case Study

Research indicates that the primary goal of any business is to increase its market share in its industry to increase sales which in turn lead to an increase in profit levels. For firms to attain such objectives they should be efficient and effective in their production processes. Business environments keep on changing and businesses often have to adjust to any changes in the marketplace. Such changes may be brought about by globalization or saturation of home markets among other factors. Therefore, through marketing research, firms must efficiently plan for their future by incorporating all the anticipated changes in the business environment as well as ensuring that the target goals of the business are achieved with ease. Most of the times businesses are faced with challenges like competition and therefore the management of any company must formulate a viable marketing plan that will ensure the expansion and sustainability of business operations.

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Introduction

Global events and competition affect almost all modern businesses and both Multinational and Medium-Sized firms are increasingly facing challenges as a result of the ever-changing business external and internal environments. For instance, the economic and political linkages involving the migration of money, products, and people across national boundaries together with ideas and values have increased the pace of change, ambiguity, uncertainty, and unpredictability that modern business organizations face.

This poses new threats and weaknesses to such firms as well as providing strengths and opportunities in the business world. Both Multi-National and Medium-Sized firms have to constantly utilize the concept of SWOT analysis to improve their management activities that will support their set goals. Using the SWOT analysis, environment analysis is very crucial to businesses and it can be analyzed in two dimensions; external environment analysis and internal environment analysis. An external environment analysis reveals the organization’s opportunities and threats which are either current or potential, while internal environment analysis reveals the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. Therefore this paper will attempt to compare the managerial and business activities of BAT Company as a Multi-National firm with The Structure Group as a Medium-sized firm.

Corporate Management in BAT Company and in The Structure Group

IN both BAT Company and in The Structure Group, UK, corporate planning has been the process where respective managers establish organizations long-term directions, set specific performance objectives and develop strategies to achieve these objectives in light of all the relevant internal and external circumstances and undertake to execute the chosen action plans. Both BAT Company and The Structure Group businesses are faced with many challenges in their current business undertakings and there have been fighting for their business survival that results from global events and competition which affects them either positively or negatively. With such dimension the aspect of corporate management has been very important to both BAT Company and The Structure Group with particular regard to the application of innovative approaches to business undertakings.

BAT Company and The Structure Group have utilized corporate planning which refers to the overall integrated planning system within an organization which incorporates both strategic and corporate planning. Therefore corporate planning of both BAT Company and The Structure Group has been achieved through management functions.

Another approach to corporate management utilized by the firms is that of operational planning which addresses the activities and resources required to implement set strategic plans. This approach is mainly dedicated to the allocation of resources, scheduling of actual working activities rather than selection and formulation of strategies as in the case of strategic planning. In essence this approach deals with the implementation and execution of the organization’s chosen plan that involves putting the organization’s resources in place and assigning responsibilities to individuals and organizations units for example strategic business units (SBUs). Under this approach the organizations have ensured that the specific performance targets in all functional areas within the firm are attained without jeopardizing the survival and continued growth of the business (Clegg, Kornberger, Pitsis, 2005).

Globalization in BAT Company and in the Structure Group

Globalization can be defined as the interaction of people from different cultures, societies, and various backgrounds in undertaking various business activities with the aim of achieving their goals for example earning profits from their investments. Such business activities greatly impact negatively and positively both Multinational and small medium-sized firms.

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Small and medium-sized firms such as The Structure Group sometimes are disadvantaged by the entrance of big firms to the market because multinational firms such as BAT Company have a tendency of practicing unfair competition such as lowering prices because of their well-established capital base.

Globalization has had varied influences in policymaking in the MNCs and SMEs and thus to both the BAT Company and to The Structure Group. Most companies including BAT Company concur that their production activities and decision-making have really been deregulated by globalization. Globalization in this case has influenced marketing policies making in both BAT Company and in The Structure Group.

Because the world has become a global village the marketing managers have had to come up with strategies that will cope with competition that has been stiff over the past few years.

For instance; the marketing managers of BAT Company have had the responsibility of implementing strategies that encompass policies to counter the threat of new entrants to the market, bargaining power of buyers, bargaining power of other suppliers, threats of substitute products, and rivalries among existing firms. Under this, the policies have to incorporate strategies such as price reduction, government policies, buyer’s volume and access to information of BAT Company as a supplier of tobacco products, and price and performance of the substitutes among others.

Due to globalization BAT Company management has been facing an uphill task of making viable decisions that will lead to success in the industry. Such decisions must be made keenly in order to conform to international standards that will foster international trade. Decisions that are made in both BAT and The Structure Group companies also have to be according to best practices and standards globally.

These organizations should consider the importance of various management practices in the global business environment. Research indicates that BAT Company when compared to The Structure Group has fully benefited from the concept of globalization in terms of expanding its market thus there has been an increase in profits (Clegg, Kornberger, Pitsis, 2005).

Organizational Effectiveness in both BAT Company and The Structure Group

Organization effectiveness is a broad term that can be defined as achieving results in a company through a well-organized and coordinated series of managerial activities that comprises of planning, leading, organizing, directing, and controlling of all the resources in the organization including employees to achieve desirable results. In comparison, BAT Company when compared to The Structure Group regarding organizational effectiveness have embarked on some activities which has contributed to the success of the company not only in the UK but also globally including; recruiting competent, motivated and qualified employees in order to achieve good results, a good communication system in the company, BAT Company has developed unambiguous policies, decisions and regulations, a conducive environment for working, good management, has built a system with the ability to adapt to any changes, have an efficient board of directors and have to build a viable and strong culture and mission among others.

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The success of the BAT Company is regarded to have come up as a result of the application of various management practices which include planning, controlling, leading and organizing among the workforce in the organization

The marketing strategies for BAT Company are said to be boosting the production and sales of the goods and it argued that BAT Company products are made known to the consumers through advertising whose focus is always at a low pricing factor of the cigarette products so as to enable the consumers to be able to purchase the products. This BAT Company advertising strategy remains constant day in and day out reflecting the events that take place in the stores and also the concern about the needs of its customers. Research shows that in countries that have not banned the commercial adverts of the company’s products, the company usually uses television commercials to popularize its products. Such a strategy is meant to show the real image of the company thus maintaining their consumer’s trust in the business.

On the other hand there are numerous ways that have not been used to measure the effectiveness of The Structure Group and include; productivity, profits, stability, turnover, growth among others. Further, certain variables that stress the need for achievement of goals and center on output have not been used to measure the effectiveness of The Structure Group and this includes lack of quality in production and efficiency in the work done.

Due to globalization, BAT Company in its attempt to meet international standards regarding tobacco production and operations unit has responded by incorporating technological advancement in its departments. These departments include finance, accounting, marketing and the customer care department. Outsourcing has been carried out such that experts from other countries have been sourced to install new technologies which in turn have led to increasing in sales, market share and thus an increase in the overall profits. The structure Group, UK has utilized little when expatriates issue is considered. In response to globalization BAT Company has carried out off-shoring which has reaped benefits especially in the marketing area.

In its response to globalization The Structure Group has not opened up very many outlets all over the world. Such a strategy could be ideal for the management of the company since it will be very effective because The Structure Group has been in a position to reach out to wider scope of customers and hence will lead to an increase in profits. BAT Company has got outlets all over the world including Africa. This has resulted in increased profits and also has helped developing countries to experience improved economies through remittance of their taxes (John and Keith, 1997).

How BAT Company and The Structure Group utilizes the Functions of Management

Management refers to the process of ensuring that the business objectives are accomplished by the entire workforce using the underlined guidelines and policies set by the organization. Both Bat Company and The Structure Group have four management functions that include planning, directing, controlling and organizing. Planning involves coming up with estimates, goals and objectives that must be met by the company within a specified time. In planning aims and processes are set so as to be able to achieve the organization mission statement as it has been set. The best strategies are chosen from identified plans to help necessitate forecasting the estimates and how to attain the organization goal. Another management function is organizing that involves allocating and distributing tasks within the organization workforce in order to obtain the organizations objectives and goals. The management ensures that tasks are distributed and shared evenly to all members of the organization to achieve effective objectives. The other major function is directing or leading the human resource within the organization to follow certain paths in order to achieve the business goals effectively. This may involve training the workers on how they are supposed to perform their task to be able to achieve the organization objectives. Controlling ensures that the real performance achieved is compared with the intended result to ensure we achieve the set goals. In case the results defer from expected results then corrective measures in place may be used to ensure the intended goals are achieved away from deviation. The managers who are the top level management ensure that any tasks allocated to individuals are completed in time and the expected results are achieved out of these tasks.

Under this case the management of The Structure Group should focus on improving on managerial activities by building people skills through friendly management and also motivation of employees. The management should further put in place enough machinations to cope with the ever changing business environment and these is evident because of lack of continuous improvements of operations and lack of continued update of knowledge and skills by the workers through training unlike in the case of BAT Company which has been perfect. For instance BAT Company has emphasized the importance of work groups in achieving results. However, research indicates that it has been a challenge to the entire management of both firms to be effective in the activities and much is needed to be done including training of leading managers in order to cope with change in their respective industries (John and Keith, 1997).

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Leadership Styles in BAT Company and in the Structure Group

Leadership is the process where those given the role of directing are expected to influence and support people working in the organization to work devotedly towards attaining the goals of the organization. Leadership in both BAT Company and in The Structure Group is the pillar of success as people work in a disorganized way if they lack leadership and people to guide them. For instance, workers in The Structure Group always wait for leaders to show them the way so that they may do the right things. Leaders are supposed to influence the employees to work hard by voluntarily giving their efforts and making sure that the goals and the mission of the organization are achieved. Without good leadership an organization would be seen to direction and will just be full of confusion as seen in music when musicians sing without harmony due to lack of a conductor.

In Bat Company perspective, leadership is seen as a channel that transforms prospective into realism and is seen in on company’s leaders when they make strategic decisions that are of critical importance to the success of the organization. Small and medium sized businesses such as The Structure Group also depend highly on good leadership to boost their growth and compete effectively with those that have a remarkable name in the market. A leader should ensure that he/she identifies the potential in an organization, develops it, enriches it and finally channels it to the people for better results of the firm. Every organization will bank on good leadership for its growth and survival. Therefore the key role of the leader is to make the employs work enthusiastically by motivating them and influencing them so that they can stretch to their maximum for the organization to run at profits and succeed.

For an organization to be successful it should realize that managing and leading should be of good quality and of a high standard. Both firms acknowledge that leadership qualities can be acquired through management training; learning from past work experiences and observing role models, since managers of both firms attends various workshops on leadership and management. Organizations need good leaders and are seen to be of great value to them. They usually strengthen workforce with convincing visions of the future, and show supportive cultures which bring together the workers to work as one. Leaders also guide their firms through hard crisis and also increase share holder value. When outcome from good leadership is constructive leaders are rewarded to motivate and energise so that they can play their role more efficiently. Research has also shown that good leaders depend more on the right skills, behaviour, and actions and concentrate less on personal traits. There are different styles of leadership which have been practised in both BAT Company and in The Structure Group as follows;

Autocratic style: Leaders in this category will be expected by their organizations to centralise decision making and power so that decision will be expected to come only from the top central authority. Research reveals that this style of leadership is commonly practised in The Structure Group. It is advantageous to the organization when especially new policies are being introduced into the organization as the leaders will push the workers to follow the decisions from the top authority without question and leading to the success of what is being introduced. Workers tend to come up with their own decisions that may cost the organization highly and there is need therefore for the leaders to give a central decision that must be followed by all. Harmonization of the operations being done can be achieved when leaders can ensure that their decisions can be followed for uniformity in all that is done. Standards can be observed by all and the organization can succeed. It also allows for quick decisions to be made since there is no fear of contradiction as decision comes from one angle. Workers need to be pushed so that they can work and avid being absent from duty due to lack of autocratic leadership and low turnover can be realised if autoerotism is not practised by the leaders in the organizations.

Participative style The workers are brought to contribute and their decisions are taken seriously. A good leader can make the organization prosper when they take good contributions that help the organization improve and achieve their goals. The leaders have a role to ensure that both the workers and the top management operate as a unit so that they can face challenges that face them and sit together to bring solutions that make the organization better every time and improve. Employees should be informed about things affecting their jobs and allowed to make contributions and ideas on how to change those conditions. Participative leadership brings a lot of improvement in an organization because employees feel a sense of being involved in decision making and the goals of a company are achieved thus good leaders should give employees chances of participating in making decisions of the company which encourages them to work hard to achieve the goals they have set themselves. This leadership style is practised in both BAT Company and in The Structure Group, UK.

Free-rein style: Leaders in this category do not use authority and responsibility but depend on the employees to make their own decisions and work towards them. The employees are also allowed to solve their own problems arising in the organization therefore in this case leaders play a very insignificant role and the groups in the organization are allowed to lead themselves. This type of leadership doesn’t contribute much in an organization but it has an advantage of different ideas being brought in to the organization. Leaders have to leave the choice completely to the employees and thus the leaders in this type of leadership are not involved in decision making but only implement what has been decided by the group. Such style is common in BAT Company since each and every employee is aware of his responsibilities (Debra and Perry, 1997).

Corporate Social Responsibility in BAT Company and in the Structure Group

Corporate Social Responsibility is defined as the norms or standards of behavior that guide moral choices about the conduct of the personnel in a business organization and the relationship with its publics. Both BAT Company and The Structure Group management teams are aware that the goal of business ethics is to ensure the safety of the employees, management, and the external publics from suffering the consequences from the business activities of the particular organization.

Business ethics along with social responsibility defines what the organization ought to do in the management of the business. The social responsibility of a business organization towards the society merits considerations in all the faces of strategic management, whereby the organization must exercise strategic planning through environmental and organizational appraisal in order to provide answers to what an organization might do and what it can do.

The span of business ethics is extensive and can be measured from different perspectives. In this case the organizations’ management should ensure that several ethical considerations must be balanced for the business to be successful in its operations and relations with its employees and the surroundings of its business, this includes;

Another ethical issue in business is the social reaction of the organization that is the manager should create a positive work place that will have its employees engage and encouraged to attain high performances. He may do this by setting the right expectations from each department of the organization; he should encourage the workers into productive work by rewarding the best performance through raising of the payment by recognition of the workforce applied by the employee. For the firm to maximize the individual performance the manager should have job security concerns for his employees, under which when an employee is confident of his or her job security at the workplace, his performance is far much better than a case where he or she is not sure of being retained in the next year. Research reveals that employees in BAT Company are remunerated well than those employees in recruited in The Structure Group (Clegg, Kornberger, Pitsis, 2005).

Corporate social responsibility can also be considered in the dimension of social responsiveness that is the organization must respond to the needs of the community, therefore the management should adopt a process that is meant to define the actual tactics to be utilized in achieving its goals. BAT Company has indeed developed such a concept while The Structure Group has failed to do so. The appropriate process is known as the marketing mix, it carries four elements which include; Product, this is where organization’s aim will be to define the characteristics of its products that will enable the goods to meet the consumer needs, Price, which is the decision on how the company should price its products, Promotion, this is a process through which the organization should make its products known to its customers and lastly the Place, an element which is the mechanism through which the goods of an organization will be moved from the organization to its consumers.

For the organization to achieve recognition of its products through which its marketing opportunities have chances to enlarge, then it should be able to have its target consumers, this is normally achieved depending on the following factors; the consumers desires and preferences for its products, geographical factors, location, gender and also age, these factors should be determined before the organization make a decision on a particular market segmentation which will later give its products a marketing opportunity. This segmentation should match differences in the buying behavior of the customers under which the firm should consider the product competition in the market, by stating plans on how organization will overcome the competitors’ strength through which it analyzes the number of competitors, their size, location and their strengths and weaknesses in the market (Clegg, Kornberger, Pitsis, 2005).

Public relations should be considered as another ethical issue applied in business. It is the process of correcting the reputation of the organization to the targeted consumers with the current issues of the organization. IN large MNCs like BAT Company it normally involves the evaluation of public and personal opinions over a particular issue; formulation of procedures related to communication between the organization and consumers, and co-ordination of communication programs within and external the particular departments of the company. The use of public relations in BAT Company has been to enhance a positive awareness of the organization to the public. Public relations have not been applied in The Structure Group and thus have led to unplanned effort in establishing and bringing understanding between the organization and its consumers.

The other ethical factor considered in both businesses is culture, which means the environment surrounding the employees at workplace. This is meant to shape the relationship of an employee and his work in an organization. BAT Company and The Structure Group cultures represents their employee’s personalities that carries principles, attitude, fundamental interests, knowledge, and background that create a person’s behavior thus boosting their morale.

Culture is particularly inclined by the organization’s management team due to the roles in decision-making and strategic direction they impose in the organization. For instance BAT managers have put in mind that culture is learned thus employees are capable of learning how to perform: Employees value rewards that are not associated with behaviours since they have different needs, shared rewards from co-workers or have their most important needs met in their departments or project teams.

Business ethics is crucial to any organization including BAT Company and The Structure Group and therefore there management should give much attention in ensuring that the business is conducted in a fair and an objective manner. This means the needs of the community should be met while the organizational goals are achieved without much difficulty (Barnett, Bass, Brown, and Hebert, 1998).

Change in BAT Company and in the Structure Group

Managing change in a work place is normally initiated by an organization in order to improve its service delivery. Change in management requires a thorough planning and responsive implementation, most of all, consultation need to done involving the people who are going to be affected by the planned changes. Many SMEs like in The Structure Group have a tendency of forcing change to its workforce; if change is forced to the people usually it brings problems. Change has to be realistic, attainable and measurable, these factors are important especially when considering personal change in management. It has been observed that people change their ways because of being given statistics that change their way of thinking rather than the truth in the content.

Human being are habitual creatures who will resist change even if it is good, a person don’t like changing the way he has been operating, this resistance is shown both in personal life and at place of work. Thus, as stated above it is a true person will require analysis of the issue to make him change. For example if a company needs to shift to e-commerce from traditional ways of trading, a few questions will need to be asked. The analysis will include, how successful is the change compared to the current ways of doing the activity, and what are the trend taking place. Also comparison has to be made in relation to other plays. If the analysis shows that the project if implemented will be successful then it is bound to get acknowledgement from the workers than if when the analysis shows that it may fail. Despite the fact that the, truth of the matter may be different. BAT Company has indeed utilized such dimensions of managing change and that is why it has excelled in its performance.

The Structure Group should note that, for its workforce to embrace change, they will be more comfortable with figure showing how work will be made easier and the reduction in efforts that will occur. The change that will have to occur in improving customer service and quality has to be analyzed and compared. It is also important to show, the impact it will have on the work force pertaining their status, job description and employment duties. The barriers of success also have to be examined, even if the proposed change is good technical and financial to the top management, yet, it brings complication to the people at work it will be rejected.

It is evident from the BAT case study that people need to feel that they are part of a process; thus from my observation, in bringing change to the people they must be consulted and their suggestions sought. Initiating any change ensures that it agrees with them, and that they understand the need of having the change; the people also need to choose how they will manage the change and they should be involved in planning and also implementing the change.

Nevertheless, both companies should note that it is not always true that a person need to have an analysis before shifting their think. Some changes are very simple and a person can simply embrace the change by seeing the truth. For instance, a situation whereby a person has to change from one software version to another upgraded version. In the same line some changes occur because a product as become absolute due to change in technology. These are obvious changes that do not require analysis but truth of the matter. People also like experimenting with new devices and idea. Through out history, human beings have made a lot of innovations because of experiments, it is against this backdrop that the will be willing to try new changes even though they may be complicated and unpredictable.

Another weak point of this view is that it limits change to be quantitative in all aspects some changes requires attitudes and can not be measured but can only be felt, for example attitude change will require the will of a person than the figure on the table. If a staff is upset by the policies of a and ethical conduct of his company ,and has a wrong attitude towards an organization, the change that will be require has to come from his conscience and this requires being satisfied in the mind than seeing the figure (Palmer and Akin, 2006).

Workforce Diversity in BAT Company and the Structure Group, UK

Workforce diversity is the spread of human labour across the entire globe irrespective of their area of specialization and skills entailed. Many companies like BAT Company has many different branches worldwide and they have employed their employees from this diverse countries or states. This means that their employees are spread internationally and there is a diverse of human labour or workforce. Globalization is extending of business activities and processes internationally or in different countries. Many companies have gone international by establishing branches in different countries increasingly ignoring the national boundaries and hence enabling workforce diversification. Workers who come from different countries and nations work together as one to achieve the organizations goals. The existence of the globalization concept have been realized when diverse patterns in workforce are put into consideration. BAT Company has employed people from the host countries like in Africa where we find that many of the workers are Africans.

Establishment of financial systems and standardization of common exchange systems has greatly supported the workforce diversification because employees can be paid their salaries easily. Good infrastructure and taxation rates have attracted many companies to invest in foreign countries. On the other hand The structure Group has relied heavily on local people in the UK. Cheap local labour can also be made available hence increasing the spread of human workforce globally to the investor companies. John Tomlinson in globalization asserts that companies have opted invest and operate in international standards so that to change the pattern of business and structure (Clegg, Kornberger, Pitsis, 2005).

Conclusion

For change to be effective the parties concerned have to be consulted and fell as part of the change rather than not being consulted as they will fell as being forced to the change. Resistance in change is normally caused by conditioning or historically felling. Change should be gradually and should be supported by if possible facts figure and statistics to back the change. It is true that people are more willing to change if they are fed with prove of figures and analysis as something new brings anxiety and human being fear change thus they need to be convinced by the analysis. Though, this is not true to every situation as some changes require change of mind which seeks conviction in truth than figures on paper.

Innovative corporate management approaches leads to organizational effectiveness for any organization. Organizational effectiveness involves number of activities including; recruiting competent, motivated and qualified employees, good communication system in the organization, unambiguous policies, decisions and regulations, a conducive environment for working, good management, ability to adapt to any changes, an efficient board of directors and building a viable and strong culture and mission among others in order to achieve good results. International Business management practice is the greatest concept that must be incorporated in corporate management (Debra and Perry, 1997).

References

  1. Barnett, T., Bass, K., Brown, F. & Hebert, J. (1998): Ethical Ideology and the Ethical Judgments of Marketing Professionals: Journal of Business Ethics
  2. Debra, J. & Perry, J. (1997):- Strategic Human Resource Management: Public Personnel Management; New York, Longman publishers
  3. John, W. and Keith, D. (1997): Organizational Behaviour- Human Behaviour at Work. 10th Edition, New York, McGraw-Hill,
  4. Palmer, I and Akin, G. (2006): Managing organizational change; a multiple perspectives approach, McGraw- Hill Irwin
  5. Clegg, S., Kornberger, M., Pitsis, T. (2005): Managing and Organizations: An Introduction to Theory and Practice: Sage Publications, London,
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