Pearson: Organizational Structure

Abstract

This paper discusses the organizational structure of Pearson including a company overview, background, and history as well as an analysis of the organizational structure. The organizational structure assessment of Pearson is also discussed. Further, the paper will analyze the current leadership and management structure and the necessary suggest changes to be implemented.

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The complexity and uniqueness of business operations have forced companies to adopt different organizational structures. Individual companies utilize organizational structures which are tailored to suit their operational and strategic initiatives. Organizational management on the other hand employs a structure that directs the company at meeting both the short-term and long-term company objectives without actually compromising quality. This research paper will extensively investigate and discuss the organizational structure of Pearson international company, illustrating the company background, the organizational structure assessment, and analysis.

Company Background

According to the company’s website, Pearson was established in 1844 as a construction company based in London. (Pearson, June 3, 2010). The company progressed over the years (1844-1927) under the leadership of the company’s pioneer, Weetman Pearson. To date, the company has changed its initial objectives and its line of business by currently offering publishing services to corporations. In addition, the company has experienced significant growth and expansion through the years the company has been in operation.

In 1921 Pearson acquired Westminster Press to pioneer its publishing services and since then, additional acquisitions and mergers with main publishing houses have been established. For example, in 2005, Pearson acquired AGS Publishing Company for an estimated value of 270 million dollars. Research shows that Pearson has established branches in China by acquiring Wall Street English.

Organizational Structure Analysis

Pearson’s Location, Size and Type of organization

Pearson Inc. is a multinational company having branches in major cities in the world including Africa, Asia, and even Australia where the company has established itself as an important market leader in the publishing industry. Pearson Company headquarters are based in London with major sub headquarters in New York City. Established as a private company and all key decisions made by the elected board of directors, the company has a profit-making formation where all the activities and company operations are directed at minimizing costs, increasing sales, improving market share, and enhancing customer loyalty which leads to optimal profit maximization.

Pearson publishing company employs a matrix form of organizational structure whereby a mix between functional and product structure exists. According to Robbins and Judge (2007, pp. 17-23), a matrix structure utilizes the advantages of functions and product control departments. This author argues that a matrix organizational structure is more effective when used by multinational companies like Pearson Incorporation. However, the matrix structure has a major drawback in that it is difficult for Pearson employees to actually perform their duties while being supervised by more than one manager who may belong to a different department. (Timothy and Kloppenborg, 2008, pp 34-41).

Primary Stakeholders and Clients

Pearson Company is owned mainly by the employees who work for that company. It is essential to note that when half of the shareholding is dedicated to company employees, such employees have a sense of belonging and they work tirelessly to achieve maximum profits. For example, a sole proprietor who is directly affected by the performance of the company will devote his time and energy to improving the business operations. Pearson targets college students and instructors by providing studying materials and consumer intelligence data. Financial publications are done when the performance analysis of a company is investigated and the finding sold to any interested rival company.

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According to forbes.com, Pearson Company is among the top suppliers and publishers of study material in the world since the company has a representative in more than fifty countries. Alliances with other publishing companies such as Prentice Hall have enabled the company to remain a market leader in the publishing industry. When an organization acts as the market leader, it dictates the market prices, and all the other companies in the same industry act as followers with less influence on the market conditions. The benefits of a monopoly are enjoyed by market leaders (William, 2008, pp 71)

Products offered by Pearson Company

Since the company specializes in producing and offering media-related services, educational materials, and newspapers such as financial times. Pearson Company offers corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to the established areas. In addition, the board of directors chooses where free study materials are offered to needy students through the social responsibility program.

Employee and Management

Currently, Pearson international company employs more than 36,500 employees in all its main branches (Pearson, 3rd June 3, 2010). The elected chairman is the most senior employee of Pearson company inc. while both the executive directors and non-executive directors form the board of directors who must be present during corporate meetings. According to Pearson’s website, the executive directors are involved with the daily operations of the company and are always available to solve any issue affecting the company operations. Conflicting interests are sorted out by the directors during board meetings and advice is given to those employees who focus on individual goals without fulfilling the company objectives.

Leadership Structure

Pearson’s leadership structure is broken down into various sections including the North America Education section which entails publishing companies in Canada and all other major cities in the world. Financial Times is another section that specializes in providing and publishing financial information for major companies. Penguin Group is another essential section that publishes both educational and non-educational books.

Investigations show that the penguin Group publishes more books than any other publishing company in the world. All of these major divisions have their unique management style and organize their operations independently. For instance, each division has individual recruitment programs with different policies and procedures. In addition to these elements, each group division is under the management of the divisional presidents who are included during a corporate meeting.

Mission and Vision Statements

A Mission statement describes the purpose of the organization. According to Jeffrey and Abrahams (1999 pp13-14) a mission statement should clearly show the goals and objectives of the company. On the other hand, vision statements describe the future goals of an organization. Vision statements usually focus on long-term goals and objectives. Whetten (1999, pp 33). According to the company’s website, (Pearson, 2010) Pearson’s mission statement involves providing education in the broadest sense of the word. Pearson (2010) notes that being wise and creative in all the company’s undertakings are key elements in achieving this mission.

Pearson’s mission statement implies that due to the rapid changes in consumer behavior, the company has established innovative, effective, and modern ways in dealing with this challenge. The vision statement of Pearson Company focuses on being the leading supplier of educational materials in the world and the employees believe that environmental conservation is a virtue that cannot be ignored. Consequently, Pearson aims at achieving global recognition by offering a learning opportunity to the world population (superpages, 2010).

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Organizational Structure Assessment

Organizational structure assessment analyzes whether the company’s current leadership strategies are suitable in championing the attainment of the overall company objectives in addition to analyzing those components which make up Pearson’s organizational structure. Pearson’s strategic Apex is headed by the current chairman, Glen Moreno, while the operation core is headed by the chief executive Marjorie Scandino with support staff for the main Pearson Branches (North American group, penguin group, and the financial times) (Pearson, 2010). It is paramount that the organization adopts management styles that are focused on improving efficiency and maximizing profits.

Current Leadership and Management Structure

The current leadership at Pearson Company is suitable for this kind of organizational structure. Pearson may not use a single leadership strategy like the functional structure where employees are answerable to those managers who work in their department because of the complexity of the company operations. Consequently, Pearson’s management structure fits well with its expansion policies. For instance, in 2009, the company has experienced significant growth by buying other publishing companies. The Board of directors’ chairman is the most senior employee who works closely with the department’s chief executive officers. The chain of command follows the traditional bottom-up approach (Pearson, 2010).

Mission and vision statement alignment

A company’s mission and vision statements must align with the goals and objectives of the company (Robbins & Judge 2007 pp23). In this case, Pearson’s mission statement of providing education in the broadest sense of the word matches with the current achievements of the company such as attaining global brand recognition. Pearson Company is widely respected for publishing high-quality educational materials worldwide. The company’s vision is also being achieved by valuing the employees and providing effective and creative strategies during normal business operations. For example, Pearson’s policy on employing mature employees implies a nondiscriminatory recruitment process.

Monitoring Mechanisms

Companies use different monitoring techniques to assess and control both the mechanical and human resources. Monitoring mechanisms are usually installed to implement the set down rules and procedures in the company (William, 2008 pp 21-23). Pearson Company uses a Process improvement mechanism whereby employees are supervised by their immediate supervisors and the chain of command is strictly followed as this ensures smooth running of the company.

Emotional Intelligence Processes

According to Bradberry et al (2009, pp.47-56), emotional intelligence analyses the internal feelings of an individual. The ability to manage stress levels is a key to increasing the productivity of employees. Individual employee cultural orientation must be taken into consideration when implementing the intelligence processes.

Motivational Processes and Theories

Pearson’s employees are motivated by offering promising rewards to employees with excellent performances. By providing health and safety measures and insurance cover to employees, the company motivates its employees hence increasing their productivity. In addition, the company provides paid holidays for its employees which enabled the company to win an award for being the best employer for mature employees.

Learning Processes

Pearson’s training methods are one of the best in the industry. The availability of online training programs helps mature employees to get adequate training. These online training programs usually have real-time support where employees’ queries can reply immediately.

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Suggested Changes

The company should improve on the matrix organizational structure and implement a more direct and flexible recruitment program whereby, both the young and mature employees are given equal employment opportunities. This is based on the fact that the young generation has fresh and innovative ideas. Pearson Company should embrace the advancement in technology and utilize the capabilities of the World Wide Web through embedding E-Commerce functionalities on the company website (www.pearson.com). The e-commerce strategy might increase Pearson’s sales thereby increasing the Company’s profitability.

Conclusion

As analyzed from the above research, companies should adopt an organizational structure that will enable them to achieve their long-term objectives without compromising their short-term goals. Likewise, a mix of different organizational structures may yield the desired results. In this regard, it’s imperative to note that, an effective monitoring mechanism should be implemented to ensure optimal performance which leads to ultimate profitability.

Reference list

Bradberry, Travis, Greaves, Jean. (2009). Emotional intelligence (pp 47-56). San Francisco: Publishers Group West.

Jeffrey, Abrahams. (1999). Three hundred and one corporate mission statements from America’s top companies (pp13-14). New York: Ten Speed Press.

Robbins, and Judge, T. (2007). Organizational Behavior (pp 17-23).London: Pearson Education Inc.

Timothy, J. (2008). Contemporary Project Management (pp 58-68). Florence: Cengage Learning.

Whetten (1999). Developing Management Skills (pp16-23 New York: Pearson Education.

William, p. (2008). Business (pp 21-23). New York}: Cengage learning.

Organizational structure of Pearson. Web.

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