Topic outline

  • General


    In this unit you will work as a management consultant for a regional newspaper company named the The Daily Observer. The company has been recently been bought by a number of american investors who have big expansion plans. The investors rarely visit the company and would like to find out more about how it operates on a daily basis. Before developing future plans they have requested that a detailed business analysis is carried out along with a full examination of the businesses health and safety procedures. The investors would also like to know about any recommendations you might have for improving the business.


    Learning Objectives

    You will learn:

    • Why businesses have aims and objectives
    • How businesses are organised
    • About┬áhealth and safety legislation
    • About health problems from the use of computers and other equipment
    • How businesses make effective use of their resources
    • The different kinds of working environment┬á┬á


    Please ensure you have set up a folder in your home area named The Daily Observer

    Key words

    Business Aim What the business wants to do in the long term Business Objective

    Practical targets which work towards achieving the aims

    Chain of command The path decisions and communications have to go through in a business hierachy

    Cellular office 

    A traditional style of office layout. The office is divided into smaller rooms with doors


    A way of designing office equipment and furniture so it's comfortable to use

    Flexible working

    Working variable hours. Workers have a set number of hours per day or week.

    Health and Safety at Work Act

    The act defines the duties of employers and employees in the workplace 


    The levels in a business's organisational structure

    Horizontal Communication

    Communication along the same level of a business hierachy

    Hot Desking 

    When office workstations are not alloctaed to a particular person


    Method of providing incentives to people resulting in people working harder and more efficiently

    Open plan office 

    The office space is one room partitioned into smaller offices usually using screens

    Organisation Chart

    A diagram that shows the structure of an organisation/business

    Repetitive Strain Injury

    Aches, pains, muscle/tendon damage from the overuse of keyboard or mouse


    The equipment, tools, and people needed to run a business, and provide services and products to the customer

    Span of Control

    The number of employees directly under one manager


    Use of telecommunications so workers don't have to be in an office to do their work

    Vertical Communication 

    Communication up and down the levels of a business hierachy e.g a message from a manager to and operative

    These are just a small number of keywords that are covered in this unit. Completing the tasks will introduce you to many others.

  • Topic 1

    Aims and Objectives of a Business

    All businesses have aims and objectives which they work towards achieving such as to increase sales, or to make a profit. In this task you will create a set of aims and objectives that will hopefully help with the development of future plans. You will present your aims and objectives as a computerised table.

    Aims and Objectives

    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Describe the differences between┬áaims and objectives
    • Formulate┬áaims and objectives for a business┬á
    • Discuss why businesses need aims and objectives
    • Match aims with objectives
  • Topic 2

    Business Organisation 

    Businesses organise themselves in different ways to get the most out of their resources and to meet their objectives. The Daily Observer has five departments each concentrating on different aspects of the business. In this task you will consider the role of each department and how they fit into the overall structure of the business. You will produce an organisation chart and explain what it shows.


    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Describe┬áthe ways in which businesses are organised
    • Create an organisation chart┬á
    • Explain the pros and cons of different business structures
    • Explain┬áthe roles different people and departments play within┬áa business
    • Explain how the hierarchy, span of control and chain of command┬á can affect communication

  • Topic 3

    Health and Safety: The Health and Safety At Work Act

    Health and Safety considerations are essential, and are a legal obligation. The Daily Observer is fully aware that they must follow the Health and Safety At Work Act. In this task you will identify potential hazards, complete research the Health and Safety At Work Act, and complete a quiz to identify who is responsible for various health and safety issues. The completion of these tasks will hopefully reassurance the investors.

    health and safety

    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Identify potential hazards and explain why they are dangerous
    • Explain the importance of health and safety in the workplace
    • Outline the purpose of the Health and Safety At Work Act
    • Describe the responsibilities of both employees and employers

  • Topic 4

    Health and Safety: The Impact of ICT, Health Problems and Working Conditions

    Computers are used by a large number of employees in the business. Some employees have recently been complaining about feeling unwell after using computers for a long period of time. In this task you will research the health problems that can be caused with the use of computers and how to prevent these risks. To reassurance the investors that you are doing everything possible to reduce the number of absenses you will produce a poster advising what employees should do in order to prevent the health risks associated with the use of computers.


    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Identify possible problems the use of computers can cause
    • Describe┬áhow design and ergonomics┬ácan influence working conditions
    • Discuss┬áthe employers and employees responsibilities to preventing health risks

  • Topic 5

    The Effective Use of Resources

    Resources are needed by a business in order to produce products or provide services to the customer. In this task you will identify the resources required to keep the newspaper company operational. You will create a spreadsheet model to help analysis the costs of the resources and find out if they are being used efficiently. This will hopefully help keep the business profitable and the investors happy.


    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Identify resources required by a business
    • Discuss effective uses of resources
    • Use┬áMIN, MAX and AVERAGE┬áfunctions in a spreadsheet model

  • Topic 6

    Motivating Staff 

    The Daily Observer needs to ensure that all their staff are working at their full potential. In some instances staff have been found sitting and chatting to other colleagues rather than working. In this task you will research and recommend different ways in which to motivate staff. You will present your findings in a formal report for the investors to read.


    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Explain┬áwhat is meant by motivation
    • Describe┬ádifferent methods┬áfor motivating staff┬á
    • Recommend solutions for motivating staff
    • Create a report following a set format

  • Topic 7

    Office Organisation 

    Staff have been complaining that the current office layout is preventing good communication. They are hoping that the investors will redesign the office, making it into a better environment in which to work. In this task you will design a new office layout and present your designs to the investors explaining your reasons for choice.

     office layout

    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Describe┬ádifferent kinds of working environment
    • Outline┬áthe advantages and disadvantages of different types of office layout
    • Explain┬ámodern working practices including hot desking, tele working and flexible working

  • Topic 8

    Creating a Podcast

    In this task you produce a podcast which you will be able to use for revision purposes. You will create a podcast on two of the following topics:

    • Business organisation
    • Aims and objectives
    • Health and Safety at Work Act
    • Common health problems associated with the use of computers
    • Motivation at work
    • Office layout

    This task will allow you to revisit a particular topic and clarify your understanding, but also present the content in a different format which you may find helpful for revision.

    mp3 player

    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Consolidate knowledge on a particular topic
    • Identify key points from the chosen topic to write a script
    • Create a podcast using sound recording software
    • Convert your recording into an mp3 file
    • Reflect on your own learning methods and styles

  • Topic 9

    End of Unit Assessment

    This assessment has been designed to test what you have learnt throughout the unit and comprises of practical and theory based questions. The assessment is 50 minutes in length and must be completed under controlled conditions. All evidence must be submitted electronically for marking.


    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Assess your learning throughout this unit
    • Critically reflect on the unit

  • Topic 10

    Submission of Work

    In this task you will submit all the work you have completed during this unit for marking. You need to take this opportunity to ensure all your work is complete, and presented in a business format. You will also complete an end of unit evaluation, reflecting on the tasks you have completed and suggesting any areas for future improvement.


    By the end of this task you will be able to:

    • Cross reference your project work with the checklist
    • Finalise the presentation of your project work
    • Critically reflect on the unit