Business Management & Administration - Main Topics of Study

The Organisational Background to Business Administration

The Management Framework to Business Administration

  • What are business administration and management?
  • The board of directors
  • Functions within an organisation
  • The ‘systems’ approach to organisation
  • Planning-control feedback cycles

Characteristic Features of Organisations

  • The structure of organisations and the need for authority
  • The features of bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic organisations
  • Traditional principles and types of organisation
  • More about systems and subsystems

The Structure of Business Enterprises

  • The pattern of organisations
  • Business types including; sole-trader enterprises, partnerships, limited partnerships, the limited liability company, non-profit-making units (clubs and societies), public enterprises
  • Public sector organisations; autonomous public corporations, nationalised industries, local government institutions, central government departments

Functions within Organisations

The Production Function

  • The production process and types of production
  • Site selection and factory planning
  • Plant and equipment
  • Materials and materials handling
  • Production administration
  • Costing aspects of production
  • Work study
  • Maintenance and production
  • CAD, CAM and CIM

The Purchasing Function

  • The nature of purchasing and the role of the purchasing officer
  • Purchasing department procedures, inventory control, stores control and economic order quantity

The Research and Development Function

  • The functions of the research and development department
  • Basic research
  • Problem-based research
  • Ideas generation
  • Applied research and development
  • Patents, trade marks and service marks
  • Research and development in the business organisation

The Marketing Function

  • Introduction to marketing and the marketing philosophy
  • Market analysis and research
  • Promotion, publicity and public relations
  • Pricing policy
  • Credit control
  • Sales administration
  • Transport and distribution (logistics)
  • Export marketing

Personnel Department

  • The need for staff
  • The functions of the personnel department and a personnel policy
  • Employee records
  • Promotion, transfer, termination and dismissal
  • Industrial relations practice
  • The remuneration of staff

The Administrative Officer’s Role

Office Administration

  • The role of the administrative officer
  • Facilities management – the ‘new-look’ office administrator
  • The office and its functions
  • The clerical function, business correspondence, mail inwards, mail outwards, systems for producing business correspondence
  • Meetings, conferences, functions and delegation

Other Responsibilities of the Administrative Officer

  • The organisation and methods department
  • Security aspects of business
  • Risk management
  • The environment of organisations
  • What is a claimant?
  • Assessing the impact of claimants


Recommended Reading

Main Text:
Business Management & Administration – G Whitehead & G Whitehall (Institute of Commercial Management)

Alternative Texts and Further Reading:

Modern Business Administration – R C Appleby (Pitman)


The Structure of Business – M Buckley (Pitman)