Unit 4 - People in Business


1. Business Organisation

In this section students will investigate how businesses organise their staff and define their job roles.
They will also investigate the working arrangements of staff at different levels of hierarchy within businesses
and how these meet the needs of the business.

1.1 Investigating Organisational Structures

  • interpreting organisation charts
  • how communication and decision-making takes place within organisations.
Students should know how to identify the levels of hierarchy and chain of command using an organisation chart.

Students should understand that communication and decision-making do not necessarily occur in ways indicated by organisation charts, eg unofficial channels of communication and specially convened decision-making groups.

1.2 Investigating Job Roles

  • the use of job descriptions
  • defining job roles.


Students should understand the use of job descriptions to define job roles and provide information about them, ie job title, accountability, duties and responsibilities, hours of work and rates of pay.

Students should be able to identify the key job roles in medium to large sized businesses, including: managers, supervisors and employees.

Students should investigate the following aspects of job roles: key responsibilities, tasks or activities, job security, decision-making and problem-solving, skills, qualifications and personal qualities required.

1.3 Investigating Working Arrangements

  • the use of employment contracts
  • the importance of flexible working

Students should be familiar with the contents of employment contracts, including: permanency, hours of work, place(s) of work, pay and benefits.

Students should be aware of the importance of flexible working arrangements and the reasons why they sometimes need to be altered, eg to increase productivity or improve the quality of products. Students should be able to explain how these changes can affect the welfare and morale of employees.

2. Employee Motivation

In this section students will investigate the factors motivating employees. The study of motivation should
be practical and focus on factors affecting motivation and the actual methods of motivation used by

2.1 Effective Working Relationships

  • impact of legislation
  • importance of employer expectations
  • importance of employee expectations.


Students should be aware of the impact of legislation on effective working relationships, such as: equal pay, discrimination linked to disability, gender and race, employment rights, working hours and health and safety.

Students should understand the importance of employer expectations, such as: employees meeting terms of their contracts, co-operation of employees in meeting the objectives of the business and employees following health and safety regulations.

Students should understand the importance of employee expectations, such as: being paid according to their contract, being provided with a safe working environment, receiving appropriate training and being permitted to join trade unions or staff associations.

2.2 Motivating Staff

  • factors affecting motivation
  • methods of motivating employees
  • importance of appraisal and training.


Students should be aware of the varied factors that motivate employees such as: positive appraisal, suitable working conditions, acceptable levels of pay and appropriate training.

Students should understand that the relative importance of motivational factors will vary for each employee.

Students should understand how businesses use appraisal/performance review and training, including on the job training (eg job shadowing, rotation and mentoring) and off the job training (eg external courses and placements).

Knowledge of specific motivational theories (such as Maslow) is not required.
3. Attributes of Employees

In this section students will explore their own skills and personality traits, considering how these indicate
their suitability for particular types of occupations.

3.1 Understanding Personal Skills Profiles

  • the range of personal skills
  • producing a personal skills profile
  • the importance of personal skills.
Students should be aware of the range of skills that individuals have to offer potential employers, such as: team working, entrepreneurial skills, self confidence, motivation, communication skills, supervisory skills.

Students should be able to explain how these skills can be identified through the use of psychometric tests and the extent to which businesses use these in their recruitment process.

3.2 Understanding Personality Tests

  • the importance of personality tests
  • relevance for career planning.
Students should be able to describe how personality tests are used to identify and describe personality traits. They should be aware of the importance of identifying the skills and personality traits of individuals to establish the right type of occupation.


This unit will be assessed by means of a controlled assessment. The work must be the student's own individual response produced under controlled conditions.

Task Setting

This unit will be assessed on a portfolio of evidence, based on the student's own research of a business, which must investigate:

A  how organising staff and defining their job roles contribute to the success of the business

B  the key factors motivating a manager, supervisor and employee within the business

C  whether the business might be suitable to you as a future place of employment, taking into account your own skills and personality traits.

Students' portfolios must include evidence of materials used to make at least one presentation on the suitability of the business as a future place of employment.