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Glossary of Terms for Business Management Units 3 & 4


Purchase of an organisation by another organisation

analytical skills

The ability to identify relevant issues, recognize their importance, understand the relationships between them, and perceive the underlying causes of a situation


Evaluation of the performance of an employee against pre-set tasks

assembly line

Mechanical system in a factory whereby an article is conveyed through sites at which successive operations are performed on it


Anything of material value or usefulness

Australian Industrial Relations Commission AIRC

4 word term + initials - commission operated under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 to facilitate agreement on wages and conditions

Australian Workplace Agreement

3 word term - an agreement made directly between an employer and employee covering working conditions and remuneration


Management style where all decision making is centralised (made by the manager), there is little delegation and communication is one-way


An agreement which sets out minimum terms and conditions of employment relating to an industry


Type of production of a limited number of identical products. Every item in the batch is completed at each stage before they all pass on to the next stage of production


A level of quality or achievement used as a standard of comparison for others


Complex hierarchical management structure based on clear division of labour, downward communication, centralised decision-making line management and narrow span of control


Volume or potential ability to produce a certain amount of product


Funds invested in a business which form one of the main inputs for the production process


Type of decision-making where management make the decisions and pass on directions to those below

Centralised system of employee relations

5 word term - where awards (pay and working conditions) were determined by a central body relating to an industry


Enterprise bargaining agreement which results from negotiations between an employer and union and is registered and ratified by the AIRC


Any alteration to an organisation and/or its work environment

Chief Executive Officer

3 word term - the most senior management position in the organisation

code of conduct

3 word term - generally short and specific rules and guidelines laying out specific do's and don'ts - about unacceptable conduct

collective bargaining

The process by which wages hours, rules and working conditions are negotiated and agreed upon by a union with an employer for all the employees collectively


A process of creating and exchanging information between people that produces the required response

computer aided design

A computer program that facilitates the creation and modificationof product design


Habitual absence from work


Any of various forms of mediation whereby disputes may be settled short of arbitration

corporate culture

The set of values, norm, and beliefs that influence the behavior of everyone in the organization

corporate social responsibility

The obligation of organization management to make decisions and take actions that will enhance the welfare and interests of society as well as the organization


Someone who pays for goods or services

customer satisfaction

The extent to which a product's perceived performance matches a buyer's expectations

debt to equity ratio

Comparison of level of debt to owner's equity

decision making

The process of evaluating alternatives and making choices among them. Usually involves a six step approach


Authorizing subordinates to make certain decisions

driving forces

Those forces affecting a situation that are pushing in a particular direction and are supporting the goal or proposed change

economies of scale

The situation in which companies can reduce their production costs if they can purchase raw materials in bulk; the average cost of goods goes down as production levels increase


Using resources in such a way as to maximize the production of goods and services


The degree to which the organization achieves a stated goal


People who work for someone else.

employee relations

The relationship between employees and employers encompassing all aspects of their working lives including wages and conditions

employment cycle

The entire process from human resource planning to termination of the employment contract


The delegation of power and authority to subordinates

enterprise bargaining

This refers to negotiations between employers and employees (or their representatives) about pay and work conditions at the level of the individual firm.

equal employment opportunity

The absence of employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.


A set of moral principles that an organisation needs to follow

facility layout

The physical layout of a work environment, eg factory, shop, office

fixed position layout

The product remains in a fixed position with the required resources take to the product

flexible work practices

Flexible practices that allow employees to balance work and family responsibilities

force field analysis

The process of determining which forces drive and which resist a proposed change

front-line manager

Lowest level of managers in the hierarchy. Responsible for the work of operating employees only and does not supervise other managers

functional structure

A form of traditional organisational structure which is based on the functions performed, eg finance, marketing ...

Goal Setting Theory

A process theory of motivation that focuses on the process of setting and attaining goals

Government business enterprise GBE

Businesses which are government owned and operated.

Gross Domestic Product GDP

The dollar amount of all final goods and services produced within a country's borders in a year.

Human resource management HRM

The management of a wide rand of responsibilities relating to the human (employees) function within a business, in order to increase both the employees' and organisational efficiency


The process of introducing new workers to their place of work, their job role, their colleagues, supervisors, management and corporate culture


Resources such as raw materials, labour, plant, equipment, capital information used in any organisatinal production system

internal environment

Activities, functions and pressures which occur within an organisation over which they have control

interpersonal skills

Skills used by a manager when dealing with people on a personal basis such as being able to lead, motivate, communicate, manage conflict and build team rapport


The holding or storage of raw materials, component parts, work in progress and finished goods

inventory control

System of overseeing the contents of an inventory; usually involves maintaining correct levels of stock as well as averting stock loss and theft

job analysis

Systematic process of gathering information relating to a job being performed

job description

A written description of a job's title, duties and responsibilities

job rotation

Workers are moved between different jobs to increase variety of work and to create a flexible workforce

job satisfaction

The degree to which employees have positive attitudes about teir jobs

Just in Time JIT

An inventory management system (usually a software program such as MYOB) which aims to avoid holding any stocks. Supplies arrive just as needed for production.

Key Performance Indicators KPIs

A set of measures that helps a company determine if it is reaching its performance and operational objectives. Indicators can be financial or non-financial

Laissez-faire management style

A leadership style which leaves the majority of decision making and running the business operation to the employees


Defined as one's ability to get others to willingly follow

log of claims

List of demands put forward by employees (union) to the employers relating to pay and working conditions. The employer will respond with its own counter log of claims

low-risk tatics for change

Participative approach to implementation of change, use of communication, empowerment, work groups and support for those who are impacted

macro environment

Broad operating conditions in which an organisation operates and over which it has no control


The process of planning organising, leading and controlling the work of subordinates to achieve organisational goals. Getting work done through other people.

market share

Percentage or share of the market held by and organisation based on sales revenue

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Theory of motivation that people are motivated to meet five types of needs, which can be ranked in a hierarchy

Master Production Schedule MPS

Sets out what is to be produced and when it is to be produced

Materials Requirement Planning MRP

Itemised list of all materials required to meet production needs

matrix structure

A structure that places managers and employees into project teams that cut across functional or departmental lines and requires them to report to both functional and task management


An agreement between two or more organisations to join together to form one united business

mission statement

A global statement that reflects an organisation's reason for being or purpose and the way it will be managed


The desire or drive to work well. Process of ensuring that there is continuing commitment to a common set of goals or a single goal


Equipping employees with a variety of job skills to increase their flexibility


The process by which one party seeks to obtain something it wants from another party eg employee seeking pay increase from employer

not-for-profit organisation

An organisation formed with the purpose of assisting in the areas such as health provision, social welfare or community infrastructure


Targets or outcomes that an organisation aims to achieve

occupational health and safety

Providing a safe and healthy work environment

operational planning

Detailed short-term planning undertaken by an organisation

operations management

Management of resources to achieve efficient output of goods or services


Process of using another business to undertake some task or work process

participative management style

Management style (democratic) which shares decision making as a team with management and staff working together

performance appraisal

Determining how well employees have performed their jobs, providing feedback to employees and establishing plans to improve performance

persuasive management style

Managers make the decisions then persuade workers of the benefits of those decisions

picket line

Industrial action involving workers physically demonstrating outside work premises, often preventing deliveries and labour entering the work site


Planning is a formalised procedure to produce a set of integrated systems of decisions


Written statement of the processes and procedures, rules and regulations

private company

A company where the shareholding is limited (small) with shares being sold privately. Often run as a family business. Has the words 'proprietory limited' at the end of the company name


Using initiative to gain an opportunity, acting in anticipation

problem solving

The systematic approach to finding and implementing a course of action to correct and unsatisfactory situation

process layout

Production layout where pieces of equipment with like function are grouped together


End result of production process. Can be either a good or a service

product layout

Equipment is used for a single purpose along a production flow line. the product progresses along the line in a continuous flow. Suitable for mass production

Transformantion process

The process of transforming resource inputs into finished goods and services


A measure of the functioning and efficiency of a production system. The level of output obtained from a set level of input.


The amount remaining after deducting the operating expenses of running a business from the revenue received by the business


An indicator or measure of performance based on profit, used to evaluate the ongoing success of a business

public company

An incorporated business (company) which has the leagal right to offer shares for sale to the public. Shares are listed on the stockmarket.

public sector

That part of the economy operated by the government


The degree of excellence in a good or service and its ability to satisfy the customer

quality assurance

A system established to ensure that predetermined quality standards are achieved

quality control

Process of checking the quality standards of work done or quality of raw materials or component parts


The process of finding the best qualified pool of applicants


An employee is redundant when there is no longer sufficient work for the worker to perform


The amount a person is compensated (paid) for performing work tasks (job). It can take the form of cash and/or fringe benefits.

research and development

Scientific research and technical development of new products and/or processes


Inputs used in production: land, natural resources, labour, entrepreneurial skills, capital and technology

restraining forces

Forces acting to restrain or decrease the driving forces for change. these may include staff resistance, cost, poor maintenance of equipment


Voluntary termination where an employee decides to leave the paid work force.


The expression used to describe what occurs to an employee whose employment is terminated by reason of his or her job becoming redundant.


The use of computer-controlled Robots to perform manual tasks, especially on an assembly line, replacing functions previously performed by human labour


An agreed amount of money paid to employees for their labour during a year. Expressed as an amount per annum.


Process undertaken by an organisation to decide whether to make a job offer to a candidate.

self actualisation

The sense of self-fulfillment or highest level of human needs - Maslow's hierarchy of needs

senior management

The level of management involved in the strategic planning and decision making of an organisation.


The ability to do something well, gained through training and experience

social responsibility

Accountability of a business towards its stakeholders. the idea that businesses should contribute to the welfare of their communities

staff turnover

Number of employees leaving an organisation in a given period of time.


Individual or group that has a direct or vested interest in the activities of an organiation.


Physical counting of stock (inventory)

stop work meeting

Industrial action involving employees meeting during working hours and thus stopping work.

strategic planning

Long-term (2 to 5 years) planning undertaken by senior management to achieve corporate objectives.


Long-term plan of ACTION which aims to achieve a specific objective.


The deliberate withdrawal of labour from the production process.


Supplies the inputs (resources) required for the production process.

SWOT analysis

An assessment of the internal Strengths ans Weaknesses and the external Opportunities and Threats for an organisation in a given situation.

tactical planning

Planning undertaken by middle-level management to assist in implementing strategic decisions. It's time frame is medium term (1 to 2) years.


The means by which an organisation becomes larger by purchasing a controlling share (at least 50.1%) in another business.


When a group works together to complete a task. It requires workers to be multi-skilled and allows for worker empowerment.


Ending the employment relationship.

time management

The efficient utilisation of work time which involves setting and prioritising tasks, allocating time and avoiding time-wasting activities. It is a skill.

total quality managment

Concept whereby all staff in an organisation are responsible for quality. Utilises teams to drive continuous improvement and incorporates quality control and quality assurance.

Trade union

An organisation formed to represent and protect the rights of workers in a particular industry.


The process of providing an employee with the knowledge of specific skills needed to do a job.


The process involved in converting inputs into outputs.

triple bottom-line

Where an organisation reports on the social outcomes and environmental impacts of its activities, as well as its financial prformance.

unfair dismissal

Dismissal of staff that does not follow agreed legal procedures. Employees may seek to be compensated or reinstated.

union collective agreement

A written agreement made between an employer(s) and a union(s), which sets out the terms and conditions of employment. An agreement may cover businesses run by more than one employer.

values statement

A statement which outlines what the organisation sees as its corporate values, eg integrity, honesty, reponsibility ..

vision statement

A statement that outlines the aspirations of the organisation (aims for the future).

voluntary termination

When an employee decides to leave an organisation either by resigning to go to another position, or retirement from the paid work force.


The monetary reward for labour, paid on a weekly basis, calculated by multiplying the hourly rate with the number of hours worked for the period.

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