A Case Study On The Virgin Groups Management Structure

Virgin is made up of over 200 companies and employs approximately 50,000 people worldwide. It was originally set up as a mail-order record business by Sir Richard Branson. Conceived in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Group has gone on to grow in business sectors ranging from mobile communications, to transportation, travel, financial services, leisure, music, holidays, publishing and retailing. In 2006 Virgin’s revenues from around the world exceeded £10 billion.
Virgin has a unique management structure which does not specifically adhere to one specific model of management, however it does employ aspects of different concepts which comes together to form its own distinctive style.
Management Theorists such as F.W Taylor created the concept of scientific management, which is made up of six key aspects including observation, experiment, standardisation, selection and training, payment by results and co-operation. Despite some facets of his theory becoming outdated, scientific management can still be seen in the some way in current business structures. For example within Virgin, despite its reputation for having a relaxed working environment, some aspects of scientific management are used. Such as the selection and training and payment by results, with certain employees being offered rewards for showing ambition to set up their own businesses and showing signs of creative thinking.
Another management style is the concept of bureaucracy, this looks at the problem of managing the organisation as a whole. Pioneers of this concept such as M Weber commented on the way family practises serve personal not organisational goals, which he saw the need to distinguish with a more impersonal, ‘rational’ approach. This approach included strict divisions of labour, o ...
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