5CO01 Organisational performance and culture in practice _ New Assignment questions

Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of two organisational structures, including the reasons underpinning them. (AC 1.1)


The advantages and disadvantages of two types of organisational structures are typically evaluated based on the following factors;

  • Flexibility
  • Control
  • Communication
  • Specialisation

The two most common types of organisational structures are hierarchical, which is centralised, and divisional which is decentralised.

Hierarchical Structure: Advantages:

  • A hierarchical structure provides a clear chain of command, making it easier for employees to understand who is responsible for what.
  • Hierarchical structures are designed to make decision-making more efficient, as a single central authority makes decisions.
  • Hierarchical structures provide a high level of control, making monitoring and managing operations easier.


Hierarchical structures can stifle creativity and innovation as decisions are made at the top, leaving little room for input from lower-level employees.

Decisions can take longer to be made in a centralised structure, requiring higher-ups’ approval.

Hierarchical structures are often less flexible, making it harder to adapt to changing circumstances or market conditions.

Decentralised Structure: Advantages:

  • Divisional structures foster creativity and innovation as decisions are made locally, allowing for more input from lower-level employees.
  • Divisional structures allow for faster decision-making as decisions can be made closer to the point of implementation.
  • Divisional structures are often more flexible, allowing organisations to respond quickly to changing circumstances or market conditions.


  • Divisional structures can result in a lack of control, making it difficult for organisations to monitor and manage operations.
  • Divisional structures can lead to poor communication and coordination, making it harder for employees to work together effectively.
  • Divisional structures can result in a clearer chain of command, making it easier for employees to understand who is responsible for what.

Analyse connections between organisational strategy, products, services and customers. (AC 1.2)


To analyse the connections between organisational strategy, products, services, and customers, we consider how each factor influences the others.

  • The organisational strategy should be based on a deep understanding of the needs and desires of the target customers and the market conditions that affect them.
  • The products and services offered by the organisation should align with its strategy and meet the needs of its customers, while also being unique and competitive in the market.
  • The organisation must continually monitor and adjust its strategy, products, and services based on customer feedback and changing market conditions.

Analyse a range of external factors and trends currently impacting organisations. Identify organisational priorities arising from the factors and trends analysed. (AC 1.3)


Some of the external factors and trends currently impacting organisations include:

  • Technological advancements are changing how organisations work, communicate, and interact with customers.
  • Economic uncertainty has led to uncertainty for organisations, particularly with regard to finances and investment
  • Globalisation enhancing interconnectedness of the world has led to a global market where organisations compete with each other on a global scale
  • Political instability has a significant impact on organisations, particularly if they have operations in those countries
  • Climate change affecting business operations, reputation, and success

Organisational priorities arising from these factors and trends:

  • Innovation and digital transformation
  • Organisations must manage their finances carefully, prepare for economic uncertainty, and have contingency plans to respond to economic changes.
  • Organisations must expand their operations globally to reach new customers and remain competitive.
  • Organisations need to monitor political developments and are prepared to respond to changes in the political landscape.
  • To manage climate change, organisations need to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint and mitigate the impact on the environment.

The CIPD’s report Workplace Technology: the employee experience (2020:2) states, ‘the impact of the latest technology revolution on how organisations create value and on the way people work spans all industries, economies and parts of society’. Assess the scale of technology within organisations and how it impacts work. (AC 1.4)


Organisations are subject to various external factors and trends that have a significant impact on their operations, such as;

  • Economic conditions
  • Technology advancements
  • Social and demographic changes
  • Competition
  • Regulatory and legal developments

Understanding the external factors and trends impacting an organisation is essential in making informed decisions. The impact of external factors and trends ranges from positive to neutral. Therefore, organisations must prioritise their actions to ensure continued success through;

  • Investing in new technologies
  • Diversifying their products and services
  • Improving their competitiveness
  • Adapting to changing regulations

Drawing on your reading, explain one theory or model which examines organisational culture AND interpret one theory or model which examines human behaviour. (AC 2.1)


One theory that examines organisational culture is Hardy’s organisational culture model, which suggests that an organisation can be a dominant culture of different cultures that influence the behaviour of people in an organisation. It is categorised into four different types, namely:

  • Clan culture
  • Adhocracy culture
  • Market culture
  • Hierarchy culture

One theory that examines human behaviour is the social cognitive theory, also known as the social learning theory. it suggests that people learn and adopt new behaviours through observation and imitation of others

An organisation’s culture and human behaviour can be examined by various theories or models, such as:

  • Handy’s organisational culture model
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Systems theory
  • Performance organisations theory
  • Motivation theory
  • Management and leadership theory
  • Assess how people’s practices impact organisational culture and behaviour, drawing on examples to support your arguments. (AC 2.2)

The extent by which people’s practices impact the organisational culture and behaviour are;

  • Learning and development policies linked to organisations’ value for employee well-being enhance employee motivation and loyalty and increase retention.
  • Leadership styles which is linked to management practices that promote transparency, accountability and collaboration to foster a positive organisational culture.
  • Organisational policies which is linked to beliefs and values that promote trust and openness.

Many organisations have managed considerable change in recent years. CIPD’s report, People Profession 2030: collective view of future trends (2020), identifies ‘internal change’ as a key future trend.

Explain different approaches to managing change (AC 2.3)


The approaches to managing change in an organisation include:

  • Lewin’s three-step change model consists of three stages: Unfreeze, Change, and Refreeze.
  • Kotter’s eight-stage model consists of eight stages: Establish a sense of urgency, form a powerful coalition, create a vision for change, communicate the vision, empower others to act on the vision, create short-term wins, consolidate gains and produce more change, and anchor new approaches in the organisation’s culture.
  • Planned change involves a systematic and structured approach to change in which each step of the change process is planned and executed in a controlled manner.
  • Drivers of change involve identifying the key drivers of change and using them to initiate and manage change in the organisation.
  • Environmental Model of Change, which involves analysing the organisation’s external environment to identify changes that are affecting the organisation and its customers

Discuss models for how change is experienced. (AC 2.4)


  • Lewin’s three-step model of change was developed by Kurt Lewin and proposes that change involves preparing for change by breaking down existing structures and processes, the second stage involves the actual change process, and the third stage involves consolidating and stabilising the change
  • Kubler-Ross adapted model, also known as the grieving process, outlines the five stages people experience during change: denial, anger, and bargaining. Depression and acceptance.
  • The coping cycle is a theoretical framework that explains how people deal with stress. The coping cycle stages are; problem recognition and gathering information. Coping strategy and evaluation strategy.
  • Spencer and Adams’s seven-stage model outlines the following stages of experiencing change; Problem definition, information gathering, Generation of alternatives, Evaluation of alternatives, Choice of a solution, Implementation of the solution and Evaluation of results

CIPD’s Good Work Index provides an annual benchmark of job quality. Data is gathered on seven dimensions of good work, including ‘health and well-being’. Assess the importance of well-being at work and factors which impact well-being. (AC 2.5)


Factors that impact well-being at work include:

  • Work-life balance and family challenges
  • Physical and mental health
  • Job satisfaction
  • Image and resilience

The importance of well-being at work includes;

  • Employee engagement enhancement
  • Increased employee motivation
  • Fosters flexible work arrangements
  • Stress-management programs
  • Lower levels of absenteeism and turnover and higher levels of employee satisfaction and engagement

Discuss the links between the employee lifecycle and different people practice roles. (AC 3.1)


Employee lifecycle is the various stages employees go through during their employment term. The link between employee lifecycle and people practices roles can be experienced in the;

  • attraction and recruitment, where people professionals are responsible for attracting and recruiting the right individuals to join the company.
  • Induction where people professionals are responsible for conducting the induction process to welcome new employees and introduce them to the company and its culture
  • Retention and engagement, including reward/relations
  • promotion where (HR) teams and learning and development (L&D) teams are responsible for developing and implementing succession plans
  • exit, where the HR team is responsible for managing the exit process, which may include conducting exit interviews to gain insight into the reasons for employees leaving and to determine ways to improve the company’s retention rates

Analyse how people practice connects with other areas of an organisation and supports wider people and organisational strategies. (AC 3.2)


How people practice connecting with other areas in an organisation are:

  • Human Resources: People practice is closely connected with human resources, which plays a critical role in attracting, recruiting, and retaining employees.
  • Learning and development: People practice connects with learning and development by supporting the development and progression of employees through training and development programs.
  • Organisational strategy: People practice can align with business strategy by ensuring that employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to support the organisation’s goals and objectives through management systems and succession planning.
  • Organisational structure: People practice can impact organisational culture by creating a supportive and inclusive environment that promotes diversity and well-being.

People professionals provide a service to internal customers but to truly add value, people professionals need to understand their customer’s needs. Discuss processes for consulting and engaging with internal customers to understand their needs. (AC 3.3)


People professionals support an organisations success by providing services such as:

  • Human resource
  • Learning and development

The consulting process involves:

  • Stakeholders analysis, where updates and reports are regularly provided to ensure stakeholders’ well-being.
  • Need analysis activities through dialogues, meetings, and actively seeking customer feedback and suggestions.
  • Consultation and communication processes, which involve conducting open dialogues with customers regularly.

Identifying customer needs through conducting surveys to identify the current needs and future needs of the customers.

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