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Vertical differentiation

This term refers to the number of management levels in a company. A company with many levels is known as a “tall” company. It looks like this:

Traditional manufacturing companies are “tall” organizations. There are many levels in the hierarchy, because there are many different production processes. Other examples of “tall” organizations include government bureaucracies and military organizations.

This kind of organization is difficult to control, and the lower levels in the hierarchy usually have to obey very precise rules, rather than plan their own work.

Jeremy Fitzerald, Management, Black Cat Publishing, 2001, p. 47-57

Reading comprehension

Lexical exercises

I. Complete the sentences below with the correct word from the following:

resource authority tall informal flat

horizontal formal objective structure vertical

a. A business organization consists of a group of people who form a ………………. .

b. A business organization has rules and ……….. .

c. A business organization follows a set of …………… .

d. A company uses economic ………….. .

e. The division of a company’s activities into different units is called …....... differentiation.

f. The number of management levels in a company is called ………. differentiation.

g. A …………….. organization has very few management levels.

h. A …………….. organization has a lot of management levels.

i. An organization with a stated purpose or objective is called a ……….. organization.

j. An …………. Organization does not exist to meet formal objectives.

II. The words below all come from the text. Use your dictionary to complete the chart to show the different forms of each word.

Noun Verb Adverb Adjective
  manage ---------------- ---------------
  employ ----------- ------------


You are going to hear two people who work in “tall” organizations talking about their job. Listen carefully to what they say, and answer the questions that follow.

Speaker 1

1. What is the speaker’s job?

2. What makes the job challenging and interesting?

3. Does the speaker make a lot of decisions?

Speaker 2

4. What is the speaker’s job?

5. Why is he disappointed in the job?

Case study

I. Read the text for general understanding.

Types of companies in the USA and Great Britain


This type of company is not wide spread nowadays. These are usually barrister offices, consulting firms or family enterprises. The name of such company usually includes surnames of the partners, for example Wilson & Sons, Smith, Johnson & Brown.

Unlimited partnership is an association of two or more people (up to twenty) doing business in this or that field with the purpose of getting profit. The partners of such company bear unlimited responsibility by their partnership agreement.

Limited partnership includes full partners, who manage the business, and limited partners, who do not take an active part in it. Full partners bear complete responsibility, while the responsibility of limited partners corresponds to their shares.

2. Limited Companies & Joint Ventures.

Mostly widespread type of companies is the registered company, i.e. the company registered by the Companies Law. It can be a Public Limited Company or a Private Company.

Public Limited Company (Plc.) is the company, which has the right to sell its shares to the people, and must publish information about its activity.

Private Limited Company(Ltd.) cannot sell its stocks to the public.

In the USA limited companies are called corporations. They have letters Inc. in their names, which mean that this company is incorporated-registered as a corporation. A private limited company is called Close Corporation – C-Corporation – in the USA. But the difference between public and private companies is very small here, and most of the companies have just ‘Inc.’ in their names.

If two or more companies realize one project together they create a Joint Venture. It is not only a company having foreign investments, but also the unit of two or more firms. Usually joint ventures fall apart after the project is fulfilled.

From English for Business


II. What are the Russian equivalents for the following words:

Unlimited partnership ___

Limited partnership_

Registered companies ___

Public Limited Company ________________________________

Private Limited Company________________________________

………………..Joint venture_______

III. Answer the questions:

1) What are the two types of companies in the USA and Great Britain? What is the main difference between them?

2) What does a partnership’s name usually consist of?

3) What is the difference between unlimited and limited partnership?

4) What is the mostly wide spread type of companies in Great Britain? Why are they called ‘registered’?

5) What is the difference between the public and private limited companies?

6) What does the abbreviation ‘Plc’ stand for? ‘Ltd’? ‘Inc’?

7) Joint venture is the company, which has foreign investments, isn’t it?

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