Functional areas in Tesco and Oxfam Essay

1. Introduction

In this report I am going to compare functional areas of two contrasting organisations Tesco and Oxfam. Tesco is aiming at achieving profit, investing and offerring services and products to customers.Oxfam is a non-profit organisation, helping people in crisis. Tesco is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer, it has stores in 14 countries across Asia, Europe and North America and is the grocery market leader in UK, where it has a market share of around 30%. Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organisations working in 90 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world.

It helps to provide training, education and financial aid to people in developing countries and disaster areas.

2. Functional Areas in Organisations

Functional area is a person, area or department which carries out a particular business function, for example, Administration, Customer Service, Distribution, Finance, Human Resources, ICT, Marketing, Sales, Production or Research and development. The main purpose of having functional areas in business is ensuring that all important activities are carried out efficiently and accurately.

This is important if the business wants to achieve its aims and objectives; specific areas will be responsible for supporting specific types of aims and objectives, for example, sales and marketing will be involved in developing new markets or increasing sales, finance would be monitoring and keeping costs low to improve profitability.

2.1.Functional areas of Tesco

The main activities of Finance department are:

  • Recording all the business transactions (expences and incomings)•measuring the financial performance of Tesco (how well or badly Tesco is doing financially)
  • controlling the finances and cash flow so the company stays reliable (ensuring that there is enough money to pay off debts, bills, employees, as well as invest in new developments to gain more profit)
  • taking timely financial decisions by comparing the predicted performance with actual performance (they would do this by comparing the financial situation from previous years with todays situation)

Human resources:

  • Recruiting, selecting, training and developing new staff
  • keeping all records they have in their possesion confidential (obligation to stand by Data Protection Act)
  • they look after an emploee whilst they work in the company (training, development and promotion)


  • Marketing Research — collecting data from surveys and questionnaires, preparing presentations informing about new developments
  • Customer Care and Services — deals with complaints and problems they have, evaluating service, revieving competitors, recommending improvements
  • Sales Promotion and Advertising — making sure that promotions are clear and understandable for customers


  • responsible for making services that are provided by Tesco (offices, vehicles, retailing products)
  • responsible for delivering the products to customers•ensuring that there is enough stock available ( that is supported by new technology, for example EPOS system, which will automatically re-order if Tesco is out-of-stock)

Administration department:

  • creates an ordered way of working which enables the busines to function smoothly
  • brings together the various parts of the business so they can all work towards achieving the same goals
  • ensures good communication between the management and workers
  • all the methods and procedures should be written down in case staff is beeing changed•proper procedures for controlling and monitoring work — high level of supervision and well-motivated staff

2.2. Functional areas of Oxfam

The Global Ambassadors have been campaigning around the world on behalf of Oxfam. They propagate the knowledge about the issues like, for example, climate change, conflict resolution, women’s rights, international arms trade treaty, and others. Among the Oxfams Global Abassadors are for example:

  • Annie Lennox — she lent her support as the voice for TV adverts for the campaign following the 2012 earthquake in Haiti, she also works hard on AIDS and women’s issues, she also set up “The Circle” — a group of influential women who come together to connect with women living in poverty around the world,
  • Coldplay, they donated acoustic version of their song for a new Oxfam campaign video, perform concerts for Oxfam, drawn enormous attention to the Make Trade Fair campaign ( supports poor people affected by unfair trade rules),
  • Colin Firth, his work ia wide-ranging, he has helped highlight issues, speaks to the media and wright articles, hosts fundraising events in USA and Italy,
  • Helen Mirren supports Control Arms campaign, travelled to South Africa to meet victims of domestic violenceand firearms crimes and Uganda to highlight the civil war there and push for peaceful solution,
  • Scarlett Johansson, she is a part of “We Can” campaign, which aims to break down attitudes that support violence against women, she also supports GROW campaign (fighting world hunger) and Haiti Earthquake Appeal, also designed a handbag for Mango on behalf of Oxfam to raise money for the appeal. Executive Director Winnie Byanyima appointed in May 2013) provides strategic guidance, support, expertise and coordination across the global organisation. Through its 17 affiliates, oxfam works with people in over 90 countries to provide humanitarian relief in crisis, empower poor and marginalised people to gain social and economic equality.

Working with thousands of local partner organisations, Oxfam International works with people living in poverty striving to exercise their human rights and take control of their lives. They focus their efforts in these areas:

  • Development — they work with and through partners and communities on long-term programmes to eradicate poverty and combat justice
  • Emergencies — deliver immediate life-saving assistance to people affected by natural disasters or conflict
  • Campaigning — raise public awerness of the causes of poverty and encourage ordinary people to take action
  • Advocacy — press decision-makers to change policies and practices that reinforse poverty and injustice
  • Policy research — speak with authority as a result of research and analysis, and the real experience of the partners in developing countries Oxfam GB (one of the affiliates of Oxfam International) has a wide range of policy, programme and research staff, whose shared expertise ranges from public health engineering to lobbying international institusions for change:
  • Oxfams Advocacy advisers work to change public policies and practices in ways that will have a positive impacton poor people’s lives. Advocacy can take place at a variety of levels from local communities through to international institutions, and include the variety of methods including lobbying, media work, popular campaigning and changing public attitudes
  • Oxfam’s humanitarian personnel are responsible for a wide range of activities, including advising Oxfam’s international regions on humanitarian response, building regional capacity to respond to emergencies, leading programme development work on key areas such as WASH, public health, food security, HIV and AIDS, protection, gender, and preparedness. They also deliver advocacy on humanitarian issues in developed countries and provide security management advice
  • Programme Implementation — Oxfam’s country and regional staff work with the programme policy advisers to implement our programmes in more than sixty countries. Programme staff work with local partners to develop, implement and evaluate a variety of initiatives, offering a range of support through training and capacity-building, networking with other similar organisations, and financial support
  • Programme Policy — Oxfam’s collective wealth of expertise and knowledge includes development professionals, who provide global advisory support to Oxfam’s large number of projects and programmes across more than sixty countries.Programme policy advisers assist in improving the coherence, quality, and impact of Oxfam’s programmes and ensure that we learn from good and innovative work through facilitating programme-focused learning processes and resources
  • Research enables Oxfam to look ahead and plan strategically for a fast-changing context. It sharpens and underpins the credibility of Oxfam’s campaigns and helps us design, monitor and assess the impact of our country-level programmes.Oxfam’s global researchers lead on researching and writing policy papers and campaign reports, keep abreast of new ideas that may feed into future policies or advocacy work or shape our programme thinking, and build Oxfam’s research capacity and quality
  • Oxfam’s Senior Management staff are responsible for ensuring the quality, effectiveness, and accountability of Oxfam’s portfolio of humanitarian, development, and campaigning work around the world Volunteers play a key role in helping Oxfam achieve its missions to reduce poverty and injustice around the world, they work throughout all the departments, they fulfill the variety of roles and tasks and they are significant part of every non-profit organisation.

3. Conclusion

Despite many differences in functioning between Tesco and Oxfam (where Tesco works for profit and Oxfam is non-profit organisation) there are certain similar areas that ensure that organisation’s activities and tasks are completed properly. This is important for the business if its going to achieve its aims and objectives. So both of the organisations have:

  • IT staff, who deal with website, hardware and software problems, security and confidentiality issues, they are linked with HR department and Administration as most of the communication and storing data happens electronically
  • Marketing and Research who identifies and tries to meet customer needs, works on new solutions and developments
  • Sales team is responsible for direct contact with customers, they also are linked with Marketing and all kinds of advertising
  • Finance department looks at income and outgoings of the business, as well as fundraising and collecting money for various campaigns Tesco’s area is retail and maximasing profit, gaining new customers and keeping the existing ones, so the structure is streamlined and compact. Oxfam’s activities are much more varied, from gaining income from charity shops, concerts and events, through legal work that advocats do to change regulations, to hands on material help and organising rescue for people affected by natural disasters.

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