Creating an effective organisational structure
A Coca-Cola Great Britain case study

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Page 3: The relationship betweenstrategy and structure

An organisation's strategy is its plan for the whole business that sets out how the organisation will use its major resources. An organisation's structure is the way the pieces of the organisation fit together internally. It also covers the links with external organisations such as partners.

For the organisation to deliver its plans, the strategy and the structure must be woven together seamlessly.

The goal of The Coca-Cola Company is 'to be the world's leading provider of branded beverage solutions, to deliver consistent and profitable growth, and to have the highest quality products and processes.'

To achieve this goal, the Company has established six strategic priorities and has built these into every aspect of its business:

  1. Accelerate carbonated soft drinks growth, led by Coca-Cola
  2. Broaden the family of products, wherever appropriate e.g. bottled water, tea, coffee, juices, energy drinks
  3. Grow system profitability & capability together with the bottlers
  4. Creatively serve customers (e.g. retailers) to build their businesses
  5. Invest intelligently in market growth
  6. Drive efficiency & cost effectiveness by using technology and large scale production to control costs enabling our people to achieve extraordinary results everyday.

There are many ways to structure an organisation. For example, a structure may be built around:

  • function: reflecting main specialisms e.g. marketing, finance, production, distribution
  • product: reflecting product categories e.g. bread, pies, cakes, biscuits
  • process: reflecting different processes e.g. storage, manufacturing, packing, delivery.

Organisational structures need to be designed to meet aims. They involve combining flexibility of decision making, and the sharing of best ideas across the organisation, with appropriate levels of management and control from the centre.

Modern organisations like The Coca-Cola Company, have built flexible structures which, wherever possible, encourage teamwork. For example, at Coca-Cola Great Britain any new product development (e.g. Coca-Cola Vanilla) brings together teams of employees with different specialisms.

At such team meetings, marketing specialists clarify the results of their market research and testing, food technologists describe what changes to a product are feasible, financial experts report on the cost implications of change.

Coca-Cola Great Britain | Creating an effective organisational structure