The Coca Cola Company, founded in 1886 in Atlanta, the United States, is the world’s largest nonalcoholic beverage company. Coca Cola currently owns and markets more than 500 beverage brands (Anonymous, 2010), including waters, sports and energy drinks, juices, tea and coffee, which are distributed in over 200 countries throughout the world. Along with Coca Cola, the company also owns Sprite, Fanta and Diet Coke, which are four of the world’s top five nonalcoholic beverage brands (Anonymous, 2010).
As a company with a history of over 120 years, the Coca Cola Company now has an operating structure with seven operating segments and approximately 139,600 worldwide employees (Anonymous, 2010). Today, Coca Cola has subsidiaries around the world and has developed its own management and distribution system. The relative data and evidences shown in the following analysis will illustrate the effectiveness of the current structure model of Coca Cola and how managers of Coca Cola applied the hybrid structure to manage the subsidiaries in different regions efficiently and the strategy of decentralization to reduce the management cost and improve autonomy of these different departments.
Furthermore, Coca Cola values its unique organizational culture and has set different mission, vision and values to guide the organization, the segments, and its teams. These invisible forces have been serving as the “Roadmap” for the company to achieve the long-term goals. In the second part of the report of the company culture, facts and stories mentioned would give examples and interpret how the “liability of a strong culture” could impact Coca Cola’s competitiveness and why it is so important for Coca Cola to understand customers’ needs in order to introduce more customer-orientated organizational culture rather than outcome-oriented culture.
Coca Cola is a typical complex organization by having seven operative units in geographic areas around the world, six functional departments being responsible for different tasks and a diversified labor force from different nations. Additionally, a combined characteristic of Mechanism and Organism is also one of most representative features of complexity. Under this structure, employees can not only improve their performance to the maximum level, but they also help the company expand global market and adapt the changing environment. The Coca Cola Company currently employs approximately 139,600 employees (Anonymous, 2010). According to a general organizational chart stemmed from the company’s website, the division of labor is based on diverse job designs which exist specific rules and regulations to direct employees and managers. There are at least 5 hierarchical levels in the corporate. At each level, for instance, one regional director supervises about 10 subordinates on average; therefore, the span of control is fairly wide. And based on the information of its website, the geographic regions are broken down into the diverse units that are located round the world, which are mainly North America, Middle East, Asia, Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and finally Africa. And then, each subunit has its own organizational structure based on functional departmentalization. For example, in North America, its major departments are marketing, finance, and packaging, sales, and research and development administration. In addition to that, in terms of the division of the authority, originally, the company has a more centralized structure, which the decision is mainly made by a high-level management, and the communication is restricted due to the hierarchy of the authority. However, as Coca Cola encounters uncertain environments when it expands of its business, the organization realizes that it must meet the changing demands of its customers to win their business. Thus, Coca Cola began to push towards decentralization in the nineties and even more recently (Fox, 2007), which means that...
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