Business & ManagementIB

Functions of a business

Human Resources...Finance and Accounts...Marketing....Operations
Functions of a business

Human Resources

  • Manages personnel of the organisation.
  • Deals with: workforce planning, recruitment, training, appraisal, dismissals and redundancies, and outsourcing human resource strategies.

Finance and Accounts

  • Manages the organisation’s money.
  • Deals with: reporting and recording financial records, abiding by legal requirements (e.g., tax), produces final accounts.
  • Identifies and satisfies the needs and wants of customers.
  • In charge of ensuring that a firm’s products sell.
  • Deals with: market research, test marketing, advertising and branding.

Operations (management)

  • Converts raw materials and components into finished goods.
  • For a service this can be the process of giving that service.

The functions of a business are critical components that work together to ensure the successful operation and growth of an organization. These functions include Human Resources, Finance and Accounts, Marketing, and Operations Management. Each plays a vital role in managing the resources, processes, and strategies necessary for achieving the business’s objectives. Understanding these functions is essential for IB Business & Management students, as it provides a comprehensive view of how businesses operate and the complexities involved in managing various aspects of an organization. This analysis explores each of these functions in detail, providing industry examples to illustrate their importance.

Human Resources (HR)

Definition: The Human Resources function is responsible for managing the organization’s workforce, including recruitment, training, performance management, and ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations.

Example: Google is renowned for its innovative HR practices, focusing on attracting top talent, fostering a positive work environment, and offering extensive employee benefits and development programs. Google’s HR function plays a crucial role in maintaining its status as one of the world’s most attractive employers, directly contributing to its innovation and success.

Finance and Accounts

Definition: This function manages the organization’s financial health, including budgeting, accounting, financial reporting, and investment management. It ensures the business has the resources needed to operate and grow, while also meeting its financial obligations.

Example: Apple’s Finance and Accounts department plays a pivotal role in its strategic planning and resource allocation, managing its substantial cash reserves to fund R&D, marketing, acquisitions, and shareholder returns. This financial management supports Apple’s strategic objectives and sustains its market leadership.


Definition: Marketing involves identifying customer needs and developing strategies to meet those needs through product development, pricing, promotion, and distribution. It aims to build brand awareness, attract and retain customers, and drive sales.

Example: Coca-Cola’s marketing function has been instrumental in creating one of the most recognizable brands worldwide. Through strategic advertising, sponsorships, and global marketing campaigns, Coca-Cola’s Marketing department ensures the brand remains relevant and appealing to consumers across different markets.

Operations (Management)

Definition: Operations Management oversees the process of producing and delivering the company’s products or services. It involves managing the supply chain, production processes, quality control, and logistics to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in meeting customer demand.

Example: Amazon’s operations management is a key factor in its success as the world’s largest online retailer. Amazon’s sophisticated logistics and distribution systems, including its use of technology and automation in fulfillment centers, enable it to offer fast and reliable delivery to customers, setting a high standard for e-commerce operations.


The functions of a business—Human Resources, Finance and Accounts, Marketing, and Operations Management—are integral to an organization’s success. Each function focuses on a specific aspect of the business, yet they all work interdependently to achieve the overall business objectives. The examples of Google, Apple, Coca-Cola, and Amazon illustrate how effective management of these functions contributes to operational excellence, competitive advantage, and market leadership. For IB Business & Management students, understanding these business functions provides essential insights into the operational dynamics of organizations and the strategies employed to navigate the complexities of the business environment


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