Corporate Titles and Organization Charts
Many Business English students ask about titles. For example: What’s the difference between a Senior Manager and a Vice-President? Where do General Mangers do exactly? How do companies use titles differently? Trying to translate titles between English and another language can be quite tricky.
But a lesson on the topic can easily solve the problems. Here are several resources you can use and then some follow-up questions.
For starters… Wikipedia’s article on corporate titles is a good place to start. You’ll find a list of over 70 titles and descriptions of what the people do.
Check out some org charts… You can find links to thousands of org charts on the internet. Just do a search for “org charts” or “organization charts”. Here are a few links, anyway. Look at them with your students and discuss how they are similar or different to each other. Also, which titles do you see?
How about a joke? Follow this link for a funny cartoon. Ask your students why it’s funny?
And an article to read… Finally, about.com has a nice article about org charts. It briefly talks about charts, titles, and the purposes behind them. You can use it as a starting point for a discussion.
Here are some discussion questions you might ask your students:
- What’s the purpose of an organization chart?
- Do small companies need organization charts too?
- At what size does a company probably need a chart?
- How might a manager use a chart to increase productivity?
- How might an unclear chart hurt productivity?
- Which titles do all org charts need? Which titles are specific to certain companies?
- What’s your dream title? Why?