Analysis of Boots UK and British Council

Organizations are business entities that are in the process of delivering goods and services. Though several organizations work on the principle of making profit, only a few of them can be categorized as effective organizations. According to Mintzberg (1979) effective organizations integrate their structure, strategy and context so that they are aligned. These organizations are viewed as “high performance organizations” since they are considered more successful than their competitors in areas of profitability, customer service and strategy. In other words, they are effective at getting results that are viewed as superior and valuable to their stakeholders. This article conducts an analysis of Boots UK and British Council. The mission, goals, activities and organizational structure of Boots UK and British Council have been conducted in this firm.

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Preliminary Analysis of Boots UK

Boots UK is a prominent name in pharmacy-related health and beauty retail. The firm has 2500 functional stores across the UK, which include pharmacies, health stores and beauty stores. Boots UK is a brand of Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (Retail Pharmacy International, n.d.). The vision of Boots UK is to become the top priority of consumers for health, pharmacy and beauty products (Boots UK, n.d.). Boots UK has five core values, i.e., trust – respect, honesty and doing the right thing; care – commitment and compassion; creativity – developing an open and entrepreneurial mindset; partnership – working in collaboration; and dedication – working consistently to give outstanding results. However, in area of Social Responsibility, it works to reduce global warming, decrease pressure on natural resources and counter youth unemployment. 

Preliminary Analysis of British Council

The British Council is an international organization in Britain that works for enhancing the cultural relations of country and increasing educational opportunities. It is noteworthy that the British Council has a vast network, whereby it collaborates with more than 100 countries to make advancements in the domains of Arts, Culture, English language, Educational and Civil Society (British Council, n.d.). It was formed in 1934 under the UK Royal Charter (British Council, n.d.). It has following aims:

The vision of British Council is to develop mutually advantageous ties among British and those who are from other nations; Furthermore, it intends to enhance recognition of innovative ideas and accomplishments of the United Kingdoms (Savage, 2007). British Council (n.d.) divides its objectives into 3 categories:

  1. Fostering English language by giving superior quality learning materials to both students and teachers who want to learn and teach English respectively. In under-developed countries, it increases understanding of English language of people through mass media
  2. Promoting international arts in UK and British Arts at global level
  3. Modifying national education systems and developing open societies

British Council (n.d.) is based on five values, i.e., valuing people, valuing honesty, appreciating mutual relationships, cherishing creativity and valuing professionalism. Correspondingly, the organization has developed a ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ agenda (British Council, 2018). To ensure diversity in all of its programs, it uses tools like equality monitoring, training, developing internal and external networks for creating equality, training and impact assessment (British Council, 2018). The value of diversity focusses on diversity across age, disability, gender, race. Sexual orientation and work life-balance (British Council, 2018).  

Comparison of Objectives

The analysis of Boots UK and British Council show that these are two separate entities belonging to different segments of the industries. Where British Council is a cultural institution, Boots UK is a subsidiary involved in pharmaceutical and healthcare business. Boots UK was founded in 1849 whereas British Council came much later in 1934. Being registered with different organizations, both the organizations follow different code of ethics and working.

The aims and objectives of both the organizations are also different. Both have different set of clients and therefore have different aims and objectives. The mission of British Council is:

“Changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust”

And Boots UK has the following mission:

“To be the first choice for pharmacy, health and beauty—caring for people, customers and communities everywhere”

This shows the difference of their businesses and areas of interest.

The aim of British Council and Boots UK is different. British Council is a company founded under the Royal Charter and it is not an entity whose aim is to increase its profits. Rather, it aims to develop beneficial ties among people who live in the UK and people residing in other countries. On the other hand, Boots UK intends to become the leader in pharmacy-related Health and Beauty sector. This difference is because Boots UK is a brand of a profit-making company, while the British Council is a Charity, which does not make profit. The values of British council are to value people, honesty, mutual relationships, creativity and professionalism, which are in accordance with its non-profit nature and its aim of fostering mutual relationships. The values of Boots UK include working in collaboration with partners to give outstanding results, which is in accordance to its profit-making nature.

Activities of Boots UK

To conduct an analysis of Boots UK, its activities should be assessed. Boots UK has following activities and functions:

  • Carrying out extensive research to develop new products that can meet the changing needs of customers (Boots UK, 2018a)
  • Taking initiatives to market the services provided by Boots, for example, recently, the company opened and marketed new stores on motorways. The company marketed this new store by stating that it will now serve customers ‘on the go’ (Boots UK, 2018c)
  • Developing measures to practice Corporate Social Responsibility (Boots UK, 2018b)

Activities of British Council

As British council strengthens cultural relations and provides educational opportunities; its activities and functions include the following:

  • Teaching English language through different mediums like one-to-one tutoring, distant learning and online classes (British Council, 2018a). It organizes English learning programs for adults, children and organizations (British Council, 2018a)
  • Testing English language proficiency skills through IELTS (British Council, 2018b)
  • Providing teachers with teaching materials and an opportunity to connect with schools across the world (British Council, 2018c)
  • Organizing cultural festivals and events to promote both global and British arts (British Council, 2018d)
  • Encouraging people to come forward and express their concerns about future. For example, now-a-days, British council is conducting a research in the UK to explore the opinions of people about Brexit (British Council, 2018e). 

Structure of Boots UK

Boots UK was formed in Nottingham in 1840’s, as an outlet providing herbal medicines. In the 20th century, it begun expanding by entering new industries like optics, dentistry and furnishing. Considering its expansion, it is reasonable to expect that several changes will have occurred to Boots UK. In the initial years, the decision-making must have been centralized. However, as the firm expanded, it must have shifted to a decentralized decision-making. Regarding analysis of Boots UK, it is also reasonable to expect that with expansion, the company must have adopted a dynamic and flexible structure instead of a highly controlled structure. As new divisions were created, Boots would have become more complex, because new specialized positions and roles must have emerged. Authority must have been delegated to new positions. The span of control of employees must have increased over time with expansion.

Boots UK’s analysis reveals that it has several departments including Human Resource, International Retail, Digital and Information Technology, Operations, Global Brands and Commercials (Boots UK, 2016). It also has a separate in-house department for Research and Development (Boots UK, 2018a). Its organizational structure comprises of an executive committee, board of members and key leading executives, whereby the top position is of Executive chairman (Boots UK Limited: CEO and Executives, 2018). It seems to have a functional structure, as employees performing similar functions are grouped together.

Structure of British Council

The strategy of British Council is developed by its Executive Board and the Boards of trustees are answerable for the council (British Council, 2018f). It has different divisions like Arts, Strategy and Engagement, Corporate Affairs, Education and Society, English and Exam, etc. (British Council, 2018f). It seems to be organized on a divisional structure.

The British Council would also have gone through different changes as it expanded. It would have become more complex, however, its structure seems more controlled than Boots UK, because it is governed by the royal charter and is highly accountable. It can be expected that the British council, being governed by Royal charter, would have remained formalized throughout its life. Formalization determines how much of an employee’s job is shaped by formal documentation (Aquinas, 2009). The integration in British Council would have increased.

When decision-making is centralized, the actions taken by a firm are coordinated to achieve a strategic goal (Hill & Jones, 2012). So, the firm maintains a high focus on its goals under centralization. It also maintains control. However, communication problems can easily occur in such a controlled system (Hill & Jones, 2012). On the other hand, when decision-making is decentralized, employees at key position experience fewer communication problems and reduced information overload (Hill & Jones, 2012). As lower level employees are involved in decision-making, they feel positive and motivated to work for organizational goals (Hill & Jones, 2012). The drawback of decentralization is that it can be challenge to maintain focus on strategic objective of firm, as employees at every level have their own concerns.

How Both Organizations have Different Structures?

The structures of both organizations are in accordance with their operations. British council is a charity accountable to UK’s charity commission, so a formalized and controlled structure is suitable for it. On the other hand, analysis of Boots UK shows that it operates in a competitive environment and is profit-oriented. To increase profits, it has developed an organizational structure that is dynamic and de-centralized so that employees can focus more on functions that add value to firm rather than reporting to their supervisors. Boots can improve by developing a matrix organizational structure leading to increased communication, high adaptability, high efficiency and better personnel management, as implied from Roussel (2006). Matrix structure integrates functional and project structures, which are appropriate for firms that have high product specialization and are innovative (Przemieniecki, 1993). As the analysis of Boots UK signals that it has both of these attributes, it can shift to matrix structure to increase its performance. The British Council does not need to change its structure, but its decision-making process can be improved by reducing the distance between executives and subordinates.  
Situational Analysis and Promotional Plan

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British Council (2018d) Festivals and seasons. Available at: (Accessed: 18 April 2018).

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British Council (2018a) Learn English. Available at: (Accessed: 19 April 2018).

British Council (2018e) Our work in society. Available at: (Accessed: 17 April 2018).

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