Business Administration for Beginners

Looking to learn more about business administration?

You’re in the right place! In this introduction guide I’ll answer common questions like:

  • What is business administration?
  • How has the field of business administration evolved?
  • What are the best places to learn more about business administration?
  • Is it possible to get a job or start a business in the business administration field?
Business administration

What is business administration?

Business administration is a interdisciplinary field that includes all aspects needed to manage operations within a business or other organization. It refers to the overall process that goes into overseeing and supervising business operations on a day-to-day basis to ensure profitability and success.

BA is a wide and diverse field that covers the process of organizing resources, utilizing resources, and allocating work to meet an organization’s short and long-term goals. The field includes several areas such as:

  1. Management and leadership
  2. Accounting
  3. Controlling
  4. Marketing
  5. Logistics
  6. Finance

Business Administration

What is business administration all about?

Business administration is all about running a business, from overseeing daily tasks and achieving short-term objectives to making decisions that affect long-term organizational goals. This includes personnel organization and management, ensuring practices and processes are efficient to promote profitability and executing company policies and procedures. This may also refer to broader management functions that involve finance, marketing, expansion and the like.

Business administration varies slightly depending on how large or small the enterprise is and depending on the person responsible for these tasks.

For example, a solo entrepreneur may perform the majority of business management tasks, from inventory, storage to marketing especially if the business is very small. A medium-sized business may have a manager who oversees most of the business operations while delegating smaller tasks to other personnel.

The process of delegation is also included in business administration since it requires a knowledge of tasks and the personnel best suited to perform them. Large corporations may have a core group or board of directors that oversee the entire operation and make the big decisions.

Evolution of Business Administration: Historical Context to Present Practices

Business management as a field came into focus in 1911 when Frederick Taylor published The Principles of Scientific Management, which talks about employees as skilled and replaceable and emphasized the role of managers as separate from the non-managerial workforce.

In 1923, GM adopted the concept of management by the central executive committee which is the core group of directors tasked with handing down company policies and making business decisions. A few years later, the Hawthorne experiments were conducted to determine that motivates workers. The experiments concluded that human factors affected worker motivation more than physical environments. For instance, the presence of researchers, and the interest they showed in the workers’ task led to an increase in productivity, a phenomenon they termed the Hawthorne effect.

A few years later, Edwards Deming came out with the principle of quality management, which emphasized consistency, purpose, good leadership, and self-improvement as driving forces for productivity in all levels of the workforce. This was followed by the Doctrine of Transformational leadership in 1978 which emphasized leadership with vision and more autonomy for workers to achieve collective goals.

Servant leadership emerged in the 1990s, a movement that emphasized the role of managers and corporate leaders as servants, which contrasts with traditional leadership where the main focus of the leader is to promote the growth and expansion of the organization.

Today, business administration has become a mix of all these principles, focusing on growth and profitability while ensuring that employees are fulfilled and independent.

Goals have also shifted from purely profit with many businesses adopting community involvement and social enterprise among the core purposes of the organization.

Want to Learn More about Busines Administration? Books and Other Resources

There are many avenues for those who want to learn more about business administration.

Undergraduate and MBA programs are available from multiple universities online and offline.

Short courses are also available in various learning platforms like Coursera and edX.

When it comes to books, John C. Maxwell’s Laws of Leadership is a popular choice among business leaders. Other equally good reads include The Lean Startup by Eric Reis, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and The Portable MBA.

Beginner Guides Related to Business Administration

Games Related to Business Administration

See the full list of business games

Business Administration as a Career: Top Job Opportunities

There are many career paths open to someone with a degree in business administration. These include:

  • Business manager
  • Staff manager
  • Floor manager
  • Corporate team leader
  • Retail executive
  • Brand manager
  • Advertising executive
  • Financial analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • HR specialist
  • Marketing executive
  • Business development specialist

Business administration is an exciting and fulfilling field especially for anyone who is interested in business and finance. Whether you are an entrepreneur or want to build a career in the corporate world, a strong foundation in business administration principles can play a large role in achieving your business and career goals.