Additional Math Pages & Resources

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How do you measure size? Large Organizations

What makes someone or something BIG or small?

When we look at organizations, is it the totality of the stock value (market capitalization)? Is it revenue per year? Is it profit? Is it the number of branches or outlets? Is it the number employed? The number of customers? The size of their warehouses or truck fleets?

When you discuss institutions and organizations, you need to decide what factors are important in your comparison. If your group has lots of employees but makes no money, is that a problem? It might be a non-profit, serving its customers in many ways without having to generate returns for its owners. It could be the biggest, best, non-profit-making group in the world.

Today we'll look at a group of the world's BIGGEST organizations, measured by the number of employees. All the figures come directly from the company websites or annual reports, checked yesterday. [Click the chart to see a larger version]

Walmart Worldwide = 2,050,000
National Health Service UK = 1,700,000
McDonalds Corp. and Franchisees Worldwide = 1,600,000
Indian Railways India only = 1,540,000
State Electric Grid of China = 1,500,000
People’s Liberation Army China = 1,250,000
China National Petroleum China = 1,005,000
Foxconn Technology Group China = 1,000,000
US Postal Service USA = 584,000
Carrefour Retail Stores Worldwide = 475,000
Agricultural Bank of China = 441,144
Deutsche Post Germany = 420,000
Siemens AG Germany = 405,000
United Parcel Service UPS Worldwide = 400,600

These organizations employ 14,370,744 divided by 14 = an average of 1,026,482 people each!

You can see that this is a mixed bag, including retailing, state-run organizations, and manufacturing; military, railroads, utility companies, banks, post offices. So it's not appropriate to compare them by revenue or products delivered, or retail outlets!

Of course there are other ways to measure BIGNESS. Here is a condensed version Wikipedia's article on Market Capitalization:

Market capitalization is a measurement of size of a corporation equal to share price times the number of outstanding shares purchased by investors of a publicly-traded company. Since owning a share is ownership of a fraction of the company, capitalization represents the public's opinion of a company's value.

As of today, January 18, 2010, the three largest companies in the world by this measure ( in US dollars ) are
  • $396.9 billion Exxon Mobil
  • $312.5 billion Apple Computer
  • $254.7 billion PetroChina
Totalling almost a trillion dollars of market capitalization, they are BIG! companies.

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