Operational Business Management II (Horticulture)

Study the management of horticultural enterprises learning by distance education about legal and staff management for horticultural, parks or crop production businesses.

Course CodeBHT327
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Study Legal, Contractual and Staff Management for Horticultural Enterprises

The ability to manage staff is pivotal in any enterprise (commercial or public); and in a society where law is becoming increasingly complex; the modern horticultural manager also needs to have a firm understanding of basic legal practice. This course focuses on building your capacity to manage staff and legal aspects within the horticultural enterprise.

This is module can either be taken as a module in one of our other study programs or as a stand alone course (Ideal for use as a Professional Development program for persons working in the horticulture industry anywhere in the world).

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. The Law and Horticulture 10 hrs
  2. Contract Law 10hrs
  3. Employment Law 10hrs
  4. PBL Financial Management 20hrs
  5. Staff Performance Management 10hrs
  6. Motivating Employees in Horticulture 10 hrs
  7. PBL Management Case Study 30 hrs
    • Problem Based Learning

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Discuss, examine and evaluate legal systems and laws that are relevant to the management of horticultural enterprises.
  • Examine, evaluate and debate the elements that comprise the making of valid contracts in the horticulture industry.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principal areas of employment legislation
  • Compare financial management requirements for a series of optional horticultural enterprises in two or more different countries.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principal areas of performance management & staffing within a business environment.
  • Determine and apply an understanding of motivation theory to better manage staff performance within a horticultural business environment

Getting the Right Staff makes a Big Difference

If you don't have effective staff; management of operations will be an up hill battle.

Recruitment is the development of a pool of applicants for a job. This can occur internally or externally. Internal recruitment will come from employees already working in the organisation. The advantage is the understanding they already have of the facility and the opportunity to move upward within the organisation may encourage staff to remain with the company, work hard and succeed.

A disadvantage of internal recruitment is lack of skills or talent within existing employees creating a limited applicant pool leading to poor selection decisions.

External recruitment brings in new blood to the organisation which can inspire innovation. The most frequently used source of outside applicants is newspaper advertisements, employee referrals and college campus recruiting. It is becoming more popular for organisations to utilise electronic media such as the Internet both to advertise job openings and to gather applicant information.

Selection of staff can occur through interviews being the most popular ways. Questions asked by the interviewee have to be appropriate and job related. During an unstructured interview different questions are asked of the interviewees and follow up questions can also be asked to find out more about the candidates.

Although selection and recruitment are the main functions on human resource management however employee resourcing should not be seen as a simply as a technique for filling a job.

Employee resourcing can also be seen as:

  • Ways to make organisational change
  • Ways to develop and sustain employee commitment
  • Ways to achieve high levels of performance

This can be achieved by:

  • Using various recruitment methods
  • Analysing the available human resources within a company
  • Deploying the right people to the right job ie. new employees, promoting existing employees, redeploying existing employees.
  • New forms of work contracts


Today businesses use varied techniques and criteria to find the right (or best) person for a particular job this may include:

  • Biographical data – ie. work history
  • Interviews
  • Psychometric tests – to match psychological attributes to the job
  • Simulated work samples (eg. typing tests)

More emphasis is also being placed on the personality and attitude of applicants rather then just ability. The flow on from this approach is:

  • New employees are more likely to fit into the corporate/business culture
  • They are more likely to understand and aspire to company goals
  • They are more likely to be happy to build a career within the organisation

Finding Professionals

If you have strong networks, through industry bodies or social media (for example), you may have good prospects for employment waiting in the wings. If not though, you might need help.

Companies often use resourcing professionals to:

  • Analyse job applications
  • Interview and select appropriate applicants
  • Pass on the ‘best’ to be interviewed by the company.

For small business however this is often financially prohibitive so they must develop their own selection criteria. In either case the resourcing policies, procedures and systems must correlate with the strategic goals of the business.

How this Course may help you

This course builds on and adds to the financial aspects or running businesses introduced in Operational Business Management I (Horticulture). It also examines the legal aspects of operational procedures usually associated with higher tier management in larger businesses, but which may be part and parcel of daily roles of management in smaller businesses. The inclusion of two large problem based learning projects allows students some flexibility in exploring legal and financial operations pertinent to the sector of the industry they are involved in.

People who may be interested in this course include those who are work in, or who hope to work in:  

  • Horticulture retail
  • Horticulture wholesale
  • Plant nurseries
  • Landscape businesses
  • General horticulture

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Bob James

Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc.,
Yvonne Sharpe

RHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has
John Mason

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.
Jacinda Cole

B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer. He was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up his own landscaping firm. He spent three year
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