American Express Company Management


American Express Company is one of the leading financial service institutions in the world. The Company’s headquarter is situated in New York City. Henry Wells and William Fargo established American Express in 1850. The company is reputed for issuing credit cards, charge card, and traveler’s cheques, which have facilitated E-commerce.

The competent management has seen the company dominate the American market amassing 24 per cent of the total value of credit card transactions. The company’s reputation is based on its strong management foundation and proper organization structure. To understand its success principle, this article highlights four basic management roles: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling as executed by the company.


The American Express has a well-organized process and internal operation strategies that have helped it achieve its current milestones. The company operations are based on its strong core values, objectives, and a set of achievable goals. McNamara (2011) asserts that successful companies should have, business strategy, project planning, staff planning and promotional planning, a strategy well utilized by American Express.

Value statement

Unlike many companies, American Express uses a value statement rather than a mission statement. The key values embraced at American Express include:

Customer commitment: the company endeavors to improve the welfare of its customers by initiating best custom relationship. Quality: the company provides exceptional products and unmatched services that improve customer satisfaction. Integrity: the company upholds highest level of transparency in all transactions. Respect for people: the company values its customers: the company appreciates both customers and employees in their development and rewards their royalty.


As part of the efforts to plan and have a clear growth path, the company has several set goals. The American Express goals are to offer superior value proposition to all its clients, Operate with the best-in-class economics, and expand its strong brand name. The company also endeavors to help small businesses thrive.


All short term and long-term plans of the company are captured in its well-developed strategic plan. Due to its strong strategic plan, the American Express has managed to become a force to reckon with. Some of its strategies are; ability to define and pick its target customers in the global market, maintaining a competitive edge against competitors, assuming strong business development and backing it with advertising.

Arndt (2007) suggests that competitive organization should always be ahead of their competitors in production of quality products and unique services. The company aims at diversifying its operation in American as stepping-stone to reach the global market. Helm (2010) supports this strategy arguing that ethnic consumers are likely to set the trend for tremendous success.


The company has a strong organizational structure that ensures proper running of its global market. Under the leadership Kenneth Chenault, the CEO, the organization uses different organization structures to match its diverse operations.

By having a competent board of directors, the CEO is helped in designing and evaluation of organization strategies. Once the strategies are formulated, the directors pass them over to managers for implementation. In most of its operations, the organization assumes straight-line communication and delegation of duties from top to bottom.

The company’s executives are in charge of policy formulation, while the junior managers are responsible for making decisions to execute those policies effectively. The operation managers also organize tasks to be handled affectively by the supervisors and other employees. Operation reports and other reporting are passed from the lower level to the highest level.


To make its operations smooth, American Express managers employ the transformational leadership strategy. The strategy allows the senior managers to work collaboratively with their subordinates. The aim of this strategy is to help in transforming personal values and concepts into synergized efforts that deliver on organizational objectives.

With this leadership strategy, employees’ creativity and innovation is highlighted and enhanced. Therefore, this leadership approach cultivates creativity and innovation amongst employees. The leader obtains divergent views from which he develops a unified opinion through which a superior product/service is developed.

Managers in American Express have an easy task when it comes to issuing of directions due to the transformation leadership strategy employed. Employees at all levels feel responsible and thus take it upon themselves to ensure all directions issued are adhered to or embraced. The constant interaction between the managers and other staff helps in bridging rigid bureaucracy in the organization.

Finally, conflicts within the organization are resolved immediately i.e. as they arise. Conflicts between employees’ and supervisors are resolved by speedily following proper policy directions. In case a dispute persists, arbitration process is used to deal with the problem. Moltz (2010) argues that for any business to enjoy success, conflict resolution is paramount. The stance taken by American Express in resolving the conflict with WPP underlined its commitment in dealing with disputes (Sampey, 2004).


The fourth salient aspect of management is controlling. At American Express Company, it is the role of all managers to infuse control and risk management in all operations at their respective departments. Patton (2011) asserts that managers should endeavor to control the market in which the company operates by offering customized products.

Each manager should compare the company’s performances against the preset goals to measure the level of efficiency and effectiveness in an organization. Managers at American Express use specific indicators to assess the actual performance against the planned operations. Any short fall observed prompts expedite action to address the problem before the situation gets out of hand.

To maintain its performances at the highest level, American Express board of directors sets short run, middle term, and long term targets for the company. Arndt (2007) adds that regular revision of the company targets helps in maintaining high-performance levels.

The company is determined to execute its mandate in the market, effectively and efficiently, by correcting deviations between planned performance and actual performance. The company through installation of powerful systems to generate global market reports has achieved this.

References List

Arndt, M. (2007). McDonald’s 24/7; By Focusing on the Hours between Traditional Mealtimes, The Fast-Food Giant Is Sizzling. Business Week, (4020), 64

Helm, B. (2010). Ethnic Marketing: McDonalds’ Is Lovin’ It. Bloomberg Business Week. Web.

Moltz (2010). 3 Ways to Resolve a Business Conflict. Web.

Patton, L. (2011). Ronald McDonald Sidelined as Chain Toutes Lattes. Bloomberg Business Week. Web.

Sampey, K. (2004). WPP Looking to Ease HSBC, AmEx Conflict. AD week: New York.