Posts Tagged Organization Structure

ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE AND CHART-1

Both the organization chart and job description are simplified abstractions of the actual situation. In reality there are many more positions and relationships than indicated in the organization chart. It might happen that industrial cleaning might not clean all required things. The degree of authority a superior has over his subordinate is also not indicated in the chart, nor is the relationship between two managers at an equal level reflected in the organization chart.

 

Despite all these limitations, the organization chart is an extremely useful tool in understanding and designing the structure. The structure of an organization, unlike that of a physical mechanical or biological system, is not visible. Therefore, it can only be understood by a representative model and by observing its behaviour.

 

The elements of an organization structure are: 

1.      the network of formal relationships and duties, i.e. the organization chart plus the job descriptions,

2.      the manner in which various tasks and activities are assigned to different people and departments (differentiation),

3.      the manner in which the separate activities and tasks are coordinated (integration),

4.      the power, status, and hierarchical relationships within the organization (authority system),

5.      the planned and formalize policies, procedures and controls that guide the activities and relationships (administrative system), and

6.      the flow of information and communication network.

 

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ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE AND CHART

Organization structure refers to the formal, established pattern of relationships amongst the various parts of a firm or any organization. The fact that these relationships are formal implies that they are deliberately specified and adopted and do not evolve on their own. Of course, it may sometimes happen that given an unusual situation, new working relationships may evolve and which may later be adopted as representing the formal structure. For example for a blinds company who manufacturing vertical blinds, roman shades, faux wood blinds, formal relation between sales department and production department is must.

 

The second key word in our definition of structure is ‘established’. Only when relationships are clearly spelled out and accepted by everyone, can they be considered as constituting a structure. However, this does not mean that once established, there can be no change in these relationships. Changes may be necessary with passage of time and change of circumstances, but frequent and erratic changes are to be avoided. A structure can be based on relationships only if they exhibit a certain degree of durability and stability.

 

The organization chart is a rather abstract illustration of the structure. To get a more complete picture, the chart may be supplemented by job descriptions of each position. The job description gives in detail the activities and responsibilities expected of the person occupying the position.

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ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE AND DESIGN

Organizing is the formal grouping of activities and resources for facilitating attainment of specific organizational objectives. It is possible to achieve objectives without formally organizing, but there is likely to be great wastage of resources and time. Organizing ensures that objectives are achieved in the shortest possible time, in an orderly manner, with maximum utilization of the given resources. For a company who are selling blinds, vertical blinds, roman shades online, utilization of each leads given to them is most important part of organization.

 

In the context of a firm, its people, machines, building, factories, money, and credit available for use are the resources at its disposal. All these resources are limited. Your roles as a manager is to organize all these resources, so that there is no confusion, conflict, duplication or wastage in achieving your organization’s objectives and authority for utilizing the resources assigned to him, and the higher authority to whom he has to periodically report his progress. In this unit, we will take up all these issues for discussion, dwelling at some length on the various types of organization structure that you can choose from to suit your company’s specific objectives.

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MATRIX ORGANIZATION-1

The change to a matrix cannot be accomplished by issuing a new organization chart People are brought up, by and large, to think in terms of “one person, one boss” and such habits of mind are not easily changed. People must learn to work comfortably and effectively in a different way of managing and organizing.

 

Ideally, the matrix form organization induces (1) the focusing of undivided human effort on two (or more) essential organizational tasks simultaneously, (2) the processing of a great deal of information and the commitment of organization to a balanced reasoned response, and (3) the rapid redeployment of human resources to various projects, products, services, clients, or markets. 

Diamond-shaped organization rather than the conventional pyramid. The top of the diamond represents the same top management symbolized by the top of the pyramid. The two arms of the diamond symbolize the dual chain of command. In the typical case the left arm would array the functional specialist groups or what could be thought of as the resource or input side of the organization. The right arm arrays the various products, projects, markets, clients, services or areas the organization is set up to provide.

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Product versus Functional Forms-5

If functional structure is adopted, projects may fall behind; if product/project organization is chosen technology and specialization may not develop optimally. Therefore, the need for a compromise between the two becomes imperative.

 

The possible compromises between product and functional bases include, in ascending order of structural complexity:

 

  1. The use of cross-functional teams to facilitate integration. These teams provide some opportunity for communication and conflict resolution and also a degree of common identification with product goals that characterizes the product organization. At the same time, they retain the differentiation provided by the functional organization.
  2. The appointment of full-time integrators of coordinators around a product. These product managers or project managers encourage the functional specialists to become committed to product goals and help resolve conflicts between them. The specialists will retain their primary identification with their functions.
  3. The “matrix” or grid organization, which combines the product and functional forms by overlaying one on the other. Some managers wear functional hats and are involved in the day-to-day, more routine activities. Naturally, they identify with functional goals and are more involved in the problem-solving activity required to cope with long-range issues and to achieve cross-functional coordination.

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Product versus Functional Forms-4

The discussion in the preceding section and an overview of literature on function vs product choice, permits us to observe that both forms of organization design have their own set advantages and disadvantages. The functional structure facilitates the acquisition of specialized inputs. In permits pooling of resources and sharing them across products or projects.

 

The organization can hire, utilize and retain specialists. However the problem lies in coordinating the varying nature and amount of skills required at different times. The product or project organization, on the other hand, facilitates coordination among specialists; but may result in duplicating costs and reduction in the degree of specialization. For example, a blinds manufacturing company who manufacture roller shades and woven wood shades, need to adopt product forms not functional. It depend on the type of business company is doing. A term life insurance company can go with functional while a motels industry need to select product. Thus, if functional structure is adopted, projects may fall behind; if product/project organization is chosen technology and specialization may not develop optimally. Therefore, the need for a compromise between the two becomes imperative.

 

The possible compromises between product and functional bases include, in ascending order of structural complexity:

 

  1. The use of cross-functional teams to facilitate integration. These teams provide some opportunity for communication and conflict resolution and also a degree of common identification with product goals that characterizes the product organization. At the same time, they retain the differentiation provided by the functional organization.

We will discuss on two other structural complexity in next post.

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Product Versus Functional Forms-3

Today we continue our talk on Product Versus Functional. Walker and Lorsch studies two plants which were closely matched in several ways. They were making the same product; their markets, technology, and even raw materials were identical. The parent companies were also similar; both were large national corporations that developed, manufactured, and marketed many consumer products. In each case divisional and corporate headquarters were located more than 100 miles from the facilities studied. The plants were separated from other structures at the same site, where other company products were made.

 

Both plants had very similar management styles. They stressed their desire to roster employee’s initiative and autonomy and placed great reliance on selection of well-qualified department heads. They also identified explicitly the same two objectives. The first was to formulate, package, and ship the products in minimum time at specified levels of quality and at minimum costs-that is, within existing capabilities. The second was to improve the capabilities of the plant.

 

In each plant there were identical functional specialists involved with the manufacturing units and packing unit, as well as quality control, planning and scheduling, warehousing, industrial engineering, and plant engineering.

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