CHAPTER 13 – FOUNDATIONS OF ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE CHAPTER OBJECTIVES After reading this chapter, students should be able to: 1. Identify the six key elements that define an organization’s structure. 2. Describe a simple structure. 3. Explain the characteristics of a bureaucracy. 4. Describe a matrix organization. 5. Explain the characteristics of a “virtual” organization. 6. Summarize why managers want to create boundaryless organizations. 7. List the factors that favor different organization structures. 8.

Explain the behavioral implications of different organization structures. LECTURE OUTLINE I. WHAT IS ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE? A. Defined (ppt 4) 1. An organization structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated. 2. Six key elements—work specialization, departmentalization, chain of command, span of control, centralization and decentralization, and formalization. a) See Exhibit 13-1. (ppt 5) B. Work Specialization (ppt 6) 1. Early in the twentieth century, Henry Ford became rich and famous by building automobiles on an assembly line. ) By breaking jobs up into small standardized tasks, which could be performed over and over again, Ford was able to produce cars at the rate of one every ten seconds, while using employees who had relatively limited skills. 2. The term work specialization or division of labor describes the degree to which tasks in the organization are subdivided into separate jobs. 3. By the late 1940s most manufacturing jobs in industrialized countries were being done with high work specialization. a) Management saw this as a means to make the most efficient use of employees’ skills. ) Employee skills at performing a task successfully increase through repetition. c) Training for specialization is more efficient from the organization’s perspective. It is easier and less costly to find and train workers to do specific and repetitive tasks than to do a broad range of diverse tasks. 4. For much of the first half of this century, managers viewed work specialization as an unending source of increased productivity but, by the 1960s, there was increasing evidence that a good thing can be carried too far. ) The point was reached of human diseconomies—boredom, fatigue, stress, low productivity, poor quality, increased absenteeism, and high turnover—which more than offset the economic advantages. b) See Exhibit 13-2. 5. Managers then began to increase productivity by enlarging the scope of job activities and by giving employees a variety of activities to do, allowing them to do a whole job, and so on. 6. Today managers recognize the economies work specialization provides as well as the problems it creates when it’s carried too far. C. Departmentalization (ppt 7) 1.

Grouping jobs together so that common tasks can be coordinated. 2. One of the most popular ways is by functions performed. a) The major advantage—is economies of scale by placing people with common skills and orientations into common units. 3. Tasks can also be departmentalized by the type of product the organization produces. a) The major advantage to this type of grouping is increased accountability for product performance, since all activities related to a specific product are under the direction of a single manager. 4. Another departmentalization is on the basis of geography or territory. ) If an organization’s customers are scattered over a large geographical area, then this form of departmentalization can be valuable. 5. Process departmentalization groups people by the specific phase they perform in the production process. a) Because each process requires different skills, this method offers a basis for the homogeneous categorizing of activities. 6. A final category is the particular type of customer. a) The assumption underlying customer departmentalization is that customers in each department have a common set of problems and needs that can best be met by having specialists for each. . Large organizations may use all of the forms of departmentalization. 8. Two general trends, however, seem to be gaining momentum in the past decade. a) Customer departmentalization has grown in popularity. In order to better monitor the needs of customers and serve them. b) The second trend is that rigid functional departmentalization is being complemented by teams that cross over traditional departmental lines. D. Chain of Command (ppt 8-9) 1. In the 1970s, the chain-of-command was a basic cornerstone in organizational design. 2.

The chain of command is an unbroken line of authority that extends from the top of the organization to the lowest echelon and clarifies who reports to whom. 3. It answers questions for employees such as, “To whom do I go to if I have a problem? ” and “To whom am I responsible? ” 4. Two complementary concepts: authority and unity of command. a) Authority refers to the rights inherent in a managerial position to give orders and expect the orders to be obeyed. b) The unity-of-command principle helps preserve the concept of an unbroken line of authority.

It states that a person should have one and only one superior to whom he or she is directly responsible. 5. The concepts of chain of command, authority, and unity of command have substantially less relevance today for several reasons. a) Advancements in computer technology and the trend toward empowering employees. b) Operating employees are being empowered to make decisions that previously were reserved for management. c) The popularity of self-managed and cross-functional teams and the creation of new structural designs that include multiple bosses. E. Span of Control (ppt 10) 1.

All things being equal, the wider or larger the span, the more efficient the organization. a) See Exhibit 13-3 as an example. (ppt 11) 2. Wider spans are more efficient in terms of cost. But at some point, wider spans reduce effectiveness. (ppt 12) 3. Narrow spans of control of five or six employees permit a manager to maintain close control. 4. Narrow spans have three major drawbacks. a) They’re expensive because they add levels of management. b) They make vertical communication in the organization more complex. c) Narrow spans of control encourage overly tight supervision and discourage employee autonomy. . The trend in recent years has been toward wider spans of control. a) To ensure that performance doesn’t suffer organizations have been investing heavily in employee training. F. Centralization and Decentralization (ppt 13) 1. The term centralization refers to the degree to which decision making is concentrated at a single point in the organization. a) The concept includes only formal authority—the rights inherent in one’s position. b) If top management makes the organization’s key decisions with little or no input from lower-level personnel, then the organization is centralized. ) The more that lower-level personnel provide input or are actually given the discretion to make decisions, the more decentralization there is. 2. In a decentralized organization, action can be taken more quickly to solve problems, more people provide input into decisions, and employees are less likely to feel alienated from those who make the decisions that affect their work lives. 3. There has been a marked trend toward decentralizing decision making. G. Formalization (ppt 14) 1. Formalization refers to the degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized. ) If a job is highly formalized, then the job incumbent has a minimum amount of discretion over what is to be done, when it is to be done, and how he or she should do it. 1) Employees can be expected always to handle the same input in exactly the same way, resulting in a consistent and uniform output. 2) There are explicit job descriptions, lots of organizational rules, and clearly defined procedures covering work processes in organizations that have a high degree of formalization. b) Where formalization is low, job behaviors are relatively nonprogrammed and employees have a great deal of freedom to exercise discretion in their work. ) Standardization not only eliminates the possibility of employees’ engaging in alternative behaviors, but it removes the need for employees even to consider alternatives. 2. The degree of formalization can vary widely among organizations and within organizations. II. COMMON ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGNS A. Three Common Organizational Designs are simple structure, bureaucracy, and matrix. (ppt 15) B. The Simple Structure (ppt 16) 1. The simple structure is characterized most by what it is not rather than what it is. a) Not elaborate. b) Low degree of departmentalization. ) Wide spans of control. d) Little formalization. 2. The simple structure is a “flat” organization; it usually has only two or three vertical levels, a loose body of employees, and one individual in whom the decision-making authority is centralized. a) It’s most widely practiced in small businesses in which the manager and the owner are one and the same. b) Preferred in time of temporary crisis because it centralizes control. 3. Strengths a) It is simple. b) It is fast, flexible, inexpensive to maintain, and accountability is clear. 4. Weakness ) It is difficult to maintain in anything other than small organizations. b) As size increases, decision making typically becomes slower. c) It’s risky—everything depends on one person. C. The Bureaucracy (ppt 17-18) 1. Standardization—the key that underlies all bureaucracies. 2. The bureaucracy is characterized by: a) Highly routine operating tasks achieved through specialization. b) Very formalized rules and regulations. c) Tasks that are grouped into functional departments. d) Centralized authority. e) Narrow spans of control. f) Decision making that follows the chain of command. 3. Strengths ) Primary strength—the ability to perform standardized activities efficiently. b) Bureaucracies can get by nicely with less talented and, hence, less costly—-middle- and lower-level managers. c) The pervasiveness of rules and regulations substitutes for managerial discretion. 4. Weaknesses a) Specialization creates sub-unit conflicts. Functional unit goals can override the overall goals of the organization. b) Having to deal with people who work in these organizations: obsessive concern with following the rules. 5. The peak of bureaucracy’s popularity was probably in the 1950s and 1960s. ) The majority of large organizations still take on basic bureaucratic characteristics, particularly specialization and high formalization. b) However, spans of control have generally been widened, authority has become more decentralized, and functional departments have been supplemented with an increased use of teams. c) Another trend is toward breaking bureaucracies up into smaller, though fully functioning, minibureaucracies. D. The Matrix Structure (ppt 19) 1. Used in advertising agencies, aerospace firms, research and development laboratories, construction companies, hospitals, and so on. 2.

The matrix combines two forms of departmentalization—functional and product. 3. The strength of functional departmentalization is that it puts like specialists together. a) Its weakness is that it is difficult to coordinate the specialists’ tasks so that their diverse projects are completed on time and within budget. 4. Product departmentalization, on the other hand, has exactly the opposite strengths and weaknesses. a) It facilitates coordination of specialists so that they can meet deadlines and budget targets, and further, it provides clear responsibility for all activities related to a product. ) But activities and costs are duplicated. 5. The most obvious structural characteristic of the matrix is that it breaks the unity-of-command concept. a) Exhibit 13-4 shows the matrix form as used in a college of business administration. (ppt 20) 6. Strengths a) The ability to facilitate coordination among multiple complex and interdependent activities. 1) As an organization gets larger, its information-processing capacity can become overloaded. 2) The direct and frequent contact between different specialties in the matrix can make for better communication and more flexibility. ) The matrix reduces bureaupathologies. The dual lines of authority reduce tendencies of departmental members to become so busy protecting their little worlds that the organization’s overall goals become secondary. c) It facilitates the efficient allocation of specialists. d) The matrix achieves the advantages of economies of scale by providing the organization with both the best resources and an effective way of ensuring their efficient deployment. 7. Disadvantages a) It creates confusion. b) It has propensity to foster power struggles. c) It places stress on individuals. ) When you dispense with the unity-of-command concept, ambiguity is significantly increased, and ambiguity often leads to conflict. III. NEW OPTIONS A. Three Structural Designs—team structure, the virtual organization, and the boundaryless organization. (ppt 21) B. The Team Structure 1. An organization that uses teams as its central coordination device has a team structure. 2. The primary characteristics of the team structure are that it breaks down departmental barriers and decentralizes decision making to the level of the work team. 3. In smaller companies the team structure can define the entire organization. 4.

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More often the team structure complements what is typically a bureaucracy. C. The Virtual Organization 1. Why own when you can rent? That’s the essence of the virtual organization—a small, core organization that outsources major business functions. In structural terms the virtual organization is highly centralized, with little or no departmentalization. 2. This is a quest for maximum flexibility. These “virtual” organizations have created networks of relationships that allow them to contract out manufacturing, distribution, marketing, or any other business function that management feels can be done better or cheaper by others. 3.

The virtual organization stands in sharp contrast to the typical bureaucracy. 4. Exhibit 13-5 shows a virtual organization. a) The core of the organization is a small group of executives, overseeing in-house activities and coordinating relationships with the other external organizations. 5. The major advantage to the virtual organization is its flexibility. 6. The primary drawback to this structure is that it reduces management’s control over key parts of its business. D. The Boundaryless Organization 1. Former General Electric chairman, Jack Welch, coined the term boundaryless organization to describe what he wanted GE to become. ) The boundaryless organization seeks to eliminate the chain of command, have limitless spans of control, and replace departments with empowered teams. 2. By removing vertical boundaries, management flattens the hierarchy. a) Status and rank are minimized. b) And the organization looks more like a silo than a pyramid. c) Cross-hierarchical teams, participative decision-making practices, and the use of 360-degree performance appraisals are examples of what GE is doing to break down vertical boundaries. 3. Functional departments create horizontal boundaries. ) Reduce these barriers with cross-functional teams and organize activities around processes. b) Cut through horizontal barriers using lateral transfers and rotate people into and out of different functional areas. This approach turns specialists into generalists. 4. When fully operational, the boundaryless organization also breaks down barriers to external constituencies and barriers created by geography. 5. Globalization, strategic alliances, customer-organization linkages, and telecommuting are all examples of practices that reduce external boundaries. 6.

The one common technological thread that makes the boundaryless organization possible is networked computers. a) They allow people to communicate across intraorganizational and interorganizational boundaries. IV. WHY DO STRUCTURES DIFFER? A. See Exhibit 13-6. (ppt 22) 1. There are two extreme models of organization structure. a) Mechanistic—generally synonymous with the bureaucracy in that it has extensive departmentalization, high formalization, a limited information network (mostly downward communication), and little participation by low-level members in decision making. ) Organic—looks like a boundaryless organization. Flat, uses cross-hierarchical and cross-functional teams, has low formalization, possesses a comprehensive information network, involves high participation in decision making. B. Strategy (ppt 23) 1. An organization’s structure is a means to help management achieve its objectives. 2. Strategy and structure should be closely linked—structure should follow strategy. 3. Strategy frameworks focus on three strategy dimensions—innovation, cost minimization, and imitation. ) An innovation strategy does not mean a strategy merely for simple or cosmetic changes from previous offerings, but rather one for meaningful and unique innovations. b) An organization that is pursuing a cost-minimization strategy tightly controls costs, refrains from incurring unnecessary innovation or marketing expenses, and cuts prices in selling a basic product. c) Organizations following an imitation strategy try to capitalize on the best of both of the previous strategies. 1) They seek to minimize risk and maximize opportunity for profit.

Their strategy is to move into new products or new markets only after viability has been proved by innovators. 2) They take the successful ideas of innovators and copy them. 4. Linking strategy and structure. a) Innovators need the flexibility of the organic structure. b) Cost minimizers seek the efficiency and stability of the mechanistic structure. c) Imitators combine the two structures. They use a mechanistic structure in order to maintain tight controls and low costs in their current activities, and at the same time they create organic subunits in which to pursue new undertakings. C.

Organization Size (ppt 24) 1. An organization’s size significantly affects its structure. a) Large organizations—those typically employing 2,000 or more tend to have more specialization, more departmentalization, more vertical levels, and more rules and regulations than do small organizations. b) But the relationship isn’t linear. c) Size affects structure at a decreasing rate. D. Technology 1. The term technology refers to how an organization transfers its inputs into outputs. 2. Every organization has at least one technology for converting financial, human, and physical resources into products or services. . The bottom line on numerous studies on the technology-structure relationship. a) The common theme that differentiates technologies is their degree of routineness. b) Technologies tend toward either routine or nonroutine activities. 1) The former is characterized by automated and standardized operations. 2) Nonroutine activities are customized. They include such varied operations as furniture restoring, custom shoe making, and genetic research. 4. The relationship between technology and structure. a) Routine tasks are associated with taller and more departmentalized structures. 5.

The relationship between technology and formalization, however, is stronger. a) Studies consistently show routineness to be associated with the presence of rule manuals, job descriptions, and other formalized documentation. E. Environmental Uncertainty 1. An organization’s environment is composed of those institutions or forces that are outside the organization and potentially affect the organization’s performance. 2. The environment is considered a key determinant of structure. 3. An organization’s structure is affected by its environment because of environmental uncertainty. 4.

Relationship of environmental uncertainty to different structural arrangements. a) The more dynamic and uncertain the environment, the greater the need for flexibility. b) Organic structure will lead to higher organizational effectiveness. c) Conversely, in stable and predictable environments, the mechanistic form will be the structure of choice. V. ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE AND EMPLOYEE BEHAVIOR A. Affects of Structure on Behavior (ppt 25) 1. The conclusion of a review of the evidence linking organization structures to employee performance and satisfaction shows that you can’t generalize. ) Not everyone prefers the freedom and flexibility of organic structures. b) Some people are most productive and satisfied with mechanistic structures. 2. The evidence generally indicates that work specialization contributes to higher employee productivity but at the price of reduced job satisfaction. 3. Work specialization is not an unending source of higher productivity. a) Problems start to surface, and productivity begins to suffer, when the human diseconomies of doing repetitive and narrow tasks overtake the economies of specialization. . Some individuals want work that makes minimal intellectual demands and provides the security of routine. For these people, high work specialization is a source of job satisfaction. B. Span of Control 1. There is no evidence to support a relationship between span of control and employee performance. 2. It is intuitively attractive to argue that wide spans lead to higher employee performance because they provide more distant supervision and more opportunity for personal initiative, but the research fails to support this notion. 3.

It is impossible to state that any particular span of control is best for producing high performance or high satisfaction among subordinates due to individual differences. C. Centralization 1. There is strong evidence linking centralization and job satisfaction. a) The less centralization, the greater amount of participative decision making. b) Evidence suggests that participative decision making is positively related to job satisfaction. c) But, again, individual differences surface. 2. The decentralization-satisfaction relationship is strongest with employees who have low self-esteem. . To maximize employee performance and satisfaction, take individual differences into account. VI. IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGERS 1. An organization’s internal structure contributes to explaining and predicting employee behavior. The structural relationships in which people work have an important bearing on their attitudes and behavior. 2. To the degree that an organization’s structure reduces ambiguity for employees and clarifies such concerns as “What am I supposed to do? ” “How am I supposed to do it? ” “To whom do I report? ” and “To whom do I go to if I have a problem? it shapes their attitudes and facilitates and motivates them to higher levels of performance. 3. Of course, structure also constrains employees to the extent that it limits and controls what they do. Organizations structured around high levels of formalization and specialization, the chain of command, etc. , give employees little autonomy. In contrast, organizations that are structured around limited specialization, low formalization, wide spans of control, and the like provide employees greater freedom and, thus, will be characterized by greater behavioral diversity.

SUMMARY (ppt 26-27) 1. An organization structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated and is defined itself by six key elements: work specialization, departmentalization, chain of command, span of control, centralization and decentralization, and formalization. 2. The simple structure is characterized most by what it is not rather than what it is: not elaborate, low degree of departmentalization, wide spans of control, and little formalization.

The simple structure is a “flat” organization; it usually has only two or three vertical levels, a loose body of employees, and one individual in whom the decision-making authority is centralized. 3. The bureaucracy is marked by standardization. It is also characterized by highly routine operating tasks achieved through specialization, very formalized rules and regulations, tasks that are grouped into functional departments, centralized authority, narrow spans of control, and so on. 4. The matrix combines two forms of departmentalization—functional and product.

Used in advertising agencies, aerospace firms, research and development laboratories, construction companies, hospitals, etc. 5. Why own when you can rent? That’s the essence of the virtual organization—a small, core organization that outsources major business functions. In structural terms,, the virtual organization is highly centralized, with little or no departmentalization. 6. The boundaryless organization seeks to eliminate the chain of command, have limitless spans of control, and replace departments with empowered teams. By removing vertical boundaries, management flattens the hierarchy.

When fully operational, the boundaryless organization also breaks down barriers to external constituencies and barriers created by geography. Globalization, strategic alliances, customer-organization linkages, and telecommuting are all examples of practices that reduce external boundaries. 7. There are two very different models of organization structure. Mechanistic—generally synonymous with the bureaucracy in that it has extensive departmentalization, high formalization, a limited information network (mostly downward communication), and little participation by low-level members in decision making.

Organic—looks like a boundaryless organization. It is flat, uses cross-hierarchical and cross-functional teams, has low formalization, possesses a comprehensive information network, involves high participation in decision making. 8. An organization’s structure is a means to help management achieve its objectives. Strategy and structure should be closely linked—structure should follow strategy. Strategy frameworks focus on three strategy dimensions—innovation, cost minimization, and imitation and the structural design that works best with each? 9.

The conclusion of a review of the evidence linking organization structures to employee performance and satisfaction shows that you can’t generalize. The evidence generally indicates that work specialization contributes to higher employee productivity but at the price of reduced job satisfaction. Work specialization is not an unending source of higher productivity. Some individuals want work that makes minimal intellectual demands and provides the security of routine. For these people, high work specialization is a source of job satisfaction. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS . Identify the six key elements that define an organization’s structure. Answer – An organization structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated. Six key elements—work specialization, departmentalization, chain of command, span of control, centralization and decentralization, and formalization. The term work specialization, or division of labor describes the degree to which tasks in the organization are subdivided into separate jobs. Departmentalization is the grouping of jobs together so those common tasks can be coordinated.

The chain of command is an unbroken line of authority that extends from the top of the organization to the lowest echelon and clarifies who reports to whom. Span of control. All things being equal, the wider or larger the span, the more efficient the organization. Wider spans are more efficient in terms of cost. But at some point wider spans reduce effectiveness. Narrow spans of control of five or six employees permit a manager to maintain close control. The term centralization refers to the degree to which decision making is concentrated at a single point in the organization.

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In a decentralized organization, action can be taken more quickly to solve problems, more people provide input into decisions, and employees are less likely to feel alienated from those who make the decisions that affect their work lives. Formalization refers to the degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized. 2. Identify the five most common ways to departmentalize an organization, and give a reason why you would select each particular method. Answer – One of the most popular ways to group activities is by functions performed.

A manufacturing manager might organize his or her plant this way in order to obtain efficiencies from putting like specialists together and seek economies of scale. Organizations can also departmentalize by the product the organization produces. The major advantage of this type of groups is increased accountability for product performance. A third way to departmentalize is on the basis of geography or territory. This form of departmentalization can be valuable if an organization’s customers are scattered over a large geographical area.

Process departmentalization is grouping the specialists in one specific phase in the production of the product together. Because each process requires different skills, this method offers a basis for the homogeneous categorization of activities. The final category for departmentalization is to use the particular type of customer the organization seeks to reach. The assumption underlying this method is that customers in each department have a common set of problems and needs that can best be met by having specialists for each. 3.

What are the implications for an organization that is departmentalized wrong? For example, what happens if you are grouped by function, but should be grouped by customer type? Answer- The key is that the organization needs to be structured based upon the design that is the most efficient. To illustrate this point, discuss the chaos that would follow if a restaurant happened to choose departmentalization by product type. This would result in multiple wait staff waiting on each table, and general inefficiencies. This example illustrates how important this concept is. 4.

Why are the concepts of chain of command, authority, and unity of command substantially less relevant today than in previous time periods? Answer – The concepts of chain of command, authority, and unit of command have substantially less relevance today because of advancements in computer technology, the trend toward empowering operating employees to make decisions that previously were reserved for management, the popularity of self-managed and cross-functional teams and the creation of new structural designs that include multiple bosses. 5. What characterizes a simple organizational structure?

What are its strengths and weaknesses? Answer – The simple structure is characterized most by what it is not rather than what it is. The simple structure is a “flat” organization; it usually has only two or three vertical levels, a loose body of employees, and one individual in whom the decision-making authority is centralized. It is most widely practiced in small businesses in which the manager and the owner are one and the same. Preferred in time of temporary crisis because it centralizes control. Its strengths—simplicity, speed, flexible, inexpensive to maintain, and accountability are clear.

Its weakness is that it is difficult to maintain in anything other than small organizations. As size increases, decision making typically becomes slower. It’s risky—everything depends on one person. 6. Explain the characteristics of a bureaucracy. Answer – The bureaucracy is characterized by: highly routine operating tasks achieved through specialization, very formalized rules and regulations, tasks that are grouped into functional departments, centralized authority, narrow spans of control, and decision making that follows the chain of command. Its primary strength—the ability to perform standardized activities efficiently.

Bureaucracies can get by nicely with less talented and, hence, less costly—-middle- and lower-level managers. The pervasiveness of rules and regulations substitutes for managerial discretion. Its weaknesses—it creates subunit conflicts, functional unit goals can override the overall goals of the organization, and having to deal with people who work in these organizations with an obsessive concern with following the rules. 7. Describe a matrix organization. Answer – The matrix structure is used in advertising agencies, aerospace firms, research and development laboratories, construction companies, hospitals, and so on.

It combines two forms of departmentalization—functional and product. The strength of functional departmentalization—putting like specialists together. Weaknesses—it is difficult to coordinate the specialists’ tasks so that their diverse projects are completed on time and within budget. Product departmentalization, on the other hand, has exactly the opposite strengths and weaknesses. 8. Why would a company decide to use a “virtual” organizational structure? Answer – The essence of the virtual organization—a small, core organization that outsources major business functions.

In structural terms the virtual organization is highly centralized, with little or no departmentalization. This is a quest for maximum flexibility. These “virtual” organizations have created networks of relationships that allow them to contract out manufacturing, distribution, marketing, or any other business function that management feels can be done better or cheaper by others. The major advantage to the virtual organization is its flexibility. The primary drawback to this structure is that it reduces management’s control over key parts of its business. 9.

Why would managers want to create boundaryless organizations? Answer – The boundaryless organization seeks to eliminate the chain of command, have limitless spans of control, and replace departments with empowered teams. By removing vertical boundaries, management flattens the hierarchy. Status and rank are minimized. And the organization looks more like a silo than a pyramid. Cross-hierarchical teams, participative decision-making practices, and the use of 360-degree performance appraisals are examples of what GE is doing to break down vertical boundaries.

When fully operational, the boundaryless organization also breaks down barriers to external constituencies and barriers created by geography. The one common technological thread that makes the boundaryless organization possible is a networked computer. They allow people to communicate across intraorganizational and interorganizational boundaries. 10. Why do organizational structures differ? Answer – There are several key elements that shape organizational structure. Strategy—an organization’s structure is a means to help management achieve its objectives.

Strategy and structure should be closely linked—structure should follow strategy. Strategy frameworks focus on three strategy dimensions—innovation, cost minimization, and imitation and the structural design that works best with each. Size—Organization’s size significantly affects its structure. Large organizations—those typically employing 2,000 or more tend to have more specialization, more departmentalization, more vertical levels, and more rules and regulations than do small organizations. Size affects structure at a decreasing rate.

Technology—The term technology refers to how an organization transfers its inputs into outputs. Every organization has at least one technology for converting financial, human, and physical resources into products or services. Environmental uncertainty—An organization’s environment is composed of those institutions or forces that are outside the organization and potentially affect the organization’s performance. The environment is considered a key determinant of structure. 11. Of what behavioral implications of different organization structures should managers be aware?

Answer – The conclusion of a review of the evidence linking organization structures to employee performance and satisfaction shows that you can’t generalize. Not everyone prefers the freedom and flexibility of organic structures. Some people are most productive and satisfied with mechanistic structures. The evidence generally indicates that work specialization contributes to higher employee productivity but at the price of reduced job satisfaction. Work specialization is not an unending source of higher productivity.

Problems start to surface, and productivity begins to suffer, when the human diseconomies of doing repetitive and narrow tasks overtakes the economies of specialization. Some individuals want work that makes minimal intellectual demands and provides the security of routine. For these people, high work specialization is a source of job satisfaction. There is no evidence to support a relationship between span of control and employee performance. It is impossible to state that any particular span of control is best for producing high performance or high satisfaction among subordinates due to individual differences.

There is strong evidence linking centralization and job satisfaction. The less centralization, the greater amount of participative decision making. Evidence suggests that participative decision making is positively related to job satisfaction. EXERCISES A. University Structure Students will learn how to analyze organizational structure by examining the structure of their current college or university. [If you can find a local business through the Chamber of Commerce or Kiwanis Club, and soon, consider substituting them for the university. ] 1.

Divide the class into groups of three to five students, six groups in total. 2. As a class, create a form for analysis of your selected organization(s). • Use the elements and their corresponding questions as listed on page 179, Figure 13-1, to create the form. • Use a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high) for each category, i. e. , 1- low work specialization, 5 – high departmentalization, and so on. • Leave space for written comments explaining the rating and giving details of the structural element. 3. If you are analyzing a large organization, give each team one structural element to study. . If you are analyzing a small organization, have each team look at the entire organization. 5. Each team should prepare to report orally or in writing on their findings. • If written reports are used, students should give a summary to the class upon submission of their reports. 6. The reports should address: • How is the organization currently structured? • What type of organizational structure is it—organic/mechanistic, simple, bureaucratic, matrix? • Could this organization benefit from a new organizational structure—virtual, team, or boundaryless? How would it benefit? . As a class, discuss the each group’s findings and come to a consensus on the restructuring action, if any, needed to be taken by the organization(s). B. Brick and Mortar vs. Dot. com Structures Today’s retail world is becoming increasingly on-line in terms of consumer buying behavior and habits. In looking at organizational structure, have students research organizations and identify their structures, using the criteria from Exhibit 13-1, page 179. However, assign some groups the traditional “brick and mortar” type of organization, and other groups the dot. om type of organization. Some companies even have both that would make a “tidy” type of comparative analysis. For instance, Barnes and Noble vs. Barnes and Noble. com could be a comparison. Or, compare Talbots to Coldwater Creek. com for women’s apparel. Have the students draw an organizational chart, if possible from their research. C. Mom and Pop Compared to Conglomerate Choose a local, well-known, small organization, i. e. , the Mom and Pop type of organization, with which most students are familiar. Then, choose a large, corporate type organization in the same industry.

Assign students to compare and contrast the organizational structure of these two organizations, and provide a rationale for why each type of organization utilizes its particular style, and why the style of the other organization would not “work. ” Examples would include the local restaurant to McDonald’s, a local motel or hotel to a Marriott, a local entertainment venue (the skating rink) to Disneyland, and so on. This comparison could be assigned as either a writing assignment, or it could take place in class as a small group or whole class discussion. Analyzing Your Organization

Have students discuss with the top managers in their organization the concept of restructuring. When do they make the decision to restructure? In general, restructurings occur as organizations grow, but there are other variables also. Have them discuss how the past changes in structure impacted the people. You might also discuss plans to restructure in the future, and how they determine when to do this, and the scope of the project. After the interview, have the students relate their notes to the six key elements. Did any one element stand out? As a class, were there patterns with various types of organizations?