Acme and Omega

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Acme’s organizational design takes the form of a mechanistic structure. The internal organization is characterized by rules, procedures, and a clear hierarchy of authority.” The decision-making is very centralized, communication is vertical and tasks are rigidly defined. This is shown in Tyler’s management style. He makes his managers run the organization with strict control, or as he phase it, a “tight ship.” The president (Tyler) does what he wants because all the decision-making power is in his hand (centralized). Acme has a very detailed organization charts and job descriptions. This is because Tyler believes that everyone should have clear responsibilities and narrowly defined jobs. Finally, there is vertical communication in the company. Departments don’t interact or talk with each other. All the information flows from top management down to lower management and employees. If Tyler wants to communicate to the company about changes or demands, he writes memos that he passes down to his upper management, which passes it down to lower management and maybe eventually down to the employees. On the other hand, Omega takes a different approach when it comes to organizational design. The company is organic and the internal organization is characterized by “looser, free-flowing, and adaptive.” Rules and regulations are not written down and hierarchy of authority is not clear. The decision-making authority is decentralized. This can be seen at Omega through the departments contributing to the common tasks (when they were making the chips). Since Rawls does not believe in organization charts, tasks can be adjusted and redefined through the employee teamwork. For example: when a new member of join the industrial engineering department, he found that his role was not clearly defined. One day he is working on a project with a team of mechanical engineers and the next day he could be helping the shipping department design packaging cartons. Finally, there is a lot of horizontal communication. Rawls did not permit memos as a form of communication. He believes that if you have something to say to a person, you should just walk right over to the person and say it. At the end of Part III, the performance difference between Acme and Omega can be attributed to how each organization was internally structure. Acme, for example is structured based on functional groups. Each department specializes in a certain function (drafting, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, purchasing, production, etc.), but the functions was not integrated with each other, which decreases the coordination among departments. Departments that should be working with each other didn’t. The departments were just worried about getting their task done that they putting the prototype together with the missing parts. For example, purchasing didn’t get all the parts from Industrial engineering and decided to assemble the product without the part. This lack of integration among departments produce a lot of errors during the product assemble, which created many delays because departments like production and method couldn’t agree on how to install the component. At Omega, they are a functional structure with horizontal linkages. Even though they do have functional departments like Acme, Omega differs in that they do have cross-functional teams creating horizontal linkages. This allows for greater integration and cooperation among departments. The structure is not formal that it permits them to have informal meetings and assign task roles depending on the project they are working in. They held meetings assign tasks. Departments proposed ideas to help one another and they had daily meetings to discuss their progress. This setup helped Omega solved all their major problems by July 16, while Acme is still scrambling to solve theirs. Also the teamwork and the knowledge sharing allow people at Omega to discover the design error in the blueprint that was sent out by the...
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