Aes Honeycomb

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#1. AES’ organizational structure can best be classified as a non-bureaucratic, flat organization structure with the key goal of empowerment of individuals to run their respective areas for the common good of the whole organization. The honeycomb design described in the case evidences a variety of pods or families with a team leader where each family of 10 to 20 individuals work on specific functions in a plant. For example, beneath the plant manager you have a number of functions such as the control room family, turbine family, service family, etc, all effectively performing the various operations required for the plant to operate. The plant manager reports directly to the CEO. Hence, AES has approximately 3 levels in the organization from entry level to CEO making it very flat. While there were minimal levels of command, AES prided itself on the empowerment it gave its employees. Workers were expected to self-monitor or police their own activities. Permission to do what the individual thought would be in the best interests of the pod or corporation without having to seek the approval of others first were key factors of the AES way of life. Authority was minimal as there were no handbooks and manuals, operating and tech depts., no supervisors and no “turf”. Employees were empowered to spend for things they felt were in the best interest of the pod and manage suppliers the same way. AES controlled its operations through its value system, its supply of information throughout the organization and its personnel controls. The employees had the flexibility to do what they felt was best but within the context of the values instilled or preached by AES. AES relied on peer pressure within the pods for individuals to follow the right way of doing things. Controls were instilled through the value training the company did. Also, HQ was instrumental in providing information on safety and operating performance throughout the organization and such feedback...
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