Hrm Learning Log

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HRM 1002

The first lecture that we had was basically explaining the module and gave a brief outline of what we are going to be studying throughout the year. We then went on to discuss this in the seminar. Obviously there was not much work done for this week as we were just taking everything in and coming to grips with what the module entailed. Lecture number two started off with a series of quotes with people defining organisational behaviour. I consider the ‘organisational behaviour is one of the most complex and perhaps least understood academic elements of modern general management but since it concerns the behaviour of people within organisations it is also one of the most central’ as one of the most accurate and appropriate ways to describe organisational behaviour. The other two quotes were by no means inaccurate, but they were a bit brief and wouldn’t really explain much if you were trying to tell somebody what organisational behaviour was. This then brought us to the organisational iceberg, this is an interesting and key point. I have found a diagram from the internet to illustrate the iceberg

I found this model very fascinating and the quote about what sinks a ship is very clever, because so much that goes on in an organisation is not seen. It is simply that an informal organisation is a ‘looser’ structured flexible organisation with informal relationships and a formal organisation would be an opposite one with a planned structure with a hierarchy. Hugh put some definitions of organisational behaviour up and I read them and found that they were both fairly strong definitions although one was a lot more detailed than the other. The next lecture was very much defining what an organisation is, different types of organisations and how we define them. This was a fairly big lecture and there was quite a lot to take in I thought. What is an organisation? I agree with the definition of JD Mooney that organisation is the form of every human association for the attainment of a common purpose, as well as Huczynski & Buchanans ‘entity’ view because they are short yet strong and easy to understand and I feel that I would definitely be more likely to remember these definitions than Robbins’ definition for example, which sounds a bit more intricate. The next lecture brought us to something similar, giving us the chance to reflect on the organisational iceberg, and still defining organisational structure.

I researched into tall and flat organisational structures this week and found this diagram on the internet which helps demonstrate how different organisations have different structures, and there is no better or worse structure, because each organisation requires a different structure. I found centralisation and decentralisation quite challenging, so I looked up the meanings to begin with on the internet. I found that centralisation is described as the process by which the activities of an organisation, particularly those regarding planning decision-making, become concentrated within a particular location or group. Alternatively, decentralisation was defined as the process of dispersing decision-making governance closer to the people and citizen. It includes the dispersal of administration or governance in sectors or areas like engineering, management science, political science, political economy, sociology and economics. These definitions helped me understand the table in the lecture slides easier. The matrix structure was also covered in this lecture. This seemed a more complex structure where a lot of individuals are mixed together and each person may have to work under several managers at a time. For this week’s lecture we were given a SEMCO case study and some organisational charts to look at. We spoke about trying to define work and then got into small groups and came up with our own definition of work. It was very interesting how everyone’s opinions and definitions of work were so different....
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