Organisational Design & Development
Approaches to Design
When looking at developing or evaluating an organisations structure it is best to understand the historical and theoretical context behind organisational development and design. HR practitioner’s need to understand this as it will allow them to think about how an organisation should be designed and developed through studies and theorists case studies. It will give HR practitioners a starting point to enable them to evaluate their current structure within their organisation and critique its relevance in today’s industry as well as allowing the practitioner to understand the role and functions of management and their limitations within the structure. This report will outline the historical and theoretical context of organisational development and design. It will evaluate the relevance of these designs in today’s industry. It will detail how organisational design and development affects organisational culture, norms and behaviours within organisations. Examples of some organisations structures will be shown and detail on how their structure has influenced its cultures, norms and behaviours within its organisation. Historical and Theoretical basis of Organisational Design and Development There are four main approaches or broad school of thoughts of theory to organisation, structure and management that have been taken over the years, these are as follows: 1. Classical Approach (1900)
2. Human Approach (30’s)
3. Systems Approach (60’s)
4. Contingency Approach (60’s -70’s)
The Classical Approach originated mostly in the early to mid-twentieth centuries. Emphasis was on purpose of the organisation, formal structure, hierarchy of management, technical requirements of the organisation and what the common principles of the organisation were.
The classical approach has been developed by an number of writers (Taylor, Fayol, Urwick, Mooney and Reiley, Webber and Brech). These writers placed emphasis on the planning of work, technical requirements of an organisation, principles of management and the assumption of rational and logical behaviour. (Mullins 2005; 67).
Each of these writers focused on a set of principles for the design of a logical organisational structure. They saw these principles as a set of rules which offered solutions to common problems of organisations and management. Although each of these writers had their own set of principles Fayol and Urwick principles were the most publicised. These principles were to be used when an organisation was designing or developing their organisation’s structure.
Fayol recognised there was no limit to the principles of management but advocated 14. Urwich originally specified 8 principles of management but in his later writings specified 10 principles of management. The principles of Fayol and Urwich did not fit all organisations they were more suitable to large production organisation and this was noted by Mooney and Reilly who later developed on Taylor’s principles and set out a number of common place principles that related to all types organisations. Within their principles they placed emphasis on hierarchy, grading of duties, and process of delegation, specialisation with clear differences between duties and the need for people to work together by means of action.
Brech went on to develop another set of principles on the back of Urwich writings that was more practical to the practising manager. Brech placed emphasis on the need for written definition of responsibilities and the value of job descriptions as an aid to effective organisation and delegation. Brech is not as definite as other writers and does recognise that there should be a degree of flexibility depending on the particular situation.
This classical approach is a good starting point to analyse the effectiveness of an...