Organization and Political Power

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Discussion Questions Week 4

1. Why do organizational structures differ? What is the difference between a mechanistic structure and an organic structure? Which structure would be most appropriate for an innovative organization like Apple or 3M? What about an organization that focuses on cost-minimization like Wal-Mart? Organizational structures differ because of the different strategies, organizational size, technology, and environment. Consider the mechanistic model and the organic model.  The mechanistic model is characterized by extensive departmentalization, high formalization, a limited information network, and centralization.  The organic model is flat, uses cross-hierarchical and cross-functional teams, has low formalization, possesses a comprehensive information network, and relies on participative decision making. The structure that would be most appropriate for an innovative organization like Apple or 3M would be organic structure. The organization that would focus on cost-minimization like Wal-Mart is a mechanistic structure. 2. What is the difference between the position a person holds in a company and their political power? Is the top executive in an organization always the person who holds the most political power? Explain your answer. In business communities, there is no difference. There is always somebody who has the control of all the resources in an organization, both human and nonhuman resources. This person holds a position in the company above the others. He has a managerial position which exercises control over his subordinates. He has the say and the rest follow. There are of course some limitations as far as his political power is concerned in as much as there are also regulations to abide by. Political power is the ability to control the behavior of others to attain the objectives of the organization. Political power and the person who has it are just one and the same. Political power is the behavior...
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