Organizational Theory and Design

Topics: Management, Organization, Strategic management Pages: 5 (1540 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Organizational Theory and Design

Organizational Theory and Design
According to Grand Canyon University (2013), organizational theory is an attempt to explain the workings of an organization, and the design is the structure, process, and plan which describe all the actions of an organization and how well they fit to meet the organizational goals. This paper seeks to identify the structural dimensions of Ternary Software Co. along with the application of certain strategic frameworks used for organizational effectiveness. Structural Dimensions

The general characteristics of organizations consist of two main dimensions, structural and contextual. Structural dimensions describe the internal characteristics of an organization by creating a foundation for measuring success. The four main structural dimensions include formalization (written documentation such as job descriptions, manuals, and regulations); specialization (organizational tasks which are separated or division of labor); centralization (levels of authority in the decision making process); and professionalism (education and training) Daft, (2010). The contextual dimensions characteristics describe the organizational climate which consists of size; technology or tools needed to accomplish tasks; environment; goals and strategies; and culture (values and standards shared by employees) Daft, (2010).

Ternary’s Organizational Structure
Ternary is a small software company which writes contracts for other organizations (Daft, 2010). Ternary solicits the opinions, ideas, and or concerns of employees as they participate in the decision-making process. Team members’ responses are welcomed and taken into account as ideas and proposals are worked upon. In terms of structural dimensions, Ternary ranks low in formalization and centralization, just below mid-range in specialization, and mid-range in professionalism on a scale of 1-100 (Daft, 2010). Ternary employs no more than twenty five employees and is deficient in formalization and centralization structures. Ternary’s formalization needs strengthening by identifying the roles of individuals, job descriptions, policies, and regulations, and centralization needs to define the hierarchy or chains authority, who is in control, and who has the final say in the decision making process. Although what seemingly is a good idea to have a contingency of employee represented to share concerns, ideas, designs, and opinions involving the organization, Ternary needs a more defined structure when dealing with this vital stakeholder group. Because of the lack of structure and authority, Ternary falls short in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Allowing employees to overpower or even filibuster a meeting is time consuming and financially burdensome. A basic framework of the organization, including policies and procedure, the chain, lines, and command of authority needs to be established. Ideas, concerns, designs, plans etc. should be welcomed within an established forum, and decisions should be made by designated management individuals. This particular horizontal structure may work well in a rapidly changing environment as it increases communication between different levels of management, but it may also hinder growth of the organization with proposal, designs, and plans not being agreed upon and employees heading back the drawing board (Daft, 2010). In terms of specialization and professionalism, the company seems to have a grasp on the what qualifications and job training is necessary in the software industry, as well as assigning the right job to the right individual, however ranking close to the 50% mark suggests much room for improvement.

Porter’s Competitive Strategies
The three strategies that Porter developed are differentiation, low-cost leadership, and focus (Porter, 1980). Ternary Software Company, being a relatively small organization, needs to distinguish themselves in such a way that customers not...
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