Business in context (Chapter 6) ~ Discussion questions.
How are goals formed and what are the major difficulties encountered in goal formulation and implementation? Goals are formed to give direction to the activities of its members. The formation of goals can be a highly political process; this can cause conflict, but the goals of most businesses are generally accepted as being these of the senior management team. Goals are developed much through the work of Cyert and March (1963). They see organizations in terms of individuals and groups who combine to pursue mutual interests; this is the most effective way of achieving their goals. Goals are more specific statements of intent than a mission statement, but are still broad and generalised.
What are the major causes of goal conflict and how might they be resolved? The main causes of goal conflict are that they can be highly political. Conflict is mainly through four main factors which are: 1. Goals formulated by senior management as a means of achieving their own goals; this is a result of bargaining and negotiating process between interest groups. 2. Organization members would appear to accept the goals from top management with little question; this may seem to be an implied element of the employment contract. 3. The dominant coalition is normally put in place to achieve their goals; such controls have been alluded to earlier and include selection procedures, to ensure all rules are followed. In addition technology can replace job allocation, and financial controls in the form of budgets and reward systems, managers ensure a minimum level of compliance with their chosen goals. 4. Management have different goals to many of the groups; they have to acknowledge this.
Assess the relative importance of the various strategic, organizational and environmental factors, which influence organizational structure. An organizational structure is a grouping of activities and people to achieve the goals of the organization. There are a number of factors that influence a structure. First the relationship between both structure and strategy is examined, then in the work of A. Chandler which then identified other factors such as: (1)Technology (2)Size (3)Changes in the environment (4)Culture and (5)Interest groups.
Why did firms adopt multi‐divisional structures? What advantages do they have over functional structures? A multi – divisional company compromises a number of business units, which may pursue markedly different types of business activity. The business units operate as a profit centres and are culturally co-ordinated by a corporate headquarters, which may also control certain central services, some of which are as research and development and finance. This kind of structure was developed in the USA in response to a business growth and complexity. Stopford and Wills (1972) noted that a strong influence of strategy on structure and that the shift from functional to multi – divisional structures with expansion internationally.
Assess the advantages and the disadvantages to both management and employees of flexile forms of organization. Flexibility within a firm / organization can occur in a number of ways; these include the employment of part time workers, those on short term contracts and the use of outsourced contract work. Advantages – management.
1. Employees are able to do a range of jobs, so they do not have to hire as many people. 2. Important recognition of the difficulties that many employees have in balancing their family obligations and their work duties, and they note that such programs can make a company more attractive to prospective employees
Disadvantages – management.
1. If used by employees who are unwilling or unable to put in a full day of work amid the non-work temptations (television, pleasure reading, housecleaning, etc.) of a home setting. Other companies, meanwhile, find that employees "flex" in and out of the business at such...
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