Every organization needs to decide how to divide its work or activities, how to coordinate all work – related activities and how to control these activities to ensure that goals are achieved. The organization must consider its external environment and the internal systems and processes used to transform inputs to outputs. A manager of any organization must ensure consistency between the structure of the organization, the scale of its operations, the tasks at hand, the needs of all stakeholders and the strategic direction of the organization. This consistency between structure and operations distinguishes successful organizations from less successful ones. Organization
An organization is defined as a group of people working, in a structured setting, towards the achievement of a common goal. It is a collectivity with a relatively identifiable boundary, a normative order, ranks of authority, communication systems, and membership coordinating systems. This collectively exists on a relatively continuous basis in an environment and engages in activities that are usually related to a set of goals; the activities have outcomes for organization itself and society. Organization Structure and Design
Organizational structure and organizational design are very closely related. The process of choosing and implementing a structural configuration is referred to as organizational design. Organizational executives should adjust the structural configuration of their organizations to best meet the challenges faces at any given time. The organizational structure is the formal structure that shows the intended configuration of positions, job duties and lines of authority among different parts of the enterprise. This structure emerges from the process of designing the organization. It reflects the goals the organization and also reflects the contingency factors that impact on the organization design, such as the organization’s size, environment, technology and strategy. The formal structure also involves the decisions that are made about who has authority, how the organization and its members will be divided up to achieve tasks and how activities will be controlled and coordinated. Organization charts are diagrams that depict the formal structure of organizations. A typical chart shows the various positions, the position holders and the lines of authority that link them to one another.
Fig. a partial organization chart for a university
Factors Influencing Organization Design
Some particular factors will have an impact on the choices made when designing the organization: technology, environment and strategy. As organizations grow the structure is likely to become more complex. 1.
Technology: Organizations are said to arrange their internal structures to meet the dictates of their dominant ‘technologies’ or work flows, this is known as the technological imperative. It is basically the idea that if an organization does not adjust its internal structure to the requirements of the technology, it will not be successful. Technology is the combination of resources, knowledge and techniques that creates a product or service output for an organization. The match between structure and technology is important for the successful design of organizations. 2.
Environment: An effective organization design reflects powerful external forces as well as the desires of employees and managers. As open systems, organizations need to receive various inputs from their environment and sell various outputs to their environment. Environment can be labeled as either: a.
General – that is, the set of cultural, economic, legal, political and educational conditions found in the areas in which the organization operates. b.
Specific – which involves the mix of owners, suppliers, distributors, government agencies and competitors with which it interacts. 3.
Strategy: Organizational strategy is the process of positioning the...
References: Kreitner, R. & Kinicki, A. (2001). Organizational Behavior (5th ed.). USA: The McGraw-Hill Company, Inc.
Luthans, F. (1995). Organizational Behavior (7th ed.). Singapore: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
French, R., Rayner, C., Rees, G., & Rumbles, S. (2008). Organizational Behavior. England: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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