The Iceberg Theory in the Old Man and the Sea

Topics: Organizational structure, Organization, Management Pages: 9 (2901 words) Published: September 21, 2010
In business, organization structure means the relationships between positions & people who hold the positions. Organization structure is very important because it provides an efficient work system as well as a system of communication. First of all we should distinguish between the organizing function & organizing structure. The organizing function is the process of breaking down the overall task into small jobs along with delegated authority to do those jobs & then putting them back together in units, or departments, of an optimal size according to some consistent bases. Thus we can describe the organizing function as dividing task into jobs, delegating authority, determining appropriate bases for departmentalizing jobs, & deciding the optimal number of jobs in a particular department. It helps to coordinate effort & create authority relationships. Organizing structure is considered by many to be “the anatomy of the organization, providing a foundation within which the organization functions”. So the idea of a structure is a frame work – differentiation of position, prescriptions of authority. So structure helps to regulate the behavior of employees. There are can be different kinds of organization structure, & firms can change their organization structure by becoming more or less centralized. Most organization have a hierarchical or pyramidal structure, with one person or a group of people at the top, & increasing number of people below them at each successive level. There is a clear line or chain of command running down the pyramid. All the people in the organization know what decision they are able to make, who their superior (or boss) is (to whom they report), & who their immediate subordinates are (to whom they can give instructions). This structure is one of the simplest  & it’s also called a line structure. Some people in the organization have colleagues who help them: for example, there are might be an Assistant to the Marketing Manager. This is known as a staff position: its holder has no line authority, & is not integrated into the chain of command, unlike, for example, the Assistant Marketing Manager, who is number two in the marketing department. This structure is known as a staff structure. Yet the activities of most companies are too complicated to be organized in a single hierarchy. Shortly before the First World War, the French industrialist Henry Fayol organized his coal-mining business according to the functions that it had to carry out. He is generally credited with inventing functional organization, including (among others) production, finance, marketing, sales, & personnel or staff departments. The functional type of organization structure reflects an arrangement based on the nature of the activities that must be performed. Related activities are grouped together in the functional areas with which they are most clearly identified. The chief executive of each area occupies a position on the second level of the organization & generally has the title Vice-President. This means, for example, that the production & marketing departments cannot take financial decisions without consulting the finance department. The functional structure allows for coordination of related activities, thereby reducing the risk of empire building by specialized areas & resulting in greater efficiency. The structure’s most distinguishing feature is that staff managers may have line (functional) authority for their particular activities. But in a functional structure the request could be an order. As I’ve already said the functional structure is efficient, but there are two standard criticisms. Firstly, people are usually more concerned with the success of their department than that of the company, so there are permanent battles between, for example, finance & marketing, or marketing & production, which have incompatible goals. Secondly, separating functions is unlikely to encourage innovation. An inherit problem of hierarchies is...
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