Different Ways of Organizing in Supervision and Management
Organizing constitutes a crucial management function. It is essentially concerned with task allocation, division of labor, chain of command, lines of authority and communication, delegation, span of control, as well as supervision and coordination (Shafiee, Razminia & Zeymaran, 2016). The manner in which these processes are organized significantly influences organizational effectiveness and efficiency. It determines how quick or slow decisions are made and implemented. This is particularly important in a constantly evolving environment, in which agility is a crucial parameter of competitive advantage (Felin & Powell, 2016). Organizational structure also shapes relationships between superiors and subordinates (Shafiee, Razminia & Zeymaran, 2016).
There are different ways through which the organizing function may be executed. For instance, organizational structure may adopt either the centralized or decentralized form. The former entails concentrating decision-making authority in top organizational positions, while that latter involves distributing decision-making authority to lower levels of the organization (Bunderson et al., 2016). Organizational structure may also take the vertical or spatial form. A vertical organizational structure entails a narrow management span and several hierarchies, while a broader span of control and lesser hierarchical levels (Felin & Powell, 2016) characterize a flat/spatial structure. In addition, organizational processes are also grouped according to functions (such as finance and marketing), product divisions (such as food products and personal care products), or geographic locations (such as North America, Europe and Asia) (Altman, 2016).
It is important to note that no single structure applies to all organizations. For instance, organizations in vibrant, active industries often require structures that permit agility and responsiveness, while those in stable, staid industries may often succeed with more rigid structures (Felin & Powell, 2016). In addition, an organization may deploy more than one structure at the same time. For instance, an organization may combine the functional and divisional designs, resulting in what is referred to as the matrix structure (Altman, 2016). Essentially, every structure presents its own merits and demerits.
For instance, a tall or centralized structure usually ensures clear accountability, faster flow of authority, quicker decision-making, better coordination, and less conflict (Bunderson et al., 2016). Nonetheless, such a structure may hinder creativity and reduce employee motivation, ultimately affecting performance and productivity (Bunderson et al., 2016).
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On the other hand, a flat or decentralized structure often enhances autonomy and empowers individuals at lower levels of the organization to make decisions, which may in turn minimize bureaucracy as well as foster creativity and innovation (Felin & Powell, 2016). Organizations such as Google and 3M have benefited significantly from such structures. Nonetheless, allowing extreme autonomy, especially to individuals that are not accountable, may cause an organization to lose control over the working and affect decision-making (Felin & Powell, 2016). In addition, decision-making may be slowed since different perspectives must often be taken into consideration (Bunderson et al., 2016). Therefore, discretion must be exercised when attempting to flatten or decentralize an organization. Moreover, a blend of the functional and divisional structure (matrix structure) may address the challenge of directing workflow authorizations to the appropriate individual, but may create confusion and interpersonal conflicts if there is no clear clarification of roles (Altman, 2016).
Overall, the different approaches to organizing present their own strengths and limitations. An organization must carefully weigh the associated merits and demerits, with specific consideration to factors such as its size, geographic scope, product portfolio, and industry of operation. Careful selection of organization structure is crucial for guaranteeing organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
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Felin, T., & Powell, T. (2016). Designing organizations for dynamic capabilities. California Management, 58(4), 78-96.
Shafiee, H., Razminia, E., & Zeymaran, N. (2016). Investigating the relationship between
organizational structure factors and personnel performance. International Journal of Management, Accounting and Economics, 3(2), 160-165.
Leadership Theories 3
Part 2: Leadership Theories
The importance of effective leadership in organizational success is indisputable. In fact, leadership is what differentiates successful and high-performing organizations from the rest. Leadership is essentially the process of guiding a group.....
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