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Fundamentals of Organizing


Vellore Institute Of Technology
Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

The deployment of organizational resources to achieve strategic goals. The deployment of resources is reflected in the division of labor. Formal lines of authority and mechanisms for coordinating diverse organization tasks.

Fundamental Concepts of Organizing

Differentiation means that the organization is composed of
units that work on specialized tasks using different work methods and requiring employees with unique competencies.

Integration means that the various units must be put back together so that work is coordinated.

Organizing Process
Differentiation Specialization Delegation of Authority Integration

Purposes of Organizing
Divides work to be done into specific jobs and departments. Assigns tasks and responsibilities associated with individual jobs. Coordinates diverse organizational tasks. Clusters jobs into units. Establishes relationships among individuals, groups, and departments. Establishes formal lines of authority. Allocates and deploys organizational resources.

Organizational Structure

(Basic Need)

The rights inherent in a managerial position to tell people what to do and to expect them to do it. Responsibility

The obligation or expectation to perform.

Unity of Command The concept that a person should have one boss and should report only to that person.

What is Organization Structure?

It defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated
Key elements to be addressed:
Work specialization Departmentalization Chain of command Span of control Centralization Decentralization Formalization

Element 1: Work Specialization

Also known as division of labor Describes the degree to which activities in the organization are subdivided into separate jobs Benefits:
Greater efficiency and lower costs

Human costs when carried too far Job enlargement as a solution

Work Specialization (Cont.)

The degree to which tasks in the

organization are divided into separate jobs with each step completed by a

different person.
Overspecialization can result in human

diseconomies from boredom, fatigue,

stress, poor quality, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover.

Element 2: Departmentalization
Basis by which jobs are grouped together so that common tasks can be coordinated Common bases:
Function Product Geography Process Customer

Departmentalization by Type
A) Functional Grouping jobs by functions performed B) Product Grouping jobs by product line C) Geographical Grouping jobs on the basis of territory or geography D) Process Grouping jobs on the basis of product or customer flow E) Customer

Grouping jobs by type

of customer and needs

A) Functional Departmentalization
Groups Job According To Functions

B) Geographical Departmentalization

C) Product Departmentalization

D) Process Departmentalization

+ More efficient flow of work activities Can only be used with certain types of products

E) Customer Departmentalization

+ Customers needs and problems can be met by specialists - Duplication of functions - Limited view of organizational goals

Element 3: Chain of Command

Unbroken line of authority that extends from the top of the organization to the lowest echelon and clarifies who reports to whom

Authority: positional rights Unity of Command principle: one boss Fewer organizations find this is relevant

Element 4: Span of Control

The number of employees a manager is expected to effectively and efficiently direct
Determines the number of levels and managers an organization has
Trend is toward wider spans of control Wider span depends on knowledgeable employees Affects speed of communication and decision making

Span of Control (Cont.)

Width of span is affected by: Skills and abilities of the manager Employee characteristics Characteristics of the work being done Similarity of tasks Complexity of tasks Physical proximity of subordinates Standardization of tasks Sophistication of the organizations information system Strength of the organizations culture Preferred style of the manager

Element 5: Centralization and Decentralization

Centralization - degree to which decision making is concentrated at a single point in the organization
Only includes formal authority: positional rights Highly centralized when top managers make all the decisions Decentralized when front line employees and supervisors make decisions Trend is toward increased decentralization


Organizations in which decision making is pushed down to the managers who are closest to the action.

Factors that Influence the Amount of Centralization and Decentralization

More Centralization

Environment is stable. Lower-level managers are not as capable or experienced at making decisions as upper-level managers. Lower-level managers do not want to have a say in decisions. Decisions are relatively minor. Organization is facing a crisis or the risk of company failure. Company is large.

Effective implementation of company strategies depends on managers retaining say over what happens.

Factors that Influence the Amount of Centralization and Decentralization

More Decentralization

Environment is complex, uncertain. Lower-level managers are capable and experienced at making decisions. Lower-level managers want a voice in decisions. Decisions are significant. Corporate culture is open to allowing managers to have a say in what happens.

Company is geographically dispersed.

Effective implementation of company strategies depends on managers having involvement and flexibility to make decisions.

Element 6: Formalization
Degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized
Formal = minimum discretion over what is to be done, when it is done, and how Informal = freedom to act is necessary & fewer
constraints on how employees do their work.

Common Organizational Designs (Traditional Designs)

1) Simple structure Low departmentalization, wide spans of control, centralized authority, little formalization 2) Functional structure Departmentalization by function
Operations, finance, marketing, human resources, and product research and development

3) Divisional structure Composed of separate business units or divisions with limited autonomy under the coordination and control the parent corporation.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Traditional Organizational Designs

Common Organizational Designs

1) Simple structure
2) Bureaucracy 3) Matrix structure

1.Simple Structure

Low degree of departmentalization Wide spans of control Authority centralized in a single person Little formalization Difficult to maintain in anything other than small organizations

Highly routine operating tasks achieved through specialization
Formal rules and regulations Centralized authority

Narrow spans of control

Tasks grouped by functional departments Decision making follows the chain of command

Matrix Structure
Combines two forms of departmentalization
Functional Product

Dual chain of command Advantages:

Facilitates coordination and efficient allocation of specialists

Possible confusion, fosters power struggles, stress

Matrix Structure for a College of Business Administration

New Design Options

The Virtual Organization
A small core organization that outsources major business functions Also known as a network or modular organization

The Boundaryless Organization

Eliminates vertical and horizontal boundaries Removes exterior barriers Relies heavily on technology
Customers Workers Suppliers

Removing External Boundaries

Virtual Organization An organization that consists of a small core of full-time employees and that temporarily hires specialists to work on opportunities that arise. Network Organization A small core organization that outsources its major business functions (e.g., manufacturing) in order to concentrate on what it does best. Modular Organization A manufacturing organization that uses outside suppliers to provide product components for its final assembly operations.

Models of Organizational Design

Mechanistic Versus Organic Organization

High specialization Rigid departmentalization Clear chain of command Narrow spans of control

Cross-functional teams Cross-hierarchical teams Free flow of information

Wide spans of control

Decentralization Low formalization

High formalization

The Four Forces that Influence Structure

1. Strategy
Innovation introduce new offerings - organic Cost-Minimization cost control - mechanistic Imitation minimal risk and maximum profit - both

2. Organization Size
Bigger becomes mechanistic Firms change from organic to mechanistic organizations as they grow in size.

3. Technology
Routine equals mechanistic, non routine is organic. Firms adapt their structure to the technology they use. Dynamic environments require organic structures; mechanistic structures need stable environments.

4. Environment

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