Organizational Structure and Culture
Module 4 – Case
Organizational Structure and Culture
This assignment focuses on the importance of organizational structure and its possible impact on employees. After finishing with the Background page and readings, go to the following interview with Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who is a renowned Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and an influential business advisor. Among other things, in this interview she talks about the evolution of changes in organizational structure in the past decades, and the link to employees’ well-being and functioning.
Puffer, S. (2004) Changing organizational structures: An interview with Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Academy of Management Executive, 18(2).
The following article looks at changing organizational structures as open systems and the effect on managers:
Buhler, P. M. (2011). Changing organizational structures and their impact on managers. Supervision, 72(2), 24-26.
Both of these articles can be found in the Trident University Library.
Write a 4- to 5-page critique answering the questions below.
- An organization’s structure can have significant effects on its members. What might those effects be? Analyze the behavioral implications of different organizational designs and use at least two examples.
- Is it possible to generalize and say that a certain structure is better than others? That is, is there a structure that is superior in terms of its effects on its members? Take a stand and defend your comments with references to the concepts in the readings in this module and any previous modules that you find relevant. Demonstrate that you have read, understood, and can apply the background materials by citing them in support of your analysis.
Your paper will be evaluated using the criteria as stated in the Case rubric. The following is a review of the rubric criteria:
Assignment-Driven: Does the paper fully address all aspects of the assignment? Is the assignment addressed accurately and precisely using sound logic? Does the paper meet minimum length requirements?
Critical Thinking: Does the paper demonstrate graduate-level analysis, in which information derived from multiple sources, expert opinions, and assumptions has been critically evaluated and synthesized in the formulation of a logical set of conclusions? Does the paper address the topic with sufficient depth of discussion and analysis?
Business Writing: Is the essay logical, well organized and well written? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are section headings included? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding, or is justification/support instead conveyed through excessive use of direct quotations?
Effective Use of Information: Does the submission demonstrate that the student has read, understood and can apply the background materials for the module? If required, has the student demonstrated effective research, as evidenced by student’s use of relevant and quality (library?) sources? Do additional sources used provide strong support for conclusions drawn, and do they help in shaping the overall paper?
Citing Sources: Does the student demonstrate understanding of APA Style of referencing, by inclusion of proper citations (for paraphrased text and direct quotations) as appropriate? Have all sources (e.g., references used from the Background page, the assignment readings, and outside research) been included, and are these properly cited? Have all sources cited in the paper been included on the References page?
Timeliness: Has the assignment been submitted to TLC (Trident’s learning management system) on or before the module’s due date?
Organizational Structure and Culture
Organizational structure is an essential element which establishes how tasks are managed and organized by management teams and employees. Organizational structures provide opportunities for interpreting how companies handle their businesses internally so as to deliver the outputs on time. Besides, employee behaviors are mostly linked to the desires of performing their duties as well as their attitude on focusing on what is productive and professional. Therefore, the paper presents the behavioral implications of different organizational structures on their members, and an argument on whether there is a superior organizational structure.
Effects of Organizational Structure on Members
Organizations that have highly formalized and mechanistic structures tend to portray fairness in procedures and formal policies. As a result, such structures create employee satisfaction. The mechanistic structures minimize ambiguity and standardize task that employees have to handle thus increasing job satisfaction. Furthermore, the mechanistic structures allow the various divisions of the organization to have their equipment. The situation reduces work redundancy while improving efficiency which enables workers to complete tasks early enough while experiencing minimal interruptions. Such structures motivate workers and make them develop positive attitudes towards work.
Additionally, mechanistic structures have a top-down power hierarchy where decision making is concentrated ate the top organizational members. Thus, employees tend to work together according to their functions and develop obedience to those positioned above them. As a result, the workers become more efficient and proficient in their tasks. However, mechanistic structures reduce the trust level of members as members operate under high-stress levels. Employees spend lots of effort trying to justify the decisions imposed on them or try to find scapegoats when things tend not to work out (Latifi & Shooshtarian, 2014). Furthermore, such structures make employees to develop less creative thinking ability as the structure inhibit initiative and do not create opportunities for workers’ engagement in decision making. For instance, Samsung Electronics uses the mechanistic organizational structure that is influenced by Korean organizational culture where the firm’s managerial decisions occur. As a result, Samsung has been criticized for lack of innovation (Chun, 2015). The lack of innovation has resulted from the powerful bureaucracy and formalization that make organization members less creative.
Organic organizational structures are characterized by wide spans of control, less formalization, and low degrees of departmentalization. Such structures increase employee job satisfaction and motivate workers since authority is centralized at the individual level. Furthermore, organic structures increase employee creative thinking since workers experience the flexibility to solve problems using different approaches since there is a lower level of the hierarchy. Besides, such structures promote openness among organization members due to the lack of close supervision (Chun, 2015). Moreover, the organic structures make employees develop enthusiasm and encourage teamwork since authority is decentralized. However, such structures promote irresponsible behaviors at workplace due to the indirect supervision and may lead to decreased efficiency. Toyota Company is a good example of organizations that benefit from the organic structures. Toyota attempts to eliminate social discrimination between managers and employees. All organizational members have the same uniforms, no executive offices, and no executive parking areas (Sosnovskikh, 2016). The organizational members experience equal favors, and there are mutual trust and teamwork in problem-solving. Besides, standardization of work in Toyota is highly encouraged, a condition that leads to punctuality in the delivery of products to customers.
Superiority of Structures
The primary objective of organizational structure is to provide the organization with means of full filling its functions in the environment (Lunenburg, 2012). However, the modern business world is characterized by continuous changes. The situation also makes companies configure their organizational designs so as to remain successful frequently. Therefore, no structure is considered the best for organizations. Rather, the most appropriate structure is only applicable regarding the needs of an organization at a particular time. Besides, as the circumstance in which a firm operates changes as well as the environmental factors so does the need for a different organizational structure that would suit the changes.
Nowadays, organizations are perceived as open systems which focus on external environments and stakeholders are more linked to the external environmental factors than earlier times (Alshehhi, 2014). Therefore, any organizational design that would allow the organization to adapt to the external environment and create flexibility is thus considered useful to the organization. Moreover, any design that is capable of structuring an organization by improving the responsiveness of the firm against the uncertainties predisposed by the external environment is regarded to be appropriate for the enterprise. For instance, the heavy bureaucratic structures respond slowly to the external environmental changes due to their rigidness and are thus may not be considered suitable for a rapidly changing business environment. Furthermore, the highly formalized chain of command of such structures causes delays in responding to external changes.
Currently, firms to identify their competitive advantages and core competencies and concentrate their efforts on their strengths. The non-essential functions can undergo outsourcing, a factor that could make the organization structure to change. Besides, the technological advancements, especially in the information technology, leads to cross-functional and integration of work causing changes in supervisory functions. As a result, the traditional legitimate power that is predominant in the mechanistic structures is being replaced by leadership positions while at the same time increasing the costs of running businesses since the new structures create the demand for hiring managers. Besides, the new structures may also cause employees and managers to become loaned to suppliers and customers, therefore, causing infectiveness.
Moreover, structures that allow organization members to be dynamic by being part of the sensitive nature of the firm is regarded as suitable for the firm. For instance, the modern environment requires managers to be in the front line in creating a culture shift. Therefore, any structure that favors managers in setting examples and providing sufficient motivation to employees for them to embrace change, and enables managers to enhance their strategic orientation may thus be considered suitable.
relationships exist between
organizational structures and behaviors of organization members. The behavioral
implications are mainly based on
attitudes and motivation of employees that get manipulated by the positivity
and negativities that exist within the organization designs. For instance, mechanistic
structures are highly hierarchical and thus reduces the trust of organization members and creative thinking.
Organic structures, on the other hand,
have a wide span of control which
promotes teamwork, creative thinking and job satisfaction. Moreover, the best
structure for a particular organization is hard
to determine, and it could be said
that there is no superior structure. The
best structure for any firm relies on the setting of the business, the members
of the organization, and what the organization’s mission and vision are. Besides,
the modern business world is constantly changing,
and any structure that allows the organization
to adapt to the external environment and create flexibility is thus considered useful to the organization.
Alshehhi, O. (2014). Enhancing Successful Organizational Change through Institutionalization. Pp 15-175.
Chun, J. (2015). How Samsung Electronics’ Organizational Structure and Culture Affect its Innovation. Pp 2-13.
Latifi, M. & Shooshtarian, Z. (2014). The Effects of Organizational Structure on Organizational Trust and Effectiveness. Polish Journal of Management Studies. 10(2), 73-84.
Lunenburg, F.C. (2012). Organizational Structure: Mintzberg’s Framework. International Journal of Scholarly, Academic, Intellectual Diversity. 14(1), 1-7
Sosnovskikh, S. (2016). Toyota Motor Corporation: Organizational Culture. Journal of Philosophy Study. 6(7), 442-454.