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Some Questions About Organizing
What does it mean if you are ‘organized’?
Everything’s planned, no chaos, you know what to do, structured
Can you be too organized? What would this mean?
No room for error – what if it happens anyway, less innovative
Is there one best way to be organized? Is there more than one way to be organized?
How does this relate to a pig? Oh right, the different perspectives that people/jobs can have – well
organized for a doctor may not be well organized for Tracy.
Does being ‘organized’ mean the same thing now as it did one hundred years ago?
How has the internet and whatnot affected organization?
Are there gender or cultural or occupational differences in the meaning of organized?
Is it ever good to not be ‘organized’? When? Why?
What are the components of traditional management ideas about ‘organization’?
Possible question for the midterm
Structures designed to achieve goals.
What are the components of Karl Weick’s ideas about ‘organization’?
Clear unambiguous rules we know how to follow. As long as everyone in the organization shares the
interpretation, you’re fine.
A road sign = organization – it’s a regulator.
Organizing = Bureaucracy?
Max Weber and the invention of bureaucracy
o As mass production was to industrial production, so bureaucracy was to service
o Bureaucracy was NOT a bad word – it was an innovation
Bureaucracy means slow, inefficient, brutal nowadays.
o An innovation and a Trojan horse (‘the iron cage’)
What was administration like before bureaucracy?
o Why are ‘tax collectors’ hated in so many old stories? (Robin Hood, King Arthur, the
o Tradition domination – self-interested status quo
o Charismatic/political domination
Weber’s Ideal Principles of Bureaucracy: Focus on the Cracy of the Bureau…
o ‘Kratos’ – authority
o ‘Bureau’ – desk/office/position/role
Structure it so offices have power, not people so people don’t act like shits. Which doesn’t really work
actually because we’re cheeky monkeys.
Official business is conducted with strict accordance to explicit rules, including:
o The duty of each official is delimited in terms of impersonal criteria
o The official is given the authority necessary to carry out his assigned functions, BUT the
means of coercion at their disposal are strictly limited and conditions of their use strictly
Every official’s responsibilities and authority are part of a vertical hierarchy of authority
Allows for control and it means we can share goals
How to Organize Anything
o Generic and modern positive bureaucracy a la text
‘Basic’ Elements of Organizing’
1. Goals specify work (Mission specifics/constrains goals)
2. The overall work of the organization is broke down in appropriate tasks (task decomposition)
3. Members know what their specific sub-tasks are (division of labour)
4. Members know whom they should defer to (chain of command, hierarchy, reporting and
5. Members’ task performance fits together meaningfully with their coworkers (coordination and
integration back to #1)
BUT BUT BUT BUT What if so many things now are not simple, predetermined or
predeterminable? Nope. Fake word. Predetermined, really.
If everything is supposed to fit together and you change one thing, everything gets affected.
Why don’t people like bureaucracy? Not flexible and slow – hierarchical.
An Organizing Vocabulary
How do you describe ‘organization’? How is ‘it’ organized?
How does this work/change in more network/chaos/changing business contexts?
o Organized for Google vs organized for GM
Dimensions of an organization’s structure
Four Mainstream Dimensions of Organizing
Standardization - Emphasises developing uniform practices for organizational members to follow in doing their
jobs – ensures that work activities are being with consistent levels of quality and cost
Before people thought you shouldn’t make two things the same – it’s boring. Even making pins or nails –
they’d be slightly different. Th