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York University
Communication Studies
COMN 4115
Dalton Kehoe

Organizational Communication Lecture – October 11 , 2013 Environments and Organizational Structure Organizational structure varies in terms of Environmental Demands Simple: Complex: Few factors Many Factors Similar Not Similar From a box manufacturer producing simple products with simple machines (simple) to a space agency that must use skill, knowledge and tools from a variety of fields to achieve complex outputs. (complex) Environment is complex to the extent that the organization must have a great deal of sophisticated knowledge about customers, products, etc. Stable: Dynamic: No/Low Change Constant Change From a local woodcarver whose clients want the same pine carvings year after year (stable) to a CSI team who never know exactly what they will walk into. (dynamic) Four Environments: An Overview 1. Simple Structure 2. Machine Bureaucracy (Simple/Stable Environment)– It is so well organized and so unrelated to individual needs, power differences, money differences, etc. that it can run with anyone put in a slot, because the job is so well organized and clearly written down that anyone can learn the job by reading the description. a. Divisionalized Bureaucracy – extension of single machine bureaucracy 3. Professional Bureaucracy (Complex/Stable) – Highly trained professionals who get the training before they get the job. More adjustment than machine bureaucracy. Professional, life is more complex, need to know a great deal more before you get the job. 4. Adhocracy (Complex/Dynamic) – factors you’re dealing with are unpredictable. Organization works primarily on mutual adjustment, no previous training because no one can predict what is going to happen next. Complicated environment that moves all the time. Connections between Functions & Structure Katz/Kahn (function) Mintzberg (structure) 1. Production Operating Core 2. Maintenance Technostructure & Support Staff 3. Boundary Support  Pro-dis (things) Technostructure & Operating Core  Pro-dis (peole) Technostructure & Support Staff 4. Adaptive Support Staff 5. Managerial Strategic Apex and Middle Line Mintzberg: Graphic model of Functions Mature organizations use 5 Structural components to handle the 5 functions to respond to the 4 types of environment. Strategic Apex – Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officers (eg. Pres., CEO, COO, CFO, etc.) Technostructure – Strategic planning, personnel training, operations research, systems analysis and design Support Staff – Legal counsel, public relations, payroll, mailroom clerks, cafeteria workers Middle Line – VP operations, VP marketing, etc. Plant managers, sales managers, and front line supervisors Operating Core – purchasing agents, machine operators, assemblers, sales persons, shippers Environmental Overview: Box 1 Simple, Dynamic: Moderately high-perceived uncertainty Environment:  Small number of components  Somewhat the same  In continual change Appropriate Structure:  Low division of labor (most do same work or all can do different but fairly simple work)  Not complicated work but the environment changes (new customers, new types of orders come in)  Low formalization (few written rules-mutual adjustment. More talk.)  High centralization (authority at strategic apex)  Run by a single person but assisted by other people by talking together (ex. Family business)  Informal structure (organic) Simple Structure: Structure:  Simple, informal, flexible  Coordination through direct supervision and mutual adjustment Context:
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