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Management and Organizational Studies 2181A/B Study Guide - Final Guide: Complex Differential Form, Flat Organization

Management and Organizational Studies
Course Code
MOS 2181A/B
Sarah Ross
Study Guide

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MOS 2181 Final Exam Part 5
Organizational Structure
- Organizational Structure: Formally dictates how jobs and tasks are divided and
coordinated between individuals and groups within the company
- Organizational Chart: A drawing that represents every job in the organization and the
formal reporting relationships between those jobs
o Helps to understand and comprehend all the different types of jobs and their
Elements of Organizational Structures
1. Work specialization
2. Chain of command
3. Span of control
4. Centralization
5. Formalization
Work Specialization
- Work Specialization: The degree to which tasks in an organization are divided into
separate jobs
- The division of labour
- Shows how many tasks an employee performs
- Never ending trade-off with productivity, flexibility and worker motivation
o Eaple: highl speialized a udeie eploee’s fleiilit
o Example: high levels of specialization are better in bigger firms then smaller ones
- Benefit of specialization = easier to train employees in just one task, tend to get very
good at it due to repetition, productivity is high
- Bad pats to speializatio = Do’t get autoo o feedo, e get oed eall
Chain of Command
- Chain of Command: Specifies who reports to whom; signifies formal authority
- Most rely on this to maintain order, control and predictable performance
- Newer structures have made this harder, as now it is common to report to more than
one different manager
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Span of Control
- Span of Control: Represents how many employees each manager in the organization has
responsibility for
- If a manager is not responsible for a lot of people = narrow span of control (ex: 2)
o Allows managers to be more hands on
o Important when the manager has substantially more skill/expertise than the
o Requires a lot of managers to be hired (high labour costs)
o If too narrow, employees can become resentful of their close supervision
o Refeed to as tall
More managers/manageial salaies… epesie
o Can lead to worsened communications with the addition of managers, and
slower decision makings due to the many steps
o Easy to mentor and oversee the work of employees
o Potential issue = micro managing
- If a manager is responsible for a lot of people = wide span of control (ex: 10)
o Refeed to as flat
o Potetial adatage = eploees o’t feel oeoded
o Hard because the supervisors cannot always oversee each employee effectively
- *Having a moderate span of control is the best (highest potential performance)
- Centralization: Aspect of structure that dictates where decisions are formally made in
- You have to share decision making to some extent
o Want to make it clear on employees of who they should go to
- High centralization = only top managers can make decisions
- Low centralization = low level employees are given the authority to make decisions
o Neessa as opa’s go
o Many organizations are moving towards this
- Formalization: The degree to which rules and procedures are used to standardize
behaviours and decisions in an organization
- High formalization = many rules to follow
- Low formalization = not many rules to follow
Combining Elements
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- Example #1: wide span of control = decentralization
- Example #2: high level of specialization = high level of formalization
- Mechanistic Organizations: Efficient, rigid, predictable, and standardized organizations
that thrive in stable environments
o High formalization, rigid and hierarchical chain of command high degree of work
specialization, centralization and narrow spans of control
o May be the only way for many organizations to survive the only way to
structure work functions
o Work well in stable environments
o The structure of the organization is hard to change
o Allows transformational leaders to have greater impacts
- Organic Organizations: Flexible, adaptive, outward-focused organizations that thrive in
dynamic environments
o Low formalization, weak/multiple chains of command, low specialization, wide
spans of control
o Good for environments that are adapting and changing
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