COMM 292 Chapter Notes -Good Governance, Ceo Succession, Absenteeism

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
School
UBC
Department
Commerce
Course
COMM 292
Professor
What is Organizational Structure? Chapter 13
Organizational structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped,
and coordinated
Tall pyramid vs. relatively flat
More layers vs. few layers
Structure determines the reporting relationships of people
Restructuring when org.’s change its structure from time to time (often
involves layoffs)
Six key elements that managers need to address when they design an
organization’s structure:
Work Specialization
Aka division of labour the degree to which tasks in the organization are
subdivided into separate jobs
Broken down into a number of steps, each being completed by a different
person
Results in specialization: the more one does a task, the better they become
at it
o Easier and less costly to find and train workers to do specific and
repetitive tasks rather than finding someone that can do all tasks well
o Increases efficiency
o Can lead to boredom, fatigue, stress, absenteeism, high turnover
Solution/balance: put them into teams with interchangeable skills gives
employees a variety of activities to do
Individual Responses to Work Specialization
Work specialization contributes to higher employee productivity but reduced job
satisfaction
Productivity suffers when human diseconomies (satisfaction) overtake
economies of specialization
Departmentalization
Departmentalization the basis on which jobs are grouped together for
increased coordination of similar/related tasks
Risk: if they become silos a separate organization within the organization
disconnected
o Protect own turf poor inter-department interaction narrow vision
with respect to organizational goals
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Functional Departmentalization
Separated by function
Ex. accounting department, HR department, marketing department
Ex. research department, patient care, accounting
Advantage: obtaining efficiencies from putting people with common skills and
orientations together
Product Departmentalization
Separated by type of product the organization produces
Ex. fake lashes, blushes, mascara, lipstick
Advantage: increased accountability for product performance
Ex. bank: banking, investment, insurance
Geographic Departmentalization
Separated by physical place/territory
Useful in sales function similar needs based on their location
Process Departmentalization
Separated by different steps in a process
Ex. aluminum tubing manufacturer: casting, press, tubing, finishing, inspecting,
packing, shipping
Common in manufacturing industry
Homogenous categorizing of activities --. Each process requires different skills
Customer Departmentalization
Separated by the type of customer the organization wishes to reach
Ex. office supply firm: wholesale, retail, government customers
Underlying assumption: each department have a common set of problems and
needs that can best be met by having specialists for each
Organizational Variety in Departmentalization
Trends in departmentalization:
Many organizations give greater emphasis to customer
departmentalization
Rigid, functional departmentalization is being increasingly complemented by
teams that cross over traditional departmental lines
Taking departmentalization a step further: Divisions
Separate profit centers
Chain of Command
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Chain of command continuous line of authority that extends from upper org
levels to the lowest level and clarifies who reports to whom
Delegation assignment of authority to another person to carry out specific
duties, allowing the employee to make some of the decisions
o Usually happens because manager does not have enough time to do
everything
o Ensures that the right people are involved in decision making process
o Empowers employees to make decisions that were previously reserved
for managers
Self managed and cross functional teams decreased relevance in chain
of command
Span of Control
Span of control the number of employees that report to a manager
o Determined by the number of employees a manager can efficiently and
effectively direct
The wider/larger the span, the more efficient the organization
Wider spans = lesser management salary costs BUT be careful not to make the
span so wide or else employee performance will suffer (no leadership/support)
Narrow spans = manager can maintain close control. Drawbacks:
o More costly
o Slow down decision making
o Isolate upper management
o Encourage overly tight supervision, discourage employee autonomy
Trend in recent years: wider spans of control downsizing, move to
teamwork
o Reduce costs, cut overhead, speed up decision making, increase
flexibility, get closer to customers, empower employees
o To make sure performance doesn’t suffer, orgs have been investing
heavily in employee training so they know their
jobs/tasks/responsibilities very well can turn to co-workers when they
have minor questions
Individual Responses to Span of Control
Research fails to support notion that it leads to higher employee performance
No relationship has been found
Related to contingency theories of leadership
Manager’s job satisfaction increases as the number of employees he or she
supervises increases
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Document Summary

Organizational structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated. Structure determines the reporting relationships of people. Restructuring when org. "s change its structure from time to time (often involves layoffs) Six key elements that managers need to address when they design an organization"s structure: Aka division of labour the degree to which tasks in the organization are subdivided into separate jobs. Broken down into a number of steps, each being completed by a different person. Solution/balance: put them into teams with interchangeable skills gives employees a variety of activities to do. Work specialization contributes to higher employee productivity but reduced job satisfaction. Productivity suffers when human diseconomies (satisfaction) overtake economies of specialization. Departmentalization the basis on which jobs are grouped together for increased coordination of similar/related tasks. Risk: if they become silos a separate organization within the organization disconnected: protect own turf poor inter-department interaction narrow vision with respect to organizational goals.

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