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Chapter 13

COMM 292: Chapter 13

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COMM 292
Angela Kelleher

COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour Chapter 13 What Is Organizational Structure?  How job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated  There are usually flat and pyramidal organizational structures Work Specialization:  The degree to which tasks in the organization are subdivided into separate jobs (division of labour) o Jobs are broken down into steps and a person specializes in one of the steps o Increases efficiency and productivity, and encourages special inventions/innovations o Can lead to boredom, fatigue, stress, poor quality, high turnover Individual Responses to Work Specialization:  Generally contributes to higher employee productivity but lower job satisfaction  There diminishing marginal returns that is associated with specializing for too long in one task Departmentalization:  Basis on which jobs are grouped together o Departments protect their own and do not interact with other departments o This can lead to a narrow vision with respect to organizational goals Functional Departmentalization:  Activities are most often grouped by the types of functions that are performed  Increased efficiency from grouping people of the same common skills together into one unit Product Departmentalization:  Tasks can also be departmentalized by the type of product the organization produces o Creates an increased accountability for product performance o All activities are related to a specific product line are under the direction of one manager Geographic Departmentalization:  Departmentalization can also be bases on geographic location or territory o Can be divided regionally (B.C., Ontario, Atlantic Canada, West, etc.) o Best when customers are in one geographic location with similar needs or wants Process Departmentalization:  Companies organize departments based on the processing that occurs o Ex. Finishing, inspecting, packaging, shipping, etc. o Can be used for processing customers, as well as products Customer Departmentalization: COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour  Departmentalization can be categorized on the basis of particular types of customers (target markets) o Specific departments can provide specialized services to different customers  Service retail, wholesale, customer service, technical support o Customer needs can be best met through specialized departments Organizational Variety in Departmentalization:  Large organizations change their departmentalization to reflect new needs or emphases o Many organizations have a greater emphasis to customer departmentalization o Rigid/functional departmentalization is being increasingly complemented by teams that cross over traditional departmental lines  As tasks have become more complex and more diverse skills are needed to complete the tasks, managers turn to cross-functional teams o One step further is turning departments into separate divisions that are separate profit centres o Each division sets it own strategic goals and plans to accomplish them Chain of Command:  The continuous line of authority that extends from upper organizational levels to the lowest level and clarifies who reports to whom o Tells employees who to go to if they have a problem and who they report to  Delegation: assignment of authority to another person to carry out specific duties, allowing the employee to make some of the decisions o Employees can become empowered to make decisions that were previously for managers  Self-managed and cross-functional teams have decreased the relevance of chain-of- command Span of Control:  The number of employees that report to a manager  Determined by the number of employees a manager can efficiently and effectively direct o The wider of larger the span the more efficient the organization  At some point managers manage too many employees and it becomes less efficient  Employee performance suffers as managers have limited time to support individuals  Narrow spans are more expensive, they make communication complex, and are sometimes overly tight for supervision and lack employee autonomy Individual Responses to Span of Control:  There is no research to show that there is a best type of span of control o Each employee is different and will prefer different things compared to the next employee Centralization and Decentralization: COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour  Centralization: degree to which decision making is concentrated at a single point in the organization o Top managers or executives make decisions without input from lower-level employees  Decentralization: degree to which decision making is distributed to lower-level employees o Action can be taken more quickly to solve problems o More people provide input for decisions, and are closer to the management levels Individual Responses to Centralization:  Decision making is positively related to job satisfaction o Decentralization is strongest with employees who have low self-esteem  Employees are not held solely responsible for decision outcomes Formalization:  The degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized o Highly formalized jobs have explicit job descriptions and lots of organization rules o Clearly defined procedures covering work processes in the organization  Low formalization means employees have freedom to exercise discretion in their work o The greater the standardization, the less input the employee has into their own work o Standardization eliminates the possibility of employees engaging in alternative behaviours Mechanistic and Organic Organizations:  Mechanistic model: structure characterized by high specialization, rigid departmentalization, a clear chain of command, narrow spans of control, a limited information network, and centralization o Includes little participation by lower-level members in decision making processes o Adopted by government bureaucracies  Organic model: structure that is flat, uses cross-functional and cross-hierarchical teams, possesses a comprehensive information network, has wide spans of control and low formalization o Involves high level of participation in decision making processes o Adopted by high-tech firms, individuals collaborating with each other, dynamic firms, etc. Individual Responses to Organizational Structure:  Organization with high levels of bureaucratic orientation have heavy reliance on higher authority o Prefer formalized and specific rules, and formal relationships with others on the job  Organizations with a low degree of bureaucratic orientation fit better with organic models  Cultural differences along with individual differences need to be considered o Included employee performance and satisfaction with each different model Tradition
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