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Management 2 Pages

Organizational Cultures

Question

Organizational Culture

Have you ever observed how some organizations just seem to be shining stars in their fields, even if the product or service they produce is not that much different from their competitors? Have you noticed that it seems that they are the ones who are the most successful? Did you ever wonder why? Read the following material on organizational culture for some insights into what culture is, what it does, how it is formed, and how it is taught to newcomers in the organization. This reading is available in the Trident University Library.

Denison, D., Hooijberg, R., & Lane, N. (2012). Building a high-performance Business Culture. Leading Culture Change in Global Organizations : Aligning Culture and Strategy. (pp. 1-23), Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons.

This material on organizational culture type may be particularly helpful as you prepare your Module 4 SLP assignment.

McNamara, C. (2000) Organizational Culture. Adapted from the Fieldguide to Organizational Leadership and Supervision. Free Management Library. http://managementhelp.org/organizations/culture.htm

Organizational Structure and Design

The way an organization is designed and structured can have significant effects on its members and its ability to execute its strategy. In this module we will try to understand those effects and analyze the behavioral implications of different organizational designs.

An organizational structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated. According to Robbins and Judge (2014) managers need to address six key elements when they design their organization’s structure:

  • Work specialization – the extent to which activities are subdivided into separate jobs.
  • Departmentalization – the basis on which jobs will be grouped together.
  • Chain of command – the people who individuals and groups report to.
  • Span of control – the number of individuals that a manager can direct efficiently and effectively.
  • Centralization and de-centralization – the locus of decision-making authority.
  • Formalization – the extent to which there will be rules and regulations to direct employees and managers.

A simple, but classical, classification of organizational designs focuses on mechanistic versus organic design. The mechanistic design is characterized by extensive departmentalization, high formalization, a limited information network, and centralization. The organic design is characterized by low formalization, flat hierarchy and the use of cross-hierarchical and cross-functional teams, free flow of information, and decentralization. Each design has advantages and disadvantages. For example, a mechanistic design is good for keeping the costs of standardized products or services down, but it inhibits innovation and creativity. Read this short summary comparing mechanistic and organic organizational structures:

Mechanistic vs. Organic Organizational Structure: Contingency Theory (2014) BusinessMate.Org Contigency Theory

A more sophisticated look at organizational structure considers the different ways that work organized and coordinated to best fit the organizations mission and objectives. Common forms are divisional structures, functional structures, team-based or process structures, and flexible structures. The key learning here is that the structure selected should match the organization’s strategy – or it will be very difficult for the organization to be successful.

The following reading explains these different structures. Their advantages and disadvantages, and suggests the strategic considerations for when each should be used. Though this article is on the older side, it is still right on target.

Anand, N. & Daft, R. L. (2007). What is the right organizational design? Organizational dynamics, 36, 329-344. retrieved from What is the Right Organization Design.pdf

There are newer names for the types of structures discussed by Anand and Daft in the section of their article titled Era 3. This updates the terminology in the article above, though all of the forms Anand and Daft discuss are still common today. The virtual organization and the boundaryless organization are among these new structures. The virtual organization is a relatively small, core organization that outsources major business functions. The boundaryless organization has teams instead of departments, and aspires to have as flat a hierarchy as possible.

Combining culture and structure

Designing an organizations structure involves more than just shifting boxes and lines on an organizational chart. Mootee (2012) offers several critical tests when considering the adequacy designing an organization’s structure:

  • The Future Test: Does the design reflect the needs for how a company plans to compete in the future?
  • The People/Culture Test: Does the design adequately reflect the motivations, strengths and weaknesses of employees?
  • The Competitive Advantage Test: Does the design allocate sufficient management emphasis to the strategic priorities?
  • The Power Test: Does the design provide the desired allocated power to groups/individuals that is linked to the strategic value of the unit or functions?
  • The Agility Test: Is the design adaptable and swift to respond to future changes? (p. 1)

It makes intuitive sense that organizational culture and organizational structure should affect each other. Indeed, the way work is coordinated, the way hierarchies are designed, and the way communications are channeled should align with the norms and values of the people who work there. If they do not, there will be tension and conflict between the way people feel comfortable working and the structures that force work to be done in a different way. The following article is an excellent and compelling analysis of the why management should consciously insure that culture and structure support each other so that the organization can function as smoothly and effectively as possible.

Janicijevic, N. (2013). The mutual Impact of organizational culture and structure. Economic Annals 58(198). Retrieved from THE MUTUAL IMPACT OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AND STRUCTURE.pdf

Optional Reading

Organizational Culture

Another classic source for an overview to organizational culture is Schein, E.H. (1997) Organizational Culture & Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.tnellen.com/ted/tc/schein.html

A terrific meta site with links to just about every topic connected to organizational culture can be found at Organisation culture: Links and articles.(n.d.) Retrieved from Culture.html#Case Studies

Organizational Structure and Design

The Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management has a plethora of resources that include numerous articles, books, and text on organizational effectiveness, structure, design and strategy, and organizational change.

Tools for design and change. (2004). Center for Leadership & Change Management. Retrieved from Tools for design and change

“Guidelines for Organizational Design” assembled by Carter McNamara, PhD, provides library links to several readings on the topic.

McNamara, C. (n.d.) Guidelines for organization design. In Free Management Library. Retrieved from Organization Design

Mootee, I. (2012). What is the right organizational design for your corporation? And what test to use to know if you’ve got the right one? Innovation Playground. Retrieved from Right Organization For Your Corporation

Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. (2014). Essentials of Organizational Behavior (12th Edition). Pearson.

Solution

Title: Organizational Cultures
Length: 2 pages (702 Words)
Style: APA

Preview

Organizational Cultures

An Organizational Culture refers to the way things are ran in an organization this is the relationship between the employees and the top management and also among the employees. According to the assessment by Moss, my organization has several cultures that are come in at different extents. The organization has, for example, a deliberative or traditional culture where the employees know the effects of their projects on the success of the organization, there are employees from a very many different backgrounds, and sometimes the different departments that are there compete for some of the available organization resources (Moss, 2001).

Secondly, Moss’s assessment stipulates that my organization has an established or stable culture. This is because of several reasons like the organization provides free and available training for its employees when and if it is time to learn a new skill in their respective lines of work. The organization also has a culture where a junior undertakes the tasks that he/she has been given by a superior without questioning if or not they should do them but how they should be done. Finally, the strong culture is brought about by most of the organization’s employees’ who expect to work for the organization for the rest of their careers (Moss, 2001).

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