Thursday, 22 December 2011

07: Effective Organizing and Organizational Culture

Avoiding Mistakes in Organizing by Planning
Lack of design in an organization is illogical, cruel, wasteful and inefficient.

Planning for the Ideal
The search for an ideal organization to reflect enterprise goals under given circumstances is impetus to planning. The ultimate form established, like all other plans, seldom remains unchanged, and continuous remolding of the ideal plan is normally necessary. Nevertheless, an ideal organization plan constitutes a standard, and by comparing the present structure with it, enterprise leaders know what changes should be made when possible. An organizer must always be careful not to be blinded by popular notions in organizing, because what may work in one company may not work in another.

Modification for Human Factor
If available personnel do not fit into the ideal structure and cannot or should not be pushed aside, the only choice is to modify the structure to fit individual capabilities, attitudes, or limitations. Although modification may seem like organizing around people, in this case one is first organizing around the goals to be met and activities to be undertaken and only then making modification for the human factor.

Advantage of Organization Planning
Planning the organization structure helps determine future personnel need and required training programs. Furthermore organization planning can disclose weakness such as, duplication of effort, unclear lines of authority, and overlong lines of communication.

Avoiding Organizational Inflexibility
One basic advantage of organization planning is the avoidance of organizational inflexibility. An effective organization must have the ability to adapt to a changing environment and meet new contingencies. This resistance to change can cause considerable loss of efficiency in organizations.

Avoiding inflexibility through Reorganization
Although reorganization is intended to respond to changes in the enterprise environment, there may be other compelling reasons for reorganization.
1. Change in operations caused by the acquisition or sale of major properties, change in product line or marketing method, business cycle, competitive influences, new production techniques, labor union policy, government regulatory and fiscal policy.
2. Moreover, a new chief executive officer and new vice presidents and department head are likely to have some definite organizational ideas of their own.
3. Furthermore, reorganization may be caused by demonstrated deficiencies in an existing structure. Some of these arise from organization weaknesses: excessive spans of management and committees, lack of union policy, slow decision making, failure to accomplish objectives, inability to meet schedules, excessive cost or break down of financial control.
The need for readjustment and changeIn addition to pressing reasons for reorganization, there is a certain need for moderate and continuing readjustment merely to keep he structure from becoming stagnant.

Making Staff Work Effective
The line-staff problem is not only one of the most difficult that the organizations face but also the source of an extraordinarily large amount of inefficiency. Solving this problem requires great managerial skills, careful attention to principles, and patient teaching of personnel.

Understanding Authority RelationshipsManagers must understand the nature of authority relationships if they want to solve the problems of line and staff. As long as the managers regard line and staff as groups of people or grouping activities, confusion will result. The line relationship involves making decisions and acting on them. The staff relationship, on the other hand, implies the right to assist and counsel. In short line may “tell”, but staff must “sell”.

Making Lines Listen to Staff
Line managers should be encouraged or required to consult with the staff. Enterprises would do well to adopt the practice of compulsory staff assistance wherein the line must listen to staff.

Keeping Staff Informed
Many criticisms arise because staff assistants are not kept informed on matters within their field.

Requiring Completed Staff Work
Many staff persons overlook the fact that in order to be most helpful, their recommendations should be complete enough to make possible a simple positive or negative answer by a line manager. Staff assistants should be problem solvers and not problem creator. Completed staff work implies presentation of a clear recommendation based on full consideration of problem, clearance with persons importantly affected. Should a recommendation be accepted, through staff work provides line managers with the machinery to put in into effect. People in staff positions who learn to do these things can find themselves highly valued and appreciated.

Making Staff Work as a Way or Organizational Life

Wherever staff is used, its responsibility is to develop and maintain a climate of favorable personal relations. A staff assistant should not attempt to assume credit for an idea. Not only is this a sure way of alienating line teammates who do not like being shown up by staff assistant, but operating managers who accept ideas actually bear responsibility for the implementation of the proposals. Companies also employ the outside assistance of professional firms. In such case, it is difficult to hold outside staff accountable when those staff people are not involved in the implementation of their recommendations.

Avoiding Conflicts by Clarification

A major reason for conflict in organizations is that people do not understand their assignments and those of their co-workers. No matter how well conceived an organization structure may be, people must understand it to make it work. Understanding is aided materially by the proper use of organization charts, accurate job descriptions, the spelling out of authority and informational relationships and the introduction of specific goals for specific positions.

Organization Charts
Every organization structure, even a poor one, can be charted.
Advantages of Organization Charts: Though it is arguable that, charts tends to make people overly conscious of being superiors or inferiors, tend to destroy team feeling also, if an organization is left uncharted, it can be changed more easily, organization charting is required because of essential reporting relationships. Without charting is like, preparing a way for politics, intrigue, frustration, buck-passing, lack of co-ordination, duplicated effort, vague policy, uncertain decision making, and other evidences of organizational inefficiency. Since a chart maps lines of decision-making authority, sometimes merely charting any organization can show inconsistencies and complexities and lead to their correction.
Limitation of Organization Charts: A chart shows only formal authority relationships and omits the many significant informal and informational relationships. It does not show how much authority exists at any point in the structure. Many time managers hesitate or neglect or redraft charts, forgetting that organization structures are dynamic and that charts should not be allowed to become obsolete. Another difficulty is that individuals may confuse authority relationship with status (salary and bonus levels).

Position Description
Every managerial position should be defined. A good position description informs every one of the incumbent’s responsibilities. It must states the basic function of the position, the major end-result areas for which the manager is responsible, and the reporting relationships involved. Description also clarifies the position’s authority, and it states the set of verifiable objectives for the end-result areas. Its benefits include analyzing jobs, duties and responsibilities, identification of areas of neglecting or overlapping duties. Also benefits include the guidance they provide in training the new managers, in drawing up candidate requirements, and in setting up salary levels. Finally it is a means of control over the organization. It gives standards against which to judge a position is necessary and, if so, what its organizational level and exact location in the structure should be.

Ensure Understanding of OrganizationAll members of an enterprise must understand the structure of their organization in order for that structure to work.

Teaching the Nature of Organizing 
A well written organization manual – containing a statement of organization philosophy, programs, charts and an outline of job descriptions – goes far towards making organizing understandable.

Recognizing the Importance of Informal Organization and GrapevineAnother way of making the formal organization work effectively is to recognize and take full adavantage of informal organization.
The Grapevine
Informal organization tends to exist when members of a formal organization know one another well enough to pass on information – sometimes only gossip – that is some way connected with the enterprise. Since all forms of informal organization serve essential human communication needs, the grapevine is inevitable and valuable.
Advantages Informal Organization brings a kind of cohesiveness to formal organization. Many managers, understanding this fact, consciously use informal organizations as channels of communication and molders of employee moral.

Promoting an Appropriate Organization Culture
The effectiveness of an organization is also influenced by the organization culture, which affects the way the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling are carried out.

Defining Organization Culture
Culture is general pattern of behavior, shared beliefs, and values that members have in common. Culture can be inferred from what people say, do, and think within an organizational setting. It involves the learning and transmitting of knowledge, beliefs, and patterns of behavior over a period of time, which means that an organization culture is fairly stable and does not change fast. It often sets the tone for the company and establishes implied rules for the way people should behave. Many slogans give a general idea of what a particular company stands for.

Influence of the Leader on Organization Culture

Managers, especially top managers, create the climate for the enterprise. Their values influence the direction of the firm. Although the term “value” is used differently, a value can be defined as fairly permanent belief about what is appropriate and what is not that guides the actions and behavior of employees in fulfilling the organizational aims. Value-driven corporate leaders serve as role models, set the standards for performance, motivate employee, make the company special and are a symbol to the external environment. While a CEO must indicate the direction, some contend that change must come from the bottom of the organization. Changing a culture may take a long time, even five to ten years. It demands changing values, symbols, myths and behavior. It may require understanding the old culture. A clear vision of a common purpose elicits commitment. Espoused values need to be reinforced through reward and incentives, ceremonies, stories, and symbolic actions.

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