Organizational Design and Structure
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1. Chapter 1: Why is shared information so important in a learning organization in comparison to an efficient performance organization? Discuss how an organization's approach to sharing information may be related to other elements of organization design such as structure, tasks, strategy, and culture.
One can agree that sharing information across a company's department is a very imperative tool for current and future success. Shared information is essential in a learning organization as compared to an efficient performance organization because sharing information endorses and encourages communications and partnership enabling people to be involved in ascertaining and solving various problems. This allows an organization to unceasingly advance and expand its capability. The three characteristics of a learning organization as follows:
- "It develops both individual and collective knowledge;
- It uses learning to improve performance and boost competitive advantage; and
- It continuously enhances its capacity, through reflexive praxis, to adapt to its external environment. "(Lyle, E. R. 2012)
Furthermore, within the learning organization, shared information keeps the organization operational at an ideal level, instead of using the information to take hold of the employees; a fundamental part of the manager's day-to-day operations is to find efficient and effective ways to open up channels of communication so that ideas can flow in every direction. Shared information maintains open lines of communication with customers, suppliers and at times even competitors to enhance the structure, learning, culture and strategy capabilities. There's a correlation between information sharing and structure; during 1776 in the time of Adam Smith, organization information was only kept between top executives and the design of the organizations were very vertical. The hierarchy provided the mechanism for total supervision and control, the strategy was constructed by the top management and executed on the organization. Over time, most organizations have gone away of the traditional vertical structures and implemented horizontal structures such as the learning organization. The new structures dispersed the boundaries between top management and the workers.
Then, new and update structures changed the task performances from monotonous tasks to empowered roles. For the task were broken into specialized separate parts as a machine, and now a task is assigned to one worker. This also allowed for the empowered employees to have the strategy change in such a way that employees are now in with identifying needs and finding solutions, thus participating in the strategy making. Furthermore, the new collaboration strategy has changed the culture in which organizations do business from the old rigid culture into a more adaptive culture. Contrarily, in an efficient performance organization, there is no need for sharing information for the flow of production is linear. A great example of an efficient performance organization is a manufacturing company, where parts are made in order and each department is different from the other.
Chapter 1: What are some differences that one might anticipate the expectations of stakeholder for a nonprofit organization versus a for-profit business? Do you believe nonprofit managers have to pay more attention to stakeholders than business managers?
One of the key differences between non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses is that for-profit organizations use more factors for production labor to maximize profit. Such factors include capital, land, and technology intensive. Non-profit organizations totally depend on goodwill donations from public, private sectors, citizens, and government entities. Most for –profit financial activities are contingent upon marketing strategies and profit on the sale of goods and services (Daft, 2013). Other differences that one may anticipate in regards to stakeholders for nonprofit and for-profit organizations as opposed to for-profit organizations is as following; stakeholders in for-profit organizations are more engrossed on the level in which their products appeal to consumers and in what ways does it maximize profits.
Non-profit organizations focus their attention toward volunteering individuals and communities for donations. In addition, for-profit has great prospects on profit margin where they expect the business to have more profits than expenses, whereas non-profit organizations are more focused on how the organization can bring about change in the life of an individual or a community (Daft,2013). Though non-profit and for-profit organization stakeholders have different interest, they both have the responsibility to conduct their job to better the company and the stakeholder's interest. Business managers represent the stakeholders and are entrusted to bring about profit and revenue toward the business, whereas non-profit managers rely on the stakeholders to raise funds in order to run the day-to-day operations of the organization, thus, I believe that non-profit managers have to pay more attention to stakeholders than business managers.
Chapter 2: How might a company's goals for employee development be related to its goals for innovation and change? How might a company's goals for employee development be related to its goals for productivity? Explain the ways that these types of goals may conflict in an organization?
Overall, employee development may be looked at as a requirement for innovation or productivity. Goals for innovation and change may stimulate different approaches by different employees, leading to conflict. Correspondingly, execution for productivity may be approached so differently by different employees that it would lead to conflict. Such conflict, if in the form of constructive disagreement, can be healthy for determination of the best path.
Some goals may initially cause a decrease in profit and employee development can be costly. Richard Daft mentioned that employee development, goals for innovation and change are all operational goals; and at times, they are related. If a company is in need of an enthusiastic staff that's passionate about providing excellent customer service, thus, the company bust invests a lot of time and money in its employee development. In regards to productivity, employee development will speed up the process and at times reduce production cost and improve service times and many other vital aspects of customer service.
Moreover, successful companies became successful by having a clear and concise vision, it is very important for one to understand and follow what God States "without a vision the people perish, and if the blind lead the blind they will both fall into the ditch" (KJVB". If the top management heads have different goals than what their employees have, the organization will have conflicting views. There needs to be a balance between enlargement and keeping the process at hand.
Chapter 2: Suppose you have been asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the police department in a medium-sized community. Where would you begin? How would you proceed? What effectiveness approach would you prefer?
One can agree that it is very difficult to use the goal approach or system resource approach alone. One way to evaluate the effectiveness of the police department would be to follow a procedure to identify indicator goals, system resources, and internal process indicators. The measures can then be formulated into a combined approach to testing the effectiveness of the medium-sized community.
Chapter 3: What types of organizational activities do you believe are most likely to be outsourced? What types are least likely? How can/should a biblical worldview be applied?
Outsourcing is best described as a way to contract certain tasks or functions, such as manufacturing, human resources, or credit processing, to other companies" (Daft R., 2013). Outsourcing is a way fro companies to save money and cut back on expenses and they can also increase their output by providing services in different areas in which they were not able to provide before. Types of organizational activities that are likely to be outsourced include sanitization and janitorial duties and even food services. Also, marketing, IT, accounting and public relations can also be outsourced depending on the size of the company. Human resources are least likely to be outsourced because other than profit, it is one of the most important part of a company. Their main mission is to support the employees and keep the CEO, COO out of harms way.
A biblical worldview can be applied to reflect the culture and the nature in which one wants to run the company, manage employees, and donate. Romans 10:14 states, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher (KJV)?" Philippians 2:14-15 states "Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world".
Baker, H. E., & Paulson, S. K. (2007). Experiential exercises in organization theory & design. Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.
Daft, R. (2013). Organization theory & design (11th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. ISBN: 9781111221294.
Johnston, L. (2009). Employee development that matters. Canadian HR Reporter, 22(15), 35. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/220782179?accountid=12085
Lyle, E. R. (2012). LEARNING ORGANISATION AL] LEARNING: International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(6) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/924460837?accountid=12085rticl
The King James Bible
2. Chapter 1: Why is shared information so important in a learning organization in comparison to an efficient performance organization? Discuss how an organization’s approach to sharing information may be related to other elements of organization design such as: structure, tasks, strategy, and culture.
Within learning organizations sharing information is a significant component because without this very important tool progression can be hindered or stalled. An efficient performance strategy is fashioned by upper managers and imposed on the organization. Employees have a very essential role and without being able to share information the aspect of teamwork becomes more difficult to obtain. The end results will be delays in work and service.
Sharing information also causes for a culture that is more positive and open because everyone is involved and has a sense of importance in the overall functionality of the organization from top to bottom. “If the structure doesn’t fit the information requirements of the organization, people either will have too little information or will spend time processing information that is not vital to their tasks, thus reducing effectiveness” (Daft, 2013, p. 96).” Efficiency is one of the goals of managers for the proper function of the organization so communicating with the employees who are in constant contact with customers and suppliers will create an environment of productivity and not unproductivity.
- Chapter 1: What are some differences that one might anticipate among the expectations of stakeholder for a nonprofit organization versus a for-profit business? Do you believe nonprofit managers have to pay more attention to stakeholders than business managers?
One of the first differences that might be anticipated among the expectations of stakeholder for a nonprofit organization versus a for-profit is in the management. “The primary difference is that managers in businesses direct their activities toward earning money for the company, whereas managers in nonprofits direct their efforts toward generating some kind of social impact (Daft, 2013, p. 13). Managers in nonprofit organizations have the challenge of not only attracting diversity with their stakeholders but they also require volunteers and donors in order to operate on a daily basis. Managers in for-profit organizations are focused on making profits for the organization without too much focus on the overall social impact.
I do believe that nonprofit managers need to pay more attention to stakeholders because of their social impact. For example, if a church is accepting donations from an organization like Planned Parenthood, this can cause for a problem for its volunteers seeing that there is a difference in belief with what the bible teaches and what Planned Parenthood supports.
- Chapter 2: How might a company’s goals for employee development be related to its goals for innovation and change? How might a company's goals for employee development be related to its goals for productivity?
A company’s goals for employee development are directly related to its goals for innovation and change. The innovation and change for the company cannot take place unless its employees are well training and advanced in multiple areas. This means that investing in the development of their employees will pose to be most beneficial to the entire company as a whole. When companies seek out new employees they are sure to ask about education, training, and experience because they want to be adding to their company and not taking away.
If the company has the most trained and developed employees the productivity also increases. “Remember that workforce training helps (1) workers adjust to changes in your industry, (2) employees respond successfully to customer needs while adjusting their performance to meet changing expectations, (3) reduce workforce accidents by ensuring that employees know how to react to high-risk situations, and (4) employees at all levels adapt to changes in technology” (Four Reasons to Have a Well-Trained Workforce , 2015). This will result in fewer mistakes which will result in cost savings and better productivity.
- Chapter 2: Suppose you have been asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the police department in a medium-sized community. Where would you begin? How would you proceed? What effectiveness approach would you prefer?
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of a police department in a medium-sized community I would proceed to use the resource based approach which is a model that considers resources as the main key factor to superior firm performance. For a police department it may be difficult to measure performance since they are very much comprised of teams of specialized units so examining how they are currently using their resources will give a better picture then using one of the other approaches.
- Chapter 3: What types of organizational activities do you believe are most likely to be outsourced? What types are least likely?
Some of the types of organizational activities that are most likely to be outsourced are manufacturing, technology, and consultants. In a small business, cutting costs help support the financial health of the business and outsourcing adds to savings. The top reasons for outsourcing are to (1) reduce and control operating costs, (2) improve company focus, (3) gain access to exceptional capabilities, (4) free internal resources for other purposes, (5) resources are not available internally, (6) maximize restructuring benefits, (7) function difficult to manage or out of control, (8) make capital funds available, and (9) reduce risk. At the same time, with outsourcing the business may lose control over how services are delivered which then causes more liability.
The types that are less likely to be outsourced are human resources, distribution and finance, and lawyers although the list is much broader than these. Retaining control over certain parts is necessary because they are too important to outsource. For example, if a business is facing a difficult situation and need legal representation face to face interactions would be the only way to go.
How can/should a biblical worldview be applied?
Christians are called to be the light in the world. This means we are to illuminate God’s spirit everywhere we go and God’s spirit evokes change for the betterment of mankind. Training and development are the same in relation to business. In a business, the job of management is to increase in all areas and that includes investing in their employees. This will give the business a huge advantage against competitors and help them to build a reputation as being the best in their field. In order to maintain such a reputation will require all members of the team to work together with clear expectations and goals through clear communication.
As Christians, we are to teach others how to live a life called by God by being His representatives on earth. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). Such a task cannot be done without perseverance and dedication. One must build a relationship with God through prayer, reading of the word, dwelling in His presence, exercising His teachings in daily life so that the world will know you belong to Him. God has invested much into us by giving up His Son on our behalf and as ambassadors of the Most High we should be pleased to invest in others as He has in us.
Four Reasons to Have a Well-Trained Workforce . (2015). Retrieved from Tidewater Community College Center for Workforce Solutions: http://www.tccworkforce.org/blog-categories/223-four-reasons-to-have-a-well-trained-workforce
Daft, R. L. (2013). Organization Theory and Design. Mason: Cengage Learning.
Ingram, D. (2014). Non Profit Organization Vs. Profit Organization. Retrieved from Hearst Newspapers, LLC: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/non-profit-organization-vs-profit-organization-4150.html