The organization design, sometimes mistakenly identified as an organization's structure, is in fact the process of aligning an organization's structure with its mission (Mind Tools, 2010). By understanding connections between tasks, workflow, authority, and responsibility an organization design is developed that supports the company’s overall goals and objectives. Aspects or concepts of organization design are important tools used to bind the staff and the mission of the organization and as organizations grow or change we can readily identify the requirement for concepts to change as well. A bad organizational design regardless of having the best leaders, a great ...view middle of the document...
Narrow versus Wide Span of Control
Span of control, narrow or wide, is the number of staff a manager efficiently and effectively supervises. A narrow span of control means that a manager has fewer staff under their supervision, whereas, a wide span of control means that a single manager has a large staff to supervise. A tall structure having many layers or management or hierarchy and fewer staff to supervise will have a narrow span of control. A flat structure has a wide span of control based on a larger staff to supervise and fewer layers of management or hierarchical levels. We also see a wide span of control in an organization where repetitive daily tasks occur and there are well-established operating procedures and guidelines, an experienced staff, and few expected problems.
Chain of Command
Chain of command is the formal line of authority, communication, and responsibility within an organization where decisions are passed from the top to the bottom of the hierarchy. By using the chain of command the principle of unity of command is maintained, meaning that each subordinate reports to one and only one superior. Longnecker (1977) suggests that organizations in the twenty-first century must adapt and become more flexible and provide quick solutions to face the ever-changing environment. As organizations attempt to place decision-making authority in the organizational structure at lower levels we see the more formal chain of command being replaced by a flatter structure. For this type of organic organization to be effective, individuals must learn to share power, resolve issues, and communicate information to all levels in the organization. Although this organic organization structure is not bound by the chain of command principle it is still an important principle in many organizations.
Division of Labor
The definition of division of labor is breaking a production process down to smaller specialized tasks so that each worker becomes a specialist in their one assigned task, especially on an assembly line (Division of labor, 2010). Division of labor will always exist based on the fact that no one can accomplish all tasks at once.
Centralized versus Decentralized
Centralized organizations consolidate power and decision-making abilities at the top of the organizational chart in other words control resides in the uppermost levels of management. Companies requiring stability, facing a crisis, and need one source for direction are or rapidly become centralized. As the staff becomes smarter and organizations grow and expand we see centralization becoming more rare. Decentralized organizations share the decision-making process across the organization allowing it to take advantage of the division of labor. The staff is empowered by the decision-making process enabling them to improve their performance by correcting deficiencies or inefficient areas immediately without continually seeking approval from management. ...