The success of any business depends on the business practices it upholds, besides the forces of demand and trends in the market.
The type and kind of organizational structure it embraces will therefore dictate the type of the operations it will provide to its employees and most significantly its customers. The choice of an organizational structure is therefore an aspect which should be determined with a lot of care as this may either dictate the success or the failure of an organization. In essence, an organization should integrate best practices in its operations with the aim of reducing burdens and cutting down some capital costs.
Reduction of capital costs may be reached at if only significant organizational structures are chosen, which entail well defined source of authority besides enhancing the welfare of employees. This paper seeks to analyze and discuss the organization’s design aspects and their influence on management functions.
Flat versus a tall organization
In determining the type of structure to assimilate, the company is obliged to choose the line structure it requires in its operation. Therefore, whether to assume a flat or a tall structure is a decision that must be determined by the organization. This is also affected by other factors, for instance, the employees’ capacity and the chain of command that the company has. The choice of the type of structure to undertake may however be influenced by the strategies of the association or future plans. In a tall structure, a departmental manager is responsible for a small span of control since there are numerous delegations of responsibilities (Mullins, 2004).
As opposed to the tall organization, a flat structure assumes a large span of control and the levels of management are fewer in order to avoid conflict in management. Mostly, the flourishing organizations such as the Blue shield and Blue cross assumes a flat organization structure and this is the reason why the company has been able to scoop the greatest market share on an international basis in the insurance health sector (McNamara n.d). The past history on the success of organizations that have a flat structure explains the reason as to why in the recent time flat structures are being favored. It is believed that they are flexible, leaner and fitter and thus may create room for any changes or adjustments in their exterior. In many instances, tall structures are linked to military administration and therefore raise concern on the idea that businesses will not operate well since the resentment created to people is that of the military which is regarded as harsh and tyrannical. Most organizations opt for ‘flat organizational structures since they are regarded as being innovative and democratic.
This implies that a company is able to improve its productivity due to few levels of management.
Narrow versus Wide Span of Control
As mentioned before, the choice of an organization structure will carry with it a lot of other responsibilities and in this case the span of control will not be an exception. The span of control can be considered as narrow or wide, and this is determined by the organization structures that have been chosen. In a narrow span of control, the manager is entrusted with few numbers of employees under his or her command, whilst in a wide span of control a manager controls numerous employees under his authority. A span of control is usually absorbed in situations where there are few operations and expected organization problems.
In essence, the span of control chosen should be interconnected to the organization structure assumed by the association. There is always an inverse relationship between the organization structure and the span of control that has been chosen (Mullins, 2004). In a company with a narrow span of control, the levels of management are many, implying that the company assumes a tall organization structure.
In such an association, since there is less supervision, the employees are self – motivated and they are able to deliver highly. This will go hand in hand with an effective and efficient managerial control which means that it becomes easy to incorporate new changes within the association without interfering with the core operations of the organization.
Chain of command
The chain of command would refer to the line of structure through which the authoritative power, order, and decisions passes through from the top to the bottom of the hierarchy. It is believed that those at the top of the hierarchy assumes the most powers and therefore are the ones having authority and power over the others. To an extent, this might be true but it is not very obvious that they will always be dictatorial to the subordinate staffs. The chain of command is not meant for tyranny but instead to enhance a smooth flow of communication between the diverse authorities in the organization. A chain of command may also be meant to create and enhance efficiency in the undertaking of various operations. An effective and well defined chain of command means a successful business and this has been a reason why Blue shield and Blue cross association is enjoying better economies of scale day in day out (Mullins, 2004).
Division of Labor
Division of labor refers to the breaking down of the activities and operations within an association or organization, and each job or activity is assigned to each employee in the association. The delegation of duties and responsibilities in an association means each activity moves at the expected pace thus attaining the objectives laid down. According to Mullins (2004), division of labor instills discipline in an organization and each and every worker is able to specialize in one area of operation.
It is also easier to employ employees with defined roles. However, division of labor might undermine the concept of diversity in case employees are interested in acquiring diverse skills.
Centralized versus Decentralized
A centralized structure means that the power and the decisions implemented in the organization is vested in the few hands or within the top management. As opposed to the centralized organization, decentralization of organizations means that the decision made in the organization comes from different sources or the decisions comes from across the board. Decentralized organizations are becoming eminent in today’s economy since they are permitting division of labor within their system where decisions can be shared by both the management and subordinate staff across the board. McNamara (n.d) outline that decentralization helps an organization to actively work on the set objectives because decision making is easier since there is several alternatives to choose from.
Effective and efficient organization structure and staffing is an indispensable aspect in the success of a business enterprise.
It is therefore very imperative and vital for an organization to assume the best business practices in order to achieve a bigger market share and retain productive employees. The organization’s design aspects discussed in this paper depend on various factors, including the size of organization, number of employees, and the mission and strategies of an organization. It is therefore important to apply a design that best fits with the organization’s goals and objectives.
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