Basic Structural Tensions Bolman and Deal speak of two design issues that are at the core of organizational structure: 1. Differentiation 2. Integration 1. Differentiation is how an organization goes about divvying up the work that needs to be performed also known as the division of labour. Who does what, when, and for how long? When our own group met for the first time we went through this process. Just like all of you will sometime this year. We had to decide and allocate the work evenly to all members of the group. Our organization, also known as Team 1, divided up the work evenly and fairly and this led to specialization where we decided who would do what and who would not do what. You can say that Wajma and I specialized in Chapter 3 and Mia and Adelaida specialized in Chapter 4. 2. After the work has been allocated the second part that managers face is how to integrate the people into productive components, the task of integration. How do managers group people to into working units? There are six ways to do this: i) knowledge or skill- these groups are centered around a specific discipline where they use the knowledge or skills they have acquired to enhance the organization. In a hospital for example you will find many people with many different knowledge and skills. There are nurses, doctors, administrative clerks, x-ray technicians and so many more. They use their skills and knowledge for the benefit of the organization and to make it run efficiently…….. well, maybe not efficiently….. but it still runs. ii) Time- these groups group people with an emphasis on time. McDonalds has their morning staff, their afternoon staff, their evening staff, and their graveyard staff. They are grouped on the emphasis of time and they all serve the same purpose. From morning staff and graveyard staff their job is basically the same, to serve customers in a timely, efficient, friendly manner. iii) Product- in a Hershey factory there are plenty of yummy chocolates being made. Now the person making Hershey Kisses is not the same person making Twizzlers and Jolly Ranchers. The employees here are grouped based on the product they are producing. They may be grouped in the chocolate aspect of Hershey or they maybe grouped in the hard candy side of the organization. iv) Customer/Clients- Some organizations group their employees on the customer and client they are in business with. I recently worked for Minacs in Pickering. They were sub contracted to Bell and Minacs would receive Bell repair calls for residential, business, and Government agencies. The employees were grouped on the type of client they received repair calls for. And I thank God that I left that job. A perfect example of a dysfunctional Machine Bureaucracy. v) Place or Geography- Organizations group people in a convenient location for the people as well as the organization. The World Health Organization has regional offices all around the world like Canada, Africa, Brazil, and Guyana. This allows easier access for people trying to get access to the World Health Organization and Vice Versa. vi) Process- If you order a mattress from Sleep Country Canada, there is a specific process that takes place. First the customer places the order for the mattress with a customer service agent at the store. The order is sent through a computer to the warehouse where they store the mattresses. After waiting a very long time for your mattress it is shipped in a truck to your home and delivered. This is the order fulfillment process. Everyone is organized in their role. The customer service agent knows his/her role as well as the delivery guys. These groups are great for specialization where people know their roles and what is expected of them but the problem this creates is control and coordination predicaments. This also creates the problem of suboptimazation. Suboptimazation- is when a group or a member within that group focuses on one aspect of a project but the entire project suffers because of that narrow focus. In other words, if a group only focuses on one area of something the other areas suffer because of that narrow frame. For example say that the Toyota Research and Development team desperately wanted to find a way for a car to run on just garbage and waste products. They focus all their time and energy on this one notion. They finally succeed but because of their narrow focus on just this aspect others had suffered. The price of adding this new garbage and waste product processor to the car is half a million dollars and it is too complicated for the manufacturers to build and install. That is suboptimazation So to avoid suboptimzation and to coordinate groups and individuals, Organizations use two principal methods: Vertical Coordination and Lateral Coordination. 1. Vertical Coordination- is a rather simple concept that we all have or will be experiencing in the present or in the future. Bolman and Deal define vertical coordination by saying that “higher levels coordinate and control the work of subordinates through authority, rules and policies, and planning and control systems. It’s a hierarchal chain of command where the power is centralized and those on top have more power and control than those at the bottom. The three forms of vertical integration are: authority, rules and policies, and planning and control systems. i) Authority- Who hear works for an organization? Who hear has a job? Is there an authority figure at this job? Is pretty much your manager. Simple as that. Anyone who has formal authority over you in an organization. There job is to keep order, reward and punish, make decisions, and make sure your work is achieving company goals. Authority figures are based on hierarchy and chain of command. In my store for instance the chain of command goes up three levels. There is the owner, the district manager, the manager, then me. Everyone underneath us is a subordinate who blindly follows instructions ii) Rules and Policies- This is like the bible of oganizations.These are used to keep the standard operating procedures uniform and predictable. Rules and Policies tell the person in the organization how to perform their job and what is expected of them at all times. This also avoids particularism which is responding to issues on personal or political merit not in line with the organization. At my job for instance when a customer asks if this item on the menu is good we have to say that it is. Even if we have never tried it or don’t like it we have to say that it is good. The reason we say this is because someone finds it delicious so we are not technically lying. Standard operating procedures according to Bolman and Deal, reduce performance variance in tasks requiring high levels of predictability and allowing little margin for error. For example it is standard operating procedure for surgeons to wash and sanitize their hands before surgery. My little brother works for a medical warehouse where they test heart pumps, valves and things like that. They have a standard operating procedure that ensures that they make no mistakes when testing the equipment. You take the machine, hook it up to the testing equipment, check the levels, and if it passes you put it back on the conveyor belt and if it fails in the defective box. That is the basics of his job. There is little margin of error. But SOP’s can fail though of freak unforeseen situations. At my brothers job this summer there was a huge thunder storm. When there is a thunderstorm the standard operating procedures is too turn off all the equipment and wait for it to stop. Well, they turned off all the equipment except for the conveyor belt and when the emergency power generator was activated a few untested valves had made it past inspection. Well the good news is is that they caught the error during inventory and never shipped them. The freak unforeseen situation was not the thunderstorm; it’s that the organization never thought that someone would forget to turn off the most important machine in the thunderstorm. iii) Planning and Control System- have really blossomed since the beginning of the computer era. It is now very easy for the owner of an organization to get all the financial information he needs about his company like the previous days sales from the comfort of their own bedroom. Information is only a click away and this allows managements ability to control performance and outcomes. Our good friend Mintzberg speaks of two aspects of control and planning: Performance and Action planning. A) performance- is when objectives are used without saying how they are to be achieved. Like if I was working for the Toronto Star and they told me to increase my subscriptions by 100 people per month. It can either be a positive or negative reaction. Either yeah yeah yeah I have a clear and measurable goal, I am motivated now. Or that is too ambiguous, man how am I going to do that. If it clear and attainable what my job is then it will be easier to achieve it. If it is unclear or complicated it will be harder. They focus on the results. B) Action Planning- specifies methods and time frames for decisions and actions. Asses how a job is done than if its objectives have been achieved. They focus on the process. That was Vertical Coordination, Lateral Coordination deals with formal and informal meetings, task forces, coordinating roles, matrix structures, and network organizations. Lateral are easier and less formalized than Vertical Coordination. 1) Meetings- informal and formal gathering are the foundation of lateral coordination. Meetings between heads of divisions, owner and manger, and manager and employee are just a few types of meetings. A con is that it can be time consuming though. 2) Task Forces- as organizations become larger and the technology becomes more advanced lateral communication become more important. Task forces are used when new problems arise and a solution needs to be implemented sooner than later. Specialists are relied heavily on in high technology fields to develop new products. At my job there was a negative reaction to one of our marketing campaigns that required a task force to take appropriate actions. Since I work with the marketing department of our organization I was called to an interview with the other store managers and marketing heads. We decided to scrap the idea and design another campaign. Do u want to know what it is? It’s up to you. 3) Coordinating Roles- just like the term, coordinating roles are when formal groups of different sections of an organization coordinate their roles in order for the products success. For example the marketing department of the 2007 Toyota Hybrid would want to coordinate their roles with the research and development team, the designer of the car, and any other division that had a hand in the construction of the vehicle. The joint coordination will serve the marketing department with more information on how to market the car successfully. 4) Matrix Structure- Is when an organization has a product line on one axis and countries or regions on another. There are then two high managers to report to and satisfy their objective. One would be the product manager and the other would be the country or region manager. This can create conflict between the two managers because they might want different results from the same project. 5) Networks- The computer boom invented networks of computers from small scale to the internet. These can be both used for Vertical coordination and lateral communication. Harvard 1. Goal- Harvard strives to create knowledge, to open the minds of students to that knowledge, and to enable students to take best advantage of their educational opportunity. 2. D.O.L- Harvard is governed by two boards: The Harvard Corporation founded in 1650 and the Harvard Board of Overseers. Mintzberg would call these two the strategic apex. The President of Harvard is the day to day administration and is appointed by and responsible to the Harvard Corporation. Mintzberg would call the president the middle manager. The Professors teach in the way they see fit based on their own individual styles, knowledge, and expertise. They are to Mintzberg the operating core. A small technostructure and support staff help this infrastructure. 3. Coordination- This structure allows the professors to have personal control of how to implement, design and teach their course. They are free to do what they want in their own class. But because of this there is a problem with coordination and quality control. Even if the strategic apex and middle managers do not like how a professor teaches a class they can only ask for that professor to change their teaching style. Then it is up to that professor to change or not. 4. External Environment: The external environments of an organization are factors or conditions that are beyond the direct control of that organization. Potential problems that could affect Harvard are that increase in tuition and higher education can lead to potential students not attending college because they can not afford to. This would mean a loss of money because it would be under populated. Another problem could be technology. Because of advancements in technology universities in general may structure their classes online. For example Professor Kehoe taught his 2000 level course online two years ago because he was on sabbatical. If this became the norm in the future, the structure of how university is operated would change dramatically. There would be no reason for students to go to the campus and this would lead to less money to the university in food sales from the student center. This could potentially lead to higher tuition to cover the costs. It’s all connected. 5. Internal Environment- Harvard’s internal environment is relatively strong. The mission statement, policies, hierarchy, culture, and people working in the organization all contribute to the internal structure. Leadership style also contributes to the internal structure. Former Harvard President, Larry Summers, accused Cornel West of inflating student grades and pushing Al Sharpton’s bid for Presidency. West left feeling insulted and attacked to Princeton to continue his teaching. This is an example of the interference of the middle mangers on the operating core of a professional bureaucracy. The internal environment in this case was negative. 6. Performance Gaps- Since Harvard is successful in providing higher education for students in a successful structure, restructuring for perceived optimal efficiency would only lead to problems. As long as the Apex and middle managers stay out of the operating core and give the operating core their freedom, situations like Larry Summers vs. Cornel West would not take place.