Vertical Organizational Structure

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					Vertical Organizational Structure:
             This vertical organizational structure is reinforced by centrifugal forces
that create decentralization and locate governance, responsibility, and resources
peripherally, rather than centrally; funding models in many institutions base the
allocation of resources on credit hours, which drives money into individual schools
based on student enrollments in courses (Ehrenberg 2000). Schools within larger
institutions compete with each other for scarce resources and almost inevitably,
and often by necessity, promote their own interests rather than those of the
university at large. Centralized components of the institution--such as most student
affairs offices, programs, and services--may struggle for resources in this context.

            In these vertically organized institutions, there are important (and
essential) horizontal forces; similarly, given the centrifugal, decentralized nature of
decision making and resource allocation, there are nonetheless certain centripetal
forces that pull some decision making, governance, and control to the center of the
institution (Bourg Ault and Lapeer 2000; Kuh 1996; Mint berg 1979). Notable
horizontal forces include, of course, central administration (which may or may not
have significant power; the extent to which power is centralized is directly related
to how resources are allocated and managed), institutional accreditation, overall
financial management, and certain levels of policy. But development, alumni
relations, communications and marketing, enrollment management, and other core
institutional functions are often performed to a greater or lesser extent by
individual schools as well as by the institution as a whole. Similarly, central
funding and policy development are centripetal forces--but the strength of those
forces varies by institutional type, history, culture, and perceptions of the need for
public accountability.




Horizontal Organizational Structure:
            Horizontal organization (also known as flat organization) refers to an
organizational structure with few or no levels of intervening management between
staff and managers. The idea is that well-trained workers will be more productive
when they are more directly involved in the decision making process, rather than
closely supervised by many layers of management. This structure is generally
possible only in smaller organizations or individual units within larger
organizations. When they reach a critical size, organizations can retain a
streamlined structure but cannot keep a completely flat manager-to-staff
relationship without impacting productivity. Certain financial responsibilities may
also require a more conventional structure. Some theorize that flat organizations
become more traditionally hierarchical when they begin to be geared towards
productivity.

            The horizontal organization model promotes employee involvement
through a decentralized decision making process. By elevating the level of
responsibility of baseline employees, and by eliminating layers of middle
management, comments and feedback reach all personnel involved in decisions
more quickly. Expected response to customer feedback can thus become more
rapid. Since the interaction between workers is more frequent, this organizational
structure generally depends upon a much more personal relationship between
workers and managers. Hence the structure can be more time-consuming to build
than a traditional bureaucratic/hierarchical model.



Organizational Interaction:
        A company's business must be organized. People are hired, some of which
are contracted. Then there is a distinction between normal business and special
projects. The latter brings additional resources management challenges. If the
project is about implementing a large system that consists of component that has
different suppliers, the project requires: system integration.

System integration is a technical term for an organizational problem. The problem
is about managing a solution that cannot be offered by only one party. This
problem will occur more and more as companies are forced by the markets to focus
on a single "trick." This is a world of specializations and that brings new
challenges with it: integration of systems or integration of solutions offered by
different stakeholders in one and the same project.

The challenge is therefore to align the contributions of the various parties involved.

This requires first of all scoping sessions: Scoping is about setting the boundaries
of what everybody delivers: "I do this and only this."

Scoping is not enough, because when parties limit their result, the overall result
will never be covered. First there is the problem of interfacing - what component
will connect with what - and then there is the problem of compatibility; some
systems do not seem to be completely compatible with others. Standardization will
solve this and this requires a central approach.

This last point shows one of the main organizational challenges: some work
requires a central approach; other activities can be performed locally. When more
effort is put to a central steering the project may be unnecessarily delayed. If too
much work is left to the local contributors, conflicts may arise.

Typical centralized activities are:
      presentations and overviews of the big picture
      required standardization, a minimal set
      Overall project management
      alignment of scopes
      overall project communication


       Typical local or decentralized activities:

      individual project management and execution
      individual scoping
      signaling of issues

Another issue is the design of the contract in subcontracts. Normally a large player
will accept the whole project and will contract other parties. The risk of this
approach is that the business sponsor (who is responsible for the overall result) is
not completely informed. An independent advisor could support the sponsor in
taking                     the                    right                   decisions.
Another construction is possible where the project sponsor is responsible for the
integration; in this way the company relies on internal project managers to manage
the overall project.

The main challenge in either configuration is the management of "what is
missing." This is about making sure that the whole is more than the individual
contributions.

				
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posted:5/27/2010
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