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1 Understanding Contemporary Organisations 200825 Week 3 Understanding contemporary organisational structures. Lesley Kuhn

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1 1 Understanding Contemporary Organisations Week 3 Understanding contemporary organisational structures. Lesley Kuhn

2 Topics to be covered in this seminar  Content, structure, processes and assessments; Learning Guide; Textbook; SGSM Skills Workshops.  Thematic overview of contemporary organisational structures  Thematic overview of contemporary understandings of organisational structure  Fractal themes apparent?  Relationships between organisational structure and: strategy, organisational dynamics, innovation, leadership, organisational development.  Student led discussion of set readings

3 Organisational structure Relates to allocation of responsibilities for different functions and processes to fulfill the aims of the organisation. Implicates the setting and policing of boundaries (between the organisation and it’s environment). Implicates: – subordination of workers – who works with whom (as subordinates and as managers) – who oversees whom – who reports to whom

4 What are the major decisions needed to design an organizational structure? Refer to page 170 Bovee and Thill 1)Risks of a poorly designed structure? 2)How does a flat structure change the responsibilities of individual managers? 3)What are your core competencies now? Would you function better in a highly centralized or decentralized organizational structure?

5 Thematic overview of contemporary organisational structures Rationalization of work Bureaucracy (defined roles; hierarchy) Functional (group members perform specialized sets of tasks) Divisional (divisions based on product, geography etc) Matrix (groups employees by both function and product) Network (organisations contract out business) Virtual (the organization exists within a network of alliances, using software/ electronic means; merges with suppliers and customers)

6 Bureaucracy and functional, divisional, matrix network and virtual structures

7 Example of virtual organisation

8 Discussion Discuss your experience with each of these structures. Which would you function best in? What are the benefits and difficulties of each type of structure for the organization?

9 Teams

10 Discussion: working in teams 1)Is ‘groupthink’ similar to peer pressure? Why? Why not? 2)Why would you support a group decisions that you do not agree with? 3)List three characteristics of your experiences in working in teams? 4)How would you bring what you have leant from your experiences in team work to working in a business organization?

11 Thematic overview of contemporary understandings of organisational structure If: Through conversations, organisations evolve as conscious processes of sense making Organisations are constructed and sustained by individuals who are interrelating (self-organising and dynamic and emergent) Then: Organisations can be understood as complex responsive processes of relating (Stacey)

12 Implications of contemporary understandings of organisational structure Relationships matter Organisational structures implicate: – strategy, – organisational dynamics, – innovation, – leadership, – organisational development.

13 What are the implications? – Implications of functional, divisional matrix, network and virtual structures on: – strategy, – organisational dynamics, – innovation, – leadership, – organisational development

14 Fractality and organisational structure Fractals describe phenomena that show similarities across different scales (dimensions). Parts that have the same or similar form, structure or other characteristics as the whole, except at a different scale. People and organizations depict fractal dimensions. An employee can be viewed as a fractal of his/her organisation Individual people, sections, departments individual geographic sites of the organization, industry sectors, international associations may depict fractal dimensions identification of the fractal dimensions provides a powerful means of identification of patterns across the whole organization (and beyond).

15 Contemporary organisational structures and … How are these topics implicated? Awareness of humanness of all involved Concern with prejudice Opportunities for women Opportunities for people with disabilities Expanding ecological, sustainable or environmental awareness Need for greater transparency of organizational processes an practices

16 Dabbawala’s of Mumbai About 5000 dabbawalas are employed on the streets of Mumbai daily, delivering about a quarter million lunches from homes to offices. The dabbawalas pick up the people’s lunches from the subscribers' houses. They then take them to a central processing area, where they are dispatched for delivery at lunchtime.dabbawalas Despite most dabbawalas being almost illiterate, the clever color-coding scheme gives them a fantastically low incorrect delivery rate. Utube: selection of documentaries on the dabbawalas of Mumbai

17 Discussion of readings In small groups (2-3) discuss and list the 5 most interesting ideas for each reading: Ali, Naqvi, Tabouk, Al-Jahwari ‘Development of inter- organizational …’. Bovee and Thill, ‘Chapter 5’ Bovee and Thill, ‘Chapter 8’ Naqshbandi and Kaur ‘A study of organizational citizenship behaviours…’ Be prepared to share your list of points with the class.

18 Are these changes in standards implicated in contemporary organisational structures? Standards of legitimacy change. Standards of ethically acceptable practice change. Standards of employee work conditions change. Standards of environmental responsibility change. What else??

19 Implications for understanding contemporary organisations? Implications of awareness of range of contemporary organisation structures? Implications of familiarity with contemporary ways of understanding organisation structure? Other implications? Writing our own inventory of theories and concepts

20 Assessment 1 submission information Plagiarism and correct referencing. ‘Voice’: first or third person? Turnitin. Make sure you go to a SGSM workshop on academic referencing and assessment preparation. Other topics?


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