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Slides prepared by Una Tracey, M.Sc., B.Sc., Dip.Ed. Job Analysis and Design HR307 Impact of Organizational Structure & Ergonomics on Workflow Design Lecture.

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Presentation on theme: "Slides prepared by Una Tracey, M.Sc., B.Sc., Dip.Ed. Job Analysis and Design HR307 Impact of Organizational Structure & Ergonomics on Workflow Design Lecture."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slides prepared by Una Tracey, M.Sc., B.Sc., Dip.Ed. Job Analysis and Design HR307 Impact of Organizational Structure & Ergonomics on Workflow Design Lecture 4 Groups W & X

2 Organizational Structure Organizational Structure is the framework that defines reporting relationships between different positions within the organization. The structure of an organization facilitates the delegation of authority, allocation of resources, and decision-making within the organization. An organization assumes its structure depending on its area and methodology of work and operation.

3 Organizational Structure There are three main types of organizational structures: Bureaucratic (Mechanistic, tall) Flat (Organic); and Boundaryless

4 Bureaucratic Organizational Structure A bureaucratic organization has a pyramid-shaped organizational structure that consists of hierarchies with many levels of management. It uses a top-down or “command and control” approach to management in which managers provide considerable direction to, and have considerable control over their subordinates. A bureaucratic organization is based on functional division of labor. Employees are divided into divisions based on their function. Thus production employees are grouped in one division, marketing employees in another, engineering employees in a third, and so on.

5 Bureaucratic Organizational Structure Rigid boundaries also separate workers from one another and from their managers because the bureaucratic structure relies on work specialization. Narrowly specified job descriptions clearly mark the boundaries of each employee’s work. Employees are encouraged to do only the work specified in their job description – no more and no less. They spend most of their time working individually at specialized tasks and usually advance only within one function. For example, employees who begin their career in sales can advance to higher and higher positions in sales or marketing but cannot switch into production or finance.

6 Bureaucratic Organizational Structure The bureaucratic structure works best in a predictable and stable environment. It is highly centralized and depends on front-line workers performing repetitive tasks according to managers’ orders. In a dynamic environment, this structure is less efficient and sometimes disastrous.

7 Bureaucratic Organizational Structures Characteristics: –Top-down management approach –Many levels of management –Hierarchical career paths within one function –Highly specialized jobs –Narrowly specified job descriptions –Rigid boundaries between jobs and units –Employees or individuals working independently.

8 Flat Organizational Structure A flat organizational structure has only a few levels of managers and emphasizes a decentralized approach to management. They encourage high employee involvement in business decisions. These organizations are likely to be divided into units or teams that represent different products, services, or customers. The purpose of this structure is to create independent small businesses that can respond rapidly to customers’ needs or changes in the business environment.

9 Flat Organizational Structure The flat organizational structure reduces some of the boundaries that isolate employees from one another in bureaucratic organizations. Boundaries between workers at the same level are reduced because employees are likely to be working in teams. Employees in flat organizations can cross functional boundaries as they pursue their careers. Job descriptions in flat organizations are more general and encourage employees to develop broad range of skills (including management skills).

10 Flat Organizational Structure Boundaries that separate employees from managers and supervisors also break down in flat organizations, where employees are empowered to make more decisions. The flat structure works best in rapidly changing environments because it enables management to create an entrepreneurial culture that fosters employee participation.

11 Flat Organizational Structure Characteristics –Decentralized management approach –Few levels of management –Horizontal career paths that cross functions –Broadly defined jobs –General job descriptions –Flexible boundaries between jobs and units –Emphasis on teams –Strong focus on the customer

12 Boundaryless Organizational Structure An organizational structure that enables an organization to form relationships with customers, suppliers and/or competitors, either to pool organizational resources for mutual benefit or to encourage cooperation in an uncertain environment. Such relationships often take the form of joint ventures, which let the companies share talented employees, intellectual property (such as a manufacturing process), marketing distribution channels (such as a direct sales force), or financial resources. Boundaryless organizational structures are most often used by companies that select the prospector business strategy and operate in a volatile environment.

13 Boundaryless Organizational Structure Companies often use a boundaryless organizational structure when they (1) collaborate with customers or suppliers to provide better-quality products or services; (2) are entering foreign markets that have entry barriers to foreign competitors, or (3) need to manage the risk of developing an expensive new technology. The boundaryless organization is appropriate in these situations because it is open to change, facilitates the formation of joint ventures with foreign companies, and reduces the financial risk to any one organization.

14 Boundaryless Organizational Structure Characteristics –Joint ventures with customers, suppliers, and competitors –Emphasis on teams whose members may cross organizational boundaries –Shares many characteristics of the flat organizational structure.

15 Workflow Design and Organization’s Structure Designing an organization involves choosing a structure which will enable the organization to achieve its goals more effectively. It involves looking at the work flow of each process and determining how the work fits with the context of the organization. Within an organization, units and individuals must cooperate to create outputs.

16 Workflow Design and Organization’s Structure It is important to understand the organization as a whole, so jobs can be designed or redesigned in keeping with the organization’s workflow, structure and strategy. Ideally, the organization’s structure brings together the people who must collaborate in order to efficiently produce the desired outputs. The structure may be centralized, that is with authority concentrated in a few people at the top of the organization, or decentralized with authority spread among many people.

17 Workflow Design and Organization’s Structure The organization may group jobs according to functions e.g. welding, painting, packaging), or it may set up divisions to focus on products or customer groups. There are an infinite number of ways to combine the elements of an organization’s structure.

18 Workflow Design and Organization’s Structure If the structure is strongly based on function, workers tend to have low authority and work alone at highly specialized jobs. When the goal is to empower employees, structures and jobs should enable broad responsibility e.g. Serving a particular group of customers or producing a particular product.

19 Defining Ergonomics Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the worker and adapting the work environment to the needs of humans. An overall goal of ergonomics is to promote health and safety and to optimize productivity. It is the scientific study of people at work. The term ergonomics comes from the Greek words ergon, meaning “work”, and nomos, meaning “laws” - thus, laws of work.

20 Goals of Ergonomics The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks. This is accomplished by designing tasks, work spaces, controls, displays, tools, lighting, and equipment to fit the employees physical capabilities and limitations.

21 Goals of Ergonomics Effectively, the goal of ergonomics is to make work more comfortable and to improve both health and productivity. It is an interdisciplinary science of designing the job, products, and place to fit the worker. Psychology, industrial engineering, computer science, biomechanics, and safety engineering all play a role in ergonomics.

22 Goals of Ergonomics Ergonomics enters into the design of everything from equipment for space missions to the most comfortable work settings, such as computer chairs.

23 Defining Ergonomic Design Ergonomic design is the application of knowledge about physical abilities and limitations as well as other human characteristics, to the design of the workplace (i.e. work tasks, equipment, environment) for safe and efficient use by workers.

24 Impact of Ergonomic on Workflow Design Ergonomics entails the study of the interface between individuals’ physiology and the characteristics of the physical work environment. The goal of ergonomics is to minimize physical strain on the worker by structuring the physical work environment around the way the human body works. Ergonomics therefore focuses on outcomes such as reducing physical fatigue, aches and pains and health complaints.

25 Impact of Ergonomic on Workflow Design Ergonomic job design has been applied in redesigning equipment used in jobs that are physically demanding. Such redesign is often aimed at reducing the physical demands of certain jobs so that anyone can perform them. In addition, many interventions focus on redesigning machines and technology, for example adjusting the height of a computer keyboard to minimize occupational illnesses, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

26 Impact of Ergonomic on Workflow Design Employers wondering how to begin protecting their workers from ergonomic hazards might also consider the regulations that OSHA had proposed in 2001; these direct employers to avoid five specific high-risk work practices: –Using a keyboard for four hours straight without a break. –Lifting more than 75 pounds. –Kneeling or squatting for more than two hours a day; –Working with the back, neck, or wrists bent more than two hours a day. Using large vibrating equipment such as chainsaws or jackhammers more than 30 minutes a day.

27 Impact of Ergonomic on Workflow Design Although these regulations did not take effect, they do identify characteristics of jobs that may pose problems for employees. When jobs have these characteristics, employers should be vigilant about opportunities to improve work design, for the benefit of both workers and the organization.


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