Organizational Structure: Questions and Exercises

Topics: Organization, Organizational studies, Organizational studies and human resource management Pages: 20 (4785 words) Published: May 9, 2011
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training in time management; and training to think more positively and realistically about sources of job stress. Tentative evidence suggests that

these applications are useful in reducing physiological arousal, sleep disturbances, and self-reported tension and anxiety. E. Work-Life Balance Programs
An increasing number of organizations are providing work-life balance programs and employees are beginning to demand them. These are programs that are designed to help employees’ lead more productive and balanced lives and can include mental and physical fitness programs, coffee bars, and cafeteria health food. Work-life programs are believed to result in lower-health care costs in part due to stress reduction. 60

Chapter 14: Organizational Structure

Chapter Summary
Questions and Exercises prepared by Alan Saks.
I. What Is Organizational Structure?
Organizational structure is the manner in which an organization divides its labour into specific tasks and achieves coordination among these

tasks. It broadly refers to how the organization’s individuals and groups are put together or organized to accomplish work. Organizational structure intervenes between goals and organizational accomplishments and thus influences organizational effectiveness. Structure affects how effectively and efficiently group effort is coordinated. To achieve its goals, an organization has to divide labour among its members and then coordinate what has been divided. II. The Division and Coordination of Labour

Labour has to be divided because individuals have physical and intellectual limitations. There are two basic dimensions to the division of labour, a

vertical dimension and a horizontal dimension. Once labour is divided, it must be coordinated to achieve organizational effectiveness. A. Vertical Division of Labour
The vertical division of labour is concerned primarily with apportioning authority for planning and decision making. A couple of key themes or issues underlie the vertical division of labour.
Autonomy and Control. The domain of decision making and authority is reduced as the number of levels in the hierarchy increases. A flatter hierarchy pushes authority lower and involves people further down the hierarchy in more decisions. Communication. As labour is progressively divided vertically, timely communication and coordination can become harder to achieve. As the number

of levels in the hierarchy increases, filtering is more likely to occur. B. Horizontal Division of Labour
The horizontal division of labour involves grouping the basic tasks that must be performed into jobs and then into departments so that the organization can achieve its goals. Just as organizations differ in the extent to which they divide labour vertically, they also differ in the extent of horizontal division of labour. A couple of key themes or issues underlie the horizontal division of labour.

Job Design. Job design is an important component in the horizontal division of labour. The horizontal division of labour strongly affects job design and it has profound implications for the degree of coordination necessary. It also has implications for the vertical division of labour and where control over work processes should logically reside.

Differentiation.Differenti ation is the tendency for managers in separate functions or departments to differ in terms of goals, time spans, and

interpersonal styles. As organizations engage in increased horizontal division of labour, they usually become more and more differentiated. C. Departmentation
One way of grouping jobs is to assign them to departments. The assignment of jobs to departments is called departmentation. It represents one of the core aspects of horizontal division of labour. There are several methods of departmentation.

Functional departmentation. Underfunctional...
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