Management of organizations & Hypotheses
Research is inconclusive regarding the non-traditional organization that has been proposed to meet the present challenges at the market place. The ideas of non-traditional organization are becoming very crucial in organizing modern designs and systems for organizational control that will help meet the current market challenges. Some companies are already utilizing the knowledge on organizational design and control to maximize on their benefits, but others are sluggish in the utilization of such knowledge.
There are a number of companies which have implemented organizational structures based on the traditional models, but those models cannot keep up with the modern dynamic market. The changing of an organization in the area of management to focus on the current marketing conditions in very important to enhance the survival of an organization in the market, both traditional and international market.
In order to survive in the current dynamic market which is characterized by changing technology, management focus, and laws, there is need for the managers to come up with management models that focuses on the improvement of their organizations to gain the advantages accruing to such models. A big number of managers do not have the required knowledge and capability to have organization design and control that
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There are three aspects of design that are essential and will be discussed in this paper; use of Information Technology in coming up with a modern organization design, how culture can be transformed and developed in the modern organization and the aspects of an organization structure for the modern organization. The organization design and control is an essential aspect of organizational success and firms must harness on the benefits by having effective designs and control systems.
Information Technology is still an indispensable tool as far as organizational design is concerned. Organizations will in future need to leverage on the benefits of Information Technology in designing and controlling their firms, and there is need for the exploration of literature that relates to this. There is little understanding relating to the advantages of having a new organization, or that the knowledge is not widely spread, although organizations are finding the need to transform their operations and resources to counter and win over modern challenges.
The traditional organizational design and control cannot render organizations to be so dynamic in order to cope with the current market conditions. These companies are increasingly being put under pressure to keep up with the current market environment because their structures cannot fulfill the desired end results. There is need for these organizations to design their organizations based on the recent knowledge on organizational design and control to harness on the desired benefits. 5. 0 Analyses
Whenever organizations are required to be innovative, achieve short product time and give quality products in order to survive, the traditionally organized entities have been found to flop on this basis and have recorded a long period poor performance, over a long period of time. As such, they perform poorly as far as control and efficiency are concerned (Donnellon and Scully, (1994; cited in Travica, 1998). The lack of good performance for traditionally organized entities has led to a rethinking over the way organizations are arranged.
Bureaucracy hobbles the effort to meeting the new requirements in addition to being incapable of responding to them. This has led to the demand for a new organization. There have been changes in the organization since 1980s. In particular there has been an effort to harness the capabilities of the organization in terms of communications and computing, and this has been built through information technology. Computer networks and the capability of communication systems coupled with the capabilities for text creation so as to result in the arising of the electronic mail.
This is just an example of the development of the IT sector in organizations. Systems that could support group work arose as a result of coupling between the database technology and the capability presented by communication networks. Hammer (1996; cited in Travica, 1998), for instance, is of the opinion that work reorganization has taken place so as to result in a more efficient organization that would increase or leverage on the benefits for IT.
Organizations have realized such changes as flatter organizations, which in turn has led to the shrinking of middle management ranks because of the reporting capabilities brought about by Information Technology (e. g. Peters, 1987; cited in Travica, 1998). Redesigning of the organization has taken place in consideration of achieving more competition and customer value. Sometimes organizations want to bring in new IT when they are about or want to achieve strategic reorientation. There has been changed introduced in the domain of organizational culture.
With these changes, there has been a challenge on the loyalty of employee existing in the traditional organizational domain. With IT, it has been increasingly possible to achieve teamwork objectives as well as having work roles with loose definitions. There has development of a number of models that focus on new organization. For instance, adhocracy has been developed as a model by Mintzberg (1979; cited in Travica, 1998). This model help in the realization of the demands for production at the work place while focusing on work roles and other aspects of the organization.
Another concept focuses on connecting of those organizations “specialized in particular organizational functions”, and it has been termed as the network organization. The aspect of the specialized functions can be seen as those existing in a firm that has operational departments. There has been a proposal for the need to have a labor force that is dynamic including having many specialist workers that are employed only temporary. The ability of the new IT to link people in different spaces and coming from different firms has been brought forward in the concept of the virtual organization.
The ability to flatten the organization and give allocate hierarchy and authority in different operational levels has also been focused upon. Burns and Stalker (1961; cited in Travica, 1998) give a blue print of non-bureaucratic nature in organizational designs, which can be said to be the parents of the new organizational designs. The non-bureaucratic form has diverged from the traditional model where managerial control had a rigid vertical distribution, and the information and communication as well as the production aspects of the organization were put under professionals.
A number of things have been focused upon as far as the new organizations are concerned. These new organizational models have come up with new concepts such as using teams as the basis for organizing work, ensuring that authority is pushed down the ladder, and having information and knowledge changes that have been expanded. In addition, there has arisen a change in these systems, such as in areas of work roles that are narrowly defined, formalization, and segmented information, among other aspects of the traditional organizations.
The later have been transformed with the consideration of the former. Information scientists have been challenged with the coming of the new organizations, which have basis on information and knowledge. There is need for broader consideration such as in the areas of socio-psychological, political and structural aspects of the organization that are important for the realization of the potential of the information resources of an organization. It has increasingly become important to know how to manage the informational resources of organizations, especially driven by technology.
There is shortage of modern literature on management of these resources. Instead of considering the organization as a whole, literature has been handling individual variables and those relationships within them. The production as is influenced by availability of information and the cultural and structural relationship with IT has not been focused upon in the piecemeal study, whereas there has been evidence for existence of the relationships. There is need for further research to help exploit these aspects, and give a further understanding of the new organization aspects.
This is because there still is little understanding of the many aspects. Literature however agrees in terms of some of the necessary conditions required for these organizational designs. These include having firms of smaller sizes, as well as environments that are more dynamic. There has however been some controversy regarding some of the aspects of these new organizations, including role of strategy. Many have however outlined the importance of having IT departments or aspects in the organizations.
There is lack of appropriate evidence regarding the literature that is speculative on the need of IT in the organization. It has failed to outline whether IT is only a design ornament evolving from “organizational mimicry” or is a “fundamental pillar” among other issues (Travica, 1998). There is confusion regarding such aspects as whether use of small IT use can drive non-bureaucratic firms or if abundant IT can be used in bureaucracies. In addition, it is hard to differentiate new designs with the bureaucracy on a large picture level because holistic studies are lacking.
This is because the bureaucracy can have IT, knowledge and information as its basis. There is need to question the “differentiation between information aspects of the two antithetical organizational designs”, more so urgently as far as bureaucracy is not at the historical fringe and has not been “stripped from accolades” (e. g. Kerr, 1995; cited in Travica, 1998). Information technology has played a very crucial role in the realizing of some of the aspects of the new organization. In fact, when exploited in full, it may contribute the largest part of the new organization.
Many organizations are not realizing the benefits of IT because they have only implemented it in part. There is extensive literature regarding the benefits of information technology in enabling firms to broadcast, forward, receive and send information so as to communicate with other organizations. Such technology has, at least for a given period of time now, helped to design work flow systems such as electronic document management systems. In addition, work materials can be transformed for various purposes through the utilization of Information Technology.
This is because of such capabilities of IT to store, process and retrieve data. IT has realized transformations with additions of various aspects of it. This range from the introduction of IT systems to overcome problems related to the working of the telephone to the enabling organization of work in the basis of teams. The modern organization cannot leave aspects of Information Technology. It is possible to harness the benefits presented by technology if there has been adopted a proper organizational context. The aspect of IT in formulation of organizational structures has been studied.
This is one of the examples of the organizational aspect in relation to Information Technology. With implementation of Information Technology, there has been need to implement formal, central and hierarchical structures within organizations. Use of computers has led to the layers of the hierarchy being reduced as posited by Whisler (1970; cited in Travica, 1998). The hierarchical patterns of communications were challenged by the bringing in of the phone to have direct communications between the executives and workers at the old steel industry.
There is a gap existing regarding formalization, with one study finding no links between the statistics or reviews that exposed the performance of departments and Information Technology, as far as small organizations are concerned (Pfeffer and Leblebici 1977; cited in Travica, 1998). However, another study (Wijnhoven and Wassenaar, 1990; cited in Travica, 1998) found that more formalized communications resulted in a computer service firm and a high-tech factory when communications systems were applied.
However, it has been expressed that IT can help by linking people having common referent bases, thereby resulting in a more organic organization. In addition, Pfeffer and Leblebici (1977; cited in Travica, 1998) have brought out an argument relating to the life-cycle aspect of Information Technology, with a view that after a long time, the system could return to familiar (hence formalize as the replaced system), because the amount of rules that regulate the system will decrease as time goes and as familiarity of the system is encountered, as compared to the amount of rules in the beginning of implementation.
In addition, Huber (1990; cited in Travica, 1998) has brought out the idea that there could be nil effects on formalization when IT is used for long time. Dawson & McLaughlin (1986; cited in Travica, 1998) found a linkage between IT and centralization in railroad management. This relationship was such that centralization reduced when IT was used at the operational level. Increased centralization with IT use has been observed in the insurance industry at the executive level.
Other industries exhibiting these trends included the railroad management and newspaper. A trend is that there has been noted reduced centralization with implementation of IT in smaller organizations, and especially in factories (newspaper and hospital units). Literature seems to suggest such trend of reduced centralization with usage of IT in smaller organizations and/or at the operational level. Organization members and the operations in organizations of scientists were found to exhibit a spatial dispersion with the use of IT in these organizations.
The relationship between IT and the organizational culture has also been investigated, with many studies finding that there could be a number of results from the usage of email and IT systems that have trends with no social cues (Travica, 1998). Such results include creation of new ideas, shifting decisions and behavior that is uninhibited. There is no clear cut as to whether the users or the IT is the cause of this uninhibited behavior. Although the behavior was viewed as undesirable, it could also act as a stimulant to organizational innovational.
The idea of innovation can be brought forward as far as IT is concerned in enabling sharing of knowledge, as happens in the IT-rich organizations. In addition, it can be useful in expressing feelings, avoiding conformity and that it can help in the creation of electronic communities within organizations. IT has also a crucial role among the experts, as relates to creating an image of being irreplaceable, individuals having the ability to deal with uncertainty and them having special knowledge. These knowledge may lead to some having power over others in the organization.
Information Technology is in itself complicated. Many organizations are not leveraging on the advantages of using technology because they do not have the resources to implement or that there is little knowledge in regard to its use and advantages, or both. Opening up to using new technology will be the doorway to achieving desired results in meeting current challenges, but organizations need more time to understand what technology they need at what time. In addition, technology is very dynamic and its implementation (whether basic or continued) requires care.
Organizations must use highly specialized and gifted staff to source, study, understand and implement new systems. Such is the case with formulation of a new organization as far as other aspects are concerned, including redesigning organizational structures and coming up with new culture alignments. 6. 0 Results Organizations need to rethink the way they organize and control their organization. In particular, there is crucial evidence that they should divert from the traditional organization to the new organization in order to counter the problems and challenges at the current workplace and market.
In particular, the modern organization features flexibility, harnessing the power of technology and achieving organizations which are flatter in terms of power sharing. The managers in all organization can focus on the literature relating to generation of modern organizations. The following can also help them out. Many organizations understand the implications of Information Technology, new cultures and redistribution of power in their organizations in order to transform their organizations to face modern challenges and become more competitive. There are only a few who can catch up with the current technology owing to its dynamic nature.
In addition, there are those who have even not implemented Information Technology. Implementation of the systems to realize a new organization is complicated and need be done in a process. Organizations will first need to understand these systems before implementing. There are three organic designs that can help in the explanation of the non-traditional organization, and these are network organization, adhocracy and organic organization. Organic organization brings forward the idea of an organization being ‘organic’ rather than ‘mechanic’ and brings out the idea of an organization being ‘naturally’ spontaneous in its genesis.
The basis of studies driving into the formulation of this type of design is studies carried on electronic firms that were successful. In this respect, organizations are characteristic of having flexible tasks of work, network fashion of distributing control and authority, as well as deviation from the traditional method of culture that is based on loyalty and obedience to one that is based on “technological ethos” (Travica, 1998). The model has explained aspects of IT such as communication, but has no account for IT. The term adhocracy points to the aspect that organization is shaped by purpose.
In Mintzberg position, the model consists of such aspects as democratic values, roles that are vague, hierarchies that are flatter as well as low formalizations among aspects. Mintzberg (1983; cited in Travica, 1998) posited that those people with knowledge from universities and societies as well as those performing complex tasks would have power accumulated on them, as compared to those with knowledge gotten or accumulated from firms. This power is routed in autocratic organizations in terms of mutual adjustments, teamwork and self-coordination and not rooted in formal authority.
Evidence for the Mintzberg model was found in a study of an organization developing at two sites connecting through multimedia system, and in this organization, performance of functions was necessitated by the existence of a linking information system and the primary organizational resource was information was. In addition, information was being shared through informal communication in this organization. Such type of communication was also essential for socialization and coordination and the “private and public turfs fuzzy” had communication as their border (Travica, 1998).
People communicated intensely and interacted socially through communicating. The study supported that reciprocal interdependence increased with increase in the extent with which knowledge was shared. Reciprocal interdependence means that the crucial information needed by others was possessed by each individual and the individual needed what information others had. There was evidence that an organization can transform from bureaucratic to adhocracy as evidenced in National Film Board of Canada in a study carried out by Mintzberg and McHugh (1985; cited in Travica, 1998).
There were several attempts to redistribute power to professionals in this firm, and these attempts were successful leading to this transformation. There has however been evidence of coexistence of two designs such as found of adhocracy with bureaucratic system. The evidence of standardized service delivery propagated a bureaucratic model; while evidence of ambivalent mission statement, innovative service deliveries and undifferentiated leadership propagated notions of adhocracy. Inter-organizational and intra-organizational designs are referenced with the use of networked or network organizations.
One proposition focuses on the use of IT networks in the enabling of human networks that are formal. These models can lead to an organization that achieves new culture with accountability and trust among members, responsibility amongst the members, goal sharing, among other things as well as achieving a redesign of the division of labor. Another concept theorized is that of “loosely-coupled organic networks” that can help having members of the organization operating far from each other but being completely connected.
The design also can help to meet organizational aspects such as resources sharing, accountability, sharing of visions and values among others. 7. 0 Recommendations There is evidence that the modern organization designing will hold the basis for organizations to meeting the present challenges related to the workplace and the market. These challenges relates to the organizations realizing optimal efficiencies and being competitive in the current market by giving quality products and services. Strategies are needed to organize the firms in relation to gaining these advantages.
There has been an attempt to divert from the traditional forms of structures for the organizations as well as control. This is in an attempt to see whether firms can beat challenges in the marketplace and workplace. There has emerged literature relating to a ‘new organization’ which focuses on redesigning and realignment of organizations to gain certain advantages. There is evidence that such reorganization has helped organizations to not only cope with the modern environment at the international and domestic markets as well as their own factories and workplaces.
There is need for harnessing on the various advantages relating to the organizing of the firms as ‘new organizations’. There is little literature relating to ‘new organizations’ and thus this paper conclude that such knowledge is lowly being utilized to organize and control firms. It is in this respect that this paper recommends the exploitation of this knowledge further. This will help managers to understand the various aspects regarding ‘new organizations’ and how they can design the traditional organizations to modern ones for the purpose of gaining the related advantages.
Such literature focuses on how they can utilize technology, how they can redesign their organizational structures and how they can tune organizational culture to suit the production environment. In addition, this literature focuses on how they can implement effective power distribution systems and the best systems. Although current literature is unexhausted, there is little literature that offers crucial understanding regarding these aspects, and managers will therefore need to begin by learning and considering the already available literature.
The complex nature of developing a new organization outlines the need to implement the various aspects of an organizational design and control on a stepwise basis. In fact, none of the organization can implement a design that will be as modern to cater for the very modern needs. Organizations are limited in various aspects, ranging from availability of adequate resources, lack of the knowledge relating to these systems, lack of technical knowhow to implement the systems and lack of adequate research.
In fact, those that may be considered as well off in terms of resources, manpower and technology will be limited in that technology is very dynamic and diverse, such that catching up with the modern systems that will enable them be extremely at the top is impossible. This is in consideration to the dynamic nature with which technology is changing. New processes, systems and methods of, not only production and processing but also for management are coming up within no time.
However, there is need for organizations to make sure that they implement changes as quick as possible to leverage on their advantages before they mature in the market and become common to all. There is evidence that modern organization design is a constituent of many things, ranging from information technology, management of power distribution in the organization, organizational culture and the organizational structure among other aspects. It is therefore important that organization consider intertwining these aspects to increase the chances of having optimal results.
Partial implementations of the ‘new organization’ will only result to getting partial benefits. The designing of the new organization requires managers t utilize every aspect of organizational design in the best way, in consideration with the available information and knowledge. It must be considered that the environments within which organizations operate are original and therefore, original ideas relating to the redesigning of the specific business will require hard work. Nevertheless, with a general guideline provided here, businesses will be able to determine what is best for them.
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