Organizational Business Management
“Organizational structure refers to the division of labor, patterns of coordination and communication, workflow, and formal power that directs organizational activities (Jones, 1995).” An organization’s structure says something about its culture and hierarchy of authority. It is used in effectively implementing change in an organization as well as to remove any hindrances in communication or relationships. The different types of organization structures are simple, functional, divisional, matrix and conglomerate; and everyone has its own strengths and weaknesses which can help an organization achieve its objectives and goals in its own way.
Organizational culture is a set of shared values, beliefs and assumptions which is adopted by every member working in an organization and employed on all problems as it is considered the correct way of thinking (Jones, 1995). It cannot be seen physically but it is practiced through out the organization.
Organizational Behavior Analysis
The organizational structure being followed at FMC Aberdeen is simple. There are only 100 employees working which are quite few in number and they are offering only a single product to a single customer U.S Navy. The structure was flexible and every employee was responsible to complete the task. Systems and technology are kept simple so that employees can
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Employees were selected who were good at “group skills, communication skills, personal skills, problem-solving skills, results orientation and leadership skills.” The plant manager established quality standards on which the teams can work to maintain high levels of quality and service. Each team was managed by a team leader chosen by its members who will facilitate and solve the problem. The culture at FMC Aberdeen did not allow for criticism or allegation rather there was direct feedback given to employees on their performance which was taken as neither positive or negative. At Aberdeen there were meetings on Monday and Thursday mornings involving all 100 employees which were the primary means of communication. The culture at Aberdeen placed emphasis on building employee’s morale and reducing the amount of turnover.
The plant manager was dressed in jeans and boots which shows a casual style of dressing prevailing in the organization. The place was run more like a family where everyone feels involved and manages the business like his own. For example, the annual off-site all-employees meeting showed the level of employee-involvement. There was a balance maintained in the amount of upper level involvement in planning and implementing systems. The values inculcated were “don’t lie, cheat, or steal, and be responsible for your own behavior.” Various social activities like parties and tournaments were carried out at Aberdeen due to which the family culture at the organization came into play.
The top management also worked on the career development of their employees by giving them rotating training to have an idea of all aspects of the organization. The organizational structure and culture being employed at Aberdeen had dramatic results. Productivity had increased to a great extent, the costs were continuously decreasing and employee’s morale, pride and enthusiasm was at its peak.
The structure being followed at FMC Green River was also a flexible one with a high level of trust for the employees. The management style was interactive, open and willing to pass out information and the decision making authority was decentralized. Information was shared between the employees through the computer system. The employees were huge in number around 1150 and the organization produced several product lines. The workers at FMC Green River worked under a labor union “United Steel Workers of America”.
The operating values and systems of Green River and Aberdeen were essentially the same. Trust was maintained in relationships as an essential element. There were separate managers employed for both below-surface and surface facilities of a business. Recruitment was not a painful task since the Green River town comprised of around 15000 people but there were also candidates from far away towns. Unlike Aberdeen, the work was not carried out in teams or groups rather individually. The technology installed at Green River was complex with a huge infrastructure.
Alternatives and Recommendations
The structure and culture of an organization have a direct impact on its management of processes and people (McShane and Von Gilnow, 2003). It must have the structure and culture which enhances the environment. Following are a list of recommendations that can be worked upon at FMC Green River.
1. The technology at Green River should be kept simple since the employees will understand it better. Moreover, complex technology adds to cost and time of understanding. For boosting employee’s productivity and reducing costs, changes must be made to install a simple infrastructure.
2. The procedures being followed at Green River mostly appear to be formal. Managers must achieve a fit between the formal and informal structure for effective performance (Nelson and Campbell, 2007).
3. Green River should enhance more upon its organic structure so that changes can be made easily according to the changing situations (Jones, 1995). It already has an organic structure but it is not organic to the full extent since the complex technology and infrastructure cannot be replaced with a simple one for the effective understanding of its people.
4. Like Aberdeen, the management at Green River should also inculcate a family culture where families of employees can get together and take part in various social activities. This gives the employees a feeling of working at home and they start managing the business as their very own.
5. Since there a large number of employees so the values must be strong enough to be adopted by every individual working there. They should learn values from its socialization practices, stories, language, ceremonies that form an integral part of an organization’s culture.
6. Information sharing and communication should not be restricted to the computer systems only, instead weekly or monthly meetings must be planned to invite and discuss ideas from the employees and listen to their problems.
7. Employees should work in small groups rather than individually to increase collaboration in work activities and achiever results collectively.
8. Employees should be properly trained to work with the system and they should be informed about the ultimate goal of the organization so that they should work accordingly.
9. There should be a proper system of evaluating employee’s performance and performance standards must be established for this purpose. Through this the management can keep a check on employee’s performance that whether it is directed towards their ultimate goal or not.
The priority issue at GREEN RIVER is of complex technology and employees are not trained to work with that technology. For overcoming this problem, training programs must be initiated in the organization to teach them of the skills and practices needed to work with. Like Aberdeen, rotating training procedure can be employed here for the development of the employees.
An organization should have a structure and culture that meshes completely with its environment and the uncertainties prevailing in it. A poor fit will result in failure (McShane and Von Glinow, 2003). Therefore, Green River needs to have a contingency plan in face of uncertainties causing change or any failure. The recommendations given above can result in different consequences due to environmental uncertainties. A proper planning team must be appointed to identify the uncontrollable factors such as economic recession, inflation, technological developments, natural disasters or any other accidents. In these situations contingency plans are implemented which can result in possible lay-offs, emergency budgets or other such measures.