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Organizational Structure

Understanding the structure of organizations are extremely important in determining the chain of authority or power, how decisions are made and carried out, the technical and non-technical processes and operations by which the organization functions, the dynamics of the organization as a machine, the strengths, weaknesses, advantages, and disadvantages of the organizational structure, and so on. Ultimately, the structure of the organization determines how it shall be able to accomplish efficiently set goals and objectives.

Max Weber contributed to the comprehensive pool of knowledge and concepts explicating organizational structure and management through his theory on Classical Bureaucracy. According to Weber, an organization is “a particular type of social relationship that is either closed to outsiders or limits their admission and has its regulations enforced by a chief, usually with the assistance of an administrative staff. ” (Miner, 2007) Under these pretexts, Weber has developed the concept of an organization, which is highly organized and bureaucratic in nature, and was said to be systematically and well-managed due to this particular structure.

Therefore, organizational structure, which develops social relationships and dynamics within its members, is not only instrumental in the realization of goals and objectives, but is inherent within all types of organizations. Furthermore,

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organizational structure is a means by which leaders within an organization manage the system, functioning, and operations to serve the organization’s purpose. With this in mind, the organizational structure of the U. S.

Department of Defense shall be critically analyzed, bearing in mind the purpose of exploring the organization’s background, observing key processes that define it, and capture knowledge and learning experiences in the process. BACKGROUND Mission of the U. S. Department of Defense The ultimate goal or objective of the U. S. Department of Defense (U. S. DoD) is to “provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our [American people] country. ” (U. S. Department of Defense, N. D. ) Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the U.

S. DoD to gather valid and reliable information on issues and concepts that have something to do with national security and the defense strategies being implemented in the country. Consequently, the information shall be presented to “the public, the Congress, and the news media. ” The Headquarters of the U. S. DoD is in The Pentagon. (U. S. Department of Defense, 2007) Organizational Structure The U. S. DoD is a bureaucratic organization with a vertical chain of command. The U. S. DoD is generally managed by the Secretary of Defense.

The Secretary of Defense is responsible for relating or communicating critical information and data to the U. S. President, and formulating strategies, methodologies, or plans for defense and DoD functions and operations. The Deputy Secretary of Defense is the right hand of the Secretary of Defense responsible for carrying out all the orders by the latter. Working exclusively for the Secretary of Defense is the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Military Departments constitutes military units, such as the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force.

Although these military departments are managed exclusively by a manager, each department still falls under the influence and control of the Secretary of Defense. (“The Department of Defense Organizational Structure”) The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the primary consultant of the President of the U. S. , the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council, regarding affairs concerning the military. The Unified Combatant Commands is a separate group or department that accomplishes all orders enacted by the U. S. President of the Secretary of Defense.

The Inspector General of the Department of Defense is a detached official from the branches of the U. S. DoD who is tasked to inspect processes, operations, policies, and such, carried out by the U. S. DoD and its officials. The Defense Agencies and the DoD Field Activities “perform selected consolidated support and service functions of a more limited scope. ” (“The Department of Defense Organizational Structure Plans and Actions This month, the U. S. DoD has a released a report proposal regarding the funding that the organization would need to continue its operations and achieve its goals and objectives in 2010.

The amount of funding proposed by the department is $663. 8 billion. (Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense – Public Affairs, 2009) Meanwhile, the U. S. DoD is currently involved in testing protection facilities, managing military forces detailed in Iraq, and assessing defense and security policies. (Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense – Public Affairs, 2009b) DISCUSSION Based on the structure of the organization, the U. S. DoD constitutes a wide berth, which branches out into numerous departments that carry out specific roles and tasks.

Aside from the established fact that the U. S. DoD is a bureaucratic organization, it follows a functional structure wherein power and authority is not directly centralized since the topmost leader, who is the Secretary of Defense, does not ultimately carry out all managerial responsibilities. Each department in the U. S. DoD is autonomous, such that distinct roles and tasks are being carried out individually under the management and supervision of a leader appointed to oversee processes, operations, functioning, and such, within the assigned department. Furthermore, the U. S.

DoD follows a functional structure since the members of the organization communicate formally, and the functioning of the organization relies on the collaboration and shared efforts among all the departments. The decisions made by the Secretary of Defense and the information that he passes on to the President, the National Security Center, etc. , as well as the types of orders that he assigns to the military are based on the joint efforts of the U. S. DoD’s departments to collect, gather, analyze, and interpret information. Furthermore, despite the authority of the Secretary of Defense over the U.

S. DoD, his power submits to the U. S. President whenever a decision is made affecting the functioning and operation of the department. An example of this would be the final say of the U. S. President when it comes to appointing officials who will serve under the U. S. DoD. FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS Based on the backgrounds and various reports regarding the U. S. DoD, I have learned the ultimate mission of the department when it comes to national security and defense, and that is to provide the country with military services for the purpose of supporting the country’s security and defense.

Furthermore, the objective of the DoD, as aforementioned, was to discourage the onset of war while in the process serving to maintain national security. I believe that the organizational structure of the U. S. DoD does not necessitate changes or transformations given the fact that it has been actively involved in accomplishing its mission for the country, and that is to provide military services as deemed necessary. There seems to be no problems with how actions and orders are carried out, as well as how departments are being managed.

The only problem was that the U. S. DoD violated one of its goals, and that is the mission to deter war. The U. S. DoD has supported the war in Iraq following the 9/11 attacks. The U. S. Government Accountability Office has issued a report on the matter, stating how the U. S. DoD has failed to follow its goals and objectives, and operate under its jurisdiction. Apparently, the U. S. DoD has carried out orders beyond its jurisdiction, and has implemented them without following the rules and procedures to do so.

(GAO, 2005) Perhaps, to address the problem, the organization needs to adapt efficient managerial skills, as well as to develop the credibility and accountability of its intelligence department for the U. S. DoD to be able to make well-informed decisions and prevent making wrong decisions in the future. References The Department of Defense Organizational Structure. (N. D. ). Retrieved 11 May 2009, from DefenseLINK. Website: http://www. defenselink. mil/odam/omp/pubs/GuideBook/DoD. htm GAO. (2005).

Interagency Contracting: Problems with DoD’s and Interior’s Orders to Support Military Operations. Retrieved 11 May 2009, from The U. S. Government Accountability Office. Website: http://www. gao. gov/new. items/d05201. pdf Miner, J. B. (2007). Organizational Behavior 4: From Theory to Practice. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe. Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense – Public Affairs. (2009). DoD Releases Fiscal 2010 Budget Proposal. Retrieved 11 May 2009, from DefenseLINK. Website: http://www. defenselink. mil/releases/release.

aspx? releaseid=12652 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense – Public Affairs. (2009b). Press Advisories. Retrieved 11 May 2009, from DefenseLINK. Website: http://www. defenselink. mil/advisories/ U. S. Department of Defense. (N. D. ) About DefenseLINK. Retrieved 11 May 2009, from DefenseLINK. Website: http://www. defenselink. mil/admin/about. html U. S. Department of Defense. (2007). Principles of Information. Retrieved 11 May 2009, from DefenseLINK. Website: http://www. defenselink. mil/admin/prininfo. html

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