Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Why Organizational Conflict Occur?

  1. Divisions and departments often have different objectives. If their members cannot find common values and goals, they will not cooperate.
  2. Employees are more knowledgeable and comfortable being solo contributors than being thorough members of a team, despite the need for interdependency in most work. This is exaggerated when, through their reward systems, organizations encourage employees to compete with one another. Teamwork is a concept that must be learned and applied throughout the organization.
  3. Employees are neither trained nor prepared to negotiate shared areas of responsibility and productivity gaps comfortably.
  4. Supervisors may state their expectations of employee job performance, but they usually do not know how to do so in a way that can be heard and understood effectively.
  5. Organizational problems and responsibilities are analyzed from individual or departmental viewpoints, rather than from that of the organization as a whole. Good decisions are further undermined by a short-term, crisis approach to problem-solving.
  6. Managers would rather do the work themselves than take responsibility for motivating others to do their best work. To motivate each employee to contribute maximum productivity, managers must demonstrate insight, dedication and flexibility.
  7. Executives need significant information from front-line employees to make good decisions. Yet they seldom know how to ask for meaningful information, input or feedback from employees.
  8. Differences in personality, approach to tasks and individual values create even more friction and tension than that caused by racial or cultural background differences.
  9. Good communication requires trust, a suspension of assumptions and hard work, which most organizations do not demonstrate well from executive level downward to front line employees.   
  10. Small and large changes occur constantly within organizations, but the emotions these changes generate are seldom addressed. Employees can more easily adapt to change if they are prepared, included and supported.  

Does your organization demonstrate any of these deficits? Remember ... even well-functioning organizations have room for improvement.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mechanistic and Organic Organizational Structure

Organizational structure is a type of framework used in businesses. Its purpose is to find the most effective way to delegate roles, power, and responsibilities to its employees and departments. It also controls and coordinates how information flows between different departments and levels of management in an organization. Having a proper organizational structure will allow a company to implement better operating procedures, and dictate which employees help in making decisions or shaping the organization. Based on an organizations goals and objectives it may be structured in many different ways. Two important structures include Mechanistic and Organic structures.

Mechanistic structures are mainly for companies that operate in a stable environment, use a centralized approach of authority, and maintain strong loyalty for management. Organizations that use a Mechanistic type of structure generally do not need to change or adapt their structure. This is mainly due to lack of innovation, creativity, and quick decision analysis not needed. Examples of organizations using Mechanistic structures include colleges and universities. If you think about it, they have long and strict registration procedures, rarely have to adapt or change in order to keep students enrolling, and most students tend to maintain high loyalty or obedience toward their instructors.

Mechanistic Structures Include:
-          Belief upper management is better capable of making decisions
-          Management instructions must be followed
-          Communication and control must proceed through hierarchical routes
-          More emphasis toward completing a task opposed to achieving company goals
-          Employees are more jobs specialized and placed into certain departments
-          Low differentiation of tasks

Organic structures are used in organizations facing unstable environments and must possess the ability to change accordingly. They have the ability to process, analyze, and distribute information and knowledge very quickly. This ensures that they stay competitive against other businesses. Businesses using Organic structures need to communicate effectively and quickly by spreading information. This is done by departments and different functional areas being closely integrated with one another. Also, by implementing decentralized decision making, employees of lower ranking will have the ability to make important decisions. This will help empower employees leading to greater creativity and better problem solving. Google Corporation is a great example of an Organic structure based business. Their employees are encouraged to use creative problem solving skills and develop new products.

Organic Structures Include:
-          Large network of authority, control, and communication
-          Problem solving is encouraged by all employees
-          Employees are more goals oriented than job orientated
-          Employee empowerment is encouraged

The structure of an organization will dictate how people interact with each other and their relationship of roles in the organization. If a structure is out-dated or not implemented correctly in a business, it will lead to many problems. These include conflict among employees or departments, confusion of employee roles, and lack of communication / coordination among departments.
In the past managers have simply tried to reorganize or work with the current structure of a business rather than addressing the necessary issues. This could lead to greater complexity rather than solving structural flaws

A good way to start problem solving regarding organizational structure in a business is to ask 3 important questions:
1 – Is the problem the structure or the way management is managing it?
2 – Does the structure match out strategy?
3 – Has organization design been compromised due to accommodating to personalities?
Have you ever worked in a company and thought about these 3 questions?

Ashkenas,R. Harvard Business Review. Solving the Rubik’s Cube of Organizational Structure. Retrieved June 28,2011 from
Corkindale,G. Harvard Business Review. The Importance of Organizational Design and Structure. Retrieved June 28,2011 from
Kotter,J. Forbes Business. Hierarchy and Network. Retrieved June 28,2011 from

What is Mechanistic and Organic Organization

What is Mechanistic Structure

Mechanistic organizations have clear, well-defined, centralized, vertical hierarchies of command, authority, and control. Efficiency and predictability are emphasized through specialization, standardization, and formalization. This results in rigidly defined jobs, technologies, and processes. The term mechanistic suggests that organizational structures, processes, and roles are like a machine in which each part of the organization does what it is designed to do. The following are some of the characteristics of Mechanistic organization structure.

What is Organic Structure

The term "organic" suggests that organizations change their structures, roles, and processes to respond and adapt to their environments. Organic structures are appropriate in unstable, turbulent, unpredictable environments and for non-routine tasks and technologies. For organizations coping with such uncertainty, finding appropriate, effective, and timely responses to environmental challenges is of critical importance.