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Robbins: Organizational Behavior

Chapter Fifteen

FOUNDATIONS OF ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE


LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying this chapter, students should be able to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Identify the six key elements that define an organizations structure. Explain the characteristics of a bureaucracy. Describe a matrix organization. Explain the characteristics of a virtual organization. Summarize why managers want to create boundaryless organizations. Contrast mechanistic and organic structural models. List the factors that favor different organizational structures. Explain the behavioral implications of different organizational designs..

CHAPTER OVERVIEW The theme of this chapter is that an organizations internal structure contributes to explaining and predicting behavior. That is, in addition to individual and group factors, the structural relationships in which people work have a bearing on employee attitudes and behavior. What is the basis for the argument that structure has an impact on both attitudes and behavior? To the degree that an organizations structure reduces ambiguity for employees and clarifies such concerns as What am I supposed to do?, How am I supposed to do it?, To whom do I report?, and To whom do I go if I have a problem? it shapes their attitudes and facilitates and motivates them to higher levels of performance. Of course, structure also constrains employees to the extent that it limits and controls what they do. For example, organizations structured around high levels of formalization and specialization, strict adherence to the chain of command, limited delegation of authority, and narrow spans of control give employees little autonomy. Controls in such organizations are tight, and behavior will tend to vary within a narrow range. In contrast, organizations that are structured around limited specialization, low formalization, and wide spans of control provide employees greater freedom and, thus, will be characterized by greater behavioral diversity. Exhibit 15-11 visually summarizes what we will discuss in this chapter. Strategy, size, technology, and environment determine the type of structure an organization will have. For simplicitys sake, we can classify structural designs around one of two models: mechanistic or organic. The specific effect of structural designs on performance and satisfaction is moderated by employees individual preferences and cultural norms. One last point: Managers need to be reminded that structural variables such as work specialization, span of control, formalization, and centralization are objective characteristics that can be measured by organizational researchers. The findings and conclusions we will offer in this chapter, in fact, are directly a result of the work of these researchers, but employees do not objectively measure these structural characteristics! They observe things around them in an unscientific fashion and then form their own implicit models of what the organizations structure is like. How many people did they have to interview with before they were offered their jobs? How many people work in their departments and buildings? Is there an organization policy manual? If so, is it readily available, and do people follow it closely? How is the organization and its top management described in newspapers and periodicals? Answers to questions such as these, when combined with an employees past experiences and comments made by peers, lead members to form an overall subjective image of what their organizations structure is like. This image, though, may in no way resemble the organizations actual objective structural characteristics. The importance of these implicit models of organizational structure should not be overlooked. As we noted in Chapter 5, people respond to their perceptions rather than objective reality. The research, for instance, on the relationship between many structural variables and subsequent levels of performance or job satisfaction is far from consistent. We explained some of this as being attributable to individual differences. However, an additional contributing cause to these inconsistent findings might be diverse perceptions of the objective characteristics. Researchers typically focus on actual levels of the various structural components, but these may be irrelevant if people interpret similar components differently. The bottom line, therefore, is to understand how employees interpret their organizations structure. That should prove a more meaningful predictor of their behavior than the objective characteristics themselves.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior WEB EXERCISES

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At the end of each chapter of this instructors manual, you will find suggested exercises and ideas for researching the WWW on OB topics. The exercises Exploring OB Topics on the Web are set up so that you can simply photocopy the pages, distribute them to your class, and make assignments accordingly. You may want to assign the exercises as an out-of-class activity or as lab activities with your class. Within the lecture notes the graphic will note that there is a WWW activity to support this material.

The chapter opens introducing Andrew Bergstram and Ian Hamilton, both graduates of the International Institute for Management Development in Luasanne, Switzerland. At a reunion they find that they have taken similar jobs. Both are bank managers, but are having very different experiences as a result of the organizational structure they find themselves working in. Bergstram has a great deal of autonomy in his decision making and really enjoys his job. Hamilton works for a bureaucratic company and is dissatisfied with his present job. Their experiences indicate the bearing that organizational structure can have on attitudes and behavior. CHAPTER NOTES What Is Organizational Structure? 1. An organizational structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated. 2. There are six key elements: Notes:

Work specialization Departmentalization Chain of command Span of control Centralization and decentralization Formalization

A. Work Specialization 1. Henry Ford became rich and famous by building automobiles on an assembly line, demonstrating that work can be performed more efficiently by using a work specialization strategy.

Every Ford worker was assigned a specific, repetitive task. By breaking jobs up into small standardized tasks, Ford was able to produce cars at the rate of one every ten seconds, while using employees who had relatively limited skills. In essence, an entire job is broken into a number of steps, each completed by a separate individual.

2. By the late 1940s, most manufacturing jobs in industrialized countries were being done this way. Management saw this as a means to make the most efficient use of its employees skills. 3. Managers also looked for other efficiencies that could be achieved through work specialization:

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior A. Work Specialization (cont.) Notes:

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Employee skills at performing a task successfully increase through repetition. Training for specialization is more efficient from the organizations perspective. It increases efficiency and productivity, encouraging the creation of special inventions and machinery.

4. For much of the first half of this century, managers viewed work specialization as an unending source of increased productivity. By the 1960s, there became increasing evidence that a good thing can be carried too far.

The human diseconomies from specializationboredom, fatigue, stress, low productivity, poor quality, increased absenteeism, and high turnovermore than offset the economic advantages. In such cases, enlarging the scope of job activities could increase productivity.

5. Most managers today see work specialization as neither obsolete nor as an unending source of increased productivity. Managers recognize the economies it provides and the problems it creates when carried too far. B. Departmentalization 1. Grouping these jobs together so common tasks can be coordinated is called departmentalization. 2. One of the most popular ways to group activities is by functions performed. For example, a manufacturing manager might organize his/her plant by separating engineering, accounting, manufacturing, personnel, and purchasing specialists into common departments. 3. The advantage to this type of grouping is obtaining efficiencies from putting like specialists together. Functional departmentalization achieves economies of scale by placing people with common skills and orientations into common units. 4. Tasks can also be departmentalized by the type of product the organization produces.

Procter & Gamble recently reorganized along these lines. Each major productsuch as Tide, Pampers, Charmin, and Pringleswill be placed under the authority of an executive who will have complete global responsibility for that product. The major advantage to this type of grouping is increased accountability for product performance under a single manager.

5. Another way to departmentalize is on the basis of geography or territory.

The sales function, for instance, may have western, southern, mid-western, and eastern regions.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior B. Departmentalization (cont.) 6. Process departmentalization is exemplified by Reynolds Metals aluminum tubing plant where production is organized into five departments. This method offers a basis for the homogeneous categorizing of activities. Notes:

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Process departmentalization can be used for processing customers as well as products. For example, at the state motor vehicles office you might find: a. Validation by motor vehicles division b. Processing by the licensing department c. Payment collection by the treasury department

7. A final category of departmentalization is by type of customer.

Microsoft, for instance, recently reorganized around four customer markets: consumers, large corporations, software developers, and small businesses. The assumption is that customers in each department have a common set of problems and needs that can best be met by having specialists for each.

8. Large organizations may use all of the forms of departmentalization that we have described.

A major Japanese electronics firm organizes each of its divisions along functional linesits manufacturing units around processes, its sales around seven geographic regions, and each sales region into four customer groupings. Rigid, functional departmentalization is increasingly complemented by teams.

C. Chain of Command 1. Thirty years ago, the chain-of-command was a basic cornerstone in the design of organizations. 2. The chain of command is "an unbroken line of authority that extends from the top of the organization to the lowest echelon and clarifies who reports to whom." 3. It answers the questions: To whom do I go if I have a problem? and To whom am I responsible? 4. Two complementary concepts: authority and unity of command.

Authority"the rights inherent to management to give orders and expect the orders to be obeyed." The unity-of-command principle helps preserve the concept of an unbroken line of authority. It states that a person should have only one superior to whom he/she is directly responsible.

5. Times change, and so do the basic tenets of organizational design. The concepts of chain of command have less relevance today because of technology and the trend of empowering employees.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior C. Chain of Command (cont.) Notes:

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A low-level employee today can access information in seconds that 30 years ago was available only to top managers. Similarly, computer technology increasingly allows employees anywhere in an organization to communicate with anyone else without going through formal channels. Cross functional and self managed teams and the creation of new structural designs make the unity of command concept less relevant

Instructor Note: At this point in the lecture you may want to introduce the TEAM EXERCISE Authority Figures found in the text and at the end of these chapter notes. A suggestion for a class exercise follows. D. Span of Control 1. How many employees a manager can efficiently and effectively direct is an important question. 2. All things being equal, the wider or larger the span, the more efficient the organization.

Exhibit 15-3 illustrates that reducing the number of managers leads to significant savings. Wider spans are more efficient in terms of cost. However, at some point, wider spans reduce effectiveness.

3. Narrow or small spans have their advocates. By keeping the span of control to five or six employees, a manager can maintain close control. 4. Narrow spans have three major drawbacks:

First, as already described, they are expensive because they add levels of management. Second, they make vertical communication in the organization more complex. Third, narrow spans of control encourage overly tight supervision and discourage employee autonomy.

5. The trend in recent years has been toward wider spans of control.

They are consistent with recent efforts by companies to reduce costs, cut overhead, speed up decision-making, increase flexibility, get closer to customers, and empower employees. To ensure that performance does not suffer because of these wider spans, organizations have been investing heavily in employee training.

Instructor Note: At this point in the lecture you may want to introduce the OB IN THE NEWS Few Entrepreneurs Understand Span of Control found in the text and below. A suggestion for a class exercise follows.

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OB IN THE NEWS--Few Entrepreneurs Understand Span of Control Pat Harpell learned a lesson that many entrepreneurs fail to learn: Having too many people report to you can undermine your effectiveness. Harpell runs Harpell Inc, a transactive marketing services company she founded in 1982 in Maynard, Massachusetts. As her firm grew, she added managers. Eventually she had 18 people reporting directly to her. It took her a few years but she finally recognized that she had to reduce the number of people over whom she had direct control. I realized I was the bottleneck, Harpell says. By limiting the number of people reporting to me, I was able to look beyond day to day and focus on building a unique brand and position for the company. Today, Harpell has only six people reporting directly to her and she has the time to focus on important issues. Harpells experience is not unusual among entrepreneurs. As a group they tend to want to do everything, supervise everyone, and have all decisions come through them. A study of entrepreneurs found that among two dozen popular management principles, span of control was the least appreciated. Only 23 percent of the respondents agreed that span of control should not be too large, and just 16 percent believed top managers cannot deal with all problems personally.
Source: Based on M. Henricks, Span Control, Entrepreneur, January 2001, pp. 9798.

Class Exercise 1. Discuss with students the advantages and disadvantages of a managers span of control from the perspective of the employee. Those with work experience will be able to share experiences concerning performance appraisals, supervision, assistance with questions, training, etc. 2. What can employees do when they find themselves in a situation where the manager has a wide span and has little time for him or her? Help the students to think of self help strategies such as: using email, finding a mentor, asking colleagues for assistance, being proactive (for example, completing your performance evaluation in advance and giving it to the boss to review), taking on new projects, etc.

Centralization and Decentralization 1. In some organizations, top managers make all the decisions. This is highly centralized. 2. There are organizations where decision-making is pushed down to those managers who are closest to the action. This is highly decentralized. 3. Centralization refers to the degree to which decision-making is concentrated at a single point. A centralized organization is inherently different structurally from one that is decentralized.

Notes:

The concept includes only formal authority. The organization is centralized when top management makes the organizations key decisions with little or no input from lower-level personnel. The more that lower-level personnel provide input, the more decentralization there is.

4. In a decentralized organization, action can be taken more quickly to solve problems, more people provide input into decisions, and employees are less likely to feel alienated. 5. There has been a marked trend toward decentralizing decision making. For example, Sears and JC Penney have given their store managers considerably more discretion on what merchandise to stock.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior A. Formalization 1. Formalization refers to the degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized. 2. A highly formalized job gives the job incumbent a minimum amount of discretion over what is to be done, when it is to be done, and how he or she should do it. Employees can be expected always to handle the same input in exactly the same way. 3. The greater the standardization, the less input the employee has into how the job is done. 4. Low formalizationjob behaviors are relatively non-programmed, and employees have a great deal of freedom to exercise discretion in their work. 5. The degree of formalization can vary widely between organizations and within organizations. Common Organizational Designs A. The Simple Structure 1. The simple structure is characterized most by what it is not rather than what it is: Notes: Notes:

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It is not elaborated. It has a low degree of departmentalization, wide spans of control, authority centralized in a single person, and little formalization. The simple structure is a flat organization; it usually has only two or three vertical levels. One individual has the decision-making authority.

2. The simple structure is most widely practiced in small businesses in which the manager and the owner are one and the same. (See Exhibit 15-5, an organization chart for a retail mens store.) 3. The strength of the simple structure lies in its simplicity. It is fast, flexible, inexpensive to maintain, and accountability is clear. 4. One major weakness is that it is difficult to maintain in anything other than small organizations.

It becomes increasingly inadequate as an organization grows because its low formalization and high centralization tend to create information overload at the top. When an organization begins to employ 50100 people, it is very difficult for the owner-manager to make all the choices. If the structure is not changed and made more elaborate, the firm often loses momentum and can eventually fail.

2. The simple structures other weakness is that it is riskyeverything depends on


one person. Illness can literately destroy the information and decision making center of the company.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior B. The Bureaucracy 1. Standardizationthe key concept for all bureaucracies. 2. The bureaucracy is characterized by: Notes:

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Highly routine operating tasks achieved through specialization Very formalized rules and regulations Tasks that are grouped into functional departments Centralized authority Narrow spans of control Decision making that follows the chain of command.

3. Its primary strength is in its ability to perform standardized activities in a highly efficient manner.

Putting like specialties together in functional departments results in economies of scale, minimum duplication of personnel and equipment, etc. Bureaucracies get by nicely with less talented and less costly middle- and lower-level managers.

4. Weaknesses:

Specialization creates subunit conflicts; functional unit goals can override the organizations goals. Obsessive concern with following the rules

C. The Matrix Structure 1. It is used in advertising agencies, aerospace firms, research and development laboratories, construction companies, hospitals, government agencies, universities, management consulting firms, and entertainment companies. 2. It combines two forms of departmentalization--functional and product:

The strength of functional departmentalizationputting like specialists together and the pooling and sharing of specialized resources across products Its major disadvantage is the difficulty of coordinating the tasks. Product departmentalization facilitates coordination. It provides clear responsibility for all activities related to a product, but with duplication of activities and costs.

3. The most obvious structural characteristic of the matrix is that it breaks the unityof-command concept. (Exhibit 15-6 shows the matrix form as used in a college of business administration.) 4. Its strength is its ability to facilitate coordination when the organization has a multiplicity of complex and interdependent activities:

The dual lines of authority reduce tendencies of departmental members to protect their worlds. It facilitates the efficient allocation of specialists.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior Chapter Fifteen Instructor Note: At this point in the lecture you may want to introduce the CASE INCIDENT Working By the Rules found in the text and at the end of the chapter notes. A suggestion for a class exercise follows.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior C. The Matrix Structure (cont.) 5. The major disadvantages of the matrix lie in the confusion it creates, its propensity to foster power struggles, and the stress it places on individuals: Notes:

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Violation of unity-of-command concept increases ambiguity which often leads to conflict. Confusion and ambiguity also create the seeds of power struggles. Reporting to more than one boss introduces role conflict, and unclear expectations introduce role ambiguity.

New Design Options A. The Team Structure 1. When management uses teams as its central coordination device, you have a team structure. 2. It breaks down departmental barriers and decentralizes decision making to the level of the work team. 3. Team structures also require employees to be generalists as well as specialists. 4. In smaller companies, the team structure can define the entire organization. 5. In larger organizations, the team structure complements what is typically a bureaucracy. Team structure enhances the efficiency of bureaucracys standardization by adding the flexibility that teams bring. B. The Virtual Organization 1. The essence of the virtual organization is that it is typically a small, core organization that outsources major business functions: Notes:

Also referred to as modular or network organization It is highly centralized, with little or no departmentalization.

2. The prototype of the virtual structure is todays movie-making organization: In Hollywoods golden era, movies were made by huge, vertically integrated corporations. Nowadays, most movies are made by a collection of individuals and small companies who come together and make films project by project. This structural form allows each project to be staffed with the talent most suited to its demands, rather than having to choose just from those people the studio employs.

3. When large organizations use the virtual structure, they frequently use it to outsource manufacturing. Companies like Nike, Reebok, L.L. Bean, and Dell Computer can do business without having to own manufacturing facilities. 4. Virtual organizations create networks of relationships that allow them to contract out business function where management feels that others can do it better or more cheaply.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior B. The Virtual Organization (cont.) 5. The virtual organization stands in sharp contrast to the typical bureaucracy in that it outsources many generic functions and concentrates on what it does best. Notes:

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Exhibit 15-7 shows a virtual organization in which management outsources all of the primary functions of the business. Exhibit 15-7 represents those relationships typically maintained under contracts.

6. The major advantage to the virtual organization is its flexibility. 7. The primary drawback is that it reduces managements control over key parts of its business. C. The Boundaryless Organization 1. General Electric chairman, Jack Welch, coined the term boundaryless organization.

Welch wanted to turn his company into a $60 billion family grocery store. He wanted to eliminate vertical and horizontal boundaries and break down external barriers.

2. The boundaryless organization seeks to eliminate the chain of command, have limitless spans of control, and replace departments with empowered teams. 3. Because it relies so heavily on information technology, some call this structure the T-form (or technology-based) organization. 4. By removing vertical boundaries, management flattens the hierarchy and:

Minimizes status and rank. Uses cross-hierarchical teams. Uses participative decision-making practices. Uses 360-degree performance appraisals.

5. Functional departments create horizontal boundaries. The way to reduce these barriers is to:

Replace functional departments with cross-functional teams and organize around processes. Use lateral transfers and rotate people into and out of different functional areas.

6. The boundaryless organization also breaks down barriers to external constituencies (suppliers, customers, regulators, etc.) and barriers created by geography. 7. The one common technological thread of boundaryless organization is networked computers:

E-mail enables employees to share information simultaneously and to communicate directly. Many large companies are developing private nets or intranets. Using the Internet and the World Wide Web, these private nets are internal communication systems.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior Why Do Structures Differ? 1. There are two extreme models of organizational designmechanistic and organic. (See Exhibit 15-8): Notes:

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The mechanistic modelsynonymous with the bureaucracyhas extensive departmentalization, high formalization, a limited information network (mostly downward), and little participation in decision-making. The organic model looks a lot like the boundaryless organization; it uses cross-hierarchical and cross-functional teams, low formalization, a comprehensive information network, and high participation in decision making. Why are some organizations structured along mechanistic lines while others are organic?

A. Strategy 1. An organizations structure is a means to help management achieve its objectives. Objectives derive from the organizations overall strategy. 2. Structure should follow strategy. 3. Most current strategy frameworks focus on three strategy dimensions innovation, cost minimization, and imitationand the structural design that works best with each. 4. An innovation strategy means a strategy for meaningful and unique innovations. This strategy may appropriately characterize 3M Company. 5. A cost-minimization strategy tightly controls costs, refrains from incurring unnecessary innovation or marketing expenses, and cuts prices in selling a basic product. This describes Wal-Marts strategy. 6. An imitation strategy tries to capitalize on the best of both innovation and cost-minimization strategies:

It seeks to minimize risk and maximize opportunity for profit. It moves into new products or new markets only after viability has been proven by innovators. It copies successful ideas of innovators. Manufactures mass-marketed fashion goods that are rip-offs of designer styles.

7. Exhibit 15-9 describes the structural option that best matches each strategy:

Innovators need the flexibility of the organic structure. Cost minimizers seek the efficiency and stability of the mechanistic structure. Imitators combine the two structures--a mechanistic structure in order to maintain tight controls and low costs and organic subunits to pursue new lines of business.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior B. Organization Size 1. There is considerable evidence to support that an organizations size significantly affects its structure. 2. Large organizationsemploying 2,000 or more peopletend to have more specialization, more departmentalization, more vertical levels, and more rules and regulations than do small organizations. 3. The impact of size becomes less important as an organization expands. Once an organization has around 2,000 employees, its already fairly mechanistic. An additional 500 employees will not have much impact. However, adding 500 employees to a 300-employee firm is likely to result in a mechanistic structure. Notes:

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C. Technology 1. The term refers to how an organization transfers its inputs into outputs. 2. Every organization has at least one technology for converting financial, human, and physical resources into products or services.

Ford Motor Company predominantly uses an assembly-line process to make its products. Colleges may use a number of instruction technologiesthe ever-popular formal lecture method, the case analysis method, the experiential exercise method, the programmed learning method, etc. to educate its students.

3. Technologies can be differentiated by degree of routineness:

Routine technologies are characterized by automated and standardized operations. Nonroutine technologies are customized and include such varied operations as furniture restoring, custom shoemaking, and genetic research.

4. The relationships between technology and structure:

Routine tasks are associated with taller and more departmentalized structures. The relationship between technology and formalization, however, is stronger. Routineness is associated with the presence of formalized documentation. There is an interesting relationship between technology and centralization: a. Routine technologies seem to be associated with a centralized structure. b. Nonroutine technologies, which rely more heavily on the knowledge of specialists, would be characterized by delegated decision authority. c. A more generalizable conclusion is that the technology-centralization relationship is moderated by the degree of formalization.

5. Formal regulations and centralized decision making are both control mechanisms and substitutable:

Routine technologies associate with centralized control if there is a minimum of rules and regulations. If formalization is high, routine technology can be accompanied by decentralization. 74

Robbins: Organizational Behavior D. Environment 1. An organizations structure is affected by its environment because of environmental uncertainty:

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Some organizations face static environmentsfew forces in their environment are changing. Other organizations face very dynamic environmentsrapidly changing government regulations affecting their business, new competitors, difficulties in acquiring raw materials, etc. Static environments create significantly less uncertainty for managers than do dynamic ones.

2. One way to reduce environmental uncertainty is through adjustments in the organizations structure. 3. There are three key dimensions to organizational environmentcapacity, volatility, and complexity.

Capacity a. "The degree to which it can support growth." b. Rich and growing environments generate excess resources, which can buffer times of relative scarcity.

Volatility a. Refers to "the degree of instability in an environment characterized by a high degree of unpredictable change." b. The environment is dynamic, making it difficult for management to predict accurately the probabilities associated with various decision alternatives. c. At the other extreme is a stable environment.

Complexity a. "The degree of heterogeneity and concentration among environmental elements." b. Simple environments are homogeneous and concentrated. c. In contrast, environments characterized by heterogeneity and dispersion are called complex.

2. Some general conclusions based on the three-dimensional definition of


environment are:

The more scarce, dynamic, and complex the environment, the more organic a structure should be. The more abundant, stable, and simple the environment, the more the mechanistic structure will be preferred.

Instructor Note: At this point in the lecture you may want to introduce the POINT-COUNTER POINT Technology is Reshaping Organizations found in the text and at the end of these chapter notes. A suggestion for a class exercise follows. AND/OR Instructor Note: At this point in the lecture you may want to introduce the MYTH OR SCIECE Bureaucracy Is Dead found in the text and below. A suggestion for a class exercise follows.

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MYTH OR SCIENCE? Bureaucracy Is Dead Some bureaucratic characteristics are in decline but far from dead. The characteristics of bureaucracy have not entirely disappeared from todays organizations because: 1. Large size prevails. Organizations that succeed and survive tend to grow to large size, and bureaucracy is efficient with large size. While the average business today has considerably fewer employees than 30 years ago, these smaller firms are increasingly part of a large, multilocation organization. 2. Environmental turbulence can be largely managed. The impact of uncertainties in the environment on the organization are substantially reduced by management strategies such as environmental scanning, strategic alliances, advertising, and lobbying. 3. Bureaucracys goal of standardization can be increasingly achieved through hiring people who have undergone extensive educational training. 4. Technology maintains control. Technology has merely replaced some previously bureaucratic characteristics, but without any loss of management control. The bureaucracy continues to be a dominant structural form in manufacturing, service firms, hospitals, schools and colleges, the military, and voluntary associations. Teaching notes 1. Collect (for the class) the organizational chart/structure diagram of a small college and a large university. [Or use your university and then the structure of a college within the university.] 2. Diagram each on the board, or create a handout that has them both on it, preferably on the same side. 3. Discuss how each of the above four elements apply to each educational institution. 4. Why would an academic institution, with a mission of learning and pressing the envelope, adopt a bureaucratic structure? 5. Is the small college as bureaucratic as the university? If it is, why is it?

Organizational Designs and Employee Behavior 1. One cannot generalize when linking organizational structures to employee performance and satisfaction. There is no predominant preference among employees.

Notes:

Generally, work specialization contributes to higher employee productivity but reduces job satisfaction. Why? a. Problems start to surface, and productivity begins to suffer when the human diseconomies of doing repetitive and narrow tasks overtake the economies of specialization. b. Specialized jobs are still preferred by a segment of the workforce that prefers the routine and repetitiveness of highly specialized jobs. c. Negative behavioral outcomes from high specialization are most likely to surface in professional jobs occupied by individuals with high needs for personal growth and diversity.

There seems to be no evidence to support a relationship between span of control and employee performance.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior Organizational Designs and Employee Behavior (cont.) a. It is intuitively attractive to argue that large spans might lead to higher employee performance but the research fails to support this notion. b. It is impossible to state what span of control is best for producing high performance or high satisfaction among employees. c. There is some evidence indicating that a managers job satisfaction increases as the number of employees he or she supervises increases. Notes:

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There is a fairly strong link between centralization and job satisfaction. a. Generally, the less centralization, the greater the amount of participative decision making. Participative decision-making is positively related to job satisfaction. b. The decentralization-satisfaction relationship is strongest with employees who have low self-esteem.

To maximize employee performance and satisfaction, individual differences such as experience, personality, and the work taskshould be taken into account. In addition, national culture influences preference for structure so it, too, needs to be considered. There is substantial evidence that individuals are attracted to, selected by, and stay with organizations that suit their personal characteristics. The effect of structure on employee behavior is undoubtedly reduced where the selection process facilitates proper matching of individual characteristics with organizational characteristics.

Instructor Note: At this point in the lecture you may want to introduce the ETHICAL DILEMMA EXERICSE Employee Monitoring: How Far Is Too Far? found in the text and at the end of the chapter notes. A suggestion for a class exercise follows. QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW 1. Why isnt work specialization an unending source of increased productivity? Answer The essence of work specialization is that an entire job is broken down into a number of steps, each step being completed by a separate individual. By the late 1940s, most manufacturing jobs in industrialized countries were being done this way. For much of the first half of this century, managers viewed work specialization as an unending source of increased productivity. By the 1960s, there became increasing evidence that a good thing can be carried too far. The point had been reached in some jobs where the human diseconomies from specializationwhich surfaced as boredom, fatigue, stress, low productivity, poor quality, increased absenteeism, and high turnovermore than offset the economic advantages. See Exhibit 15-2. 2. All things being equal, which is more efficienta wide or narrow span of control? Why? Answer How many employees a manager can efficiently and effectively direct depends on a number of factors. Wider spans are more efficient in terms of cost. However, at some point, wider spans reduce effectiveness. That is, when the span becomes too large, employee performance suffers because supervisors no longer have the time to provide the necessary leadership and support. Narrow or small spans have their advocates. By keeping the span of control to five or six employees, a manager can maintain close control, but narrow spans have three major drawbacks. First, as already described, they are expensive because they add levels of management. Second, they make vertical communication in the organization more complex. The added levels of hierarchy slow down decision making

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and tend to isolate upper management. Third, narrow spans of control encourage overly tight supervision and discourage employee autonomy. The trend in recent years has been toward wider spans of control. Managers recognize that they can handle a wider span when employees know their jobs inside and out or can turn to their coworkers when they have questions. All things being equal, the wider or larger the span, the more efficient the organization. 3. In what ways can management departmentalize? Answer Grouping jobs together so common tasks can be coordinated is called departmentalization. One of the most popular ways to group activities is by functions performed. Tasks can also be departmentalized by the type of product the organization produces. Another way to departmentalize is on the basis of geography or territory. Process departmentalization is exemplified by Reynolds Metals aluminum tubing plant where production is organized into five departments: casting, press, tubing, finishing, and inspecting, packing, and shipping. A final category of departmentalization is by type of customer. Large organizations may use all of the forms of departmentalization that we have described. 4. What is a matrix structure? When would management use it? Answer The matrix structure is used in advertising agencies, aerospace firms, research and development laboratories, construction companies, hospitals, government agencies, universities, management consulting firms, and entertainment companies. It combines two forms of departmentalization: functional and product. The matrix attempts to gain the strengths of both functional and product departmentalization, while avoiding their weaknesses. The most obvious structural characteristic of the matrix is that it breaks the unity-of-command concept. Employees in the matrix have two bossestheir functional department managers and their product managers. Therefore, the matrix has a dual chain of command. The strength of the matrix lies in its ability to facilitate coordination when the organization has a multiplicity of complex and interdependent activities. It facilitates the efficient allocation of specialists. The matrix achieves the advantages of economies of scale by providing the organization with both the best resources and an effective way of ensuring their efficient deployment. The major disadvantages of the matrix lie in the confusion it creates, its propensity to foster power struggles, and the stress it places on individuals. As an organization gets larger, its information processing capacity can become overloaded. In a bureaucracy, complexity results in increased formalization. The direct and frequent contact between different specialties in the matrix can make for better communication and more flexibility. Information permeates the organization and more quickly reaches those people who need to take account of it. Furthermore, the matrix reduces bureaupathologies. The dual lines of authority reduce tendencies of departmental members to become so busy protecting their little worlds that the organizations overall goals become secondary. 5. Contrast the virtual organization with the boundaryless organization. Answer The Virtual Organization: The essence of the virtual organization is typically a small, core organization that outsources major business functions. It is highly centralized, with little or no departmentalization. Virtual organizations create networks of relationships that allow them to contract out manufacturing, distribution, marketing, or any other business function where management feels that others can do it better or more cheaply. The virtual organization stands in sharp contrast to the typical bureaucracy in that it outsources many generic functions and concentrates on what it does best. The major advantage to the virtual organization is its flexibility. The primary drawback is that it reduces managements control over key parts of its business. The Boundaryless Organization: The boundaryless organization seeks to eliminate the chain of command, have limitless spans of control, and replace departments with empowered teams. Because it relies so heavily on information technology, some call this structure the T-form (or technology-based) organization. By removing vertical boundaries, management flattens the hierarchy and: Minimizes status and rank. Uses cross-hierarchical teams. Uses participative decision-making practices. Uses 360-degree performance appraisals. Functional departments create horizontal boundaries. The way to reduce these barriers is to replace functional departments with cross-functional teams and to organize activities around processes. When fully operational, the boundaryless organization also breaks down barriers to external constituencies (suppliers, 78

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customers, regulators, etc.) and barriers created by geography. The one common technological thread that makes the boundaryless organization possible is networked computers. 6. What type of structure works best with an innovation strategy? A cost-minimization strategy? An imitation strategy? Answer An organizations structure is a means to help management achieve its objectives. Structure should follow strategy. An innovation strategy means a strategy for meaningful and unique innovations, such as 3M Company. A cost-minimization strategy tightly controls costs, refrains from incurring unnecessary innovation or marketing expenses, and cuts prices in selling a basic product, such as Wal-Mart. An imitation strategy tries to capitalize on the best of bothminimize risk and maximize opportunity for profit, move into new products or new markets only after viability has been proven by innovators, and copy successful ideas of innovators. Innovators need the flexibility of the organic structure. Cost minimizers seek the efficiency and stability of the mechanistic structure. Imitators combine the two structures. A mechanistic structure in order to maintain tight controls and low costs Organic subunits in which to pursue new undertakings 7. Summarize the size-structure relationship. Answer There is considerable evidence to support that an organizations size significantly affects its structure. However, size affects structure at a decreasing rate. The impact of size becomes less important as an organization expands. Once an organization has around 2,000 employees, it is already fairly mechanistic. An additional 500 employees will not have much impact. On the other hand, adding 500 employees to an organization that has only 300 members is likely to result in a shift toward a more mechanistic structure. 8. Define and give an example of what is meant by the term "technology." Answer Technology refers to "how an organization transfers its inputs into outputs." Every organization has at least one technology for converting financial, human, and physical resources into products or services. The Ford Motor Co., for instance, predominantly uses an assembly-line process to make its products. On the other hand, colleges may use a number of instruction technologiesthe ever-popular formal lecture method, the case analysis method, the experiential exercise method, the programmed learning method, and so forth. 9. Summarize the environment-structure relationship. Answer An organizations environment is composed of those institutions or forces that are outside the organization and potentially affect the organizations performance. Environmental uncertainty affects structure. Static environments are those in which few forces in their environment are changing. Dynamic environments are those that are rapidly changing. Static environments create significantly less uncertainty than do dynamic ones. Organizational structure is one way to reduce environmental uncertainty. There are three key dimensions to any organizations environmentcapacity, volatility, and complexity. Exhibit 15-10 summarizes our definition of the environment along its three dimensions. Some general conclusions: There is evidence that relates the degrees of environmental uncertainty to different structural arrangements. Specifically, the more scarce, dynamic, and complex the environment, the more organic a structure should be. The more abundant, stable, and simple the environment, the more the mechanistic structure will be preferred. 10. Explain the importance of the statement: Employees form implicit models of organizational structure. Answer One cannot generalize when linking organizational structures to employee performance and satisfaction. There is no predominant preference among employees. Generally, work specialization contributes to higher employee productivity but reduces job satisfaction. There seems to be no evidence to support a relationship between span of control and employee performance. There is a fairly strong link between centralization and job satisfaction. To maximize employee performance and satisfaction, individual differences, such as experience, personality, and the work task, should be taken into account. In addition, national culture influences preference for structure so it, too, needs to considered. There is substantial evidence that individuals are attracted to, selected by, and stay with organizations that suit their personal characteristics. The effect of structure on employee behavior is undoubtedly reduced where the selection process facilitates proper matching of individual characteristics with organizational characteristics. 79

Robbins: Organizational Behavior QUESTIONS FOR CRITICAL THINKING

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1. How is the typical large corporation of today organized in contrast to how that same organization was probably organized in the 1960s? Answer Today corporations are flatter, less layers of management, more lower-level workers performing managerial functions, more use of technology for accessing, managing, and using information to make decisions. Also, there is more use of teams, especially cross-functional teams. 2. Do you think most employees prefer high formalization? Support your position. Answer Formalization refers to the degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized. If a job is highly formalized, then the job incumbent has a minimum amount of discretion over what is to be done, when it is to be done, and how he or she should do it. Where formalization is low, job behaviors are relatively nonprogrammed and employees have a great deal of freedom to exercise discretion in their work. Since an individuals discretion on the job is inversely related to the amount of behavior in that job that is preprogrammed by the organization, the greater the standardization, the less input the employee has into how his/her work is to be done. The degree of formalization can vary widely between organizations and within organizations. The argument for employee preferences needs to take into concern types of jobs, employee goals and ambitions, and the payoff for less formalization. Some people seek jobs with minimal responsibility for their own reasons. Also, if the rewards for accepting more responsibility are not adequate, employees will prefer higher formalization. 3. If you were an employee in a matrix structure, what pluses do you think the structure would provide? What about minuses? Answer Plusesvariety in work, the opportunity to get to know the entire business, more opportunities without having to be promoted. Minusesconfusion of who is in charge, difficulty in setting priorities, constant tension over who you are in the sense of your functional area, etc. 4. What behavioral predictions would you make about people who worked in a pure boundaryless organization (if such a structure were ever to exist)? Answer The boundaryless organization seeks to eliminate the chain of command, have limitless spans of control, and replace departments with empowered teams. Because it relies so heavily on information technology, some call this structure the T-form (or technology-based) organization. One might expect a more egalitarian climate, greater initiative by rank and file employees, better communication and listening both up and down the management hierarchy that remains. Also, one may expect cross-functional teams to organize activities around processes. There are also fewer barriers to external constituencies. 5. AOL buys Time Warner. Alcoa purchases Reynolds Metals. Nestles S.A. merges with Ralston Purina. Each of these is a recent example of large companies combining with other large companies. Does this imply that small is not necessarily beautiful? Are mechanistic forms winning the survival of the fittest battle? What are the implications of this consolidation trend for organizational behavior? Answer Some bureaucratic characteristics are in decline but have not entirely disappeared from todays organizations. It is hard to draw any implications because some factors affecting merger decisions relate to image, stock price, and resources, none of which are inherently tied to effectiveness in organizational functioning. Students comments should take into consideration the following items. Organizations that succeed and survive tend to grow to large size, and bureaucracy is efficient with large size. The impact of uncertainties in the environment on the organization are substantially reduced by management strategies such as environmental scanning, strategic alliances, advertising, and lobbying. Bureaucracys goal of standardization can be increasingly achieved through hiring people who have undergone extensive educational training. Technology has replaced some previously bureaucratic characteristics, but without any loss of management control.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior POINT-COUNTERPOINT The Case for Flexibility in Organization Design POINT

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In todays chaotic, uncertain, and high-tech world, there is essentially only one type of design that is going to survive. This is the electronically con-figured organic organization. We are undergoing a second Industrial Revolution and it will change every aspect of peoples lives. The changes the large corporations used to take a decade to implement now occur in one to two years. Companies that are successful will be designed to thrive on change, and the structure of those organizations will have common characteristics. Ten years from now there will be nothing but electronic organizations. Brick-and-mortar organizations will not go away, but click-and-mortar will become the only means to survival. In addition, every organization will need to keep its finger on the pulse of its customers. Customer priorities will change very rapidly. What customers will pay a premium for will become a commodity so rapidly that those who lose touch with their customers will be candidates for extinction. Consumers are gaining the ability to compare the prices of hundreds of competitors rather than just two or three. This is going to dramatically drive down prices. Consumer products in Britain, for instance, will come down 10 to 15 percent between 2000 and 2003. If firms do not improve their productivity to match these drops in prices, they will be out of business. Technology allows firms to stay closer to the customer, to move jobs to where costs are lowest, and to make decisions much more rapidly. For instance, executives at Cisco Systems can monitor expenses, gross margins, the supply chain, and profitability in real time. There no longer needs to be surprises. Every employee can make decisions that might have had to come from the top management ranks a few years ago. At the end of a quarter, individual product managers at Cisco can see exactly what the gross margins are on his or her products, whether they are below expectations, and determine the cause of any discrepancy. Quicker decision-making at lower levels will translate into higher profit margins. So instead of the CEO or chief financial officer making 50 to 100 different decisions in a quarter, managers throughout the organization can make millions of decisions. Companies that do not adjust to create this capability will be noncompetitive.
This argument was presented by J. Chambers, Nothing Except E-Companies, Business Week, August 28, 2000, pp. 21012.

COUNTER POINT There is a saying that every generation thinks it has discovered sex. This seems to be the case with technology and how it is going to change the world completely. Technology will transform the structure of organizations at a much slower rate than many believe. For instance, it is useful to go back and ask if the railroads changed the world. There were definitely changes in how commerce and industry were arranged, but life remained the same, and the way people related to each other remained the same. There are changes occurring that will influence the way businesses organize, but the changes have been, and will continue to be, gradual. They may accelerate some, but we are not going to see a revolution in the design of organizations. Take the case of globalization. It is significant but it is also evolutionary. Has the formation of the European Union abolished national borders in the largest continental society in the Western World? No. France is still France, and Germany is still Germany. Things have changed, but things have not changed. The emphasis on speed has its limits. Brains do not speed up. The exchange of ideas does not really speed up, only the overhead that slowed down the exchange. When it comes down to the bulk of knowledge work, the twenty-first century works the same as the twentieth century: You can reach people around the clock, but they will not think any better or faster just because you have reached them faster. The give and take remains a limiting factor. The virtual organization also has its limitations. When you farm out your data processing, manufacturing, and other functions, you make your capabilities available to your competitors. Virtualization of work diminishes competitive advantages. It leads to rapidly spreading commoditization of everything. Any function that an organization uses to achieve a competitive advantage cannot be outsourced. Look back over the past 40 years. People have not changed. And our fundamental organizations have not changed. On the fringes, there is more looseness in the organization, but more has not changed than has. The changes we have seen have been slow and gradual, and that pace is likely to continue into the future.
This argument was presented by A. Grove, Im a Little Skeptical. . . . Brains Dont Speed Up, Business Week, August 28, 2000, pp. 21214.

Class Exercise: 1. Assign this as an out-of-class activity or go to the computing lab on campus and research as a class. This activity can be done using recent news and magazine articles in the library or on the WWW. 81

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2. Ask the students to research three companies whose products and services are technologically oriented and who have three different structures. For example: Excite, Microsoft, IBM. 3. What is the industry saying about these organizations in terms of their degree of success, recent turmoil, new products, competitive forces, mergers and spin-offs, new products, etc. In which of these events or factors might the companies organizational structure played a role? Did it help or hinder the process? Can you ascertain what the organizational structure is from reading about the company? 4. Ask the students to make presentations on what they found. Once completed, ask them if there are similarities or patterns found based on organizational structure (or other factors). The point is to have students to begin to look for patternsparticularly best practicesrather than to see each organizations decisions and outcomes as completely unique to that organization.

TEAM EXERCISE Authority Figures Purpose: To learn about ones experiences with and feelings about authority Time: Approximately 75 minutes Instructions: 1. Separate class members into groups based on their birth order. Groups of only children, eldest, middle, and youngest, according to placement in families. Now further divide any large groups into smaller ones (of four or five) to allow for freer conversation. 2. Each group member should talk about how he or she typically reacts to the authority of others. Students should focus on specific situations that offer general information about how individuals deal with authority figures (for example, bosses, teachers, parents, or coaches). Each member should talk no more than 57 minutes. The group then has 25 minutes to develop a written list of how the group generally deals with authority. The list should be of tendencies all group members share. 3. Repeat Step 2, except this time discuss how group members typically act as authority figures. Each member should talk no more than 57 minutes. Again, make a list of shared characteristics. 4. Each group will share its general conclusions with the entire class. Teaching notes: 1. Focus class discussion on questions such as: a. What patterned differences have surfaced between the groups? b. What may account for these differences? c. What hypotheses might explain the connection between how individuals react to the authority of others and how they act as authority figures? 2. Students may need help in the reality check regarding their own authority style. They may come to realize that the things they most dislike or struggle with, in terms of others authority, are the same things they do.
[Source: This exercise is adapted from W.A. Kalan, An Exercise of Authority, Organizational Behavior Teaching Review, vol. XIV, Issue 2, 198990, pp. 2842. Reprinted with permission.]

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior ETHICAL DILEMMA EXERCISE Employee Monitoring: How Far Is Too Far?

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A number of organizations are creating the position of ethical officer to help employees deal with ethical dilemmas. One of those companies is United Technologies Corp. (UTC)whose best known divisions include Otis Elevator, aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, and heating and air conditioning giant Carrier Corp. Patrick Gnazzo is UTCs vice president for business practices and chief ethical officer. A lawyer by training, Gnazzo is responsible for his companys compliance and ethics programs. This includes managing more than 160 business-practice officers worldwide. The officers, all of whom are managers whose job descriptions have been broadened to include ethics oversight, help implement the $24 billion corporations ethics/compliance programs for its 145,000 employees in 183 countries. Gnazzo seeks to be eminently approachable. We say this to our people all the timecall, call, call, call. Send e-mails. Write. I want to spend the majority of my time giving advice, not investigating [ethical breeches] after the fact. Communication at UTC is encouraged at all levels through DIALOG, a worldwide program that allows employees to ask questions, make suggestions, register complaints, and report suspected wrongdoing confidentially. Since its inception in 1986, the program has received more than 50,000 DIALOG correspondences ranging from routine maintenance and benefit questions to concerns about ethical practices. UTC, like most large organizations, has a code of ethics. The entire document can be read over a cup of coffee. It covers all of the corporations constituents customers and suppliers, employees, stockholders, worldwide communities, and competitors. Basically it says, dont lie, dont cheat, dont steal. One of the responsibilities of Gnazzo and his staff is to look at the reasonableness of a practice, in light of UTCs code of ethics, and determine what seems to be the right thing to do. With the code as a guide, Gnazzo says most ethical questions can be answered easily and a decision made. But about once a day I get a call and say, This is a new one on me. Lets think this thing out. Why do organizations like UTC need ethics officers and a staff if they have a code of ethics? What benefits do you think UTCs business-practice officers provide to employees? Does having a formal office and a staff responsible for ethical practices lessen the responsibility on individual employees to make good ethical decisions?
Source: Based on R. Osborne, A Matter of Ethics, Industry Week, September 4, 2000, pp. 4142.

Class Exercise: 1. Lead a class discussion or break students into groups to discuss the questions raised in the last paragraph. 2. Begin with, Is having an 'Ethics Officer' a good idea? Students may strongly react to any such supervision or oversight, and you may have to force students to think about why some such oversight is necessary. 3. What are the benefits to the organization, customers, and employees of having such an aggressive approach to ethics?

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior Case IncidentWorking By The Rules

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450 The trend today is away from rigid rules and procedures. Flexibility is the new gospel. While these statements

may be true in general, not every manager is buying into it. One in particular is Stephen Reuning, head of the New Jersey recruiting firm, Diedre Moire Corp. New employees at Diedre Moire must copy Mr. Reunings 244-page Standard Operating Protocolusing longhand script, three times over. This manual covers everything thats expected of company employees from procedures on how to greet customers to how to sit during lunch to hair and grooming tips to what items should and should not be on the employees desk. It can take 100 hours or more for new employees to make their copies. After that they still have to pass 12 oral exams over the content. Reuning is obsessive about documenting everything. Since starting the firm 18 years ago, he has stored 45,000 pages of data on the firms computer network. Every process, procedure, product, form, letter, brochure, and agreement used by any Diedre Moire employee is documented, cataloged and stored so it is readily available to any and all members of the firm. Reunings fascination with rules and control is not for everyone. According to Reuning, half of the job candidates he interviews head for the door when told about the protocol requirements. Of those who stay, about one in five lasts beyond a year. One former employee, who lasted nine months, calls the companys environment more structured than the basic training he had in the Army. They were robotic, he says. Those who stay make six figure incomes and say that theres a comforting efficiency about the place. Customers also seem to appreciate the result. They like that employees are well trained, systematic, and able to respond to almost any question.
Reunings system? Source: D. Morse, You Think You Have an Obsessive Boss? Meet Mr. Reuning, Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2000, p. A1.

Questions 1. What advantages, if any, does Reunings system provide? 2. Why does his system work? What is its potential downside? 3. What type of employees do you think fit into? Teaching Notes: Lead a discussion on the above questions. Students will have a variety of responsesand many will react negatively to copying the code of conduct. However, there are many advantages to having employee know what the rules are. Play devils advocate: Isnt copying the code and being tested on it just a training method for imparting knowledge to the workforce? What would they suggest as an alternative? Can the fact the employees make such a good income be attributed to these policies or to something else?

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Exploring OB Topics on the World Wide Web


Search Engines are our navigational tool to explore the WWW. Some commonly used search engines are: www.goto.com www.google.com www.excite.com www.lycos.com www.hotbot.com www.looksmart.com 1. Email has been an important tool for breaking communication barriers between management and workers. However, email is never private between partiesit can be viewed by others at anytime. It is often archived for years and can be accessed by organizations years later, should a problem ever arise. How do organizations do this and why? To read more about products that make this type of monitoring possible, point to: http://loper.org/~george/trends/1998/Oct/41.html Write a list of at least three pros and three cons for organizations pursuing this type of activity. Then write a short paragraph stating your views on this activity. Be prepared to debate this topic in class.
2.

The chapter discusses span of control and the various advantages and disadvantages of wide vs. narrow. Let us see how that looks in actual numbers. First, determine how many hierarchical levels there are in at least three organizations of varying sizes that you are currently involved with. One could be the college or university you attend, another where you work, and finally a club or religious institution you belong to. Or, for one of the choices, select a non-profit organization you have some interest in. (For example, Red Cross, MDS, American Cancer Society, etc.). Obtain their hierarchical structure either by searching the WWW (most annual reports have information on this), calling or visiting them, or drawing the structure yourself if you are involved in the organization. Then point to the Simple Span of Control Calculator to plug in the numbers at: http://www.icce.rug.nl/qr/ssocc.html . Do not worry about being exactthe idea is to see the span of control in real numbers. Bring this information to class for discussion. We have learned that structure and span of control should relate to the organizations goals and strategies for achieving those goals. So how does an organization know if they are in alignment according to those principles? Often, the organization will conduct an audit. Read a report of one such audit at: http://www.metrokc.gov/auditor/1994/span.htm . Print the report and answer the following questions: What type of structure is King County? What goals do you think they have as an organization? On what did they base their conclusions? What do you think will happen next? Do you agree with the findings? What are issues concerning virtual organizations? VONET is an online journal publishing the latest research on virtual organizations. One issue concerns the role of virtual and physical environments. Point to: http://www.virtual-organization.net/files/articles/gillen.pdf to read the article in its entirety. Write a short reaction paper incorporating the issues raised in the article if the organization in question were your school. How would the environment change for students, faculty/staff, and administration? What would be the benefits or shortcomings? Be prepared to discuss your reactions in class.

3.

4.

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Robbins: Organizational Behavior 5. What factors influence virtual teams? For a short analysis point to:

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http://www.seanet.com/~daveg/articles.htm . Write a short paragraph or two outlining why you would or would not like working in a virtual environment. Do you see a time later in your career when you would prefer working in a virtual team? Why or why not?

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