Questions on management and structure in organizations

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This assignment is a study, question and answer based on organizational analysis by responding to six out of ten of the following discussion questions that had been given out. In this assignment, the present author is required to perform research and answer the following six questions that had been chosen. The author will be require to analyze and indentify each of these questions and solve the problems by giving answers and solutions of the questions according to the topics presented in the course materials or readings.

Comment in regard to your understanding of the structure and purpose of organizations.

An organization is a system with its distinct and independent existence whereby there two or more employees. It has a definite goal, is composed of staff and a well-planned structure whereby employees can perform their work. Differentiation and integration are two concepts around which organization are structured. Differentiation refer to the organization as being composed of many different units that work on various kinds of tasks, utilizing different skills and work methods. Integration indicates these differentiated units collaborate so that work is coordinated into an overall product.

Hence, the purpose of organizations is to amalgamate resources to attain desired targets and result, in addition, enhancing new methods and ideas and producing goods that can satisfy clients. Good quality service being established in the process to accustom to a changing environment, utilizing modern production and information technologies. Organizations also aim to create worth for employees, clients and owners, and adjusting to the challenges of diversity, hard principles, motivation and the spirit of working together off staff so that the goal of the organization can be accomplished.

Organizational Structure


Organizational structure is defined as a system through the use of a hierarchy that a group, business, organization, people or objects collaborate to attain success on one common goal. Within an organization, formal and internal framework of policies and rules are being utilized to arrange its lines of authority and communications, and allocates rights and duties. Organizational structure determines the manner how information is dispersed between levels of management and also determines the manner and extent to which roles, power, and responsibilities dispersed, controlled, and support concerning decision making and other processes. In addition, it depends entirely on the organization's objectives and the structure, the decision making power is positional in the top layer of the management and tight control is implemented over departments and divisions. In a decentralized structure, the decision making power is spread out and the department and divisions have different degrees of autonomy. An organization chart illustrates the organizational structure.

Organizational Structure Corporate Theory

Determining what type of organization structure to implement is essential as some examples of structure would be, functional and hierarchical. Following this is the development of a strategy to start organizing the business, company, or group. Decisions have to be made on the running of the organization whether from the top down, or by a matrix of different people, such as management department. Choosing the options that best fit an organization will lead to success in the market. By having the right people in the right place, it can lead to better networking opportunities, higher sales, increased interest in the organization and overall success.

Core Competency

According to Baldrige, core competence is being defined as "your organization's areas of greatest expertise. Strategically important capabilities central to your mission or provide an advantage "that are frequently challenging for competitors to imitate and provide a sustainable competitive advantage."

Core competencies are important to an organization so as to have a competitive edge in achieving success in the future. Core competencies contribute to the uniqueness of an organization and also contribute to the development of products and serviced essential for successful growth.

A core competence is a bundle of skills that helps an organization to give a particular advantage to customers. The competency is not core if a customer's benefit is not being associated or contribute significantly to an organization's financial health. Hence, core competencies are obviously of paramount importance to an organization as being one of the hallmarks.


Question 2

Question 2

Describe the management styles for Theory X and Theory Y.

Assumptions of Theory X

Douglas McGregor (1906 - 1964) formulated his Theory X and Theory Y. he believed the classical view was founded on Theory X assumptions about workers. McGregor proposed Theory Y as a more realistic perspective.

The average person is considered lazy, dislikes and will avoid it if possible. Because of this human characteristic of dislike for work, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment to get them to put in effort toward the achievement of organizational objective. The average employee being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has little ambition, and wants security above all. Because of these negative assets of the employees, management believes that employees need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of control materialized.

Assumptions of Theory Y

The utilization of physical and mental effort in work is natural. The average human being does not inherently loathe work. External control and the threat of punishment are not the only ways bringing about effort toward organizational goals. An employee will exercise self-direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which he or she is committed. The average person learns, under conducive conditions, not only to accept but to look for responsibility. The ability to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in the solution of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed life, the intellectual potentialities of the average person are only partially tapped.

Which manager would you prefer (Theory X or Theory Y)? Why?

Theory Y is preferred as organizations can capitalize on the imagination and intellect of all their employees. Staff will exercise self-control and will contribute to organizational objectives when given the opportunity workers will be more creative, more productive and more contented if they have fewer controls and limitations. By removing hierarchy, organization charts and only the existence of few rules, productivity will surely increase and a sense of achievement will emanate. Theory X presents a negative set of assumptions about human nature which limit the potential growth of many employees. On the other hand, Theory Y is more positive about human nature especially towards employees. Managers adopting Theory Y will show different, more humanistic and finally more effective management ways.

Develop criteria for Theory Z (What does Theory Z believes?)

Theory Z was expounded by William Ouchi and represents a humanistic emerging management philosophy which could result to greater employee job satisfaction, reduced absenteeism, higher grades of products and improved financial performance. Theory Z emphasizes on:

Long-term employment whereby each individual is on asset to the company and the organization makes life-long commitments to its works who are expected to be loyal in return.

Emphasis on communication, collaboration, and consensus in decision making.

The importance of individual contributions by recognizing individual performance appraisal and individual accountability

Slow evaluation and promotion of employees within an organization.

Informal ways of control and also performance appraised through formalized measures

Theory Z organization utility a moderately specialized career path.

Adopting a holistic concern for workers.

Upon studying the end-result of Theory Z, it shows mixed result with studies showing that Theory Z organizations attain positive outcomes in the form of employee satisfaction, motivation and commitment and also financial performance. Other studies indicate that Theory Z organizations do not outperform other establishments.

References education-part-2

Question 3

Question 3

Explain the major components of total quality management and apply them to your workplace.

TQM is a management philosophy, based upon a set of principles, and supported by a set of proven methodologies and tools. It is an organization - wide effort to infuse quality into every activity in a company through continuous improvement by:

Focusing the organization on satisfying customers needs

Developing and tapping the full human potential of all employees

Involving everyone in efforts to 'find better ways'

Managing business processes, not just functions or departments

Managing by fact, using reliable data and information

Adding value to society, as well as achieving financial goals

Lowering costs

These principles are applied, not as a succession of standalone programs, but as an integrated set of systematic, methodical practices designed to create an effective management system.

Although based on work of U.S researches and consultants, TQM, was initially adopted and made popular by Japanese firms. TQM techniques include quality circles, bench - marking, Six Sigma, reduced cycle time and continuous improvement.

Elaboration of TQM techniques:

Quality circles - a quality circle is a group of 6 to 12 volunteer employees who meet regularly to discuss and solve problems affecting the quality of their work. Many companies train people in team building, problem solving and statistical quality control. The purpose of quality circles is to push decision making to an organization level at which recommendations can be made by people who do the job and know it better than anyone else.

Benchmarking - the continuous process of measuring products, services and practices against major competitors or industry leaders.

Six Sigma - a quality control approach that emphasizes a relentless pursuit of higher quality and lower costs.

Reduced Cycle Time - the steps taken to complete a company process.

Continuous Improvement - the implementation of a large number of small, incremental improvement in all areas of the organization on ongoing basis.

Recent trends in control include the use of international quality standards, economic values - added (EVA) and market value - added (MVA) systems, activity based costing (ABC) and corporate governance.

Write about how it could be used in a place you work have worked in.

I work in a fast-food outlet namely, Kentucky Fried Chicken. By implementing TQM, service time is reduced by more than half and labour productivity improved. Profits increased, sales grow and customer improve tremendously.

Two factors ova of immense importance. Namely the service outcome and the way a service process is carried out. KFC's management requirement includes not only the processing of the fried chicken, but also the polite disposition of the service and serving time of the feed to clients.

The quality, service and cleanliness (QSC) programme is employed to judge the quality of service dispensed and the opinion of a customer. The operations facility reviews (OFR) programme deals with the evaluation of the performance of a restaurant's implementation system against KFC's process specifications.

Surveys are carried out to understand customer's expectations and to identify important service attributes. Setting up benmark data helps in TQM as well. Rigorous training and motivating employees through individual or team incentives are crucial to process improvement.

Through TQM, a good is set to having a need trying to improve and respond to client needs and expectations. In addition, producing high quality products and services will enable KFC to compete in the global business scenario.


Question 4

Question 4

What possible reasons could there be for the issue of increased attention from management to TQM in recent years?

Why is management so interested in TQM today?

Total Quality Management can be defined as a descriptions of culture, attitude and organization of a company that strive to provide, it client with products and service that satisfy their expectations. The TQM philosophy focuses on team-work, increasing customer satisfaction and lowering costs. Organizations implement TQM by encouraging managers and employees to collaborate across functions and departments, as well as with customers and suppliers, to identify areas for improvement, no matter how small. Each quality improvement is a step toward perfection and meeting a goal of zero defects. Quality control becomes part of the day-to-day business of every employee, rather than assigned to specialized departments.

With increased competitions in the business arena, it is only logical that a company must implement TQM at its fullest so as to have an edge over other competitors.

Hence, it can be deduced that the utilization of TQM by companies is to keep its customers base which can be done through rendering total satisfaction in a number of aspects. Creativity in strategies in attracting new customer in the form of advertisements and promotions of new products improve a company's business. TQM improves organizational success by enriching jobs which indirectly motivates workers. It also culminates in better productivity benefits as it allows employees to share knowledge and skills.

By indulging in the spirit of teamwork when participating in overcoming obstacles, problems solving skills are enhanced. When an organization improves quality, it participates a decrease in production costs as there will be fewer mistakes and the efficiency of using materials and time. This scenario leads to increased profitability. Since tasks demand high skills from employees who have vigorous training in their respective fields of specialization, it leads to improved productivity and the ability to capture the market due to higher quality and lower prices. Therefore, the existence of a company is secured and able to expand its workforce.

What are the specific reasons why a company should consider using TQM efforts:

Increase Profits: Improved quality results in improved profits are through lower costs due to efficiencies achieved, higher customer retention, greater attraction of new customers, and the potential to charge higher prices.

Competitive Position: Competitive advantage is a special edge when compared to competitors, and is dependent on quality, time, cost, innovation, or customer intimacy. TQM and the resulting high quality contributes to a competitive advantage because most firms have not yet adopted TQM.

Employee Involvement: TQM requires total employee commitment to the process or it will fail, with the objective to permit the people who actually carry out the activities to continuously improve them.

Many companies are responding to changing economic realities and global competition by reassessing organizational management and processes - including control mechanism. Some of the major trends in quality include international quality standards, economic value - added and market value - added systems.

One impetus for TQM is the United States is the increasing importance of the global economy. Many countries have adopted a universal benchmark for quality management practices, ISO 9000 standards, which represent an international consensus that constitutes effective quality management as outlined by the International Organization for Standardization. ISO certification has become the recognized standard for evaluating and comparing companies on a global basis. In addition, many countries and companies require ISO certification before they will do business with an organization.


Question 7

Question 7

How destructive and constructive can power politics in the workplace be?

Power is the potential ability to influence the behaviour of others. Basically, influence is the effect a person's actions have on the attitudes, values, belief or behaviour or others. Whereas power is the capacity to cause a change in a person in influence may be thought of as the degree of actual charge.

Power result from an interaction of leader and followers. Some power comes from an individual's position in the organization power may also come from personal sources, goals and values. It can be said power is hard to comprehend, elusive and almost impossible to gauge but it is a very important asset in organizations where scare resources and during differences make conflict central to organizational dynamics.

The traditional position gives him or her the power to reward or punish subordinates to influence their behaviour. Hence, power is of utmost importance to leader. Skip and an effective leader must have power and the knowledge to use it wisely. Authority assigned to managers normally commensurate with responsibility. When managers have responsibility for task outcomes but little authority, the job is difficult to carry out, but if managers have power exceeding responsibility, they may become tyrants. Legitimate power, reward power, and coercive power are all forms of position power used by managers to charge employee behaviour.

Definition of politics is the practical use of power in action. It includes activities that are not essential as part of one's formal role and also attempts to influence the distribution of advantages and disadvantages. Politics can also be legitimate that is, normal everyday politics and illegitimate. I.e. outside the 'rules - of - the - game'.


Power politics can be constructive for organizational excellence from the differences in goals, backgrounds, and norms. Besides, highly self-motivated, ambitions, staff are more likely to take more proactive positions to achieve their ambitions. By doing so, it contributes to the organization's excellence. (high performance).


When power politics is seen as being a threat and not well understood, staff with little political skills will resign. Decreased performance levels resulting from the demotivating effect of perceived organizational politics also materialize. In addition, because of long term defensive behaviour becoming chronic and disastrous it affects, increasing interpersonal tensions, reducing rick taking and leads to organizational rigidity and stagnation. Low employee morale also result.

What role do managers have in influencing the distribution of advantages and disadvantages in organizations?

Role of Manager

In influencing the distribution of advantages and disadvantages in organization, managers need power and political skills. The extent to which a manager can do is to intercede favourably on behalf of someone in trouble with the organization, get a desirable placement for a talented subordinate, get approval for expenditures beyond the budget, obtain above-average salary increase for subordinates, get tats access to top decision-makers, obtain items in the agenda at policy meetings and early information about decision and policy shifts.

Managers use political tactics such as building coalitions, strive to enhance collaboration so that disagreements between groups do not deteriorate, expanding networks and enhancing legitimacy.


Question 8

Question 8

"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupt absolutely"

How does this relate to bases of power?

This statement implies the misuse and abuse of power. It is synonymous to people with power using it for the good of others at the initial stage but ends up utilizing it against the same people. When abundant power is given to an organization, there is a possibility for that power to be used against its staff. Power is omnipresent in different forms in our society and its intricacies is complex and pervasive.

French and Raven's "The Bases of Social Power" is a theory that there are five origins of social (organizational) power:

Coercive Power - the power that originates from the authority to punish or recommend punishment on those who are not agreeable to the ideas of the leader.

Legitimate Power - power that stems from organizational authority or from a formal management position in an organization with the authority bestowed to it. It is perceived that this particular person has the right to prescribe behavior.

Reward Power - power that results from the authority to present rewards on positives consequences and the ability to remove negative ones.

Expert power - power that emanates from the possession of distinctive knowledge, specialization, expertness and skills, probably acquired through years of experience and one's upgrading of knowledge in the tasks performed by subordinates.

Referent Power - power that results from characteristics that command subordinates identification with, respect and administration for and desire to emulate the leader.

In coercive power employees are at the mercy of managers when have the authority to recommend a raise in their employees' wages and influence their chances for a promotion managers here cohesive power when they have the right to five or demote staff.

A manager has the legitimate power to ensure that the employees of an organization are obligated to submit to him, since his position is a formal management position. The staff accept this source of power as lawful, which is why they comply.

When someone is very knowledge in his or her field of work, he or she possesses expert power. This person being a true expert will be on an advantages stage when others go along with recondition become of his or her superior knowledge. Followers as well as leaders lead teams arose members have expertise that the leader lacks.

In referent power, an individual's personal characteristics that command others respect and admiration to the extent that they wish to emulate that individual. Regent power is very much alive in charismatic leadership and this power is not dependent on a formal title or position.