Organizational Structures And Modernism Theory Commerce Essay


What is an organization. It can be defined in simple terms a social arrangement of human beings and resources in order to achieve a controlled performance in pursuit of collective goals. (Buchanan and Huczynski,2010) Organization can mean differently to every individual as it is pervasive and stands differently to every individual. Organization in real terms is said to work as small units aimed at seeking specific goals that have a target set in front which has to either be deliberately or socially constructed with a view of further growth and prosperity. An organization varies from size to size as well as nature of work that it constitutes. There are various factors like individual factors, context factors, group factors, structural factors, process factors , managerial factors etc that significantly contribute to an effectiveness of a successful organization and an organization is mostly said to be successful if it includes and work upon both qualitative as well as quantitative aspects simultaneously. Therefore organization is also said to have a major impact on every aspect whether its day to day routine of an individual or a large scale multi dimensional business unit's any specific department, it is said to have an importance in all spheres right from a small thing to the biggest and complex thing. In order to have a successful business organization it is also said to pay due importance on business environment, amongst them first of all there must be a complete and thorough environment scanning done by an individual or group of individuals to compliance with the present as well as future objectives of an enterprise having advantage in both economic as well as non economic factors. Every organization irrespective of size, nature and function is said to have greater efficiency and effectiveness gave rise to the theory of efficient administration in other words theory of management. In today's competitive and fast pace changing business environment no organization can work smoothly and efficiently without management , even the leading companies of all sectors like HCL, Apple, Toyota ,Google , Pepsi etc have been said to run smoothly due to the efforts of its managerial team.

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There have been various different ways by which management as a term has been defined by different scientist amongst them , Marrie and Douglas said, "management is the process by which a co-operative group directs actions of others towards common goals." In order to achieve the desired standard every organization plans a strategy or the approach on how they are going to achieve the main goal in alliance and accordance with efficient person that acts a backbone in implementation of the strategy known as the leader. A leader is said to have an impressive personality and effective approach , which is a need of any successful organization and every organization is said to have worked in accordance with their employee's an in order to give every individual the type of work that suits his profile its important to have a perfect knowledge about what that individuals personality , in other words traits are all about. Once an organization starts working to preview its growth and success towards accomplished goals it is necessary to have proper governance and coordination as it relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. Therefore the success of global business organizations depends upon the utilization of opportunities unleashed in the emerging markets of the world. "Running a successful business operation may appear to be complex and difficult. However, once the basics are in place, the keys to success are actually common sense approaches known to all."( Thomas Young, mentioned in 7 laws of business success)

Organizational structures and modernism theory

When looking at organizations and how work is efficiently produced by a team, it is important to look at the way the team will work together; this area is something that has been studied in much depth in the past exploring areas such as organizational structures and modernism theories. Modernism theory is something that can be looked at in four separate parts these are Bureaucracy, Scientific Management, Human Relations and System theories. By splitting this into four different categories we can look into each in more depth and see the advantages and disadvantages of each separate area.

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Bureaucratic structures first introduced by Max Weber (1900's-1920), relies on a hierarchy of authority within an organization, this structure can be seen in most modern institutes such as most restaurants chains. There are team members within the restaurant, which report directly to a floor manager, the General Manager of the branch is then not only in charge of team members, but also of the floor managers as well. An area manager that looks after a number of branches in a certain geographical area is in control of the general managers of each branch, and this is the person who then answers to the top executives of the company who make all important decisions to do with the brand and its image. This is a very effective method to not only organize a team, but to get work completed to a high quality level as the decision process is very thorough, passing down through the vertical organization structure before the action is implemented. Other advantages of this structure are the impersonal rules and regulations and the clearly defined roles that each member is assigned based upon on the level of qualifications and skills of the individual, which allow each person to carry out their jobs efficiently and productively. This process is something that most will encounter with jobs such as factory work, and learn about such as the fab sweets case study.

There are noticeable disadvantages to the structure of this theory which many post-modern scholars have highlighted, these concerns stem from the trade-offs between specialization and coordination and between quick and reliable communication and hierarchy (falseGajduschek Gyorgy, Administration and Society, January 2003). Therefore there is a chance that the levels of communication between each specialist in the vertical structure, may deteriorate for a number of reasons to do with coordination or the speed and reliability of the communication, which in turn will have a negative impact on the competence of the institutes work. Another theory introduced by Fredrick Taylor (1911) is the use of Scientific Management, which not only improved working conditions for the individual in a working environment but also improved productivity of the company at the time.

Taylor saw an opportunity to break down each job in a set of tasks instead of a trained skill an individual had to take a course to understand, by isolating the jobs into simple procedures anybody could work whether they were skilled or not, and any industrial conflicts were seemed to be solved. This method was used in the paper plane task the team carried out, through it working relationships were established, this method was used to see how working relationships were forged and how things would run in the future work tasks. However as the team voluntarily picked the roles they wanted to take, as opposed to someone picking them for the role based on skill or training needed to carry out the particular task, the method was not as effective.

This method could be implemented in nearly every working environment, such as separating the planning and execution of a solution to an ongoing problem, so the manager solved the operations problem and then trained the worker to implement the immediate solution which seemed like an effective method, however could also be seen as common workers to be perceived as mindless machines. This dehumanizing view of the workers would mean the only motivation they had would be the pay check they would receive taking all of the passion and soul out of their work. As we still see scientific management today as a core management method, although altered and developed, the advantages of improved production and disadvantages of dehumanized workers has "made Taylorism both a symbol of labor's oppression, and a beacon of mankind's well-being." (Zuffo, Riccardo Giorgio, Journal of Business and Management, 2011)

From the blocks on scientific management we can see another popular working method that changed the way the car industry produced cars through Fordism. Henry Ford took Taylors' idea and extended the method to cover his whole company and therefore created the assembly line, one of the world most recognizable working methods as it was very effective and produced high production rates, cutting down production costs and time frames. A high demand for Fords cars as he was producing them a lot faster than seen previously meant that Ford could raise the workers' wages, and this combined with the introduction of conveyer belts and other machinery to reduce the hard labour, meant that Ford could keep his workers happy, thus improving Taylors' initial idea.

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Although Ford improved Taylors' idea, certain issues such as decline in workers moral due to repetitive and boring working conditions, showed how the conditions for the workers wasn't as improved as initially thought. This coupled with the pressures of keeping up with the fast machines, and being closely supervised constantly showed the cracks with this management method. These earlier methods have been improved for workers in post-modern working conditions and also for the companies as well, and as elements of these management methods are still seen today, the core ideas stay relevant.

Personality theory

"The psychological qualities that influence an individuals characteristics behavior patterns, in a stable and disntinve manner" is said to be personality. (Buchanan and Huczynski,2010)Once we are able to predict someone personality we can recognize the persons response to a in a particular circumstances in an effective way. An understanding of personality allows us to deal with people in realistic and acceptable ways. Personality is also related to job performance and career success and personality assessment is a widely used tool. Personality theory also deals with the pattern of dispositions and behaviors unique to the individuals.

There are different approaches to analyze the personality theory some of them are mentioned . Type approach :This approach attempts to comprehend personality by examining certain broad aspects in the behavior of the individual. Each behavioral pattern refers to the type in which individuals are placed in terms of similarities. Efforts to categorize people have been made since ancient times. The Greek physician Hippocrates proposed a typology based on humor where he classified people into 4 types choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic and sanguine. The personality traits given by Sheldon are fairly well known and he classified people based on their temperament and body types  were endomorphs (fat, soft, round and relaxed) ectomorphs ( thin, long ,fragile, brainy) mesomorphs (energetic, courageous and musculature).

Jung another psychologist's grouped people into introverts and extroverts. Introverts are the ones who withdraw themselves from emotional conflicts and are shy and extroverts are the ones who are talkative, social able and outgoing. Another famous type approach is by Freidman and roseman who grouped people into TYPE-A TYPE-B and TYPE-C.

 Another one that has an importance significance in determining the personality is the trait approach. This is concerned with the building blocks of personality. These are mainly concerned with the characterization of basic components of personality. Trait approach tries to identify the primary behavior of individuals. A trait is basically a relatively enduring characteristic in an individual that makes it different from others. A very famous trait theory is the BIG FIVE FACTOR theory by Paul Costa and Robert McCrae.  These factors include firstly openness to experience , here the person that scores high on are open to new ideas, curious, have a creative imagination and are involved in cultural pursuits but the person having low score are said to be rigid. Another factor is extraversion according to this the person scoring high is said to be talkative, socialable , fun-loving, assertive on the other side person scoring low are referred to as shy. Among these factors also include neuroticism , according to this people scoring high are irritable ,fearful , distressed and those opposite are very well adjusted. Another highlighted key factor is  agreeableness which highlights the person on high scale to be very caring, helpful and nurturing and the ones opposite to be ego centric and hostile. Last key factor that has significance key importance is conscientiousness , here those who are on high scale are said to be achievement oriented, prudent and very dependable while those having low score are said to be really impulsive.


This five factor model represents an important theoretical development in the field of personality. It has been found useful in understanding the personality profile of people across cultures. While it is consistent with the analysis of personality traits found in different languages, it is also supported by the studies of personality carried out through different methods. Hence, it is now considered to be the most promising empirical approach to the study of personality. Another important trait approach  is by Alport Gardener where he categorized traits into cardinal, central and secondary traits. The cardinal traits are the highly generalized dispositions and the entire life of the individual revolves around it e.g. Hitler's Nazism. The central traits are the less generalized dispositions and are often used in writing job descriptions. The secondary traits are the least generalized dispositions e.g. I like mangoes.

Another important aspect that play a very important role is emotional intelligence in today's business environment .It is the ability to analyze and understand emotions and what impact will they actually have on the attitudes and behavior. Those who score high on emotional intelligence have the ability to monitor their own emotions as well as tune with those of the people surrounding them. Emotional intelligence involves being very perceptive and sensitive of other people's emotions, and being able to provide improved performance based on the knowledge. The modern workplace is characterized by open communication, teamwork, and an equal respect among employees and their supervisors. Possessing emotional intelligence allows managers to understand and encourage people they supervise in a better way.

Many psychologists like Daniel Goleman are of the opinion that emotional intelligence is really important to have successful careers than having technical skills. It is a very useful tool even at group levels as it helps the senior manager to be sensitive towards other feelings and resolve conflicts. E.Q is an assessment test used to measure the emotional intelligence of employees at work.

 In our group almost everyone was high on emotional intelligence as we very well understood each others feelings and at times when there were small conflicts which was very rare we all understood each others feelings and were sensitive to them. While assignment of the task if one was not able to take its responsibility our team leader very well empathized with that member and very well cooperated. We all strongly feel after studying about emotional intelligence that is a very important aspect from the organizational point of view as it is very important to understand the feelings and plight of the subordinates if we want a smooth working of the group and the desired outcome.

Strategy and leadership theory

Strategy is a crucial part of any organization. A well-planned organization's key feature is its strategy. There are four basic types of strategies which come under the following features like stability, expansion, combination strategies and retrenchment during adverse situations. Each of the key features can be explained in detail. Stability is of utmost importance while forming a strategy as stability results in consistency, efficiency and quick results. Second key feature is expansion. Right strategies help in expansion of an organization and helps in promotion of the organization by building its reputation. Thirdly , combination strategies are an excellent way of achieving different goals at one time. Combined strategies can focus for eg . on increasing the quality of products but also selling them at the most reasonable price by using concepts like TQM (Total Quality Management). The concept of TQM has in recent years become a part of all sorts of organizations while forming their strategies. In America it's practiced on a large scale and is referred to as a social movement in several journal articles.

TQM has now become a global concept and used by several organizations throughout the world. The features of TQM can indirectly be also referred to as features of strategy. It has 8 key elements which are ethics, integrity, trust , training , teamwork , leadership , recognition and communication. These elements can be categorized into four groups according to their function. The groups are: 1) Foundation - It includes: Ethics, Integrity and Trust.2). Building Bricks - It includes: Training, Teamwork and Leadership.3). Binding Mortar - It includes: Communication. 4). Roof - It includes: Recognition.( iSix Sigma Newsletter dated 26th Feb 2010 written by Nayantara Padhi )

Framework while forming a strategy helps in making the strategy realistic and to-the-point. The framework of a strategy can be categorized in 5 main parts - Beginning(Where does the organization stand in current situation?), End(Where does the organization wants to see itself?), Means(How can the organization achieve its goal?), Evaluation(Which is the best way of reaching towards the goal?),Implementation and Control(How can the organization ensure its arrival). The strategy of an organization is planned in such a way that the various levels in an organization can work and co-ordinate the different tasks and duties to ensure that the strategy is worked out in the correct way. There are generally 3 main levels in an organization.(business organization) are- A)Corporate: it includes CEO and board of directors, B) Business :it includes divisional sector of the organization and C) Functional : it includes managers, senior assistants

etc. Strategy is divided amongst all these levels and every person is assigned the right task according to their capabilities and qualifications. There are several stages in a corporate strategy. The five main stages are - 1) Developing a strategic vision : it is the job of the first level senior executives and board of directors. 2) Setting objectives :The objectives set by the directors and CEO of an organization are followed by all the other members of the organization. 3) Creating a strategy to achieve 1) and 2): A strategy is charted to achieve the firs two stages of the plan. 4) Implementation and Execution : carrying out the duties in the right way to achieve the goal. 5) Monitoring , Evaluating and making corrections : This is generally done by the head of different departments and the final work is submitted to the CEO who sends the final draft for approval to the Directors. In multinational companies and huge global corporations advanced strategies are used to set targets. This concept of advanced strategy was introduced by Michael Torte. There are 3 key strategies at the advanced level and they are cost leadership strategy, differentiation strategy and focused strategy.

In order to have an effective strategy a leader plays a significant role. A good leader is always said to posses all the following mentioned qualities . Motivational skills: A leader should be a good motivator. He should be able to understand the requirements of people and encourage them to fulfill them. Initiative approach: A leader should not wait for the opportunities to come but he should grab the opportunities and use them in the best possible ways. Good Communication skills: a good leader should have the capacity to clearly explain his ideas opinions and he should also be a good listener, counselor and persuader. An approach towards Innovation and Creativity: Innovative ideas are a strong base for successful working of an organization. A creative leader comes up with good ideas, which help in framing a good organizational structure with cost effective, new technology and eco friendly ideas. Has a supportive attitude : They support their subordinates and strongly stand behind them. Approach towards magnanimity: It includes giving credit and opportunity where required.

 Leadership influences the behavior of the employees and enables them to positively contribute the best of their of their energies for the benefit of the organization. It helps the followers to fulfill their needs and aspirations. Leadership facilitates confidence, support and creates a proper working environment.   Provide guidance that is required for supervision of the overall work and instructing the subordinates about efficient work. In short strategy cannot be accomplished without an effective leadership therefore it is said to be interlinked.

Governance and Coordination Theory

Under organizational behavior theories, team working has been playing a major role in them. With which, governance and coordination emphasizes the way of aligning organization goals with individuals and groups. (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2010, ch17) In which, stakeholders of organizations, both internal and external, should be taken into account when decisions are made. Internal stakeholders include managers, chairperson and board of directors; while external stakeholders include consumers, suppliers and communities.

In the Paper plane corporation, governance and coordination can be achieved by complying regulations set by different ministries, which the product itself does not contain poisonous chemicals, harm the user, employ child as labour and pose potential danger to people surrounding. This would not only please the external stakeholders: customers, but also the communities who care a lot about the safety of products and children's rights. The same applies to the FAB Sweets Company, where safety is the first concern in food industry. By aligning the standard of products and expectations of other parities, the organizations can reach their goals: increasing market shares. However, there are some points to note in implementing the strategy of complying with regulations. First, a monitoring position should be set up to make sure that employees or the whole organization is complying with regulations. The result of auditing would be more convincing if this process is monitored by a third party. Therefore, the monitoring position, which is the quality supervisor in the Paper plane corporation and the manager in FAB Sweets, should have knowledge of the standard expected in the market and produce auditing reports with the help of a third party. Second, communications to employees are important. It is useless to enforce a regulation in an organization without getting those who observe it to know why it is there. Since employees may lose motivations of working by complying with all those rules as they may find them difficult to follow or no autonomy is given, organizations should 'nurture' employees of the reason behind why such regulation or rule is being enacted through workshops and make the rules simple to follow. Furthermore, the aim of setting a particular regulation should be consistent with the mission and vision of the organization, as this avoids ambiguity or confusion of employees on attitudes taken in work. The group, for example, has set simple rules, such as deadlines and way of referencing for regulating members' work progresses and standards. Another important issue in governance and coordination is the balance of power between hierarchies of organization. There is an obvious unbalance of power between FAB Sweets workers and managers and supervisors: the workers could not voice out their problems to the head of managers even when the managers and supervisors ignore them. Moreover, the authoritarian approach of the organization gave the managers and supervisors much more power than the workers in such a way that the workers had no autonomy. One of the solutions is by setting up a team of internal auditors. This is the same of having independent judiciary system instead of an integrated one with the government: in case any ministry did wrong, citizens would still be able to make use of the legal system to sue the government. Through the independence auditors, balance of powers can be made between workers and managers, as the workers got a channel to give feedback, suggestions to the organization even they were ignored by the managers. This is because the opinions provided by the workers were transferred via a 'third party', given that there is no direct beneficial relationship between two parties, suggestions that are beneficial to the organization will be reflected and implemented. However, this solution depends highly on the power of the internal auditors, ethics of them and openness of the head manager. If either one of the above criteria is missing, the solution fails. This is similar to the Chinese judiciary system where power of government outweighs the courts and resulting in disrespect and lose of confidence of the system.

Balancing power between hierarchies is important, but equally important is the balance of cooperation and competition. Competitions used to be an effective method of raising the standard of employees and eventually the organization itself. This concept came from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution: the better species survive in nature. It is undoubtedly good for an organization to include competition within itself, for instance, building different teams in the same department. This would not only motivate employees to work more efficiently, but also boosting the production of organization. In the case of Paper plane corporation, through implementing competitions: setting up different teams in the same production line, helps producing more paper planes. This strategy should be accompanied with an aid of a reward scheme, a positive reinforcement, which rewards and encourages workers good behavior. However, this implementation requires a challenging-favored personality of employees and employees divided into small groups (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993, The Wisdom of Teams) and to a certain extend promote distrust among employees, leading to a problem in coordination. In fact, the promotion of distrust is the culprit of destroying cooperation: each individual or group fights on their own without exchanging ideas. In short term, this strategy will boost the organization's productivity, but it will be the exact opposite in long run, where creativity and innovation is required after entering into a mature stage of growth. Thus, the balance of the two ends is important. To achieve the balance, change of groups is vital. By exchanging the group members of not necessarily the same department, but also different department, ideas and knowledge can be exchanged from time to time. The time for exchange of members should be taken when it the team or group is mature: after completing one or two projects. For instance, if the module 'Understanding Organization and Management' still continues in the second semester, a swap of group members would encourage merging of new ideas and increase productivity ultimately. In short, governance and cooperation is important to any organizations and three different aspects has been discussed: setting regulations to cater for stakeholders, balancing power between hierarchies and balance of cooperation and competition


To conclude, given that organizations are omnipresent in everyday's life, for instance doing projects, it is important to understand how to operate them efficiently and effectively. To achieve so, studying theories of organizational behavior would be the key to success. In the above essay, four aspects of organization behavior theories were taken to analysis three seminar activities: management, learning style and governance and cooperation, in which all of these are important to a successful organization.

First, for management theory, under the hierarchy of pyramid, it was found that the group coordinated badly in the first activity, paper plane cooperation, problems of poor division of labour, choice of manager and supervisor, planning, communication and team working, though prototype of paper plane was built and presented successfully. The main culprits for these problems are due to the fact that members were unfamiliar to each other and time given was limited. Potential problems of realizing the corporation were also discussed: ignorance of the need of balanced work life of workers by utilizing Fordism, loss of loyalty of workers towards the company and negligence of individual incentives. These problems are particularly important for organization as they would not only tarnish image of it, but also greatly affect the productivity of it. Meetings were held after each activity for reflection and discussion on how to perform better, which is equivalent to employees giving feedback to managers for improvement of team working. With the help of the feedback, these problems were eased during the second activity: finding which learning style best suits group members, during which, presentation without the use word was required. Throughout the discussion period, an interactive teaming structure was used in lieu of authoritarian pyramid approach. Although every member could contribute during discussion, members came up with different ideas and as a role of leader was lacking, a conclusion was hard to draw. This illustrates the weakness of a totally interactive structure and proves the advantages of using a mix structure. The third activity involves analyzing the organization behavior of FAB Sweets and gave solution to improve the situation. Several management solutions were proposed: restructuring the company to increase efficiency of administration, provide objective standards and achievable targets, establish channels for workers to communicate with managers, and reduce time for training.

Second aspect taken was learning style and personality. Theories from this aspect are mainly used for understanding workers for forming an effective team, tailoring training materials and understanding the need for different kinds of personalities in an organization. Through understanding the learning style of workers, training given for both the FAB Sweets and Paper Plane Cooperation workers can be more effective and efficient by learning in their own favored style. Furthermore, reviewing workers' personality, for instance, MBTI, team working can be smoothened as they understand strengths and weaknesses of each others' personality. By making use of the Belbin's SPI Team Roles theory and tactics to reduce social loafing as proposed by Ringlemann (such as avoid over-cohesive teams, constantly making challenges and making contributions from teammate identifiable), team working among the workers of the two companies: Paper Plane Cooperation and FAB Sweets can be more efficient. The same also applies to the group in taking part in the seminar activities and holding meetings. However, tests for personalities and learning styles though are objective; respondents may not be as honest as they thought. In fact, many would attempt to answer questions in a way that they thought they should behave, in other words, the ideal personalities or learning styles. As a result, outcome may not truly reflect their real personalities or learning styles. Organizations should bear in mind that different personalities have their own strengths and weaknesses: there is no single ideal personality. With involvement of different personalities, synergy can be achieved.

Lastly governance and coordination and leadership were viewed. Motivations of individuals, goals of organization and leadership were analyzed. Managers should keep an eye on how workers are motivated and set achievable goals for them. Moreover, policies of organizations should be consistent. Balancing of powers among hierarchies and balancing between competition and cooperation are important factors to success governance and coordination. As this directly links to workers' working environment. However, what equally important is taking all stakeholders into account when making decisions. Both internal and external stakeholders should be catered. This would not only improve the image of an organization, but also helps aligning the goals of organizations with different parties, ultimately benefiting the organization.

Group Reflection

In the first seminar activity, though choices of roles were made quickly, it was not made according to each others' talents, but a random selection through all members' consents. In other words, in terms of organization structure, interactive structure was implemented. This structure, as discussed, though empowered each member to have the same authority, a lack of leader led to a situation of not coming up conclusions in a short time, i.e. ideas could not be grouped well to be presented, as a decision was made through consents of all members due to different ideas and approaches of everyone. As time limit approached, some members had changed their role and acted as a leader to decide, coordinate and implement ideas. The group performed not satisfactorily at the very beginning, owing to lack of understanding of members, team working could not be carried out smoothly. Initially SMS text messages and e-mails were used for communication among the group. After two meetings on reflection of how to improve the group's productivity and discussing the strategy and preparation of next seminar's tasks, a Facebook group was established together with a 'What's app' group for ease of communication.

When it comes to leadership, it often focuses on how leaders motivate followers by setting goals. However, as found from the second seminar activity of learning style, the group was lacking a member who was an activist. This explained the reason why the group preferred take an interactive structure as default rather than a traditional type of structure: authoritarian. There was no obvious leader within the group, but each member took turn to take the role of leader at some point of discussion: when the discussion went in a wrong direction, some members restated the goal; implementing new communication methods; creating a sense of urgency by setting deadlines; motivation to members by reminding them their part needs to be complete before the deadlines. This is also an example of control strategy taken, which regulated members of the group to finish works on time.

Though there was cultural differences between members, the group performed well through the use of different communication channels and proper planning resulting in effortless work and mutual consent and willingness by all to achieve the targets at given deadlines which enabled everyone to have had not only an experience to work in a team as well as to work with different people of different backgrounds in an efficient manner.