Various Structures And Cultures Within Organisations Commerce Essay

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Behaviour is an integral part of human beings. This is the part that defines and differs human from one to the other. Organisation behaviour is the study of what people do and how their actions affect the performance of an organisation. (docstock, 2010) According to Baron and Greenberg, this is the field that seeks knowledge of behaviour in organisational settings by a symmetrical study of individual, group and organisation processes.

According to the above and various other definitions of organisational behaviour from various scholars, the nature and scope of this field can be evaluated as below:

Interdisciplinary Approach

An Applied Science

Behavioural Approach to Management

Concern with Environment

Scientific Method

Contingency Approach

Systems Approach

Value Centred

Based on Subjective and Objective Logic.

The other academic disciplines having important contributions to this field are:

Sociology

Anthropology

Psychology

Social Psychology

Economics

Political Science etc.

(IGNOU, 2005)

All the data and definitions presented in the following assessment activity have valid references, which are mentioned along with them. The research for this assessment was mostly done online through books, newspapers and other scholarly references.

Task 1

Task 3.1.a) Definition Of Various Structures & Cultures Within Organisations

Structures

When we consider small businesses, we shall often find that there are many examples where the persons, most commonly the ones who own the business, are doing all of the work of the business. But this cannot be done in case of large organisations, because as the organisation grows so does the task-lists. So in that case one is bound to employ some more people to do the tasks and for that one needs a nice division of labour so that everybody becomes specialists at his/her own job. As there are specific people for specific jobs, working differently and even in different places but towards a single goal, a plan should be there showing the hierarchy of the posts. This plan for systemic division of work is known as organisational structure and is composed of relationships, functions, authorities, responsibilities and communication between different people within departments. (Saxton, W.P., 1970, p. 23)

Various structures of organisations include post-bureaucratic, pre-bureaucratic and bureaucratic structures. Others are matrix, functional and divisional structure. Matrix structure is again divided into weak/functional, strong/project, balanced/functional matrix etc. Other variations will include flat, team, network and virtual structures (Wikipedia, 2010) and also centralisations, decentralisations and departmentalisations (answers.com, 2010).

Pre-bureaucratic structures are common is smaller organisations and are designed to solve simple tasks. It is a totally centralised structure where the leader makes all the important decisions and all the communications are done one-to-one. In bureaucratic organisations, there is a certain degree of standardisation. Functional structures boost production as it means only one type of employee are grouped for one specific job. Divisional structures groups each organisations into divisions, based on distinction or geographical locations and employees are grouped in terms of both functions and products in the matrix structure and this is by far the best type of structure available! (Wikipedia, 2010). On the other hand, the centralisation structure allows one or some key personnel making all the key decisions whereas the decentralisation acts in a way that opposes it. In departmentalisations, organisations are divided into various departments or unit such as finance, HR, marketing, production etc. (answers.com, 2010)

Cultures

Culture has been commonly defined as some social disciplines focussing on norms, values, customs, rituals, beliefs, ceremonies, morals, attitudes. Practices and some other concepts like this. People are indispensible part of an organisation and cultures are indispensible part of people, which in turn makes culture an indispensible part of an organisation. The cooperation of culture and organisations are good and rich in diversity. ( M.J., Walker, F.R. & Nicotera, A. M., Clinkscales, 2003)

Many types of organisational cultures are there. The most important ones are described in Roger Harrison's 1972 work, which was made popular by Charles Handy. These are power culture (power concentration is among a few), person culture (where everyone believes that he/she is superior to the organisation), task culture (power flows from expertise) and role culture (controlled by procedures, authority definitions and role description). (Handy C.B., 1985) Others could be blame, multidirectional, live-and-let-live, brand congruent and leadership-enriched culture (Carmazzi, A.F., 2007)

Task 3.1.b) Comparison Between Different Kinds Of Structures And Cultures Of Organisations And Analysis Of The Relation Between Them And The Effect They Create On Performance Of The Business

Regarding Different Structures

The different structures of organisations are being compared in a way so that the differences will be between traditional (line, line-and-stuff, matrix etc.) and modern structures (centralisation, decentralisation, departmentalisation etc.). Line structure depicts that the top person is the only one to make decisions and are effective in small organisation like hair saloons, law firms and 'mom-and-pop stores'. This type combines the flow of information, services, advices and supports from staff departments with the line structure and the result is a system applicable for even large organisations (Kurtz, D. L.& Boone, L. E., 1993, p. 259).

The matrix structure, on the other hand, is just a variation over line-and-stuff structure where specialist employees are hired for special departments but often they may have to work on projects, which are managed by members of some other department. So the workers have to report to both the supervisors: the functional managers of both departments. This is known as matrix culture since they have to report to two different authorities. (Keeling, B.L., Kallaus, N.F., 1996, p. 43)

The large organisations have so many departments and subsequent responsibilities that they just cannot manage to use line organisation and use line-and-staff (or matrix) organisational structure. For example, both Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia, 2009) and Microsoft Corporation (Directions on Microsoft, 2006) do not use line organisational structure.

Regarding Different Cultures

The different cultures and some of their definitions and descriptions were offered in the previous section, although it is impossible to mention all the types of organisational cultures that are present because of the differences of cultures within the people of the world.

Organisational cultures do not only vary within organisations to organisations, but also between different offices in different geographical locations of a same organisation (for multinational companies). For example, a 1980 study by G. Hofstede of about 100,000 employees of IBM all over the world proved that there are national and regional cultural groupings effecting organisational behaviours. He also measured uncertainty avoidance, individualism versus collectivism, the dimensions of culture as power distances and masculinity versus femininity. (Hofstede, G., 1980)

Although there is difference between cultures between every organisation, perhaps one of the most different and innovative and unorthodox organisational culture is found in case of Google Inc. Google, topped the 'list of best companies to work for' by Fortune Magazine in 2007 and 2008 and ranked fourth in the years of 2009 and 2010 (CNN Money, 2010), has a facility of massage rooms, video games, pool table and other games in their headquarters in California. The playful mood of Google employees and the innovation time off has given birth to some of Google's newer services such as Google News, AdSense, Gmail and Orkut (Mediratta, B., 2007).

A strong organisational culture is more likely to have a strong and efficient organisational structure, which in turn creates a good impact on the way the business performs. (Organisational culture, 2008) Google and many other organisations prove just this.

Task 3.1.c) Factors Influencing Behaviours Of Individual People At Work

One of the hardest things about management is that the constraints are human. As individuals are almost entirely unpredictable, the job of controlling them and their behaviours at work is almost impossible. Still one can identify some factors which influence the individual behaviour at work. The factors may be:

Intension

Environmental Constraints

Skills

Attitudes (anticipated outcomes)

Norms

Self-standards

Emotion

Self-efficiency

(Fishbein, M. et al, 2001)

Other factors also include:

Personality

Perception

Conflict, Street & Change

Ability & Aptitude

Attitude

(Blurt It, 2010)

All the above factors listed above are powerful ones when it comes to influence a person's behaviour and output at work. These may be organisational cultures, their geographical locations etc.

Task 2

Task 3.2.a Advantages And Disadvantages Of Theories Of Organisations And Management

There are many management theories implemented in practice in various industries. The theories and their discussions are being presented below:

Contingency Theory:

While making a decision, a manager has to take care of every aspect of the situation. It basically says that 'it all depends on the situation'. (McNamara, C., 2010) The only advantage of this theory is that it is simple; but the disadvantages will be: 1) it does not give a unique or general solution and 2) the theory requires excellent expertise and a long experience on the topic.

Systems Theory:

Here the organisation is viewed as a system, where all stakeholders are essential and they together comprise the organisation. So an organisation has the following four: firstly inputs (money, raw materials, technology etc.), then processes (organising, planning, motivating etc), then come the outputs (services or products i.e. finished goods) and at last outcomes (enhanced quality of business). (McNamara, C., 2010)

The advantage to this theory is that the whole of the organisation is considered while making a decision. Subsequently the disadvantage is that too many people will produce too many decisions which would make it hard for the organisations.

Chaos Theory:

This theory imitates the real world very closely as chaos and random events are just natural in the world. Chaos theory identifies that events cannot be controlled generally and that things can only go towards more complexity. (McNamara, C., 2010)

Chaos theory has an advantage of being the nearest to the truth. But as this latest theory is underdeveloped, this faces its disadvantage.

Other theories are inclusive of large and vast concepts of management and may be classified as-

Scientific Management (scientific study on workpeople, selectively employ and train and proper wage (Taylor, F.W., 1911)) and

Classical Management (autocratic leadership style, division of labour, chain of command,). (Prit, 2010)

Task 3.2.b) Different Approaches Towards Management And Theories By Two Distinct Organisations Operating In UK

The two organisations chosen here are Google UK and BBC.

The two organisations use two different management theories. The BBC is the best with strategic management. Over the last decade, they have built up a portfolio of 17 strategic contracts with private suppliers in order to provide it with radio and television services. In 2007-08, BBC spent £715 million on strategic contracts (forecast of 2006-07 was £713 million). In this year the supplier performance was better too (National Audit Office, 2010).

But Google UK follows a different management theory. They are not much into future considerations, a very unconventional way for such large organisations. In fact, Matt Brittin, head of technology in UK, thinks of anticipating about 20 years from now as 'pointless', although the growth of this company baffles even smartest economists. In 2001, they made revenues of USD$86 million, while in 2009US$3.6 billion. The highly unconventional management steps by Google Inc., UK is what that make them different from most organisations. (Sibun, J., 2010)

Task 3

Task 3.3.a) Styles Of Leadership: Situations, Effectiveness And Examples

Leadership is defined as the process of social influence where a person can ensure others' aid and support to accomplish a preset goal. (Chemers, M.M., 2002)

The three main classifications of leadership styles may be presented as:

Autocratic or Authoritian (leaders decide what, when and how to do)

Democratic or Participative (leader includes one or more employee(s) to make decisions) and

Free-Reign, Delegative or Laissez-Faire style (the employees are encouraged to make most of the decisions).

(U.S. Army, 1973)

Autocratic Leadership type, though highly criticised today, is effective and even desired in some situations. Employee input is not desired when the employees are inexperienced and untrained, or when the stake is high, time is very limited, high productions are desired in short times and when the employees are not manageable by any other type of leadership style. For these cases, this particular leadership style is the best to employ. But situations where such style should be avoided are when the employees are fearful, tense or resentful or when there is low-level-employee-morale and when they expect to have their opinions heard etc.

Participative Type of Leadership encourages employees to be creative and responsible enabling them to make their own decisions. This style is good for situations where the leader wants to train the employees into a mid-level management, wants them to grow a sense of job satisfaction and personal growth or s/he wants to form employee-teams and highlight the feeling of participation. But, like any other style, it is also not perfect for every situation; especially when the employees are inexperienced, where the business can't afford to make mistakes, where employ safety is critical, or there is simply not enough time for individual decisions.

Laissez-Faire Type of leadership is the latest vie on leadership where the majority of the decision making tasks are entrusted to the employees. Two things may be critical here: to oversee (at least) the most important decisions and to train the employees through the previous leadership styles before they are entrusted to this style. This style can be beneficial when employees are educated, highly skilled and experienced, possess pride in the job done by them and are trustworthy. On the other hand, the style could be dangerous if the employees are not confident enough or feel insecure. This can be even worse if implemented for wrong reasons such as the manager is unwilling to do his/her job and just bypassing them to employees, the leader is unable to thank the employees or let them know how good they are and where they were wrong.

Perhaps the best leadership style is to employ a Varying Style i.e. a proper combination of the above styles according to the demand of the situation.

(eSSORTMENT, 2010)

Task 3.3.b) Theories Regarding Motivation

One can take a horse to water but the horse can't be forced to drink. The same is also true for humans, only more complex. If a manager or leader wants to maximise production or output of an organisation, s/he is bound to take shelter to motivational theories in order to motivate the workpeople to do the right thing within right time.

The theories and theorists for motivation are explained below:

Theory X (Traditional):

This traditional theory, ascribed to Sigmund Freud, states that people are basically lazy and not ambitious. They hate and avoid work, take no initiative etc. This pessimistic theory is no longer in practice.

Theory Y (Douglas McGregor)

This is an optimistic theory that differs strongly from theory X and assumes that people want to improve their work by learning to the extent of self-development and self-discipline and that people like freedom more than cash and that the manager's should 'dovetail' that human nature. The problem with this theory is that it is unrealistic and not always true and is also no longer used directly.

But for best result, it is better to accept a combination of theories X and Y, where a leader takes the decision but also allows the employees to do so sometimes. He/she helps them to form new group leaders and thus motivates them.

Theory Z (Abraham Maslow)

Psychologist Abraham Maslow changed theory X refreshingly by rejecting the Freudian base and pointing to the central theme that work helps man to get out of boredom, vice and poverty and thus man wants to work himself. His theory of motivation was a mixture of philosophies of Freud (physical needs), Marx (economic needs), Goldstein (self-actualisation) Adler (esteem needs) etc.

(ACCEL, 2010)

Other modern motivational theories are:

Incentive Theory (rewards refreshes the workers),

Drive Reduction Theory (reduction of biological (and other) drives such as hunger motivates the employees work good and hard) and

Cognitive Dissonance Theory (when a conflict of belief and behaviour occurs).

(Wikipedia, 2010)

Task 3.3c) Applicability Of Motivational Theories In Today's Organisation

Motivation is a complex area. It differs from person to person. That is why the motivational theories are not one hundred percent true for every situation. Also they are useful time to time. A good leader always first understands the situation, analyses it and then makes his/her mind on which strategy or theory to follow. Once s/he finds the right one, s/he applies it to obtain the desired result.

F. W. Taylor, the father of scientific management, first pointed out to the fact that faulty wage system may be one of the most important reasons for the bad performance of organisations. Thus he gave birth to the proper management theories where the workpeople are kept content and motivated and a good employer-employee relationship is maintained to obtain the best results. Almost all modern organisations are in attempt to build a sound psychological contract between the employer and employees. Maybe Google Inc. is the best example how to motivate employees through physical and mental satisfactions to obtain the best innovative ideas leading to best outcome. (Task 3.1.b)

Task 4

Task 3.4.a) Groups And Group Behaviours In An Organisation

It is only natural for human beings to make friends while at work. According to the definition offered by Harold H. Kelly and J. W. Thibaut, groups are simply a collection of individuals where they accept a common task and interact with each other in an interdependent way.

One can mainly find two classifications of groups of an organisation, namely informal groups and formal groups. Formal groups are generally formed by the organisation in order to do some specific task while people form informal groups voluntary because of companionships, common interests or any other personal reasons. Informal groups can again be divided into two types: friendship and interest groups. The former is formed in the interests of organisations for collaborating for betterment of cthe company, while the other is formed to perform some common activities or to serve some personal likings etc. Fred Luthans, one of the first management scholars to apply behavioural science to better understand human behaviours in organisations, classifies groups further into small and large (with respect to number of members), primary and secondary (with respect to closeness between members), in-groups and out-groups (with respect to sharing values between members) etc.

In formal group behaviour, the leader's behaviours and styles plays a major role on the nature of group behaviours and performances. Other group structures impacting group behaviours are roles, role identities, norms, status, sizes and compositions of groups. The nature of group behaviours in an organisation can be best understood by the following models depicting stages of group development:

Forming (initial meeting)

Storming (resolving differences)

Norming (agreeing on purpose and conduct)

Performing (achieving the purpose) and

Adjourning (completion, ending or evolution).

(Dr. Sharma, V., 2007)

Task 3.4.b) Qualitative And Quantitative Factors Which Result In Effective Teamwork And The Influences That Cause Failure

Effective teamwork has been commonly applied in order to produce high productive results for various organisations. In fact, one can find some specific factors that result in effective teamwork in an organisation (Robbins, S.P. & Coulter, M., 2002). A team should always be aware of the goals, mission, visions and expectations from them. Team should always be composed of people with relevant skills. Mutual trust is another common factor that leads to effective teamwork and also one whose absence creates influences that threaten success. Other important factors include good negotiation and communication skills which help one to understand others better. A mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods is probably the best for achieving effective teamwork. (Teperi, A.M. et al, 1998)

One can achieve effective teamwork only through a heterogenic team guided by the right motivations and supports. These can lead to a success that can never be achieved through individual effort (Coulter, M. & Robbins, S.P., 2002).

The following influences may lead to success with a team in an organisation:

Eliminating negative and distracting influences

Identifying the internal thoughts and fears by someone and

Taking positive actions.

(CHESTER'S TIPS FOR SUCCESS, 2008)

Prevention or blocking of the above factors will ultimately lead to influences that lead to failure.

Task 3.4.c) Positive & Negative Impacts Of Technology Resulting In Team Functioning

Positive Impacts

Technology has improved team functioning in almost every way possible. Positive effects of technology on team functioning include

Emails

Mobile Phones

Pagers

Blackberries

Groupware and

Computers.

(HNC Business, 2009)

All of them have enabled teams to stay connected in some way or the other for all levels of employees within organisations. For example, while employees like sales representatives rely on mobile phones and pagers for connectivity (via calling and texting) on the move, high-level managers may take heed to computers and blackberries. E-mails have connected a big percentage of the total population on earth, thereby also enabling teamwork. Also, groupware has enabled teams to make planning for meetings and collaborate and delegate all in an environment that someone (who has privileges) around the world (HNC Business, 2009) can virtually access. To keep things brief, technology has an immense amount of positive effect on teamwork.

Negative Impacts

Negative effects of technologies are negligible in case of team functioning. The most general negative effects of technology e.g. misuse is also true in this case. But the most prominent one in this case could be the overuse of technology.

Teams are nothing but formal groups within organisations. Formal groups have the sole purpose of collaborating each other to build a better future for the organisation (Dr. Sharma, V., 2007). But excessive technology dependency can harm us by destroying our natural collaborative mentality so that we cannot maintain team functioning anymore. Thus technology can rarely create negative impacts on team functioning of an organisation.

Conclusion

Organisational behaviour deals with understanding and controlling of human behaviour in an organisation. Human behaviour is a hard thing to study because they are defined as a summation of pretty much everything a human does. The organisational behaviour basically deals at three different levels:

Individual Level

Group Level and

Organisational Level.

To keep things brief, organisational behaviour can be described as the study and application of knowledge of how people will act under different circumstances within an organisation. Leadership, team management and management theories can be useful tools to create a conclusion for organisational behaviours in an organisation.

(IGNOU, 2005)

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