Organizational design is a key factor in deciding the performance of a business and individuals in the organization working together. An organizational design has to indicate the fit between task division structure and coordination, or make the tasks work together (Burton & Obel, 2018). Early stages in design choices can establish a foundation for success. This allows a company the will to develop strong culture in the company, growth with increased demand, and adjust to marketplace change.
Critical factors of organization design
In dealing with critical factors, coordination and structure are vital choices in organization design. While structure contains the breakdown of larger issues into smaller units, description of customers to units, task assignments, and distribution of resources (Burton & Obel, 2018), coordination brings together units from leadership, IT, culture, and communication. With this framework, organization design comes down to allocating tasks and resources to small problems and how to coordinate these units (Burton & Obel, 2018).
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Furthermore, without the science of organization design, gathered knowledge cannot be generalized nor used to be able to create efficient and effective companies that serve their purpose. Science is the practical and intellectual activity that encompasses the structural study and behavior of the natural and physical world through experiment and observation (Burton & Obel, 2018). The challenge of the science of organization design is creating models that are predictive of an organization designs future.
Together, experimentation and observation are the basis of development in organization design theory. Experimentation of what might be or what is becomes the foundation for examining and exploring which makes useful science for organizational design (Burton & Obel, 2018). This form of experimentation allows the examination of what may be for organization designs, which might not exist yet or not understood well. It also lets one examine the problem in organizational design and perform experiments. Furthermore, bases on current information, experimentation is the way to move forward (Burton & Obel, 2018) and the only way to simplify present data and assist design organizations in the future. With the number of methodologies, such as lab and field studies, large data analysis, and ethnographies (Scandura & Williams, 2000; Burton & Obel, 2018) and all employ observation and experimentation to understand and investigate the world of what may be and what is. Moreover, according to Burton & Obel (2018), “experimentation is at the heart of the science of organizational design” (p. 11).
The continued study of organizational design is an important factor. An organization that is well designed can ensure the organization’s form matches its strategy on purpose, meets challenges, and raises the likelihood of collective efforts. However, as a business grows, the issues pertaining to the external environment become complex while processes, systems, and structures that used to work become barriers. Invoking new method of research and imaging possibilities can help address the matter of designing organizations (Burton & Obel, 2018).
Designing should be forward looking
In the article, the authors state that “designing organizations should be scientific-based and forward looking” (Burton & Obel, 2018, p. 1). What is meant by this is what may be and what is in experimentation is the linkage in science and design. We can disclose the problem of organizational designs by raising new ways of understanding possibilities and research methods. However, we need to include current knowledge to design new organizations for new conditions (Burton & Obel, 2018). Organizational design selections constructed in early stages can hinder or help growth plans. When these same designs are erected to easily house new employees and managers at various organization levels, new positions can be added without making major structural changes. More so, in order to move forward, employing experimentation use that is based on current knowledge should be considered. This becomes the only way to generalize the knowledge that exist to assist in designing organizations for the future (Burton & Obel, 2018).
The authors discussed various models that were presented in the article. One of those models being the multi-contingency theory or “relationships between structural, human, and coordination components represented as a chain of interconnected design rules (Burton & Obel, 2018). These design rules integrate the what may be feasibility and the organization’s desirability. More so, this outlook expresses organizational design be selected based on particular context and the contexts description be multi-dimensional and include human and structural components. Organizational theory offers the theoretical underpinnings for an organization’s design (Burton & Obel, 2018). This theory explains and depicts how the world functions and is a helpful skill to understand and explain the effectiveness, behavior, and structure of an organization. Lastly, a general theory and vigorous change in circumstance is the information processing paradigm. It allows one to say something on what may be knowledge from designs (Burton & Obel, 2018). It also provides a basis on which simplified observation and experimentation can be done.
In conclusion, organizational design is a key factor in deciding the performance of a business and individuals in the organization working together. An organization that is well designed can ensure the organization’s form matches its strategy on purpose, meets challenges, and raises the likelihood of collective efforts. In dealing with critical factors, a selection of choices arise. Coordination and structure are important choices in organization design. Experimentation and observation are the basis of development in organization design theory and allows the examination of what may be for organization design. Without the science of organization design, gathered knowledge cannot be generalized nor used to create efficient and effective companies that serve purpose. Additionally, various models that were presented in the article such as the multi-contingency theory and organizational theory that offer theoretical groundworks for an organization’s design. information processing paradigm brings about general theory and vigorous change in circumstances and allows one to say something on what may be knowledge from designs (Burton & Obel, 2018). Furthermore, we can disclose the problem of organizational designs by raising new ways of understanding possibilities and research methods.
- Burton RM, Obel B. The science of organizational design: fit between structure and coordination. Journal of Organization Design. 2018;7(1):1-13. doi:10.1186/s41469-018-0029-2.
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