Organizational Structure

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An effective organization has three main functions, as described by the book: complexity, formalization, and centralization. I will describe these more in detail later when I use an overall example to demonstrate these functions. Complexityis defined as being the different levels of a hierarchy(or non-hierarchy) system in an organization. The three different types of differentiation: horizontal, vertical, and spatial. Formalization is the extent to which the organization has specific rules and regulations encircling its structure. Centralization is the more complex of the three functions as it involves who makes the main decisions in the organization. I agree with Hage and Aiken's definition saying, to sum up, an organization is more centralized when the employees at the highest levels make the decisions.

It's easier to understand the concepts when they are seen in a real-life scenario such as the Boston Red Sox MLB organization. I would say the Red Sox have a vertical differentiation with a tall structure but also departmentalized by function within that structure. They have the different departments including: Front Office, Baseball Operations, Marketing, Legal, and Public Relations to name a few. However, these departments report to the Officers who include the CEO, Director, and Owner. The Red Sox are also very formalized since they are a branch of the Major League Baseball organization. They follow the rules set forth by the MLB which are specific to each department. It's hard to measure the centralization of the Red Sox because of it's many levels and departments but I would say that all-in-all it is more of a group effort to create an effective organization meaning it is less centralized.

I said in my last post that communication is the overall key to having an effective organization however now I would add to that and say that the organizational structure is also very important. We had a lot of examples in class and in the book of successful organizations that have very strong structures that prove how important that is. Brunswick, for example, increased their revenue by $2 billion in only five years after they were restructured to better fit their goals.

Red Sox information found at http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/team/front_office.jsp?c_id=bos 

5 Comments

There's no doubt that the last paragraph was the key example as to what differentiates the good organizations from the ones that simply exemplify the proper structure. Communication and accurate and effective communication is the most important thing for an organization. If there isn't effective communication then all the different departments within the organization wouldn't be able to operate in a cooperative nature.

I think the one thing that you'd find not only with the Red Sox but also with baseball teams across the country is that the most effective teams, not on the field necessarily, but organizationally all demonstrate effective communication throughout all levels of their structure. In many cases I think baseball organizations share the organizational structure like that of the Red Sox, where there is a longer chain of command that leads to a select few individuals who essentially make all the key decisions for the organization and allow those decisions to trickle down to the lower level employees and managers. Overall, couldn't agree more in terms of the structural analysis here.

I have to agree with Jamie when in terms of communication being fundamental in the success of an organization. Relating information between different departments or parts of the organization is essential to maintaining an effective organization. In terms of baseball, I think it is great that there is such group cohesion throughout all levels of the organization. I think less centralization works to create a more open atmosphere for everyone's individual voices to be heard. At the same time, when an organization is formalized, all the gears are turning together and the whole structure is much more efficient.

I also agree with Jamie's point of view on communication being part of the success of an organization. Making sure to relay information through all departments is key in the success of an organization to make sure that all of the employees are working towards the same goal and no one is doing the same thing, so there is no overlap of work. There has to be communication between all levels of an organization, so that everyone works together. This helps everyone to understand there role/position they play at their organization. This is a key part of what I think makes an organization effective and efficient. Along with communication, there needs to be lots of reachable goals and great leadership to help the employees meet those goals.

I agree with Jamie as well. The idea of communication is extremely essential to the success of any department or organization. If all people are on the same page with the mission, vision, and goals of an organization, the end result will be good. This also means that communication between all levels of the hierarchy are essential. The top of the chain cannot seclude themselves from the lower level employees. That does not create a mastery climate and people would most likely become angry with each other. With that in mind, comes leadership. Communication can only be successful with effective leaders.

There's no doubt that the last paragraph was the key example as to what differentiates the good organizations from the ones that simply exemplify the proper structure. Communication and accurate and effective communication is the most important thing for an organization. If there isn't effective communication then all the different departments within the organization wouldn't be able to operate in a cooperative nature. I think the one thing that you'd find not only with the Red Sox but also with baseball teams across the country is that the most effective teams, not on the field necessarily, but organizationally all demonstrate effective communication throughout all levels of their structure. In many cases I think baseball organizations share the organizational structure like that of the Red Sox, where there is a longer chain of command that leads to a select few individuals who essentially make all the key decisions for the organization and allow those decisions to trickle down to the lower level employees and managers. Overall, couldn't agree more in terms of the structural analysis here.