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Paf 508 Organizational Behavior

Autor:   •  March 31, 2018  •  3,029 Words (13 Pages)  •  468 Views

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- Change Through Management Action or Reorganization

- Historically, most organizational changes have been brought about by fairly “unilateral action” on the part of the managers.

- In this model, orders contained in memos, policy declarations, or verbal commands flow downward through the hierarchy, and the expectation is that they will be obeyed.

- Although contemporary management thinking has cast doubt on this approach to organizational change in favor of approaches that are characterized by openness, involvement, and shared decision-making, many managers continue to use this approach.

- Many managers also seek to bring about changes in their organizations through “restructuring or redesigning” their organization’s structures, their basic work processes, and their core systems.

- Traditionally, discussions of organizational structure have centered on several key questions. The most important of these is how various functions and the employees associated with those functions should be grouped in units.

- Mooney and Reiley suggested several types of organizational groupings including the scalar principle, the functional principle, and a distinction between line and staff.

- Early writers on public administration were similarly preoccupied with questions of organizational design.

- L. Gulick offered four steps that should be taken in creating a new agency.

- Defining the job to be carried out, (2) Selecting a director, (3) Determining the nature and number of units required, and (4) Establishing a structure of authority through which the director can coordinate and control the activities of the unit.

- In turn, he suggested that work can be divided on the basis of the following: Purpose, Process, Person or things, and Place.

- Recently scholars and practitioners have begun to investigate the question of organizational structure more systematically. For example, a distinction is made between mechanistic and organic structures.

- Mechanistic structures are highly formalized, specialized, standardized, and centralized. They rely on traditional top-down hierarchical authority. Organic structures emphasize horizontal rather than vertical relationships and are much looser - more flexible, adaptable, and responsive.

- There are many other organizational approaches that are being tried today as organizations seek greater flexibility and adaptivity.

- Many organizations are becoming “flatter” - that is, having fewer levels from top to bottom. As one example, the “matrix” organization superimposes a project structure on a traditional functional structure.

- Many managers believe that they can come up with plans for reorganization by locking themselves in their offices and experimenting with assorted organizational charts.

- However, that approach often spells disaster. More recent explorations of how to bring about organizational change through organizational redesign recognize the greater complexity of the issue.

- Nadler and Tushman used an open systems approach to suggest that a key to organizational success will be the extent to which the various components of the organization “fit” together.

- Oxman and Smith argued that organizational communication and performance management no longer depend heavily on the organizational hierarchy. They suggested focusing on what they call “nonstructural issues such as people, process, and rewards” in order to achieve flexibility in the organization. “Flexibility is trumping structure as the governing principle behind organization design”.

- Change Through Organization Development

- Another approach to organizational change that has received widespread attention and application over the past several decades is organization development (OD).

- (a) That is based in the behavioral sciences; (b) aimed at system-wide improvements in the functioning of the organization; (c) conducted primarily with a focus on improving individual human capabilities; and (d) guided by an external consultant or interventionist hired to facilitate the group’s development.

- The goal of an OD intervention is to help members of the organization themselves to bring about needed organizational changes.

- In a classic portrayal of the interventionist’s role in OD, Argyris suggested the importance of having solutions generated from within the organization rather than imposed from outside of the organization.

- He recommended that the consultant’s role be to generate valid and useful information, to promote free and informed choice on the part of the client group, and to help build internal commitment to the choice that is made.

- R. Golembiewski suggested OD represents a particular philosophy at odds with traditional top-down tendencies.

- Whatever their philosophies, OD practitioners typically employ “a variety of strategies and techniques” to help facilitate organizational change. These include the following.

- T-groups: The earliest OD interventions evolved from the T-group or sensitivity group movement of the 1960s. T-groups involve 10 to 12 members and a facilitator. The group must create its own agenda, its own norms and expectations, and its own models for appropriate behavior.

- Process consultation: This is concerned with helping a client or client group understand more clearly and act on those process issues that arise in organizational settings.

- Third-party interventions: Third-party interventions are designed to bring the parties together in the presence of a facilitator to identify problems and begin to develop ways of dealing with them in a constructive way.

- Survey feedback: This is the most widely used OD technique. It involves the consultant collecting data from a broad cross-section of the organization through questionnaires, interviews and then analyzing the resulting data and feeding back the data to the members.

- Quality of work life: This alternated between improving the social and psychological conditions of work for individuals and involving lower level participants in organizational decision-making.

- Team building: A facilitator may work with a specific team to identify elements of individual behavior and group dynamics that might impede the group’s functioning and then to develop strategies for overcoming those problems.

- Because of OD theory and practice, managers today agree that involving employees in organizational change is an essential


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