Discussion Questions Week 4 1. Why do organizational structures differ? What is the difference between a mechanistic structure and an organic structure? Which structure would be most appropriate for an innovative organization like Apple or 3M? What about an organization that focuses on cost-minimization like Wal-Mart? Organizational structures differ because of the different strategies, organizational size, technology, and environment. Consider the mechanistic model and the organic model.
The mechanistic model is characterized by extensive departmentalization, high formalization, a limited information network, and centralization. The organic model is flat, uses cross-hierarchical and cross-functional teams, has low formalization, possesses a comprehensive information network, and relies on participative decision making. The structure that would be most appropriate for an innovative organization like Apple or 3M would be organic structure. The organization that would focus on cost-minimization like Wal-Mart is a mechanistic structure. 2.
What is the difference between the position a person holds in a company and their political power? Is the top executive in an organization always the person who holds the most political power? Explain your answer. In business communities, there is no difference. There is always somebody who has the control of all the resources in an organization, both human and nonhuman resources. This person holds a position in the company above the others. He has a managerial position which exercises control over his subordinates. He has the say and the rest follow.
There are of course some limitations as far as his political power is concerned in as much as there are also regulations to abide by. Political power is the ability to control the behavior of others to attain the objectives of the organization. Political power and the person who has it are just one and the same. Political power is the behavior of one political actor and in this case the political actor is the top executive in an organization. The person and the power are inseparable. The top executive in an organization is always the one who holds the most political power.
This is because on his shoulders rest the future of the company, given his ability to let the people under him move the way he likes either by persuasion or force. These people may have the tendency to not act without the presence of the person who has the most power. Power is demonstrated by the one who holds it either through acts, gestures, words of even through written rules and guidelines. Without somebody powerful, there will be confusion and chaos. Political power should not be abused. Power is always coupled with responsibility and accountability.
If abused, the tendency for the company or organization is to collapse. This is because the subjects are human beings that are capable of acting in response to negative control. In a corporate setting, it is very important that the top executive who holds the most power be cautious enough not to go beyond what is expected. Even power is in his hand, there must be careful planning and deliberations before a decision is made. Power should be delegated like responsibilities. There must be proper delineation of authority in order to share responsibility.
Although the top executive has the greatest power in an organization, it should not be forgotten, that exercise of control must be controlled. All types of political behavior should be geared towards the fulfillment of objectives without sacrificing the rights and privileges of others. 3. An effective manager accepts the political nature of organizations. Power tactics are used to translate power bases into specific action, and there are a number of tactics that could be used in various situations. As a manager trying to influence your employees, what tactics would you personally be most likely to use?
Why? The foundational attributes are necessary to become influential, but they do not in themselves create influence. To maximize the benefits of trustworthiness, reliability, and assertiveness, workers can employ numerous tactics that will spread their influence throughout a company. I would use the tactic: Create Reciprocal Credits. To earn reciprocal credits most effectively, determine the values of people in these target groups and focus on providing assistance in ways that will be most valued by them. The second tactic I would use is to be a source of expertise.
By becoming the holder of knowledge or materials that are valuable to other people with in a company, they gain influence as the “go-to” person for those things. The more valuable the resource is to the company or superiors, and the greater the level of mastery the person has on the information or materials, the more influential they become. 4. Organizational culture is in many ways beneficial for an organization and its employees but can also be a liability. What do you think are the most significant ways that organizational culture is beneficial? A liability?
Be sure to provide specific examples. The organizational culture of an organization should show that people are the most important asset to the organization. A good organizational culture focuses on employees strengths instead of their weakness, encourages individual vitality and growth, and is willing to reward for employees for their good work ethics. An organizational culture can be beneficial for an organization because, an employee will feel a deep sense of satisfaction and will have a higher level of personal productivity and loyalty to the organization.
When there is a good organizational culture employers will probably have high productivity and a good retention of the staff. The seven characteristics of an organizational culture are: Innovation and Risk Taking, Attention to Detail, Outcome Orientation, People Orientation, Team Orientation, Aggressiveness and Stability. Not investing in ones employees can cost in the end; investing in good quality equipment, taking the time to well train ones employee, organizations that focus on safety, productivity, and comfort will decrease liability. It has been said, that 37% of injuries caused on jobs are related to poor ergonomics conditions.