The New Organization Summary and Study Guide
The article “The New Organization” published in The Economist discusses the new forms of corporate organizations. The way people work has changed dramatically, but their companies’ structure does not match the new changes. According to William Whyte’s book published 50 years ago, America’s citizens cherished the organization life. Companies used to value long service and loyalty just like the military, but that was 50 years ago. Today, the organization man is extinct except in films. The organization man then wore uniform suits and came home satisfied. IBM used to hire organization men, but now, it seems they have lost that trait. IBM used to have long serving employees, but they only have “transients” at present. This change is brought about by developments in the way business is run. Today, everyone is connected through technology. Organization men of the present have their wifi laptops and black berry’s. The organization man used to value hierarchy and based his decisions on orders from above, but today, the world has shrunk; people now communicate with everyone all the time, so there is no need to contact the ultimate superiors. Changes in the way people work have left the organization’s structure far behind. The structure that organization men thrived in was “command and control”—a number of business units having the same function but working separately. This structure is effective because a few men controlling everything make it easier for them to manage everything. This structure’s drawback is that communication between units was almost non-existent because units report only to headquarters. A solution was created through “matrix overlays,” but it created new conflicts. The conclusion is that there is a need for new structures that would fit into the modern world. There are new ones emerging, but they often bring new problems; that is why companies do not use them.
Research an existing successful company today. What structure are they using? Why is it effective?
Are the organization men really extinct? Find them in today’s companies as proof of their existence.
What are other structures have sprung up? Give their advantages and disadvantages.
“The New Organization.” (2006). The Economist