A fundamental issue of an organisational structure is the span of control this is determined by the number of employees reporting to management. In a flat structure there is a wide span of control. There are few levels of control and consequently managers have greater responsibility for a larger number of staff. The main benefits of a flat structure are that middle managers are eliminated allowing the organisation to share information easier and work effectively together rather than in separate units. This also could save money on duplication of functions
In contrast a hierarchical organisation have a more complicated narrower structure of control. This structure is a traditional management style that is still common today, with lines of supervises and managers to the top. Communications, duties, changes and people all channel through line managers somewhere in the structure. This management structure can slow down decision-making and flow of information. Hierarchal structures usually are centralised organisations commonly found in the public sector. These are bureaucratic like the police forces that need these structures to remain consistent and fair all over the country.
Flat structures often are decentralised organisations, where information speed is quick, flat structures tend to be less formal and less bureaucratic. A way of identifying structures that are common and correct to their environment is to classify them organic or mechanistic. The authors Burns & Stalker gave these labels to organisations at separate ends of a continuum and in most cases companies fall in between these extremes. A mechanistic organisation is one that encourages rules and procedures that often have a high level of bureaucracy.
On analysis they are known for red tape, time wasting, repetition, slow internal communication and expensive to run. However with this are consistency, high accountability and knowing where you fit in. These organisations do well in unchanging and stable markets. E. g. NHS, CSA, POLICE, OFSED & LOCAL COUNCILS. An organic organisation is almost the opposite with few levels of authority, allows innovation, and reliant on responsibility.
Sometimes breeds confusion, but a good management style when applied to fast changing and unpredictable tasks in a market. E. g.an advertising and promotion house often responsible for media advertising campaigning for companies. Organisational Culture Is the collection of relatively uniform and enduring values, beliefs, customs, traditions and practices that are shared by organisations members, learned by new employees and transmitted from one generation to the next. These values are often found in the Mission Statements and organisations strategies detailing goals and objectives. A Mission Statement is normally accessible to all employees and set out formally. However company culture has to be strong and united in order for the overriding premise to be achieved.
Culture ‘The collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one organisation from another. ‘ G. Hostede (1991) In recent years, culture and its application to organisations, has become a key concept in organisational behaviour. The seeming lack of ambiguity of the concept, coupled with its apparently successful application by some in British industry, For example Harvey Jones, 1988, has placed culture as a central concept in the managers understanding of his/her organization. Classification of organisation culture Handy 1996. Describes four types.
The Task culture The Power culture The Role culture The person culture The Task Culture The task culture is the project-oriented. Its structure is best described as a net. In culture different levels of expertise may be brought together in project teams and hierarchal authority is deliberately suppressed in the development of the project or team. The Power Culture This culture depends upon a single source of influence and is often referred to as the spider’s web. Thus in this culture, there is a central power source, with rays of influence spreading out from a central figure.
There is little bureaucracy, and control is exercised largely from the centre. The Role Culture The role culture is defined within a bureaucratic framework where the roles of the organisation are given more primacy than those who carry them out. The Person Culture Central to the Culture is the individual. This is the least common form of culture. Professionals such as lawyers, architects initially organise themselves in this way. They will get together to enhance and develop their personal aims and ambitions by teaming up with others to share the benefits of organisation. Schein’s Model of Organisational Culture
Artefacts Values Assumptions Artefacts are factors such as physical manifestations, dress & appearance, physical layout. Behavioural manifestations (ceremonies/rituals, communication patterns, traditions/customs, rewards/punishments) Verbal manifestations (anecdotes/jokes, jargon/names, stories/myths/ history, heroes and villains. Values constitute the basis of making judgments about what is right or wrong, these are referred to as moral or ethical codes. Assumptions represent what members believe to be reality and thereby influence what they perceive and how they think and feel.