Sample Topic: Organization Structure Report

Title: A Report on the Organization Structure of Training2Work

Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Problems facing Training2Work
  3. Recommendations
  4. Conclusion

 

Case Study – Training2Work

Introduction

The call to write a report on the poor situation at Training2Work institution was in itself an awakening call for the writer to render his support towards the current organizational trend globally. The request to investigate the issues affecting performance at Training2Work institution came after the institute’s meeting between the Chief Executive Officer and the senior managers of the Training Division, the Marketing division, and the Sales division. At this mentioned meeting, each senior manager had someone to blame for the organization’s failure to deliver the expected results. For instance, the senior training manager was of the opinion that he had done all that was within his jurisdiction and that any problem was bound to arise from the inadequacies of other divisions. Additionally, in his view, he had introduced twenty new courses indicating his target achievement. Surprisingly, the marketing manager would not acknowledge failure on his part, but rather appraise the extensive marketing campaign that his division had conducted. The sales manager, too, emphasized the increasing number of customers whom they had attended.

 

Additionally, the claim from the sales team was that most of the customers inquiring about the programs offered by the institute left without making commitment due to their lack of sufficient information regarding the courses that were offered. The worst part is that each division had the audacity to point an accusing finger towards other divisions. Nevertheless, whenever such kind of behaviour arises, then there is a need to question the effectiveness of the organization structure and its management information system.


Problems Facing Training2Work

Many prominent organizations the world over remain effective because of their organization design and structure coupled with the kind of human resources that they have. In other words, organization structure plays a pivotal role as the support and backbone to proper decision-making process. It is in the hallmark of this that the author of this report engenders to explicate on the emerging need to restructure the organization. It is very evident that the current organization structure bears numerous flaws which must be eliminated either through the adoption of a new organization structure or through the modification of the existing structure. The decision to adopt a new organization structure or to modify the existing structure depends on the key problems that result from the organization’s design. In addition, these problems can only be better understood within an organization design’s perspective.


Based on Amy Kates and Jay Galbraith’s systematic and persuasive approach, organization design should incorporate every organizational element in order to offer it a competitive edge in the market (Kates, and Galbraith, 2007). Hence, it is in through this approach that organizations would be better placed to attain improved performance. Based on this view it is ostensibly evident that the existing organization structure does not pay close attention to all elements. In fact, numerous factors have been neglected due to the insufficient organization structure. Moreover, proper organization design is the path to effective decision making and execution of strategy. It should also be born in mind that strategic managers should avoid making repetitive changes if those changes do not yield any progress within the organization. For instance, if the Training division should realize that the introduction of new courses is not the main goal of achieving organizational objectives but rather aligning those courses to the prevailing market demand.

 

Organization design demands that the strategic managers be aware of the kind of organization structure that is relevant for their organization (organizationalstructure.net). This process of determination depends on the organizational objectives. In this case, the Training2Work institution intends to increase its student numbers. In other words, the ultimate goal is to generate optimal returns through increased enrollments. The major problem with this strategy is that the various divisions are operating as disjointed parts rather than operating as a system that is aimed at achieving one goal. For instance, the Training department does not care about what is going on in the marketing or sales division. Similarly, the Marketing division does not have any clue as to what informed the Training department when coming up with various policies. All these confusions arise from the perception that managers have regarding the Training2Work organization structure. Organization structure should embrace activities like coordination, task allocation, and supervision, all of which must aim at the accomplishment of the organizational goals (Pugh, 1990). The fact that each division gets to concern solely on the affairs of the division implies that there is no effective coordination within the organization.

 

The sales division has continually claimed to be making progress especially concerning the number of customers making inquiries. However, on close examination it has been discovered that they offer incomplete information without making any effort to address the problem. This does not sound wise because they should have laid out clear outlines on ways of addressing the problem through the right channels. Furthermore, this problem indicates the eminent misunderstanding regarding organization structure. Organization structure should provide the basis on which the organization is to operate and the foundation of determining the decision makers and their influence on the organization’s actions (Jacobides, 2007).

 

Various typical organization structures would shape the actions of several organizations; that is, the bureaucratic, functional, divisional, matrix, and others. The Training2Work institute tends to have a functional structure in which the three divisions have specialized staff who can never be allowed to move transfer from one division to another in the case of internal recruitment. This kind of structure is aimed at promoting operational efficiency in the division but it has consequently led to poor communication between the three divisions as well as inflexibility. This is as a result of the centralization that has taken center stage in the organization management structure; that is, that the only way that the divisions are to interact is through the CEO and beyond that there is no effective interaction taking place. Additionally, the problem of low student numbers has been escalated by the centralization of specialization and coordination of tasks thus leading to slow processes. In fact, it has been cited that at times the marketing department is constantly forced to publish incomplete information regarding courses due to reduced speed in uploading this information from the training division. Concisely, there is an inadequate integration of activities in a vertical format in order to aid faster marketing and sales with minimal costs (Raymond and Charles, 1992).

 

Another problem that has been cited is that of issuing customers with too much information leading to poor understanding of the company’s courses on the part of customers. This problem has led to many customers remaining undecided about taking those courses offered. The Product Development Manager (PDM) should filter the information posted on the Course Development System. This is because most customers do not have enough time to read everything posted on the website. But this has not been observed since sometimes the information posted is comprehensive or at times incomplete. Furthermore, sometimes the administration staff uploads too much information about courses into the system after the beginning of the semester. In as much as this information is too much, it is also provided at the wrong time. In fact most of the information regarding courses offered should be provided before the semester begins in order to allow for proper planning both on the part of the trainers and on the part of the customers.

 

Further, the training division has allowed for a wrong culture within the division. There has been a strong acknowledgement on the part of the training division that they will continue establishing courses ‘as long as they can provide marketing and sales with the names of the courses to students.’ In other words, they do not care about the relevance of the courses they establish so long as the marketing and sales team are in place to take the heat off the training division.

 

Next, the sales team has accumulated many unprocessed emails due to their high priority on face-to-face and phone customers. This implies that there exist many unsatisfied customers, who might consequently damage the reputation of the company. In fact, the major goal of the sales team should be customers’ satisfaction since through it they would be able to increase the number of customers enrolling for their course.

 

It is also important that the organization maintain cognizance on its management and information system. A clear focus on this system indicates profound flaws that must be addressed in order to solve the crisis that the organization is facing. Additionally, the information that is submitted for use in other departments goes through a lot of filtering. Furthermore, the process of sieving this information takes time and affects the operations of other divisions. Furthermore, a lot of information that would tend useful to potential customers is dropped along the way in the due course of processing. Alternatively, irrelevant information is passed on to the marketing division which then goes ahead and publishes this information. In other words, the organization should evaluate its management information system because an efficient information system is a root to an effective decision-making process.

 

Recommendations

After going through the various key problems facing the organization and addressing them in line with the different perspectives regarding organization structure, it is right and fitting that one considers the most justifiable course of action to assist in bringing the organization back to its feet.

 

To start with, there is no need to change the organization’s current structure since changing it could signify doing away with everything and starting everything afresh. Rather, the need that exists is that of modifying the various flaws within the organization in lieu of improving the overall performance of the organization. To accomplish this, the entire organizations should be viewed as a team (Robbins and Judge, 2007) rather than a group comprising of independent divisions. This is because a problem associated with declined sales could be as a result of the establishment of irrelevant courses within the training division. The problem could also be a result of poor marketing strategies or poor sales approach. This, therefore, implies that the entire organization should function as a synergism. The organization should also allow for job rotation so that individuals are able to get enough time to familiarize themselves with the operations of the entire organization. There are two ways of classifying teams; vertical and horizontal (Thereja, 2008). It should be noted that organization structure does not depend on the setting of an organization as team. However, in order to achieve optimal qualities, the organization structure should be constituted in terms of teams as a whole (Thereja, 2007). Therefore, all the three divisions should be able to exchange information and ideas at all levels and be able to operate as a team in order for the number of enrollment to increase.


In the modern world, networking has emerged as one of the greatest drivers of business success. This is exactly the reason why the introduction of an online sales tool –the Internet Sales Manager- should be received with great enthusiasm. Since many people nowadays have greater access to the internet, there is a greater probability that a well-structured information system could pave way for increased awareness and customer base. Furthermore, the latest interest in intricate networks has, in turn, aroused a greater opportunity for businesses to manage their operations effectively (Amaral and Uzzi, 2007).


The Training2Work organization should give precedence to organization design since without proper planning there is bound to arise greater risk against the organization. Thus, according to Robert Simons effective design "must take into account a business’s strategy, its life cycle, its competitive environment, and any number of other factors that may be relevant (Simon, 2005, p.3).” Therefore, in case the managers decide to remain passive about the operations of the organization the end result would be very detrimental. Furthermore, organization design must be given prominence when an organization is at its advanced stage since through time an organization is able to experience the shocks of complexity and relevance. Additionally, as Simons asserts, organizations should be designed in a manner that allows for adaptation over time (Simons, 2005, p.7). This leads to four tensions that managers must reconcile; that is, a tension between strategy and structure, accountability and adaptability, ladders and rings, and finally, the tension between self-interest and mission success (Simons, 2005, pp.7-8). For instance, self-interest should give way for organization success in order to allow for teamwork and coordination. In Training2Work, every division carries out activities in a manner that does not concern the other divisions.


Conclusion

The preceding section has extensively outlined the various problems faced by the Training2Work organization in the course of time leading to reduced returns. In the report, the author has clearly expressed the CEO’s emphasis for clear direction and growth within the three divisions. Additionally, it has been clear that working as a group of disjointed parts leads to doom rather than success. Therefore, as the report indicates, the organization should adopt a teamwork approach in which every participant works in synergism towards the overall organizational success. Furthermore, the management information system that the organization currently has should be transformed to incorporate all divisions and information from each division should be stored in a central reservoir from where it can be accessed by senior and other interested staff for the effective decision-making process. However, in order to safeguard the information, employees should be provided with security codes depending on their levels of access to information. Critical information should only be availed to senior strategic managers so that they can be able to make relevant decisions pertaining to the direction the organization wishes to follow.

 

In addition, a new department should be established specialized in research and development so that this department can be able to carry out a sole duty of analyzing the external environment and making relevant recommendations regarding the courses that should be offered and the timing of those courses. Another department that should be established is the quality control department, which evaluates all staff within the organization and makes relevant recommendations. In some cases, employees should be allowed to take either on-the-job training or off-the-job training so that they can upscale their skills. Another thing that should be considered is job rotation. In job rotation, members in the sales division or any other division should be allowed to apply for positions in other departments whenever an opportunity for internal recruitment arises. This is because there are people who discover their potentials in other areas within the organization rather than those that they had initially been allocated. This approach will in the first place to eliminate boredom and increase individuals’ understanding of the activities of the organization.

 

Finally, the sales team should not only focus on face-to-face and phone communication with customers as the only tools for serving customers. They should also explore the web forum since there are many potential customers who prefer this approach. Moreover, if the problem is with poor staffing, the sales staff should undergo an evaluation procedure to determine those qualified for the task and those not qualified. The same should be applied to both the marketing and the training divisions.


References

Amaral, L.A.N. and B. Uzzi, 2007, "Complex Systems—A New Paradigm for the Integrative Study of Management, Physical, and Technological Systems.” Management Science, 53, 7: 1033–1035.

Jacobides., M. G. 2007, "The inherent limits of organizational structure and the unfulfilled role of hierarchy: Lessons from a near-war.” Organization Science, 18, 3, 455-477

Kates, A., and Galbraith, J. R. 2007, Designing Your Organization: Using the Star Model to Solve Five Critical Design Challenges. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Organizationalstructure.net, 2008, Organizational Structure Types and Design Strategy [online]. Organizational Structure.Net. Available from: http://organizationalstructure.net/ [Accessed on 28 March 2011].

Pugh, D. S., ed. 1990.Organization Theory: Selected Readings, Penguin, Harmondsworth.

Raymond E. Miles, Charles C. 1992 Snow, Causes of Failure in Network Organizations, California Management Review, Summer

Robbins, S.F., Judge, T.A. 2007, Organizational Behaviour, 12th edition. Pearson Education Inc., pp. 551-557.

Simons, R. 2005, Levels of Organization Design: How Managers Use Accountability Systems for Greater Performance and Commitment, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Massachusetts.

Thareja, P, 2008, "Total Quality Organization Thru’ People (Part 16), Each one is Capable”, FOUNDRY, Vol. XX, No. 4, July/Aug 2008

Thareja, P, 2007, A Total Quality Organization thru ‘People Each One is Capable. Available from: http://www.foundry-planet.com [Accessed on 28 March 2011].

 

 
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