Every organization needs structure. People rely on processes that clearly define their roles and responsibilities. Organizations, however, are made up of people, and middle managers need to address the human element as they design structures and processes to help guide their employees.
Departmentalization is the process that divides work groups into areas. These areas are divided into different departments such as research and development, sales, production, and finance. There are five categories of departmentalization.
- Product: The departments are responsible for manufacturers.
- Geographic: The locations define the departments.
- Customer: The different types of customers define departments.
- Functional: Areas of specialty are divided into departments. This is probably the most familiar type of departmentalization.
- Process: The steps of the production process make up departments.
Organizational authority is chain of command that establishes the authority of management and employees. There are different methods for establishing this authority.
- Direct hierarchy: This is the direct flow of power from the top to the bottom. All department employees have an individual boss.
- Line authority-function: Employees have authority over those immediately below them.
- Staff authority-function: Employees have no authority, but can offer advice to others.
No matter which type of organizational authority is used, it is essential that managers delegate assignments so that they involve employees in the process and do not burn out.
Job design is important to improving morale and reducing turnover. It uses different rewards to increase satisfaction such as job enlargement, simplification, rotation, and enrichment. It allows employees to help create their own job descriptions:
Managing Job Design:
- Share objective: Explain the exact objectives that employees need to achieve in their jobs.
- Allow them to create a plan: Allow employees to organize their work how they wish, as long as they meet objectives.
- Help with implementation: Assist the employees in implementing their plans.
- Allow them to trade tasks: Make it easy for employees to trade tasks. It does not matter who does what as long as the tasks are complete.
Designing Organizational Process
Designing the organizational process means putting it all together. Use the design process to create organizational processes. The steps of the design process are simple, and should be familiar from the information found in earlier posts.
- Review objectives and plans: Determine the objectives, and choose a plan to implement that will help reach those objectives.
- Determine expectations: Recognize what tasks will need to be done in order to achieve the goals and objectives.
- Create departments: Build work units to focus work activities.
- Delegate authority: Assign authority within the work groups.