Effects of Technology on Organization Structure Essay Sample

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The Management of Innovation( Burns & A ; Stalker. 1961 ) andThe Measurement of Organization Structures( Pugh. 1973 ) are both surveies on the extent to which engineering influences or determines organisation construction. The surveies nevertheless adopt different attacks. WhileThe Management of Innovationnines technological and market state of affairs in finding the stableness or instability of the environment of the organisation under consideration ;The Measurement of Organization Structuresadopts a methodological analysis based on the correlativity between the context of the organisation and the construction of the organisation.

InThe Management of Innovation. Nathan birnbaums and Stalker distinguishes between concerns for which proficient and market conditions approximated really near to stableness and concerns for which proficient and market conditions created an environment of instability. In other words. the differentiation is between concerns in which there is no unforeseen alterations in proficient and market conditions and concerns in which rapid alterations in proficient and market conditions created instability.

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Two different organisation construction or direction systems are so associated with the two different state of affairss of stableness and instability. The Mechanistic Management System is associated with concerns with stable proficient and market conditions whereas the Organic Management System is associated with concerns with instable proficient and market conditions. Each direction system gives rise to distinct organisation constructions. The writers nevertheless make it clear that the two direction signifiers ‘represents a mutual opposition and non a dichotomy’ . and organisations may presume intermediate phases depending on the extent of stableness or instability.

InThe Measurement of Organization Structures.Pugh cites a research that was started in the Industrial Administrative Research Unit of the University of Aston. and had been continued at other topographic points. The research identifies six dimensions of organisation constructions and six dimensions of organisation context and attempts to happen the inter-correlations between these two sets of dimensions. Technology features as one of the six dimensions of organisation context. the others being origin and history. ownership and control. size. location and mutuality on other organisations. The six dimensions of organisation construction have been identified as specialisation. standardisation. standardisation of employment patterns. formalisation. centralisation and constellation.

The research Pugh cites can be considered to be a more methodical survey as. at the really onset. before continuing to correlate the dimensions. it attempts to chase away conventional stereotyping of organisation construction based on the type of organisation. The survey does this by carry oning a study and delegating a numerical mark on the six dimensions of organisation construction entirely for the intent of comparing. in a mode similar to delegating IQ tonss to persons. For illustration. a municipal section exhibits organisational construction features that are really different from the authoritative signifier of bureaucratic stereotype that such organisations are thought to be. Such sections are thought to be extremely centralized and with a high proportion of supportive staff. which would ensue in high centralisation and constellation tonss. By contrast. the municipal section is found to hold relatively lower tonss for centralisation and constellation. Pugh hence attempts to formalize the experimental footing of the research.

Burns & A ; Stalker. on the other manus. identifies the two utmost mutual oppositions instead out of manus and returns to tie in two direction systems or organisation constructions with the two appendages. Their Mechanistic Management System is characterized by stiff definition of functions and maps. Functional undertakings are differentiated on the footing of specialisation. and the jobs and undertakings confronting the organisation as a whole are broken down into these functional undertakings. In the mechanistic signifier. “a occupation is in a sense unnaturally abstracted from the worlds of the state of affairs the concern is covering with…” ( Burns & A ; Stalker. 1961. pp. 50 ) The senior direction would be acquainted with the holistic position of the fortunes that the organisation is working in. and the demands that it wants to carry through. But as one gets lower down the hierarchy. this holistic position gets progressively segmented and restricted. Specification and withdrawal additions down the hierarchy. Burns & A ; Stalker put it as. “The whole [ organisation in a stable environment ] is seeable as a pyramid of cognition about the fortunes of the concern. As one descends through the hierarchy. one finds more limited information. proficient and local. about these fortunes. and besides more limited control over the resources of the firm” ( Burns & A ; Stalker. 1961. pp. 45 – 46 ) . Each person’s undertaking is hence chiseled by a superior so that the individual can manage normal state of affairss entirely without any aid but has no authorization to try to manage or take any determination when a state of affairs goes out of the bounds defined for the peculiar undertaking and the peculiar function. Beyond that. the individual is deemed to be missing in sufficient authorization. information or proficient ability. There is hence really small range for invention or voluntary engagement.

In Pugh’s research analysis. the Mechanistic Management System would be a extremely centralized. formalized and standardized organisation. Unlike Pugh. nevertheless. Burns & A ; Stalker do non try to decently specify the contextual features of the organisation.

Burns & A ; Stalker put frontward the illustration of the successful wireless house as an intermediate phase between the mechanistic theoretical account and the organic theoretical account of direction. They province that in the wireless house at that place was consistent blurring of the definitions given to single places in the direction hierarchy. The electronics industry is eventually cited as the ultimate signifier of the Organic Management System. In this system. “there is frequently a calculated effort to avoid stipulating single undertakings. and to prohibit any dependance on the direction hierarchy as a construction of defined maps and authority” ( Burns & A ; Stalker. 1961. pp. 47 ) . There is a intimation of calculated direction policy in the statement. but it is non clearly defined. However. the function of direction is negated when Pugh asserts that devices for equal interaction within the system were the consequence “of a set of conditions instead than of prescription by top direction. Some of these conditions were physical ; a single-storeyed edifice housed the full concern. two thousand strong. from research labs to canteen” ( Burns & A ; Stalker. 1961. pp. 47 ) . This deficiency of calculated direction engagement is glowering plenty. The self-generated structuring of any organisation in response to altering proficient and market conditions would ensue in haphazard and wholly unmanageable effects.

Burns & A ; Stalker so goes on to specify the features of the Organic Management System. They province that in organic direction. authorization is taken by whoever shows himself or herself to be most informed and capable. The country of committedness to the concern is far more extended. as engagement and engagement is non restricted at any degree of the hierarchy. The deficiency of the hierarchal bid system in the mechanistic theoretical account is said to be “countered by the development of shared beliefs about the values and ends of the concern” ( Burns & A ; Stalker. 1961. pp. 50 ) .

In the research described by Pugh. each dimension of organisation context is segregated from each other. so that the single influence of each. including engineering could be analyzed. The findings are nevertheless contrary to outlooks and deny the about stereotyped attack of Burns & A ; Stalker. The correlativity between workflow integrating which defines engineering and overall specialisation was found to be 0. 38 which is non really high in itself. The correlativity between size and overall specialisation was a high 0. 75. and the multiple correlativity of size and engineering with specialisation was a important 0. 81. This implies that engineering entirely does non hold any important influence in finding organisation construction. It was found that in fabrication organisations. engineering played a secondary function to other contextual characteristics such as size and mutuality. in finding chief structural dimensions. In such organisations. engineering was nevertheless found to be closely related to a figure of extremely specific occupation ratios such as the ratio of subsidiaries to first line supervisors. This implied that engineering had small influence on organisation construction outside the bounds of the occupation floor.

A really of import determination of the research survey was the impact that the top direction was found to hold in finding organisation construction: “…context is a finding factor – possibly overall the finding factor – designing. defining. and modifying the construction of any organisation. But within these contextual bounds. top direction has plentifulness of leeway left to do its influence felt ( Pugh. 1973. pp. 71 ) ” The attitudes and positions of the top direction was estimated to hold a 50 % influence on organisation construction. the other 50 per centum being that of contextual factors.

The function of the top direction hence far outweighs every other single contextual factor including size. A direction with the right attitude and positions can therefore travel a long manner in harmonizing an organisation the appropriate form to take on any new technological challenge.


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