Organisational structure is an on-going management task. How does organisational structure affect human behaviour in organisations? Every organisation, small or big, in every business branches, has got less or more complicated structure. Usually it is an Owner, one or few top level or general managers, few lower levels managers and then personnel. In small organisations, usually resources are limited. In bigger organisations structure is more complex. However,no matter what kind of structure is in organization, at the end there is always staff. Personnel are obliged to carry out the commands of supervisor.
At this point question arises: whether the organizational structure has an effect on human behaviour? Firstly explain concept of an organisational structure. According to L. J. Mullins “Structure is the pattern of relationship among positions in the organisation and among members of the organisation” (Mullins, 2005, p. 596). That is mean the relationships are close between managers and staff, especially in small companies them relationship are visible. J. Child in his work presents three different components that make up the definitions of organisational structure: 1. Organization structure designates formal reporting relationships, including the number of levels in the hierarchy and the span of control of managers and supervisors” – as before this definition is about relations between members of organisation.
2. “Organization structure identifies the grouping together of individuals into departments and of departments into the total organization” – this means the allocation of individual members of groups and departments in order to obtain the best possible results. 3. Organization structure includes the design of systems to ensure effective communication, co-ordination, and integration of effort across departments” (Child, 1984, p. 192) – So all the actions and decisions regarding the departments are covered by the organizational structure to improve performance. So all of these ingredients define the essence of the organizational structure, and as the definition of organization structure has a close relationship with people and their behaviours. Sample organisation structure: Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (2010)
It is a simple example of the organizational structure of small business, but larger companies are more complicated. An example might be Richard Branson and his Virgin Group. It is very hard to draw chart of this company because at this moment enterprise has more than 300 branded companies, employing approximately 50,000 people, in 30 countries, but here present an outline of the organisation. Virgin was founded by Sir Richard Branson in 1970. The corporation was growing, the structure was changing. At this moment Branson is still a Chairman, It belongs to the most important decision-making.
Advisory and managing support to all of the different Virgin companies is belonging to Virgin Management Limited Centre. This here is most of the decisions taken, which are then passed to the general management of the different Virgin companies. Rest of structure is similar like typical in small companies. There is also a distinction between formal and informal organizational structure. The formal structure is described in the documentation of the company and is a specific, planned interaction between system components.
However, an informal structure arises from the spontaneous interaction initiated by employees of the organization. Organizational structure functions: * ensure the effectiveness of the organization, * minimize the impact on the organization: adjust random behaviour of members of the organization: individuals have to adapt to the needs of organization, not an organization to the requirements of individuals, * create conditions for the use of power, decision making and carry out organizational activities. To construct an appropriate organizational structure, should to consider many factors.
According to Lynch, there are nine main determinants. * “Age” – older organisations usually are more formal. * “Size” – measure could be the number of people in the organization. * “Environment” – social environment – whether the environment is friendly or hostile to the organization. * “Centralisation/decentralisation decisions” – most organizations want to have a choice, how much they want to control from the centre. * “Overall work to be undertaken” – value chain link need to be co-ordinate. * “Technology” – Technology includes the impact of an object and / or changes t from one state to another. The object may be a living creature, a symbol or an inanimate object. * “Task differentiation” – different tasks in production, sales or marketing areas. * “Culture” – describes the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values of an organization. * “Leadership” – the style of leadership, background and beliefs are very important determinants of organisation design. (Lynch, 2003, p. 667-668) Influence of various conditions makes the organizational structure takes different forms and is dynamic.
But not forget that the organizational structure is always to fulfil a specific purpose, and that is to ensure an efficient organisation. As we was mentioned earlier the organizational structure is closely related to organisational behaviour, however, before proceeding to explain these relationships, we would like to introduce definitions of organisational behaviour. According to Pettinger organisational behaviour “is concerned with the study of the behaviour and interaction of people in restricted or organised settings” (Pettinger, 1996, p. 1).
Similarly, Mullins described as “The Study and Understanding of individual and group behaviour, and patterns of structure in order to help Improve Organizational Performance and Effectiveness” (Mullins, 7th edition p. 26). These two cited definitions explain organisational behaviour which is closely related to human behaviour in organizations. Organizational behaviour therefore deals with the determination of human behaviour in order to improve the operation of the enterprise and maximize performance. Human behaviour are important especial for Richard Branson and his Virgin.
He tries to ensure that all their staff are happy, they liked his work and give of themselves as much as they can. He succeeds in this because: 84% of staff said they are happy working for Virgin, 77% intend to keep working for next few years, 85% will recommended Virgin as an employer to others (Virgin Group corporate responsibility and sustainable development report, March 2010) Organizational structure strongly influences the behaviour of employees. One of the element which influences on the human behaviour is the size of the organizational structure.
If the organizational structure is too large, information or command reaches late to the recipient. Very often it happens that, before the information reaches to the right person, must go through a lot of levels board management. It happens that information which reaches recipient are modified or in incomplete form. The resulting from this misunderstanding can cause to results often unpleasant for the employee or company. Therefore, the organization must take into account the structure of communication between employees and the management.
In this context, Linda Maund shows the process of communication as “the process by which two or more people exchange information and share meaning” (Maund, 1999, p. 58). She specifies, in each communication process, four key factors: * Message transmission * Encoding and decoding * Communication channel * Feedback (Maund, 1999, p. 59). An example could be the company Techrete Ltd, where author is employed. Head office and senior management are located in Ireland. But the greater parts of the orders are for the UK market, so most manufacturing is done in the UK.
Some instructions are transmitted via e-mail, but the person responsible for correspondence, it is sometimes too busy, and just reading messages with delay. Therefore, the information provided is too late, and causes a decrease in performance. Similarly, impact on behaviours will have a very short construction of organizational structure, i. e. the number of managers is too small in relation their duties. Human behaviour can then be defined as stressful and disorganized. Working throughout the organization is then slowed down, may form inaccuracies and duties will be performed with some error.
An example may be mentioned again Techrete Ltd, where two years ago during the crisis in order to cut costs, there was a reduction of employment. Part of the administration had lost jobs, and their tasks were divided between the remainder of the employees. Chaos existed, the staff did not know who to ask in different cases, as for example on holidays, or errors with wages. Important for the proper functioning of the organizational structure is the job satisfaction. According to Mullins job satisfaction is “attitude and internal state.
It could, for example, be associate with a personal feeling of achievement, either quantitative or qualitative” (Mullins, 2005, p. 700). Job satisfaction is affected by range of factors like: * Individual – like qualifications or education * Social – in which we can distinguish relationship with others workers, norms * Cultural – attitude, beliefs and value * Organisational – include size, nature, structure, employee relations, technology etc. * Environmental – like economic, social, governmental influences Closely connected with job satisfaction is motivation.
Adequate motivation positively influences the behaviour of employees. Mullins says “some driving forces within individual by which they attempt to achieve some goal in order to fulfil some need or expectation” (Mullins, 2005, p. 471). So if employees are promised a reward or a promotion for the correct execution of tasks, increasing their productivity and reduce the time to complete the task, because everyone wants receives his reward as soon as possible. In relation to the organizational structure it is important because every worker when is promoted changes that structure.
Organizational behaviour are full-fledged domain of science organization and management, however, benefit from the achievements of other disciplines of behavioural features, relating to the behaviour of human beings in the organization, operation groups and teams, or organizations to operate as a community. With all these sciences are drawn by the results of which may be useful in analyzing and predicting human behaviour in organizations. Among the fields of science for prove most useful are: psychology, sociology, social psychology, anthropology and political science. Psychology. It is science that brings the most to the human behaviour in the organization, particularly the staff as an individual. Among problems of organizational behaviour, include: job satisfaction, the problem of tiredness and fatigue, learning, perception, decision making, an assessment of attitudes, personality effects on the functioning of the organization and stress. * Sociology. Provides organizational behaviour knowledge of the bureaucracy, group dynamics, organizational culture, communication and methods of conflict resolution. * Social Psychology.
This is an area of psychology combines the concepts of psychology and sociology. Knowledge derived from this discipline is particularly useful in solving problems related to development, and especially the implementation of organizational change. * Anthropology. It studies the history of mankind. Attempts to identify the functioning of human communities in the past to know the essence and conduct of our forefathers. * Political Science. Although it is a study of the behaviour of individuals and social groups in the political environment, with its achievements benefit the structure organizational.
Such issues include the development and structuring of conflict, mechanisms for the generation, allocation and governance and instruments to manipulate people for profit. Summarize the issues contained organisational structure can be described as relations between members of the organization. They depend on many factors such as motivation and job satisfaction. Also the size of the structure has significant influence on human behaviour. But also factors such as management style affect human behavior. All these factors are motivating or demotivating for employees and this is influencing the performance. So the organization should take care that these relations between the employees were the best.
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Third Edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited Maund L. , (1999) Unedrstanding People and Organiations. Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes Publishers Ltd. Mullins L. J, (2005) Management and Organisational Behaviour. Seventh edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. Pettinger R. , (1996) Introduction to Organisational Behaviour. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Thompson J. L. (2001) Understanding Corporate Strategy. London: Thomson Learning. Virgin Group corporate responsibility and sustainable development report, (march 2010) Avalible from: http://content. yudu. com Virgin website www. virgin. com (Accessed: 6 December 2010)