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Organizational Structure and Culture

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This question focuses on the importance of organizational structure and its possible impact on employees. After finishing with the Background page and readings, go to the following interview with Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who is a renowned Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and an influential business advisor. Among other things, in this interview she talks about the evolution of changes in organizational structure in the past decades, and the link to employees' well-being and functioning.

Use the attached articles to aid in the response:

Puffer, S. (2004) Changing organizational structures: An interview with Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Academy of Management Executive, 18(2). (Attached)

Buhler, P. M. (2011). Changing organizational structures and their impact on managers. Supervision, 72(2), 24-26. (Attached)

• An organization's structure can have significant effects on its members. What might those effects be? Analyze the behavioral implications of different organizational designs and use at least two examples, Quicken Loans being one of them.
• Is it possible to generalize and say that a certain structure is better than others? That is, is there a structure that is superior in terms of its effects on its members? Take a stand and defend your comments with references to the concepts in the readings in this module and any previous modules that you find relevant. Demonstrate that you have read, understood, and can apply the background materials by citing them in support of your analysis.

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An organization's structure determines the manner in which tasks are assigned to employees. The structure employed by an organization can affect the way its members behave and determine whether the organization satisfies its objectives. Every organization is different and hence every organization needs a structure appropriate for its particular situation and environment (1).

An example of an effect the organizational structure has on its members can be seen in the speed at which the organization responds to problems and opportunities. It is typically desirable that the organization be fluid, allowing the members to adapt quickly as changes percolate through the environment.

Quicken Loans was ranked first out of 782 organizations as America's Top Workplace. The company utilizes a flat organizational structure, without the traditional concentration of power at the top (2). The organizational structure at Quicken Loans facilitates networking or alliances between departments to encourage members to cooperate and organize around processes. Team members often consist of employees from many different departments. In order to be successful, the organization's employees need to be trained to improve their skills. Team leaders and managers need to be skilled at communication and at getting employees with vastly different skills to work together. In such an organizational structure, it is more important for a manager to possess interpersonal skills than technical skills. Due to the veritable differences in organizational structures, employees may require different forms of motivation as status and rank take a backseat to expertise.

In contrast, Apple primarily employs a traditional top-down hierarchy. Tim Cook--the CEO of Apple--modified the organizational structure to better respond to market and industry fluctuations. Notably, Apple's organizational structure includes a trifurcation absent in traditional hierarchical organizations.

Firstly, it uses a ...

Solution Summary

The Solution discusses organizational structure as it relates to and impacts employees in 1006 words. Eight references are cited.

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