Explain how different types of organisational structure may affect organisational behaviour. Support your analysis by referring to the literature and by comparing and contrasting two different organisations. Just as the environment impacts each individuals behaviour it is typical of an organisation’s structure to impact its employee’s behaviour. There have been many different studies which illustrate the impact of the organisation’s structure on human behaviour, such as the studies of Henry Ford, Taylors taylorism theory and the Hawther studies and work conducted by the likes of Koike and Darrah.
To answer the question of how structure may affect organisational behaviour we must first define what organisational structure and behaviour is.
Organizational structure defines how job tasks are formally divided, grouped and coordinated and includes many elements such as the hierarchical level, the span of control, the chain of command, span of control, formalization, centralization and decentralization.
Organisational behavior is simply the norm for how is meant for the people to behave in the organisation they belong and this can differ from organisation to organisation depending on how the structure and the culture of the organisation is, this includes the studies of psychology, communication and management. The structure of an organisation includes many elements as mentioned before, these elements all highlight the types of structure of an organisation has and impact the behavior of the organisation.
Firstly the Hierarchal levels is quite self-explanatory, and just basically means the amount of levels of authority found in an organisation and it can be either very tall or very short, very tall meaning many different hierarchy levels with different levels of managers and many levels between the employees and the owners, and a Flat Hierarchical organisation would be the opposite of that and have only a few levels between the employees and owners.
The second element to an organisation’s structure is the span of control.
If an organisation has a high span of control then this means it his many employees who report to on manager, flat hierarchies usually have many employees reporting to on manager meaning it has a high span of control and the opposite is expected from an organisation with a tall hierarchical structure.
The third element to the structure of an organisation is the chain of command. This is quite self-explanatory in its definition as it is the line of authority in the organisation from its lowest part to its highest and sets out specifically who reports to whom.
The fourth element of an organisation is formalisation. This is the degree in which employees specific tasks are set out, some organisations will have a clear outline and way for the employees to preform there everyday tasks and questions on whether employees should have a clear job definition. Some organisations will give their staff more freedom to do their tasks than other whereas some will have a clear cut way of doing things and will be told when how their tasks will be performed, the degree of control will vary from organisation to organisation.
The fifth element to consider when analysing an organisations structure is work specialization. The sixth element is centralisation and decentralisation, this considers the question as to where the decision making power lays. The more centralised an organisation is the more power the top management have for decision making, the more decentralised an organisation is the more power lower level branched out managers have for decision making, therefore we can see that centralisation basically questions where the decision making power in an organisation lays.
The final element of an organisations structure is departmentalisation, which illustrates the method in which an organisation sets out its separate departments and the way the jobs and tasks are performs based there functions, or product they intend to sell, process or type of process and customers and what the organisation needs.
Therefore this illustrates that organizational structure is not just the physical structure of an organization but also the way they work the way the tasks and roles are set out for the employees to make the organisation as effective as it can be
There are many different organisation structures which include the bureaucratic structure, the matrix structure, simple structure, organic structure, functional structures and divisional structures, which according to leading theoretical authority will all have different types of organisational behavior, to analyse how an organisations structure and all its elements impact organisational behaviour I have chosen two organisations to compare and contrast to highlight the differences and there effects.
The two organisations I have chosen are the Aldo Group and The Chill Factor. I have chosen these two organisations as I am quite familiar with both organisa tions and have personal knowledge on how they are structured and how they work, giving me the ability to compare and contrast them more analytically. It will also be important to analyse the organisations culture as it is closely linked to an organisations structure and behaviour and could be used to support or argue against some of the leading research highlighting the relationship between organisation behaviour and structure.
Firstly the Aldo group structure is seen to be quite a beaurecratic organisation to support this it is necessary to refer to the literature in terms of it structure and its elements, and how is has impacted the organisations behaviour and culture. The company structure consists of a tall hierarchy in which there are several sales people, sales assistants, assistant managers, a manager for each store, a district manager, supervisors, heads of office, president and CEO, this shows a tall hierarchy and a short span of control as there would be up to 4-5 employees in each store report to the assistant manager and store manager, supporting the argument that the organisation is a beoracratic one. Further analyzing Aldo’s structural elements it is clear that it follows the same pattern of a beaurocratic structure.
The chain of command used at the organisation is quite a restricted one where most of the employees are of a low level of command as most of the organisations employees consist of sales and sale assistants who most take managerial permission when making most of the decisions an example for this comes from past experience working at Aldo where a request as simple as making changes to the stock room would need permission from the store manager. Therefore it is quite clear that due to the structure that the Aldo organisation indicates that Aldo will show some beurocratic behavior. According to leading theorists such as Frederick Taylor who stated that a beurocratic organisation would follow five principles firstly it would find the one “best way” to perform each task, carefully watch each worker to each task, closely supervise workers, and use reward and punishment as motivators, and the task of management is planning and control.
Therefore the links here between the behaviour and structure is quite clear as from the first three elements of Aldo’s structure of a tall hierarchy, a narrow span of control and high chain of command illustrate taylors theory is supported in that the staff would be closely supervised and will be carefully watched while performing their tasks which would arguably impact the bahviour by enforcing them to do things the organisations way where strict rules apply. When considering the formalisation element of the Aldo organisation the group like to uphold a strong conservative way of doing things, the group stand behind a strong line of morals and have certain expectancies of employees. The salespeople and assistants are expected to dress in a certain manner each season to suit the Aldo image; there is a strict process of how things are done. This can be emphasised by the technology used in the stores to ensure certain procedures are followed and also by the collective goals each sales team in each store is given. Learn the difference between scientific management and administrative management
The extent of formalisation and the emphasis of the organisations attempt to control the method in which the employees behave and do the work needed of them is shown in the recruitment system as each new recruit is needed to watch a video instructing then on how to approach customers and how not to approach them, this demonstrates taylors principle of having a “set way” of doing things, however this is enforced in a friendly manor in which the organisation attmepts to make the employee feel like he is part of the aldo group and the organisation which is purposely done to ensure loyalty and good behaviour, therefore something as simple as a video which is enforced on every new employee as part of the organisations structure can have a high impact in how the behaviour is expected to be in the organisation. This also further argues in favour of taylors theory and supporting his principle of having the workforce closely supervised and also supports Max Webber’s expansion on taylors theory which focuses on creating clear lines of authority and control as is the case in Aldo.
The last element to consider when analysing aldos structure is on whether it is centralised or decentralised. It is typical of a burocratic organisation to have a centralised organisation where all the devision making is reserved for those in charge, analysing the tall hierarchy of Aldo and due to previouse experience working there it is easy to notice that major decisions would be taken by positions held much higher up in the company as it is rare for the average employee such as a sales assistant to ever meet the decision maker in an organisation such as this. According to leading theorists this can have a major impact on the behaviour in an organisation.
Whereas the Chill factor arguably has a simple structure which is very different from the Aldo one. Chill factor has a very flat hierarchy where there are quite a number of employees and very few managerial position. there are many ski and snow boarding instructers, and a manager in the slope department of the organisation and there would be a specialist at the rock climbing wall, therefore the hierarchy in quite a short one as there are no district managers or supervisorts as it is quite a small orgonisation and clearly has a different structure to an organisation such as Aldos. It also has a short span of control as there are many employees who would report to one manager.
Apposed to this chill factor has a different structure where there is a chain of command however it is quite a short on as instructors are trusted to teach visitors how to ski in a fun and professional manner without the need of supervisors or assistant and would not regurely need to report to a manager or someone of a higher position. Mayo and Roethlisberger in the late 1920’s at the Western Electric plant in Hawthorne, New York (Mayo, 1933).
While manipulating conditions in the work environment (e. g. , intensity of lighting), they found that any change had a positive impact on productivity. The act of paying attention to employees in a friendly and nonthreatening way was sufficient by itself to increase output. Uris (1986) referred to this as the “wart” theory of productivity. Nearly any treatment can make a wart go away–nearly anything will improve productivity. “The implication is plain: intelligent action often delivers results” (Uris, 1986, p. 225).