Management and Organizational Structure Issues

Introduction

Organizational structure refers to the formal system of tasks and reporting relationships that control, coordinate and motivate the employees so that they cooperate to achieve an organization’s goal. The manager’s task in this case is to allow cooperation amongst his employees to work together and to encourage and develop positive working attitudes (Anonymous, n.d). The organizational structure is an important determinant of a company’s success since it affects performance, behavior, level of motivation, teamwork and cooperation as well as intergroup and interpersonal relationships within the company. The structure and the culture that an organization acquires are dependent upon the organization’s development, its strategy and the technology it uses. It is important that when a company is developing an organizational structure, it must be able to group the organization’s activities by function and decision, in such a way that they achieve the goals of the organization effectively.

The types of structures that could be adopted by an organization include the functional structure, the multidivisional structure and the matrix structure. The multidivisional structure differentiates the functions of the organization into groups so as to effectively promote intergroup coordination (Hosskinson, 2007, p 314). These groups include, among others, the product structure; each of the product decisions contains an outline that pertains to a given service, the goods and the specific services it produces (Parkinson and Kogut, 1998). Secondly, the market structure groups the functions into divisions that are meant to respond to the needs of various customers. Thirdly, the geographic structure is normally adopted by organizations having problems in controlling its activities at local and international levels and its mandate is to provide services to the customers coming from different geographical regions (Parkinson and Kogut, 1998). Lastly, the matrix structure groups the workers into two ways; by the function of which they are a member and by the product team in which they are working (Flanness and Levin, 2005, p 12).

Management under matrix structure for the organization

Matrix management is the form of management in which the projects cut across organizational boundaries and the employees are expected to report to their own line manager as well as to the project manager (Get Ahead, 2005). The Spectrum brand company can organize its management using the matrix structure by dividing its employees into two groups, one by the product under which they work and another by the function under which they are a member. The groups of activities will include pet products, personal grooming and lawn and garden care. Each of these will be placed under specific departments and each one of them put under the management of a departmental manager. The employees would therefore be reporting to both Jones, who is the overall manager and to the departmental manager under whom they work.

Management under using a Multidivisional structure

The firm could also operate by using the multidivisional structure through dividing the functions of the company into product, market and geographical structures (Parkinson and Kogut, 1998). In effect, the product structure will be concerned with the production of the products; the market structure will research on the specific needs of the customers with regards to the product; while geographical structures function is to distribute the products produced by Spectrum Brand.

The most appropriate management structure for Spectrum Brand

The multidivisional structure would be more effective in the management of Spectrum brand mainly because the company produces many commodities, which may require that each of the products is handled separately so as to enhance the efficiency of production. The matrix systems focuses on the employees and not the products but in such a case where more than one brand name is involved, it may be crucial that attention is paid to the production, marketing and distribution of each of the commodities.

Potential communication problems in each of the management structures

Matrix management structure is likely to experience communication problems if there is a conflicting demand from different line managers. Indeed, where the overall manager is not conversant with the undertakings of the departments and if there are conflicting company regulations in each of the departments (Flanness and Levin, 2005, p 12). To prevent such problems, the organization should encourage open discussions so as to agree on certain issues affecting the organization. In addition, the manager should be constantly informed of the on goings in the company and lastly the company rules and regulations should be made the same in all the departments (Flanness and Levin, 2005, p 12), as this will create unity and a sense of team spirit among the employees.

In a multidivisional structure, communication problems are likely to arise when the various divisional managers try to synchronize their duties (Hitt, Ireland and Hosskinson, 2007, p. 314). It may also occur as a result of competition for the organization’s resources by various departments and finally it can be due to the competition by the various departments to outdo each other (Hitt, Ireland and Hosskinson, 2007, p 314). These problems can be handled by clearly outlining the roles of each of the divisional managers while the organizations should sufficiently cater for the requirements of each of the departments so as to prevent competition for resources. Moreover, the organizations should put in place strategies to promote healthy competition between the departments.

The degree of centralization that is most effective for the two management

Structures

In the matrix system, the most effective degree of centralization will be to have the decision making process reserved for the top management while in the multidivisional structure, decision making should be reserved for the divisional managers.

Conclusion

The management structure is a very important ingredient for the success of any organization. It is important therefore for the heads of the organization to ensure that the structure selected is one that encourages the employees to work very hard and enables the company to achieve its goals.

References

Anonymous. (n.d). Management and Organizational Structure issues. 2010. Web.

Flanness, S. and Levin, G. (2005). Essential People Skills for Project Managers. Vienna, Library of Congress Cataloging.

Get Ahead. (2005). Matrix management. Web.

Hitt, M., Ireland, R. D. and Hosskinson, R. (2007). Strategic management: competitiveness and globalization: concepts & cases. Canada. Nelson Education Ltd.

Parkinson, D. and Kogut, B. (1998). Adoption of the multidivisional structure: analyzing History from the start. Web.

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