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Conavia And Ridgway Furniture Ltd Essay

2734 words - 11 pages

Option A: Conavia and Ridgway Furniture Ltd.

Ridgway Furniture is a manufacturing organization that rapidly grew from a small scale operation to more than 700 people. Conavia is a rapidly changing consulting firm. This analysis will be an examination and comparison of the problems of structure, communication and motivation in these two organizations.


Organizational structure refers to the manner in which an organization divides its labour into tasks and how those tasks are coordinated. Work has to be divided, since no one employee can be expected to do everything. If tasks are not coordinated, the organizational goals will never be accomplished.

Mechanistic structures are organizational structures that tend to be tall with narrow spans of control, tend towards specialization, high centralization, as well as high formalization. These structures operate like a mechanical device with every part having its own function and being coordinated with the others. Ridgway and Conavia are tall organizations with many levels. If these companies were flatter, this would "push decision-making powers downward in the organization because a given number of decisions are apportioned among fewer levels" (Johns & Saks 465). Furthermore, in both the cases, all authority is centralized in the positions of president and department head. In the two organizations, the subordinates are very closely supervised. Direct supervision should not be needed in either of the cases. Careful supervision can be replaced by coordination of labour through standardization of work processes or output. The organic structure would be more suited for Ridgway and Conavia. Organic structures "tend to favor wider spans, fewer authority levels, less specialization, less formalization, and decentralization" (Johns & Saks 468). The most important value of the organic structure for Conavia and Ridgway is that it promotes flexibility and informal communication.
Vertical division of labour refers to sharing out authority for planning and decision making. The vertical division of labour is easily identified by titles such as vice-president. George Markov, the president of Conavia, asks Jackson to take over leadership as executive vice-president. Jackson has the position in name only because he has no authority for planning or decision making. Carson is head of the furniture design department at Ridgway who hires Gilbert and then Starke as supervisors. Like Jackson, neither of the men has any authority for making decisions or for planning. In both organizations, authority seems to be divided up, but is not actually shared.
Centralization refers to the degree to which decision- making power is localized in a specific part of the organization. In the "most centralized organization, the power for all key decisions would rest in a single individual, such as the president" (Johns & Saks 466). Both Ridgway and Conavia are extremely centralized organizations. In the...

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