Ing Case Study

1625 words - 7 pages

Organizational structure can be defined as the “formal arrangement of jobs within an organization” (Robbins & Coulter, 2009, p. 185). Having a defined and unified structure helps employees work more efficiently. Jacques Kemp, former CEO of ING Insurance Asia/Pacific, realized this need early on in his role. The company had been performing well and recently acquired another insurance company to become “one of the largest life insurance companies in Asia-Pacific” (Schotter, 2006, p. 4). However, Kemp’s proactive personality led him to seek out ways to achieve more efficient coordination between the regional office and business units (Robbins & Coulter, 2009). Kemp noticed that “most business unit managers did not even know the current corporate standards” and he began searching for a way to manage the managers (Schotter, 2006, p. 5). ING Insurance Asia/Pacific’s organizational structure was mechanistic and fairly well structured, but for a company that had recently been involved in a major acquisition and was divided across 12 geographically dispersed markets there was a great need to tweak this structure to unify the company (Schotter, 2006). If I had been in Kemp’s position as CEO, I would have made modifications to the organizational chain of command, formalized business processes, and used technology to stimulate collaboration amongst the region to help this company overcome organizational design challenges.
ING Insurance Asia/Pacific’s (ING A/P) organizational design structure in 2003 can be classified as moderately mechanistic with functional design of their regional office and a divisional structural design of their business units. ING A/P was organized into business units by country with one regional office in Hong Kong (Schotter, 2006). While the business units and regional office had defined organizational structures, they did not have synchronized operations across the region. ING A/P had obvious flaws within the design elements of their organizational structure. First, this organization’s chain of command was not fully developed. Regional functional managers were ill-informed regarding business unit activities because the business units did not report to the regional functional managers unless they specifically requested information. For instance, when the Australia regional manager received data from the Australia legal manager, the data was kept within the Australia business unit and not disseminated to the regional legal manager (Schotter, 2006). To add to the chaos, there was little formalization across the region. Business units devised their own operating procedures, standards, and goals (Schotter, 2006). Even though there was a defined goal for the region, the business units developed their own interpretation of the goal. Additionally, there was no congruence in reporting formats and it seemed that nobody was speaking the same language (Schotter, 2006). Business units’ reports were completed in varying configurations which...

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