Which of the organizational structures does your organization operate under? My organization is mostly decentralized with a variable degree of specialization. However, my organization is large enough that the other elements of organizational structure can be observed as well. The term organizational structure is defined as: how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated. There are six key elements concerning an organizations structure: work specialization, departmentalization, chain of command, span of control, centralization and decentralization, and formalization (p. 231).
Work specialization is used to describe the degree to which activities in the organization are divided into separate jobs (p. 232). In my organization there is a variable degree of specialization. Cross training strategies have been implemented to maximize employee versatility and all personnel are required to be able to perform in at least three different work centers. However, specialists are utilized in research and development and engineering. These specialists oversee the implementation of new products and manufacturing processes.
Departmentalization is the basis by which jobs are grouped so common tasks can be coordinated (p. 233). The departments and their roles are clearly defined at my company: Marketing publishes and distributes brochures and advertisements describing our new products. The sales team demonstrates new products for the customers. Engineers, specialists, and technicians work in research and development, designing new prototypes. Prototypes are sent to the test lab to undergo rigorous testing. After the new design has been validated by the test lab, the blue prints and raw materials are sent to the machine shop so mass production of the components needed to make the new product can begin.
The support staff in the machine shop constructs a build plan calculating how many of each component will be needed to make enough products to meet the customers demand. Customer demand is estimated by the sales staff’s quarterly projections. A router listing the amount of materials required to build a work order of components is given to the materials handling team, who then distributes the raw materials to the individual work centers in the machine shop, where machinists begin making the components to the required specifications.
When enough components have been made by the machine shop to satisfy the build plan quantity they are sent to the quality control lab for inspection. After the parts have been approved by quality control they are sent to the shipping and receiving department where they will be boxed, loaded onto pallets, placed into shuttle trucks. The trucks rush them to the assembly building where the receiving department will unbox them and deliver them to the incoming quality control lab for final inspection. The incoming quality control lab will verify that the components meet the specified requirements. Then a materials coordinator...