The Dual Trajectory Of Organizational Failure: Decision Making And Communication Structures Essay

2372 words - 10 pages

Course Code: SOC361

Organizations have distinct formal structures, which have unanticipated consequences for the organizations and its members. Decision-making and communicational structures within the organization are crucial in determining organizational future. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how ‘management decision-making’ and ‘communication problems’ prevalent within an organization result to its failure. This paper will incorporate the Hovey and Beard case and the Wilson ice cream case as they serve as perfect examples illustrating management decision-making problems to be more significant than communication problems in explaining organizational failure. Hovey and Beard’s and Wilson’s company had similar decision making structures that incorporated ‘centralization’, where decisions were made in a hierarchal manner, awarding the ultimate decision making power to the owners of the company (Tolbert and Hall 2009:37). Centralization perpetuates bureaucracy, where the organizational structure becomes rigid, reducing lower level people to be minimally autonomous. Correspondingly, both companies shared similar communicational structures that failed to incorporate ‘socioemotional communication’ between people at opposite extremes of the organizational hierarchy (Tolbert and Hall 2009:128). The vertical hierarchal structure that incorporates centralization hindered socioemotional communication, resulting in organizational failure.
Hovey and Beard Company manufactured wooden toys for children. The manufacturing process involved assembly chains with hooks, where employees added appropriate paint to the pre-assembled toys and hung them on the hook. The employees used for this manufacturing process were recently hired women, who attained a learning bonus and a group bonus upon exceeding the production limit. Bonuses functioned as motivational means to allow women to learn faster. The bonuses were decreased monthly and were disregarded after six months.
Unfortunately, after two months, employees started voicing their complaints that mostly highlighted ventilation issues, the fast speed of the hooks and the incorrect incentive pay calculation that hindered their work ability. Women wanted some form of autonomy in regards to their working conditions. These factors negatively impacted women’s productivity, causing them to be inefficient. The supervisor spoke to the owners and the engineers regarding the prevalent problems, which ultimately led to the company’s agreement to provide the women with three fans to solve the ventilation issues. Likewise, women were awarded autonomy, as they were able to control the speed of the chain, which was originally set by the engineers. Even though the speed set by the women was below medium, the women were actually working at a higher pace on average. These changes enhanced women’s productivity by ‘30-50%’, allowing them to earn higher individual and group bonuses...

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