Custom «Organizational Design and Structure» Essay Paper Sample

Organizational Design and Structure

The design and structure of an organization is paramount for its successful operations. It shows how it will be run and managed to meet objectives and goals. It has rules and principles, which should be implemented by the management and practiced by subordinates. This paper highlights types of management styles, including the bureaucratic one, based on the analysis of the case study of Xerox.

Principles of the Bureaucratic Structure

The principle of the rational legal authority states that a person has powers depending on the position that he or she holds in an organization. Obedience of juniors to a leader is not based on of the social status of the latter, but on a higher job position. Mulcahy uses her authority as the CEO of Xerox to instruct and come up with solutions to improve the performance of the company (Jones, 2013). Engineers and other subordinates obey her and follow orders.

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The principle of the division of organizational roles based on technical competence affords people an opportunity to serve in a given position because of their abilities. This policy is effective since it ensures the acquisition of qualified personnel. It is not based on social status or heredity. Mulcahy has the required management skills, which have made her secure the job. She was appointed to a managerial position due to her capabilities (Jones, 2013).

In the bureaucratic structure, a clear and consistent pattern of decision-making authority and task responsibility is essential for organizational effectiveness. When there is the differentiation of roles, employees work in a systematic way. It helps to avoid confusion and leads to focused and well-planned organizational activities preventing any dilemmas concerning roles among employees (Jones, 2013). Since they may perform jobs, which are not meant for them, the existence of this principle outlines their roles and responsibilities. In case of Xerox, engineers, marketing staff and producers understand their roles, and it has led to the success of the company (Jones, 2013).

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The organization of roles in bureaucracy is that each lower office is under control and supervision of the higher one. The company should be hierarchically arranged for people to know the chain of command. Employees should be given authority to make decisions and use organizational resources. Before a lower office implements an idea, it should consult people at the top (Zott & Amit, 2010). The principle ensures that middle and lower managers are answerable to the top authority. Xerox has implemented it effectively in its bureaucratic structure. Mulcahy gives instructions to subordinates, and they follow such since they are under her authority (Jones, 2013).

In the bureaucratic structure used by Xerox, rules, standard operating procedures, and norms clarify expectations of people and help to avoid misunderstanding in the use of power or responsibility. The principle and rules prevent supervisors from intimidating and manipulating subordinates for their selfish reasons (Jones, 2013). It also ensures that employees perform their duties as required. In Xerox, supervisors and subordinates are aware of the rules and operating standards, which has led to effective and profitable production (Jones, 2013).

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The next principle ensures that administrative acts and rules are well written and documented. It helps to preserve organization’s history. As a result, eople can be held accountable for a failure to follow stipulated acts and rules (Zott & Amit, 2010). Xerox had its written records, which made it clear to new employees such as Mulcahy what was required of them (Jones, 2013).

The Strategy of Flattening Hierarchies and Empowering Teams

Flattening hierarchies and empowering teams are strategies, which can impact positively organization’s performance. The first approach improves communication between the top executives and the bottom management (Zott & Amit, 2010). It facilitates fast decision-making since it involves few managers. It also leads to the reduced distortion of information and bureaucratic costs as a result of a decrease in salaries and allowances. Moreover, empowering teams increases motivation since more power is vested in few managers. Mulcahy used the strategy of flattening the hierarchy and reduced managers from 95000 to 55000 (Jones, 2013). This act led to significant improvements in Xerox operations, saved costs and increased motivation of employees.

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Divisional Structures

Divisional structures enable an organization to group employees and specify their roles based on production, marketing, and geographical locations. Xerox had many branches all over the world under control of managers. The production of digital copiers were managed by qualified employees with technical competence (Zott & Amit, 2010). The sales personnel of the marketing department were considerate over customers’ feedbacks through supply chain activities, contributing to the success of the company greatly. At Xerox, divisional structures were well defined. The geographical management of branches was the task of the top management team in various geographic locations.

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The organizational design model and structure dictate the success or failure of organizations. A bureaucratic management style is very effective since it makes employees and managers focus on their duties and roles. Therefore, rules and policies under this structure are important for company’s success as shown in the case study of Xerox and the work of its CEO.

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