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Developing Organizational Structure

Winning Moves is in its evolution as it grows.  In Greiner¡¦s ¡¥the Pains of Success¡¦ (cited in Handy, 1999), it describes a sequence of crises as the organization lurches from too much central control and uniformity to too much diversity and too little co-ordination in its growth.  The obvious problems of Paul are his central control, which jeopardize daily operations.  The organizational structure required for the company is one that can allow strategic control with greater hands-off management, but on the other hand, it can still encourage creativity.  It seems that there is no one best structure.


Paul might consider developing a differentiated structure for his company as Handy suggests.  According to Handy (1999), organizations should differentiate their cultures and structures according to the dominant kind of activity in that department, division or section.  This structure can be achieved as following.


Overall organizational structure


Paul might consider a functional structure for the overall organizational structure.  Harrison (cited in Handy, 1999) calls this as role culture.  Its strength rests in its roles and specialties, for example Operations, Finance, etc.  Paul can remain his strategic control as the work is coordinated at the top (by him) down to the hierarchy.  On the other hand, this structure allows hands-off management to the functional managers so that they can make decisions for their own territory. 


This structure can satisfy the needs of the managers.  It is because when the company grows, the managers would want to increase their work and power.  Paul should feel comfortable as the managers should have possessed the necessary abilities and skills for the functions they are working for.  The interaction among functions is controlled by procedures for roles and communications, and rules for settlement of disputes.


This structure is suitable for steady state as Handy suggests.  For example, Operations and Finance department are involved with more daily works and tend to be steady state rather than dynamic state.  Steady state can allows more autonomy for the managers through standard procedures.  When there are problems, the managers can report back to Paul for directions.  Hence, Paul can step back from daily operations and focus on other important decisions. 


The standardization also permits Paul to be fed with a vast amount of information in a digestible form and in approximately real time.  For example, this can be done through timely meetings, reports and feedback from the managers.  This also allows Paul to intervene those occasions that demand him to involve. 


Design and creative services


The standard procedures of the functional structure would hinder the creative thinking.  Since design and creative services are the most important part of the company and usually in a dynamic state, Paul should consider developing a matrix structure for this section.  This can be done by forming autonomous work group, project teams, or task forces for a special purpose and can be reformed, abandoned or continued.  The group members are come from different functional units for diversity ideas. 


Paul might continue his strategic control by placing more emphasis on giving visions to the groups so that they are not off-the-track.  However, he must encourage diversity of ideas and give hands-off management to the group.  For example, each group should contain within it all the decision-making powers required.  This way would make the individuals feel that they have a high degree of control over their work.  Their performance should be judged by results.


Paul¡¦s role


Except dealing with visions and crisis, Paul should be involved in the policies development for the evolution of organizational structure.  He has to deal with any unexpected issues.  The overall guidance and direction of activities must not be neglected such as the setting of priorities, the establishment of standards, the direction and allocation of resources, the initiation of action, etc.


As a conclusion, Paul can develop a differentiated structure (functional for the overall organizational and matrix for design and creative service) to combine strategic control with hands-off management.  This will require Paul to involve in the setting of the policies for the ongoing structural evolution.

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