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Questions on organisation structure and culture

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 4308 words Published: 3rd May 2017

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There is a ton of information on organizational culture and about every detail. The relationship between organizational culture and organizational structure is an important theme. The two can be difficult to clearly distinguish from one another and even more so to clearly define within an institution. Organizational structure works within an organizational culture, but it is not completely separate. The two are very much intertwined.

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Organizational culture is more of a larger picture, a more general term that refers to a large umbrella of smaller topics and issues within an organization. The structure refers to the infrastructure and the various methods and practices within that infrastructure. That helps an organizational culture run with the efficiency and consistency which should be the hallmark of any healthy organizational structure, whether it is in a corporation, sports team, or any other set up that is large enough to create its own organizational culture.

This makes the structure an integral part of any organizational culture, but also narrows out a very specific segment of the culture as its own responsibility. Organizational structure will deal primarily with the set up of the culture. How management works, which specific responsibilities supervisors have, how a complaint is passed through the ranks-these are all issues within the organizational culture that are directly tied to how an organizational structure works. The structure is not limited to those three examples, but it would certainly include all of them.

Another common way to describe how structure works is to say that organizational structure is the way in which the interrelated groups within and organization are set up to allow them to function smoothly from a larger standpoint. The two main purposes of a successful organizational structure is to ensure effective communication between various parts of the company, as well as to increase coordination between different departments..

Basically there are two types of structures;




In its simplest form a tall organization has many levels of management and supervision. There is a “long chain of command” running from the top of the organization e.g. Chief Executive down to the bottom of the organization e.g. shop floor worker. The diagram below neatly captures the concept of a tall structure.

Diagram: Tall Structure


However, tall structures rarely exceed 8 levels of management. This is firstly because the number of layers (i.e. management levels) decreases the span of control. Secondly the disadvantages of the tall structure begin to outweigh the advantages of a tall structure.

Advantages of tall Organisations

Disadvantages of tall Organisations

· There is a narrow span of control ie each manager has a small number of employees under their control. This means that employees can be closely supervised.

· The freedom and responsibility of employees (subordinates) is restricted.

· There is a clear management structure.

· Decision making could be slowed down as approval may be needed by each of the layers of authority.

· The function of each layer will be clear and distinct. There will be clear lines of responsibility and control.

· Communication has to take place through many layers of management.

· Clear progression and promotion ladder.

· High management costs because managers are generally paid more than subordinates. Each layer will tend to pay it’s managers more money than the layer below it.



In contrast to a tall organisation, a flat organisation will have relatively few layers or just one layer of management. This means that the “Chain of Command” from top to bottom is short and the “span of control is wide”. Due to the small number of management layers, flat organisations are often small organisations.

Diagram: Flat Structure

Advantages of flat Organisations

Disadvantages of flat Organisations

· More/Greater communication between management and workers.

· Workers may have more than one manager/boss.

· Less bureaucracy and easier decision making.

· Structure limited to small organisations such as partnerships, co-operatives and some private limited companies.

· Fewer levels of management which includes benefits such as lower costs as managers are generally paid more than worker.

· Function of each department/person could be blurred and merge into the job roles of others.

-B- analyzes the relationship between an organizations structure and culture and the effects on business performance?

From the analysis of the Phrase “Provided the underlying culture is strong, a bad patch will sooner or later end. Properly regarded, setbacks can be instructive. Enduring cultures regard them not as calamities but challenges, and absorb their lessons…..” We can hypothesise that ‘underlying culture ‘refers to organisational culture; ‘bad patch’ refers to a period where business performance is low or employees are moving away form the organisational culture resulting in low business performance; ‘Properly regarded, setbacks can be instructive’ means that the organisation can learn from their mistakes and overcoming obstacles, and ‘Enduring cultures’ are cultures that are long lasting in the organisation. Substituting translations into the above mentioned phrase, it would state that: once organisational culture is strong and lasting, periods of low business performance will soon end, the organisation will

learn from its mistakes and overcome challenges.

This question proposes to critically evaluate how structure and culture of organisations affect their business performance and individual behaviour in the workplace by: defining structure and identify four types of organisational structures, defining culture and identify the types and different dimensions of culture, Defining business performance and identifying and analyzing the factors influencing individual behaviour at work. Furthermore it will seek to compare and contrast the different organisational structures and organisational culture. Analyze the relationship between organisational structures and organisational culture and its effects on business performance. Additionally the learning cycle will be defined and it will be used to show how structure affects an individual’s behaviour at work and along with the other factors that will be identified and with the different types of culture show how this affects business performance. Upon completion of this, recommendations will be made for improving.

So if top leadership is so important, why does the rest of the organizational culture also have to be functional in order to have an efficient governing body? Great leadership is needed for an organization to have strong culture, but the reversal is also true. Even great organizational culture will eventually dull, and then erode completely without strong leadership to help keep everything running smoothly.

The model and study of how organizational structure and organizational culture works makes the practical study of implications of organizational structure and culture important. From corporations to government to sports teams, the study of how structure and culture impacts the overall picture can show a better way to make an entity work. Use a sports team as an example: most teams who have the head coach as the GM don’t do as well as the teams who split the duties between two individuals who can work together towards the same common goal.


A:- Compare the different approaches to management and theories of organization used by two organization?

ANS:-In order to maintain a good and smooth organizational culture, a business or organization should follow and adopt some organizational theories. These theories should be structured and designed in a sense that will provide great courage and motivation to the employees so that they can improve their working skills. For keeping a good organizational atmosphere, it is very crucial that all the aspects of the organizational culture should be infused such as the experiences, values, beliefs and attitudes.

The organizational theories serve as the instruments towards building great motivational spirits among the employees and workers so that they can perform their duties in the best possible manner thereby contributing in the overall development of the organization. The theories of an organization comprises of the ideas and beliefs that the members of the particular organization should pursue in order to achieve the set goals and plans. It is important that these organizational tools should be designed and made in such a sense that they can be used and accepted by all the people working in the same organization.

The most common of the aspects that is required to be included in the organizational theories is that of the organizational behavior patterns that the people should adopt in order to keep in proper sync with their own team members and other employees of the firm. Various organizations organize different courageous workshops as well so that they can help the employees with the best of the organizational theories and values. These non-profit workshops and seminars carried out by the organizations help in implementing and learning the organizational performances so that the nature and behavior of the employees can add credibility. Apart from adding credibility, the various organizational behavior patterns also increase the ethical value of the particular company and make it a popular one in the highly competitive market.

The theories to be implemented by the organization should be carefully decided and created by some professional visionary in order to make sure that the tools work in the betterment of the organization. It is highly important that a clear and straight strategic vision should be implemented in order to ensure that the cultural changes are made in the interest and well being of the firm.

B:- Describe the different leadership styles and the differences of these leadership approaches?

ANS:- There are a number of different approaches, or ‘styles’ to leadership and management that are based on different assumptions and theories. The style that individuals use will be based on a combination of their beliefs, values and preferences as well as the organizational culture and norms which will encourage some styles and discourage others

Four of the most basic leadership styles are:





Leadership StylePower Difference Index – s


A:- Explain the different motivational theories and their applications with in the work place?



Motivation is the activation or energization of goal-oriented behaviour. Motivation is said to be intrinsic or extrinsic. The term is generally used for humans but, theoretically, it can also be used to describe the causes for animal behaviour as well. This article refers to human motivation. ..


There are a number of different views as to what motivates workers. The most commonly held views or theories are discussed below and have been developed over the last 100 years or so. Unfortunately these theories do not all reach the same conclusions!


Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1917) put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay. His Theory of Scientific Management argued the following:

Workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control

Therefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasks

Workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one set task.


Elton Mayo (1880 – 1949) believed that workers are not just concerned with money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work (something that Taylor ignored). He introduced the Human Relation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together.


Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) along with Frederick Herzberg (1923-) introduced the Neo-Human Relations School in the 1950’s, which focused on the psychological needs of employees. Maslow put forward a theory that there are five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work.

All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy (see below)


Frederick Herzberg (1923-) had close links with Maslow and believed in a two-factor theory of motivation. He argued that there were certain factors that a business could introduce that would directly motivate employees to work harder (Motivators). However there were also factors that would de-motivate an employee if not present but would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder (Hygienefactors)


Apply Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the workplace. Abraham Maslow’s theory of five psychological needs is used to motivate employees. Human resources departments train managers to identify employees’ needs, determine what needs are satisfied and provide ways for needs that are unmet to be satisfied. When the hierarchy of needs is met, employees’ performances improve.


Identify employees’ needs, as defined by Hertszberg’s Motivation and Hygiene Theory. For workers, Hertszberg’s hygiene needs include working conditions, supervision and salary. Management resorts to meeting hygiene needs to stop unwanted behavior. Hygiene needs do not motivate. If a supervisor wants an employee to perform, the supervisor would work to meet motivational needs. These include recognition and promotion

· 3

Encourage employee performance according to Expectancy and Contingency motivational theories. When workers expect rewards and the rewards meet a worker’s needs, the worker will perform according to set standards. Contingency motivational theories consider workplace culture conflict resolution and personality assessment. When these social issues are resolved, employees are motivated to excel.

· 4

Use motivational theories to inspire motivational speaking. Speakers can craft phrases to address an audience’s needs and to promise to overcome a sense of inadequacy. Motivational speakers will appeal to the fundamental motivational drives of each type of listener. With this cross-section of motivational theories, most types of listeners will be addressed and inspired.

B: – Identify how the chosen organisation motivates their workforce?


1. Recognition/Attention. When your employees accomplish something they have achieved something. Your recognition is appreciation for that achievement. I believe that most managers don’t give enough recognition because they don’t get enough. Therefore, it doesn’t come natural to do it. If this applies to you, you need to drop this excuse like a bad habit! Become a giver! Look at the price. Recognition is free!

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2. Applause. A form of recognition yes, but a very specific form. Physically applaud your people by giving them a round of applause for specific achievements. Where? When? The answer is wherever and whenever. At meetings or company-sponsored social gatherings, a luncheon, or in the office. At the end of a shift, before a shift, and whenever possible in the middle of a shift.

3. One-on-One Coaching. Coaching is employee development. Your only cost is time. Time means you care. And remember your people don’t care how much you know… until they know how much you care.

Whenever the emphasis is on positive feedback, I make sure to do this coaching in “public.” Whenever you recognize and encourage people in “public,” it acts as a natural stimulant for others who are close enough to see or hear what’s taking place.

4. Training. Is training ever finished? Can you possibly overtrain? NO and NO. For whatever reasons, too many people feel “My people have already been trained” or “I’ve got good people…they only need a little training.” But training never ends. Schedule “tune- up” training sessions. These should be led by you or by a supervisor with help from specific employees who show a particular strength in the skills taught. I know this takes time, but these types of training sessions will continually enhance the performance of your people and the productivity of your business.

5. Career Path. Your employees need to know what is potentially ahead for them, what opportunities there are for growth. This issue is a sometimes forgotten ingredient as to the importance it plays in the overall motivation of people.

Set career paths within your organization. Do you promote from within? I hope you can answer yes to that. Although specific circumstances require you to look for talent outside your company you should always first consider internal personnel. If you do this you are sending a very positive message to every one that there are indeed further career opportunities within your organization.

6. Job Titles. When you talk about job titles you are tapping the self-esteem of people. How someone feels about the way they are perceived in the workforce is a critical component to overall attitude and morale. Picture a social gathering that includes some of your staff. The subject of work inevitably comes up. Will your people be proud, or embarrassed, to share their title and workplace? The importance of feeling proud of who you are and what you do is monumental.

7. Good Work Environment. A recent industry study shows just how inaccurate your results can be. Employers were asked to rank what they thought motivated their people

and then employees were asked to rank what really did motivate them.

Employers felt “working conditions” was a nine (or next to last) in terms of importance. What did the employees say? Number two! Working conditions are very important to the way employees feel about where they work.

8. On-the-Spot Praise. This too is associated with recognition but the key here is timing. When there is a reason for praising someone don’t put it off for any reason! Promptness equals effectiveness. Praise people when the achievement is fresh on everyone’s mind.

9. Leadership Roles. Give your people leadership roles to reward their performance and also to help you identify future promotable people. Most people are stimulated by leadership roles even in spot appearances. For example, when visitors come to your workplace use this opportunity to allow an employee to take the role of visitors guide.

10. Team Spirit. Have a picture taken on your entire staff (including you!), have it enlarged and hang it in a visible spot. Most people like to physically see themselves as part of a group or team.

When running contests in your area, try to create contests and affiliated activity that are team driven. People driving to reach goals together definitely enhance team spirit solely because they must lean upon others and be prepared to be leaned on.

11. Executive Recognition. This is the secret weapon. And like any secret weapon, timing is most critical. If this is used too often the value is diminished. And if it is used only for special occasions and rare achievements the value is escalated. We talked earlier about general recognition and the positive impact that has on your people. That will go up a few notches when it comes from an executive. Some of the same vehicles can be used here such as memos and voice mail. To add yet another level of stimulation, have an executive either personally call to congratulate someone (or a group) or even show up in person to shake hands and express his or her appreciation.

12. Social Gatherings. Scheduled offsite events enhance bonding which in turn helps team spirit, which ultimately impacts your positive work environment. Halloween costume parties, picnics on July 4th, Memorial Day or Labor Day, and Christmas parties are only some of the ideas that successfully bring people together for an enjoyable time. Some others that I’ve used with equal success are softball games (against other companies or among employees, depending on staff size), groups going putt-putt golfing or movie madness.

13. Casual Dress Day. This will apply more to the Business-to-Business world based on the difference in normal dress codes from the Business-to-Consumer arena. For those required to “dress business” every day a casual day becomes a popular desire. Use holidays to create theme color casual days such as red and green before Christmas or red, white and blue before July 4th, or black and orange prior to Halloween. This will add to the impact you’re trying to have by calling a casual day in the first place.

14. Time Off. Implement contests that earn time off. People will compete for 15 minutes or 1/2 hour off just as hard as they will for a cash award. And in many cases, I have had people pick time off over cash when given the choice. Put goals in place (padded of course) and when these goals are reached by individuals, teams or the entire staff, reward them with time off. Allow early dismissals, late arrivals, and extended lunch periods or additional breaks.

15. Outside Seminars. Outside seminars are a stimulating break. Because outside seminars are not always cost efficient for most people, consider on-site seminars or workshops for your staff. Use outside seminars as a contest prize for one or two people. Then set up a structured plan for those seminar attendees to briefly recreate the seminar to the rest of your people when they return. Now everyone gets educated for the price of one.


A:-Analyse the factors which influence individuals behaviour at work?


1. Demographic factors The demographic factors are socio economic background, education, nationality, race, age, sex, etc. Organisations prefer persons that belong to good socio-economic background, well educated, young etc as they are believed to be performing better than the others. The young and dynamic professionals that have good academic background and effective communication skills are always in great demand. The study of demographic factors is significant as it helps managers to pick the suitable candidate for a particular job.

2. Abilities and Skills: The physical capacity of an individual to do something can

Be termed as ability. Skill can be defined as the ability to act in a way that allows a person to perform well. The individual behaviour and performance is highly influenced by ability and skills. A person can perform well in the organisation if his abilities and skills are matched with the job requirement The managers plays vital role in matching the abilities and skills of the employees with the particular job requirement.

3. Perception:

The cognitive process meant for interpreting the environmental stimuli in a meaningful way is referred to as perception. Every individual on the basis of his/he reference can organize and interpret environmental stimuli. There are many factors that influence the perception of an individual. The study of perception plays important role for the managers. It is important for mangers to create the favourable work environment so that employees perceive them in most favourable way. The employees are likely to perform better if they are going to perceive it in a positive way

4. Attitude: According to psychologists, attitude can be defined as a tendency to respond favourably or unfavourably to certain objects, persons or situations. The factors such as family, society, culture, peers and organisational factors influence the formation of attitude. The managers in an organisation need to study the variables related to job as to create the work environment in a favourable way that employs are tempted to form a positive attitude towards their respective jobs The employees can perform better in the organisation if they form a positive attitude.

5. Personality:

Personality can be defined as the study of the characteristics and distinctive traits of an individual, the inter-relations between them and the way in which a person responds and adjusts to other people and situations. The several factors that influence the personality of an individual are heredity, family, society, culture and situation. It implies to the fact that individuals differ in their manner while responding to the organizational environment.


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