Organizational Design and Behaviour

… a core topic in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100

OrganimiTopic description

This topic examines the how organizational structures affect the behaviour of organizations, particularly those in the public sphere, and the behaviour of individuals and groups within such organizations.

Topic learning outcome

Upon completing this topic the student will be familiar with the principal approaches for analyzing the organizational behaviour in the public sphere and will be familiar with the concepts in the table below.

Core concepts associated with this topic
Organizational Behaviour

Organizational Theory

Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy

Organizational Culture

Organization Chart

Organizational Structure Types

Organizational Control

Dynamic Resource Reallocation

Organizational Policies

Decentralization

Recommended readings for 8 hours of preparation

Concept pages above.

Boundless (2016), What is Organizational Behavior?, at https://www.boundless.com/management/textbooks/boundless-management-textbook/organizational-theory-3/why-study-organizational-theory-28/what-is-organizational-behavior-162-3925/, accessed 19 January 2017.

Reference for Business, Organizational Behavior, at http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Ob-Or/Organizational-Behavior.html, accessed 19 January 2017.

Business Jargons, Organizational Theory, at http://businessjargons.com/organizational-theory.html, and subsidiary sites, accessed 19 January 2017.

William F. Shughart II, Public Choice, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, at http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/PublicChoice.html, accessed 2 May 2016.

Michael Watkins (2013), What Is Organizational Culture? And Why Should We Care? 15 May 2013, at https://hbr.org/2013/05/what-is-organizational-culture, accessed 11 October 2016.

Boundless (2016), The Organizational Chart, at https://www.boundless.com/management/textbooks/boundless-management-textbook/organizational-structure-2/defining-organization-23/the-organizational-chart-143-1382/, accessed 19 January 2017.

University of Minnesota Libraries, Principles of Management, Organizational Control, at https://open.lib.umn.edu/principlesmanagement/chapter/15-3-organizational-control/, accessed 19 January 2017.

Yuval Atsmon (2016), How nimble resource allocation can double your company’s value, McKinsey & Company, August, at http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/how-nimble-resource-allocation-can-double-your-companys-value, accessed 11 October 2016.

University of Toronto, Policies & Guidelines, at http://policies.hrandequity.utoronto.ca/, accessed 19 October 2016 (skim the major policies).

Recommended readings in MPP and MPA courses

TO COME

Concept comprehension questions

AQ100.11.01. Among statements a-d pertaining to the term organizational behaviour choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Organizational behaviour is the field of study that investigates how organizational structures, as opposed to human preferences, affect the actions of the organization as a whole.

b. Organizational behaviour studies the impact individuals, groups, and structures have on human behaviour within organizations.

c. Organizational behaviour is an interdisciplinary field that includes sociology, psychology, communication, and management.

d. Organizational behavior complements organizational theory, which focuses on organizational and intra-organizational topics, and complements human-resource studies, which is more focused on everyday business practices.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

AQ100.11.02. Among statements a-d pertaining to the term organizational theory choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Organizational theory is the set of interrelated concepts and definitions that explain the behaviour of individuals or groups or subgroups who interact with each other to perform the activities intended towards the accomplishment of a common goal.

b. Prominent organizational theories have included scientific management theory, administrative theory, and bureaucratic theory.

c. Scientific management theory is known for its application of engineering science at the production floor or the operating levels and is sometimes called Taylorism after its major contributor, Fredrick Winslow Taylor.

d. Bureaucratic theory is related to the structure and administrative process of the organization and is associated with Max Weber, who described the bureaucratic organization is the most rational means to exercise control over the individual workers.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

AQ100.11.03. Among statements a-d pertaining to Weber’s theory of bureaucracy choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Weber’s bureaucratic model includes continuous learning and adaptation to changing circumstances.

b. Weber’s bureaucratic model includes rigid division of labor which clearly identifies the regular tasks and duties of the particular bureaucratic system.

c. Weber’s bureaucratic model includes firmly established chains of command, and the duties and capacity to coerce others to comply is described by regulation.

d. Weber’s bureaucratic model includes regular and continuous execution of the assigned duties by hiring people with particular qualifications which are certified.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

AQ100.11.04. Among statements a-d pertaining to organizational culture choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Organizational culture is the collection of values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.

b. Organizational culture is organic in nature and remains largely unaffected by actions and initiatives taken by senior management.

c. Organizational culture includes an organization’s expectations, experiences, philosophy, and values that hold it together, and is expressed in its self-image, inner workings, interactions with the outside world, and future expectations.

d. Organizational culture is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valid.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

AQ100.11.05. Among statements a-d pertaining to organization chart choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. An organization chart is a diagram that illustrates the structure of an organization.

b. An organization chart can also be called an organizational chart, an org chart, or an organogram.

c. An organization chart illustrates the relationships and relative ranks of its business units or divisions, and the positions or roles assigned to each unit or division.

d. An organization chart is unlikely to be useful without the names of the people occupying the boxes on the chart.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

AQ100.11.06. Among statements a-d pertaining to organization structure types choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. There are three main types of organizational structure and one of them will be optimal for a particular organizational mission and culture.

b. A functional structure is set up so that each portion of the organization is grouped according to its purpose, with the potential drawback that the coordination and communication between departments can be restricted by the organizational boundaries of having the various departments working separately.

c. A regional structure is used in organizations that operate in a wide geographic area and have separate smaller organizations (regional offices) to cover a range of services within the region, with the potential drawback of increasing costs and reducing consistency of service across regions.

d. A matrix structure is a hybrid of regional and functional structure and allows for the benefits of functional and regional structures to exist in one organization but the drawback of having dual reporting structures

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

AQ100.11.07. Among statements a-d pertaining to organizational control choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Organizational control is the process of establishing and maintaining authority over and throughout an enterprise.

b. An organizational control process within a larger enterprise typically requires the use of systems that assist a manager in analyzing considerable amounts of data about how the organization and its employees are functioning in order to make appropriate administrative decisions.

c. Organizational control typically involves four steps: establish standards; measure performance; compare performance to standards; and take corrective action as needed.

d. A well designed organizational control system is unlikely to have much effect on organizational responsiveness or morale.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

AQ100.11.08. Among statements a-d pertaining to dynamic resource allocation choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Dynamic resource reallocation is shifting money, talent, and management attention to where they will deliver the most value.

b. McKinsey Managing Partner, Dominique Barton, suggests that, to keep up with changing technology and global pressures, public as well as private institutions should aim to reallocate about 10% of their resources each year.

c. Dynamic private sector companies typically reallocate about 10% of their resources each year.

d. Ultimately, even with the best intentions, resource reallocation can fall victim to organizational inertia and internal power dynamics and the challenge is particularly daunting in organizations where unit heads run their divisions like fiefdoms.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

AQ100.11.09. Among statements a-d pertaining to organizational policies choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Organizational policies are explicit statements describing expected behaviours of members of the organization.

b. In high performing organizations, most employees are familiar with most of the organization’s policies.

c. Organizational policies include principles, rules, and guidelines formulated or adopted by an organization to reach its long-term goals and typically published in a booklet or other form that is widely accessible.

d. Organizational policies are designed to influence and determine all major decisions and actions, and all activities take place within the boundaries set by them.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

AQ100.11.10. Among statements a-d pertaining to administrative decentralization choose one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Administrative decentralization transfers responsibility for the planning, financing and management of certain public functions from the central government and its agencies to field units of government agencies, subordinate units or levels of government, semi-autonomous public authorities or corporations, or area-wide, regional or functional authorities.

b. The three major forms of administrative decentralization are deconcentration, delegation, and devolution.

c. Deconcentration redistributes decision making authority and financial and management responsibilities among different levels of the central government, for example, from the officials in the capital city to those working in regions, provinces or districts.

d. Administrative decentralization is usually cost neutral.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid statements.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 21 March 2017.

Image: Organimi.com at http://blog.organimi.com/effective-organization-design-continuing-to-look-at-how-to-align-reward-systems, accessed 18 August 2016.