improving organisational structures

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  • Created by: amy
  • Created on: 28-05-13 17:19

Key Terms

  • SPAN OF CONTROL- the number of subordinates who a line manager is directly responsible for supervising. 
  • ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE- the relationship between different people and functional areas within a business. 
  • ORGANISATIONAL CHART- a diagram showing the lines of authority and layers of hierachy within an organisation.
  • ORGANISATION HIERACHY- the vertical division of authority and also accountability in an organisation.
  • DELEGATION- the process of passing authority down the hierachy from a manager to a subordinate. 
  • RESPONSIBILITY- being accountable for one's action.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY- the extent to which a named individual is held responsible for the success or failure of a particular action. 
  • AUTHORITY- the ability or power to carry out a task. 
  • COMMUNICATION- the process of information exchange between individuals or groups. 
  • INTERNAL COMMUNICATION- the exchange of information between people inside of an organisation.
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Key terms 2

  • EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION- the exchange of information between people and groups outside of the business. e.g. talking with suppliers or bank
  • ONE-WAY COMMUNICATION- communication without any feedback between the sender and receiver e.g. notice on a board
  • TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION- communication with feedback between sender and receiver e.g. question and answer 
  • FORMAL COMMUNICATION- the exchange of information and ideas within and outside of a business using formal channels e.g. official letters and meetings
  • INFORMAL COMMUNICATION- the exchange of information and ideas using unofficial channels within a business e.g. gossip
  • VERTICAL COMMUNICATION- the exchange of information between people at different levels within an organisation.
  • HORIZONTAL COMMUNICATION- the exchange of information between people at similar levels within an organisation. 
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the basic hierachy

The basic hierachy


- the more levels of hierachy, the more difficult it is for communication to travel from the bottom through to the top. 

-This can frustrate and demotivate staff at the bottom of the hierachy 

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Span of control

Span of Control

- a wide span of control means a line manager is in charge of a lot of subordinates

-the problem with this is that it makes coordinating the actions of all the subordinates very difficult 

-on the other hand a manager might hold a narrow span of control of just one subordinate

-this can be bad as the subordinate feels constantly under pressure and observation

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Tall Structure

Tall structure

this is a business with many layers in their hierachy and with narrow spans of control. 

-this type of structure provides more opportunities for staff promotion and better control by management 

-however, communication channels are slow and important information could be lost through the layers!

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Flat Structure

these are businesses which have very few levels of hierachy and wide spans of control

-this type of structure encourages greater levels of delegation and this can motivate staff

-communication channels are also shorter

-however, managers will have less time for individuals and subordinates might feel overwhelmed due to the amount of work delegated to them.

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Delegation

this involves the passing of authority down the hierachy from line managers to subordinates. 

-This can motivate subordinates to who work has been delegated but it is important that the line manager ensures that the subordinate is able to fufill the task effectively. 

-the work that is delegated also needs to be meaningful for it to be motivating but it does free up valuable time for managers to focus upon other things.

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Communication flows

effective communication is very important for the success of a business.

The key benefits include:

- the making of more informed decisions

-Better coordination of staff activities

-improved staff motivation

-it becomes easier to implement changes 

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how organisational structures affect performance

-as a business grows in size then it acquires additional levels within the hierachy which can slow down decision making.

-the clearer the lines of accountability the better as staff then know what their role is within the fim and who they are responsible to and for. 

-the stronger and more effective the flow of communication the better the decisions a business makes as they are more informed about the views of staff, managers and external groups such as customers.

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how organisational structures affect performance

-as a business grows in size then it acquires additional levels within the hierachy which can slow down decision making.

-the clearer the lines of accountability the better as staff then know what their role is within the fim and who they are responsible to and for. 

-the stronger and more effective the flow of communication the better the decisions a business makes as they are more informed about the views of staff, managers and external groups such as customers.

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influences on the choice of organizational structu

influences on the choice of organizational structure

  • the size of the organisation
  • the culture of the management e.g. a manager who likes to keep power and decision making decisions to themselves will favour a tall structure with a narrow span of control
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