Quiz 10: Designing Organization Structure


Manager S delegated management responsibility to H for 10 days, so that she could focus on a project. When she returned, she found that he had hired a person to fill a position without interviewing some specific people that had been promised a chance at the position. Manager S's approach to delegation was to transfer authority and responsibility to H, but without explaining those specific areas that he would be accountable for in her absence. Since he did not have information on the tasks and outcomes that were expected (in this case to interview those promised a chance before filling the open position), he did not appropriately manage the department in his boss's absense.

In an organization, the authority and responsibility for making changes is ultimately up to management. In our scenario, manager G is not taking action on a change that T feels should be made. T is considering three options for responding to the situation, since he is feeling uncomfortable with the current lack of attention to it. T's option for "mind your own business" has been working up to this point, but T should probably change his response at this point since he is becoming uncomfortable with the situation. If he begins complaining about the lack of response to other employees, it could get back to his boss and lead to repercussions. T's option to anonymously complain to G's boss is also generally not a good response. It might be an appropriate last resort, since it will likely lead to some sort of company action, but if G figures out the T sent the memo it will likely have a long term impact on his position and his ability to get raises, promotions, and other benefits. It's also generally considered inappropriate in a business situation to go to someone's boss unless you have already tried to work with them directly to take action. This leaves T the option of writing a memo to G, asking for permission to make the change he feels is necessary. This has the advantage of putting his concern in writing, in case it's ever asked in the future whether this issue was known and addressed, and will hopefully result in a written response giving T clear direction. If he's asked to delay implementation, he will have documentation backing his action (or lack thereof) in case the issue comes up later.

There are many factors that might contribute toward the greater use of teams in recent years, including: • Speed: many companies have a goal of responding to customer needs or emergencies in a faster manner. Teams improve the ability to do so, since only a small group of people needs to be mobilized to deal with the situation, and they can make decisions without waiting for the chain of command. • Job satisfaction: many companies are focused on job satisfaction for current employees, since it's very expensive to hire new staff for more specialized positions. Giving teams authority to make decisions and the responsibility to manage a specific area improves the morale of the employees involves, as they feel they have more value to the organization and more control over their work results. • On the job training: allowing teams to make decisions gives more junior employees experience in the decision making process and what works or can go wrong. This hands on experience can translate into better quality managers in the future.