Organizational structure represents the way in which an organization works; it includes coordination, supervision, hierarchy, task allocation and other decisions to achieve short term and long term organizational goals.
This essay attempts to elaborate the structure of SeoXperts, a multi-national firm engaged in web design and development. In addition, advantages and disadvantages of the structural approach have also been discussed to present an holistic overview.
Theoretically speaking, there are 5 main approaches of organizational structure namely, functional, divisional, matrix, team and network structure. In functional approach, organizations categorize different departments as finance, marketing, sales , human resources and others. This structure is usually followed by smaller companies. In contrast, bigger corporate frequently adopt divisional structure in which specialized groups are formed based on organization's products and activities. Matrix structure combines both aspects, divisional aspect as well as functional aspect. Employees also are answerable to two bosses at a particular point of time.
In team structure, different groups and teams are created to accomplish a specific task. Members in a team may belong to a single department or from different departments. Network structure is based on the concept of outsourcing where managers outsource specific tasks to specialists.
As SeoXperts is a medium-sized company having presence in different countries, they have mixed aspects in their organizational structure. They have groupings on the basis of functionality but they also follow team structure. Teams have been created at the launch of a new product or service, at the time of heavy promotion to accomplish these specific tasks. As such, their organizational structure is composed of:
- Functional structure
- Team structure
This type of structural approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage of functional structure is that it is the simplest structural approach and organization can have well defined hierarchy and communication channels in each department. In addition, as different departments are grouped on the basis if different functionalities, there are negligible changes of duplication and loss of productivity. There are some downsides as well. For instance, different managers at the company are specialists of only one task, HR manager can take care of HR department only and Marketing manager can take care of marketing function only. There is less scope of role play and hence the overall development of employees is restricted to a certain extent. Not only that, as there are different hierarchies in each department, decision making becomes slow as approvals are needed from different levels. However, adopting team structure has helped the company mitigating some of the negativities of functional structure. One major drawback of functional structure is lack of communication among departments but SeoXperts makes teams time to time thereby breaking the ice among members. It has simplified the communication across departments thereby helping in faster decision making. It has also been observed that teamwork keeps the employees motivated, focused and oriented towards their goals. As teamwork reduces level of managers in between, administrative costs are also reduced to an extent. Demerits of teamwork include issues in time management, difficulties in sharing ideas, and conflicting loyalties among members. Thus, the structural approach chosen by SeoXperts has merits as well as demerits but demerits can be better overcome with the help of effective planning, flexible strategies and competent grievance redressing mechanism.
Few years back, the company decided to branch out to different countries including India and Canada. It led to cultural change and increased diversity in the company. Main obstacle that came in way of these changes was not-so streamlined conflict management system in the company. In addition, there was lack of training sessions for expatriates. It led to challenges and problems for the employees who were sent abroad on different projects. Gradually, the management accommodated the cultural diversity and initiated minor changes in leadership style as well. Leaders and managers were asked to be more participative in their approaches to facilitate sharing of ideas on a common platform. Communication was increased across departments by way of team and groups formations, regular meets and informal functions outside the premises. The management tried to remain neutral without having bias towards any country or culture. With these efforts, the organization succeeded in creating a positive and healthy ambience at workplace and employees also welcomed the diversity at the work. However, these issues are ever-going and continuous efforts are required to manage challenges.
Recently, the organization has initiated an open feedback program to address the grievances of the employees who are not promoted by one reason or other. Also, the management tries the level best to take these decisions solely on the basis if performance of employees. Thus, these positive efforts have helped a lot in organization's expansion in new markets. Now, the company is operating successfully in India, Canada and Australia with the plans to branch out further in other countries as well.
Simply put, organizational structure has a good role to play especially in case of a major change at workplace. This is the reason structure should be flexible enough to accommodate changes of the dynamic business environment.
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SeoXperts. (2013). SeoXperts. Retrieved October 4, 2013, from www. seoxperts.com.au