Structural organizational change refers to the system-wide reorganization and/or reorientation of the organization. Implementation of structural changes normally involves redefining authority relationships, redesigning of jobs, spans of control and coordinating mechanisms. Job redesign entails the rearrangement of tasks which can be achieved via the division or combination of tasks into departments or divisions. Redesigning of jobs will merit changes in coordinating mechanisms such as communication and information processing patterns within the organization. Redefinition of authority relationships entails the establishment of a new locus for decision making in the organization as well alterations in the manner in which rules and goals are made and enforced. Changes in spans of control refer to changes in the way authority is meted out for example, allowing the employees to have more autonomy as opposed to supervising them all the time. An example of a structural change in an organization is the change from functional departmentalization to departmentalization based on products or geographical location.
Technological change entails altering how inputs in the organization are transformed into outputs. As such, it involves changes in the work processes as well as methods and in the types of equipments used during organizational operations. Changes in work processes entail making alterations to how the organization’s production process or how the company goes about delivering its products or services. Computerization of documentation in an organization that previous relied on manual documentation that is, paper and pen is an example of a technological change in an organization. Such a change will necessitate alterations to the working processes and methods. In addition, it will require that all working stations have computers which may not have been the case earlier.
A people oriented organizational change basically aims at altering the behaviors, attitudes, skills, expectations as well as the performance of employees in the organization. This kind of change is achieved via implementing changes in the organizational culture, training, making changes in the top management amongst others. Training employees on how to work as a team is an example of people centered organizational change.
Characteristics of teams
A problem-solving team consists of a group of employees that works together on a temporary basis to resolve a specific problem following which they disband. A cross-functional team on the other hand is one in which the members are derived from different functions of the organization for example, marketing, finance and production. A self-managed team refers to a team that has been given the authority to make decisions concerning how the individual members of such a team will go about performing their daily tasks. Virtual teams are groups whose members who are dispersed geographically and hence resort to the use of a combination of information technology and telecommunications to perform their organizational tasks.
Individual behavior in an organization
The behavior of an individual is influenced by a myriad of factors which can be external or internal. An individual’s personality is an example of such internal factors. Personality attributes that influence workplace behavior include self-esteem, self-monitoring and Machiavellianism. Self-monitoring refers to an individual’s ability to adjust his/her behavior in response to a situation or to external factors. Individuals are classified as being high or low self-monitors. High-self monitors are able to able to adjust their behavior to fit the prevailing situation. Low self-monitors on the other hand exhibit a consistent behavior in every situation. Individuals with a machiavellinism kind of personality have a pragmatic approach to life and do not exhibit nor believe in values like humility and loyalty. Such people believe that the end justifies the means and hence will tend to engage in unethical practices to achieve their goals. Self-esteem refers to an individual’s sense of personal worth. Individuals with high self-esteem perform better than those with low self-esteem. They are also more confident in their work.
Motivation in the organizational context refers to both internal as well as external impetuses that have the effect of arousing and directing employees’ efforts. In essence therefore, the concept of motivation encompasses the needs, goals, incentives, motives and the objectives that push or pull individuals in an organization to do something.
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs classifies human needs into five hierarchies that is, physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem needs and the need for self actualization. Physiological needs are at the bottom of the hierarchy followed by safety, social, self-esteem needs while self actualization needs are at the top of the hierarchy. Maslow argued that at any one time, an individual is motivated to satisfy the needs of the level of hierarchy he or she is at. If the individual satisfies the needs at one level, he or she becomes motivated to satisfy the needs of the next level.
The three needs theory by McClelland and fellow associates at the Harvard University posits that in majority of working situations, an employee’s behavior is motivated by three needs, that is, the need for achievement, need for power and the need for affiliation. The need for achievement refers to the quest to strive for excellence whereby an employee wants to meet goals as well as perform better. Employees with this need tend to choose tasks in which they can have a fifty-fifty chance of being successful; they avoid very easy or very hard tasks. Employees with the need for power have the need to influence the behavior of other employees and hence tend to focus on being influential, they also like being in charge of other employees. Employees with the need for affiliation seek to establish close relationships and friendships with fellow employees. They are therefore more likely to foster cooperation within the organization.
The equity theory on the other hand proposes that people normally consider two primary factors whenever they are evaluating equity that is; they compare their ratio of their outcomes to that of their input as well as the ratio of the another person’s outcomes to that of their inputs. In essence therefore, it suggests that employees are more motivated in situations where they feel they are being treated in a fair manner that is, they are getting fair remunerations for their work. In addition, it posits that employees become less motivated whenever they feel that they are being treated unequally, a perception they arrive at by comparing the outcomes and rewards of other employees.
The managerial grid
The managerial grid was developed based on the findings of studies on the behavioral theory of leadership by Blake and Mouton in 1964. This grid basically suggests that are five different styles of management that depend on where a leader focuses his concern for goal achievement that is in regard to the employees or production. In the country club style of management, the leader exhibits high concern for the people and low concern for production. In the team style of management, the leader places high emphasis on both the employees as well as on production. In the middle-of-the-road style of management, the leader has moderate concern for both the employees and production. Leaders with the impoverished style of leadership have low concern for both production and employees. In the final leadership style, that is, produce or perish style, the leader has high concern for production and low concern for employees.
The basic studies whose results were later summarized into the managerial grid were the behavioral studies conducted at Ohio and Michigan State Universities in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The Ohio studies concluded that leadership could be evaluated using two dimensions, that is, consideration and initiating structure. Considerate leaders express concern of their employees’ feelings, opinions and ideas in regard to job-related matters. Initiating structure on the other hand refers to the leader’s ability to provide employees with directions towards specific goals. These studies concluded that leaders with high levels of consideration as well as initiating structure were the most effective leaders. A major weakness of these findings is that are not applicable to every situation. The studies at the University of Michigan dichotomized one aspect of leadership, supervisory behavior into two dimensions that is, production-centered and employee-centered. The studies concluded that effective leaders attempt to be employee centered an aspect which translates to increased production. The major weaknesses for both studies are their limited conceptualization of leadership that is the studies measured only two aspects of leadership. Further, the findings from the studies cannot be generalized to all organizations.