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Early in human existence people learned that their individual efforts often fell short of success. They found that they were unable to accomplish many tasks that require more than individual effort. The result was that only limited goals could be attained. Therefore the necessity of group activity was discovered relatively early in human existence.
Group activity could be aimed at some higher, more complex set of goals and could thus bring greater benefits to all concerned. This quality of group activity must be counted as one of the chief requirements for success. Cooperation is a prime element of a group of people who want to achieve more than they can acting individually. A system of group relationships built upon and fostering cooperation, then, is basically the meaning of an organization.
This system of cooperation consists of several parts: the human element, the physical element, the work element, and the coordination element. All of these elements, taken collectively, can be thought of as an organization. Today, this system of cooperation is much more complex than it was in the first attempts at organization.
Thus,organization is an open, dynamic, purposeful social system of cooperation designed to enhance individual effort aimed at goal accomplishment; consists of the human element, the physical element, the work element, and the coordination element; transforms resources into outputs for users.
It is important to examine the various parts or components of organization theory in order to outline its broad scope. These components are: goals, work, power and authority, delegation, structure.
It was stated earlier that organizations were established to enable an individual to accomplish more in a group than he could as an individual. In other words, organizations are devices for pooling talent and ability into an effective whole that can accomplish some desired objective. Every organization is initially built to accomplish some goal. The goal orpurposeis an unrealized state or condition that the members do not possess but which they deem desirable. It is imperative that organizational goals be clearly defined and communicated to all organization members who are to be affected by them. Goals are the starting point for the design and maintenance of the organization itself. At the same time, these goals must meet a need that society has defined as important. Thus, consumer needs play a crucial role in organization.
Once the goal of an organization is established, it is time for the members to decide on the type of work activity that will be necessary to accomplish these goals. Basically, any organization must perform two fundamental types of work: primary and secondary. The primary work(it also commonly referred to as line work) consists of production and distribution of goods and services that will satisfy consumer needs. The secondary work (it is often termed staff work) consists of all those activities that support and extend the operations of primary work. For example, in a manufacturing firm, the secondary work would include accounting, personnel and quality control.
No theory of organizations would be complete without a treatment of the roles that power and authority play in organizational activity. These two components of theory help explain the network of relationships that tie the other components of an organization together into some logical pattern.
Poweris the ability to influence others successfully. It comes from any single or combination of possible sources. For example, one can have power over others because of one’s intelligence, skill, or money. Regardless of its source, power enables its holder to exercise one’s will over others. Thus, in order to understand the total workings of an organization, one must have an appreciation of the role that power plays in these workings.
Authoritycan be defined as power that has been given official recognition bythe organization. Once an organization legally authorizes an individual to act on its behalf, that person is said to possess authority. Every member of the organization has some amount of authority to take action necessary to carry out his responsibility. The concern of the theorist is to understand how authority comes to be officially recognized by the organization and what considerations should be made regarding its use.
Organizations that enjoy any measure of success find it necessary to increase their membership and to assign duties to these additional members. The process that is used to add members to the organization will result in the necessity to divide the work of the organization into sub-units or groups. Each of these groups will be under the direction of a manager or managers. In order for these managers to perform their managerial duties properly, they must be granted appropriate responsibility and authority. The means for making these assignments is termed delegation.In general, delegation may be defined asthe process of transferring an obligation (responsibility) and anaccompanying right(authority) from a superior to a subordinate position in the organization. It is this basic process that enables an organization to grow. Without delegation, an organization simply cannot exist and prosper.
The patterns of work divisions and their hierarchical arrangements constitute the basic components of structure. Structure,then, is the hierarchical pattern of authority,responsibility, and accountability relationships designed to provide coordination of the work of the organization. It is basically a managerial tool that aids in guiding the organization towards its goals and can be considered the skeleton of the organizational body. The idea of hierarchy of authority, the division of organization by function, the differentiation of responsibility of the line (doers) and the staff (the advisors) are all inventions of the church and military leaders who were faced with the need to manage large aggregations of human, technical, and material resources. Organizations create an officially sanctioned structure known as the formal organization or de jure organization. This structure is often depicted by a chart as that seen in Fig. 1.
A formal organization is only half the story, for superimposed on these relationships is a whole series of informal or de facto relationships that are not sanctioned by the organization. These include informal work groupings of employees, informal leaders, informal channels of communication and informal power and status differentials. Usually the structure of an organization is rather permanent and stable but in some cases a temporary, ad hoc, organization may be created. The organization exists to reach a certain goal or set of goals and disbands once the goal is achieved.
1.What did people find early in human existence?
2.What is the meaning of the organization?
3.What is an organization?
4.What are the components of organization theory?
5.What role do power and authority play in building every organization?
6.What is the starting point for the design of an organization?
7.What is delegation and why is it necessary in today’s organization?
8.Which is more important: formal or informal structure?
9.Can you give any example of an ad hoc organization?