Functional,divisional and matrix structures are employed by differentorganisations to achieve the set objectives. Organisations are evercoming up with the various projects due to the ever changingtechnology. According to David Olson (2014), “almost everyorganization gets involved in projects due to the fast pace of changeand also due to the specialized nature of modern business.” Theseprojects include the formation of teams with different skills whocome together to accomplish a given task. “The project team membersdo not usually know each other very well at the onset, and they tendto have different skills and interest” (Olson, 2014).
TheAmerican Red Cross operates under set laws, policies, and regulation,which have to be adhered to by all volunteers and employees. Itoperates under a divisional organisation structure. It is composed of769 regional chapters with each chartered by the board of governorsworking alongside directors who determine, which programs andservices are most vital in that particular region. Thedirectors are above the supervisors whose responsibility is tomonitor the working of the employees and the volunteers. With setlaws, policies and regulations, the employees and volunteers can worktogether and are in a position to know of their work proceed.Furthermore, in the case of a problem, they can revisit the writteninstructions and can rectify the problem. According to Labovitzand Rosansky (2014), “the divisional of responsibilities createsdifferences between the employees thus driving them apart and makingit difficult for them to work together.”
Accordingto Fritz (2013), “organisation structure is made up of parts suchas people and resources that influence each other by the relationshipthey form.”The American Red Cross has created the Ombudsman programand clubs which give way to an open structure. The Ombudsman programis used by employees and volunteers in seeking an informal andconfidential resolution when faced with a problem and is finding ithard to approach their supervisor. Formation of clubs creates aplatform where employees and volunteers can meet, interact and shareideas. These bonds are further strengthened through connecting insocial networks.
TheAmerican Red Cross forms teams based on individuals’ skills andinterests. For example, teams are set up to offer disaster services,to conduct blood donation, to perform counselling and to train thecommunity on how to acquire lifesaving skills. The team is managed bycreating laws, rules, and guidelines to guard their operations.Furthermore, a structure stating the responsibilities of the officersand members are formulated which conveys how a team will communicate,organize and implement projects.
Theexistence of the formal structures can be advantageous in that, theorganisation`s goals can be easily achieved when individuals areallocated duties based on their specialization. Ostensibly, employeeswill concentrate more on their work based on the set policies henceaccomplishing their goals on the set timelines. According to DavidOlson (2014), “the accomplishment of a project depends on eachone`s effort.” Also, allocation of duties based on specializationenables smooth functioning and prevents overlapping of functions. Onthe other hand, the informal structures allow individuals to formsocial networking groups through which they can share innovativeideas and motivate each other. According to Zheng et al., “aninformal structure creates flexibility and spontaneity needed forinternal innovation.”
Oneway to improve team management and project performance isstrengthening the open structure. Notably, this enables fast transferof information and creates an environment where members can motivateand empower each other. According to Chen and Huang, “an informalstructure will lead to higher performance.” Additionally, “informalcommunication enables members to learn about each other and theirwork (Kraut et al., 2013). Secondly, the organization should formstructures which will suit individuals with high work performance andexcellent, innovative skills. This will enable delivery ofhigh-quality services to the satisfaction of the public. According toClemmer, “organization structure shapes performance placing goodperformers in a bad structure, their performance will be poor.”
Fritz,R. (2013). CorporateTides: The Inescapable Laws of Organizational Structure,Berrett-Koehler
Labovitz,G. & Rosansky, V. (2014). ThePower of Alignment: How Great Companies Stay Centered and AccomplishExtraordinary Things, John Wiley &Sons.
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R.E. Kraut, R. S. Fish, R. W. Root, and B. L. Chalfonte. (2013).Informal communication in organizations: Form, function, andtechnology. Newbury Park: Sage Publication, 2013.
W.Zheng, B. Yang, and G. N. Mclean. (2013). “LinkingOrganizational Culture, Organizational, and Strategy Effectiveness:MediatingRole of Knowledge Management,” Journal of Business Research, Vol.63, No. 7, pp. 763- 771. doi:10.1016
J.Clemmer. (2013). “OrganizationStructure Limits or Liberates High Performance,”http://www.clemmer.net/excerpts/ph_orglimits.html
Olson,L David. (2014). Introductionto Information System Project Management(2ndEd.). McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.