Founded by Gates, Microsoft Corporation is renowned as a global company specialized in the manufacture and improvement of software and computer appliances (Business day). It not only produces various software packages but also offer a wide range of computer services. Video games, operating system, personal computers and other computer applications are some of Microsoft’s products. As part of its services, the corporation educates and endorses software developer and also offers consultancy services.
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1. Based in Washington, Microsoft is divided into different subdivision i.e. customer, Microsoft commerce, server and tools, online, entertainment and devices (Microsoft Corporation). Matters pertaining to consumers such as complain or comments are handled by the consumer division. Client division ensures that consumers are well handled by carefully addressing their concerns thus maintaining satisfaction.
It is responsible for making deliveries of Microsoft products to customers all over the globe. Online division plays a significant role in advertising and providing basic information about the company’s goods and processes. In addition, it links the corporation to its customers, partners and the outside world i.e. by email and web messages.
The construction and marketing of hardware and entertainment devices such as video games and zune digital music is produced under entertainment and devices division (Microsoft Corporation).
Server and tools sector is specifically responsible for manufacture and endorsement of products and processes. The handling of the overall business problems i.e. by providing overall business elucidation, whether financial or company’s productivity are handled by the business division.
2. In as much as the company is divided in different organizational segments, it also has different parts with their own structures. The parts include manufacture, marketing, finance/accounting and HR. Marketing as part of the company, has different offices to begin with marketing manager followed by three underlying offices i.e. Sales manager, marketing research manager and product manager.
The above three offices work alongside committed teams that ensure effectiveness and efficiency of these offices. Finance/accounting as a component of Microsoft, is headed by a finance manager followed by two offices i.e. management accountant and finance accountant in conjunction with a strong workforce.
HR and production elements of Microsoft are headed by a HR manger and production manager respectively. The overall company’s structure takes a tree shape thus making it a hierarchical configuration. This is indicated by many level of administration with different offices working under each level.
3. The ultimate decision makers of the company are the directors. The board is made of ten members, approved by shareholders in the company’s yearly common assembly. The team is responsible for making every final approval on actions that impact on the general company. Approvals are divided among different board committees in relation to the kind of activity i.e. auditing committee handles matters pertaining accounting, finance committee handles matters pertaining finances of the company and so on.
For the management of global activities a team of sixteen bureaucrats that include persons who are responsible for sales, marketing and HR in the global perspective. Additionally, there is a staff council that handles all affairs of the company at corporate level. Management of Microsoft also includes heads of each department who are responsible for different activities at departmental level (production department, marketing department and so on).
Production departments are specialized in the production of software and other hard ware computer products while marketing in charge of advertising Microsoft products. Finance/ accounting offices maintain records of transactions performed by the business and ensure that they are updated and safely kept.
Conscription and vetting of employees are managed by the HR department which ensure that the company’s workforce meet the required standard. Microsoft uses both centralized and decentralized methods of production. This is because production of some products requires technical skills and advanced technology that can only be available in certain specific regions. On the other hand, products which do not demand technical skills and technology are produced in different locations.
4. The organization has a structure in the form of a tree commonly known as a hierarchical structure (John Dunning and Sarianna, Lundan, 238).
This is because of its different management levels that spread through from a global level to corporate level. It adopts a hierarchical structure due to the various factors surrounding the business i.e. size, complexity, diverse products and geographical coverage. The company has many levels of management ranging from board level to corporate level i.e. management runs from the global level to continental and finally corporate level.
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5. Vital decisions that affect the whole company, are decided by the board of directors in Washington based headquarter. The company has centralized staffs that perform different types of functions that affect the overall functioning of the company.
Centralized staffs decide on strategy to be used in future expansion of the company i.e. introductions of new branches, new products and services. Centralized staffs dictate on the company’s income expenditure i.e. they decide on the amount of dividend for shareholders and the amount ploughed back to the company.
Additionally, they decide on the overall budget of the company; they influence the amount to be distributed in the running of their branches and the amount used in running different activities of the company. Centralized staffs manipulate and also draft rules that govern the company and also have the capacity to impose penalties on indiscipline employees. In as much as running the branches is left to branch managers, centralized staffs do approve crucial activities that directly affect the company of which I consider a fair deal.
6. Some of the decisions made by the entity are centralized while some decentralized. Decisions that affect the overall company such as budget expenditure are centrally made while the ones with fewer effects are decentralized. Decisions regarding management of the company’s branches are mostly decentralized i.e. decisions are made by branch managers.
Managers and their teams can set a meeting and discuss matters concerning their branches with final decisions made. Less important decisions such as recruitment of new subordinate staffs are decentralized at corporate level. On the other hand, important decisions such as how to spend revenues, expansion of the corporation, decisions on how to raise finances and decisions on rules that govern the company is centrally made.
Centrally made decisions are always carefully made since they directly influence the company’s performance either in the short run or long run. Even though, most of decentralized decisions may not be made carefully, some decisions prove to be important and should be carefully handled such as recruitment of new staff whether unskilled or skilled. Whether in the line of work or at field (companies activities), the same rules in applies in decision making.
7. Various factors including technology, strategy, environment, life cycle and company size have profoundly influenced the company’s organizational structure (Cliffsnotes). Microsoft is an exceptionally large organization, in fact, among the world greatest companies thus making it a complex organization that can only perform under a hierarchical structure. This is because hierarchical structure subdivides a complex company to a manageable level.
Considering life cycle, Microsoft just like people, evolves and undergoes various life cycle before maturity i.e. birth, youth, middle-life and adulthood (Cliffsnotes). Microsoft like any other company was also given birth i.e. the time it was founded (1975). The second stage of growth is the youth stage, a stage where a company (Microsoft) begins to grow by expanding its operations. At this point, a company operates in a flat structure since the company’s simplicity.
Youth stage is followed by middle-life, a stage where company experiences changes in its operations i.e. from a small company to a larger and more complex company. Additionally, the company experiences a change in its organizational structure by switching from a flat structure to hierarchical structure. The company also realizes a significant increase in revenue which is as a result of increased sales from an expanded business. At maturity, the final stage of growth, a company becomes less innovative with minimal expansion.
This is because of the company’s exhaustion of its industry and the only remaining activity is to maintain the status in the market. At this point, a company is expected to operate in a hierarchical structure due to its complexity and. Environment, as a contingency factor, is the surroundings in which a company/organization operates (Cliffsnotes).
It can either be stable or unstable/dynamic. A stable environment is considered free from environmental factors such as politics, natural calamities, socio-cultural concepts and technology. A company or organization operating in a stable environment will experience be very much productive which will influence its organizational structure from flat to hierarchical. However in an unstable environment, the business surrounding is occupied by natural calamities and politics thus rendering it unfavorable to organization.
Microsoft operated in a stable environment that made it experience rapid growth in its productions and operations making forcing it to change its organizational structure from flat to hierarchical (Snellen, Wim and Donk, 264). Another contingency factor that affects an organization’s structure is technology. A company operating in an advanced technological environment will experience efficiency and effectiveness in its operations thus increasing its production and sales.
On the contrary, an organization in a poor technological environment will be ineffective thus experience minimal production and sales. By the fact that Microsoft began its operation in United States, a country with advance technology, provided a suitable technological environment. This made Microsoft grow rapidly creating a shift of its organizational structure from flat to hierarchical.
8. For smooth running of an organization, there must be rules that govern the institution. Microsoft is a large organization, operates under legislations that should be obeyed by employees and management. The lengthiness of Procedures in Microsoft organization depends on the nature of activities in place. Activities such as investments, expansion may undergo many procedures as opposed to ones which are less vital that undergo less procedure before approval.
For example, for a merger or acquisition to be approved, it must undergo many procedures to check the viability project. Programmed robots are some of the devices that are use in the coordination of different activities of the company especially in production of computer devices. Telephones also provide a better means of communication in the company, thus maintaining the smooth running of the business.
9. Microsoft organization carries out different activities either within or without their area of operation. Although, most of its activities are specialized, it also performs other different activities such as conserving the environment. This came in handy after being rated poor in environmental conservation.
Some of its environmental driven activities are to pioneer for tree planting and also minimize the use of plastic package. Whether the use of teams or an individual in the running of any activity will all depend on the nature of the work involved. This is for the reason that some activities are involving and demands a team for their effective running as opposed to the less involving activities.
10. Most organizations or companies under software industry operate internationally with their branches and outlets in different countries. This is because of increase in the use of computers thus leading to an increase in enterprises operating under this industry. In developed countries, enterprises operating under this industry are nationally distributed because of equal development in all regions of the country.
In such countries electricity, infrastructure, technology and skill that are required in the use of computers are evenly distributed thus creating ready market for software; however, in underdeveloped countries enterprises are regionally located since most the software markets are restricted to only developed areas. This goes by the fact that development in such countries are unequally distributed rendering some areas incapable of using computers i.e. by lack of electricity, infrastructure and skill that limits software markets.
Credit must be attributed to Bill Gates as the founder of this incredible company that developed the world technologically. It is fortunate that Microsoft was formed in a suitable environment that facilitated its growth.
As a result, it experienced rapid changes in its production, organization structures and operations. Though faced some criticism of not being competitive and also by being insensitive to environment, Microsoft established itself to become the greatest software producer around the globe by outshining its competitors such as apple.
Business day. Microsoft Corporation. New York Times. 2010. Web.
Cliffsnotes. Factors affecting organizational design. Cliffsnotes. 2010.Web.
John Dunning and Sarianna, Lundan. Multinational enterprises and global economies. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008 (2) 238.
Microsoft Corporation, full description, Reuters, 2010. Web.
Snellen Th.M. and Van de Donk, Wim. Public administration in an information age: a handbook. Amsterdam: IOS Press 1998 (6) 264.