Organizational design in the 21st century remains a delicate issue, not as it was in the pre-industrial revolution times. The dynamic nature of the market requires a design that balances an organization’s strategy and structure, the goals of the firm and that of employees, accountability and adaptability, as well as information coordination between the top management and the subordinates.
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These factors have created tension in the management of organizations, resulting in under performance or even closure of entities. Failure by new enterprises to account for the future changes within the management system and the target market in their organizational designs has been a major setback for the organizations.
For instance, the chapter acknowledges the need by senior leaders in all organizations to understand the essence of incorporating all stakeholders in the decision-making process. This approach is vital as it instills in employees the spirit of collective responsibility of meeting the goals they participated in formulating (Jones 11).
As organizations expand their operations within and outside the system, issues of specialization arise. Robert Simons in his article, The Tensions of Organization Design, reiterates the need for an inclusive organizational design, which encompasses future changes in business operations. The entire process is a balancing act that managers must follow strictly, or else they risk being isolated in the current dynamic market.
Even though the process of designing organizations is not an easy undertaking, senior management must carry out the process given that it is more risky in doing nothing than trying to keep with the varying needs of the business. Simons’ article indicates that organizations that fail to adopt the new changes are merely planning to the growth crisis (Simons 3).
In my opinion, I concur with the findings of the research that businesses that fail to design their organizations in line with the existing strategy, competitive environment, and the firm’s life cycle are likely to face leadership crisis, autonomy crisis, crisis of control, and red tape crisis in their growth progress. In addition, I concur with the author’s prediction that such firms are always forced out of business, and replaced by their competitors that observe the changing needs of the business.
Evolutions at the workplaces, as well as in the market require flexible managers, that is, those who can easily inculcate the new changes in the management system. Currently, organizations are looking for customers, and designing products in line with their needs.
This was not the case in the past. Decision making as well has to be decentralized. However, there should be appropriate stages that help in this, as well as reduce delays in making and implementing decisions. A case example of the collapse of Enron helps elaborate the accountability and adaptability level of organizational design.
The continued evaluation of employees based on their wok output, rather than using the stipulated operating procedures was a major factor for the company’s involvement in unethical practices. Employees were using all means to achieve the management’s objectives; they did not comply with the preset standards.
Successful organizations have to follow a design that recognizes the inputs of subordinates in decision-making, balances their success and employees’ self-interests, incorporates changes in the market, balances their structure and strategy, as well as incorporates the aspects of accountability and adaptability.
A rigid, inflexible organizational design is not sustainable in this century. Moreover, there is a need to strike a balance between the changing market and employee desires with the scope of an organization. In recognizing employees as strong partners in a business, organizations tend to increase commitment to achievement of the strategic goals and objectives (Simons 12).
Currently, apart from adopting a horizontal communication framework, successful organizations like IBM, Apple, and General Motors engage their employees in off-work training on achievement of the companies’ goals, as well as those of employees. This approach has enabled these corporations gain competitive advantage over their competitors.
Jones, Gareth. Organizational Theory: Text and Cases. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2001. Print.
Simons, Robert. “The Tensions of Organization Design.” Levers of Organization Design: How Managers Use Accountability Systems for Greater Performance and Commitment. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2005. Print.