There is no single organizational design and structure, which can be applied to all businesses; though all businesses show some level of organizational design and structure, which define the groups, and offers coordination for the different roles to be performed in the business.
This paper is a review of the organizational structure and the design of Veema Ltd., a business specializing in the delivery of IT appliances, including computers, across the host state. Things to be discussed include work specialization, centralization and decentralization, departmentalization, formalization, chain of command, and the span of control at Veema Ltd (Adair 134).
The field of work specialization
Different jobs, roles and tasks, are assigned to the various departments within the design, after being grouped into classes, placing those that are closely related together, and assigning them to the relevant departments. At Veema, the employees working at the administrative centers are those trained and skilled in administration, thus may not be able to work at the business units, for example, the technical department.
An example here is the case of Janet Walters, who was required to work at the marketing department, during an internal case study, designed to evaluate the ability of different workers to operate at departments, other than those which they are specialized in. Ordinarily, she worked at the technical center; and had maintained top performance since her appointment. However, when placed at the sales department, she could not perform well, as comparable to the performance of the sales team members recruited one month before.
The promotion of top management takes place, often, within the division or the department, which the workers operate under, as these are the fields that they are specialized in. For example, 3 months ago, John Smith, who was the marketing manager, was promoted to become the president of marketing, which fall under the same department of sales.
These two variables under work specialization, show the importance of specialization, with regard to roles and skills of workers at Veema. The study offered insights into the management of operations and resources at the organization, as well as the significance of teams in pursuing organizational goals (Adair 134).
Veema Ltd. runs on a design characteristic with mixed product and functional departmentalization. These can be split into two: the administrative units and the business center units, which are further split into different divisions and departments. Business units and subunits, are distinguishable on the basis of product departmentalization, which is simply the line of products that they trade in or supply.
These include the computer sales division, which deals in computers and laptops; the internet set up and supplies division, which offers the services of internet installation and maintenance; the software division, which deals in the supply and trading of software applications; and the parts and accessories section, which trades in the parts and accessories of computers.
These divisions create specialization zones, which allow for effective addressing of the needs of the customers. The administrative unit consists of a number of departments, which are departmentalized on the basis of the functions they play at the business. These include marketing, human resource, financial, technical, and global development (Handy 76).
The marketing department is responsible for all the marketing activities of the venture, these including any sales promotions to be carried out by the business, and the allocation of sales staff and representatives, as well as the creation, communication, delivery and exchange offerings carried out between the business and its customers.
Other minor roles are not listed here. The human resource department is responsible for the selection, assessment of performance, training, sourcing of workers and the rewarding of employees. This department further plays the role of overseeing organizational culture and leadership, as well as guaranteeing compliance to the laws on employment and labor at the areas of operation.
The financial department is responsible for business budgeting, administration of funds, the employment of expenditure and economy measures, manning all monetary activities and checking tax compliance. The technical department is responsible for the technical functions of the venture, these including software and hardware testing, as well as the checking of faulty products still under warranty.
The global development department is responsible for the standardization of the processes and operational levels of the company, to ensure that they keep up to date, with reference to global levels of technical and software advancement (Covey 47).
The chain of command
Like at many other modernly run organizations, the chain of command has less significance at Veema Ltd. This is because the role of authority managers and supervisors is kept at minimum; as the employees of Veema are trained to act at exert levels across the different operational zones.
Therefore, different from the traditional chain of command model, which runs orders from top to bottom, managers at the different operational centers engage in the oversight of the performance and the progress of the employees. At Veema, the expectation and obligation towards performance is expressed at the teams or individual levels. This is to mean that at Veema, the managers will oversee the operations of workers, without assigning roles and tasks to each worker.
This is the case, as the teams take full responsibility for the division of work amongst the different players, who carry out their roles towards the realization of the common goals. On the basis of the account offered, unity of command is virtually not existent at Veema, as the majority of employees, who operate under teams, will report to the oversight manager or the managers from related departments (Handy 76).
The span of control
The trends in the structure and design of organizations are moving towards the establishment of larger control spans, as this helps reduce the costs. Also, this is helpful in speeding up decision-making and is a factor leading to an increase in the flexibility of organizations, with regard to change or other change demanding situations.
The wide control spans, further help the business in drawing closer to its customers and the principal impact of empowerment and the motivation of workers, which play a critical role in determining organizational success. The span of control for Veema is similar to the one described above, as depicted by the operational functions of the different oversight managers and other support management staff, including the top staff at the business.
For example, Dr Jacob Jones, who is the managing director of the venture, is a player in the oversight of 8 dissimilar sectors, these including the internet services provision division. Dr. Jacobs is also an active player in corporate marketing, the technical support division and the global development division. The wide span of Dr. Jacob’s duties draws from his high competence in running such ventures, as he has run five different companies in a span of 25 years.
Therefore, he is capable of offering support across a major number of the different departments and sectors. The second case is that of Janet Walters, who acts as a player and the oversight manager in charge of the technical department. She is also responsible for the running of three other divisions, including the software development, the parts and accessories department, as well as the computers sale section, as she is highly proficient with the running of technical application and operations.
Miss Janet Walters has also been accorded the wide range of contribution, responsibility and oversight authority, as she has worked under the technical department for 3 IT establishments, over the past twelve years. However, the wide span of control does not mean that one worker can operate efficiently at every sector, as from her example, she was not able to perform at the sales department, which implies the need for a careful selection of the extension spans (Boddy 145).
Under span of control, Veema calls for highly developed skills and intensive training, especially from those working at the key product sectors. As a result, the company offers further training to every worker on a two months basis, after which, it administers a skills-base evaluation to evaluate the level of competence.
This is evident from the fact that, at the business units of Veema, the workers are able to arrange themselves into teams and arrive at decisions in a quick effective manner. At these centers, the workers also show that they are capable of carrying out their duties and responsibilities in an effective manner, without the supervision of top management or oversight control.
Further, considering the wide coverage of the venture; the huge number of employees and the variety of operational locations which are operated from four reference departments, the operational abilities of the different workers is skilled and effective. This shows that the different workers at Veema are highly skilled and proficient (Covey 47).
Centralization and Decentralization at Veema
From The operational design and the duty execution lines of the company, the company is fairly decentralized. The operational teams under the different departments and divisions at Veema formulate their own plans regarding projects. However, all these are done with reference to their skills and knowledge base, towards the realization of the goals set by the divisions, departments or the company as a whole.
The managers at Veema rely on the experience and the expertise of the team members at the departmental or divisional levels of decision-making, these including those on goal setting. Additionally, the roles of the managers are more restricted to the oversight or progress and the provision of suggestions to the players when necessary. Decentralization is also evident from the mutual dependence of the different departments and divisions, which may request for the provision of the resources available at others.
From this case, it is also evident that decision-making at the organizational level cannot be carried out by one department, managerial level or other positional leaders. From the appearance that decision-making at Veema is not concentrated around certain departments, divisions or authorities, it is clear that Veema is operated on a decentralized mode of operation (Collins 145).
Formalization at Veema
From the account of Veema, it is clear that the company has spent a considerable effort, towards ensuring that the working environment available to its workers is highly flexible, and one with less boundaries. Further, the company encourages and promotes their employees to live a learning-process, whether at work or outside, as the company operates principally, on the highly developed employee skills-base.
From following this approach, the company has created a highly skilled and intelligent workforce, which offers it competitive advantage, towards the meeting of company goals at a considerable level of freedom. From the account therefore, it is clear that job behaviors are considerably not structured, which offers employees a substantial level of freedom as they do their work, thus are highly capable of exercising creativity and developing more effective problem-solving tactics (Handy 76).
There is no single organizational design or structure, which can be applied and used at different institutions or organizations. This is the case, as the design or structure adopted, depends on the needs of the organization, the area of coverage and the extent of service to be offered. For instance, a sole proprietorship may rely on the input of one individual, and still meet its obligations, while a company must have a large number of players working in harmony.
This paper is an analysis of the organizational structure and design of Veema, an IT supplies company. Under work specialization, different departments and divisions are assigned different roles and responsibilities. Under departmentalization, the company has an administrative and a business unit, which are further split into different divisions, which are the socialization zones.
At Veema, the chain of command is virtually non-existent, as there are no definite lines of authority. In the area of span of control, the company’s management covers a wide coverage of duties, which are run through the input of the lower level employees.
Under centralization, the company’s decisions are made at the different levels of operation and the different authority and functional roles, thus the company adopts a decentralized operation model. Under formalization, Veema is low; therefore the employees work in a highly free environment, which promotes personal responsibility.
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