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CHAPTER SEVEN MANUFACTURING AND SERVICE TECHNOLOGIES CHAPTER OVERVIEW This chapter explores the nature of organizational technology and the impact that technology has on organization design. Technology is reflected in the organization's workflow, and structural design must be tailored to fit workflow needs. This chapter will specify types of organizational technology and the structure that is appropriate for each type. The technology of departments will also be explored. Structure and functioning across departments may differ depending upon technology and the nature of workflow interdependence across the departments. The influence of computer-based information technologies on organization design is also examined. Core Organization Manufacturing Technology Technology is the tools, techniques, machines, and actions used to transform inputs (materials, information, ideas) into outputs (products and services). Technology includes such things as machinery, employee education, and work procedures. An organization’s core technology is the work process that is directly related to the mission. The key question of this chapter is: How should organization structure be designed to facilitate the production process? Manufacturing Firms Joan Woodward's classic study classified manufacturing firms into: small batch (job shop, single orders); mass production (assembly line); and continuous process technologies (automated machines control a continuous process). Woodward discovered that technology was related to structure and performance, and was based on technical complexity (extent of mechanization and predictability of manufacturing process). Mass production firms tended to be more formalized, centralized, mechanistic, had larger span of control and less-educated workers than small batch or continuous process technologies. Successful firms had complimentary structures and technologies. Successful small-batch and continuous process organizations tended to have organic structures. Successful mass production organizations tended to have mechanistic structures. Strategy, Technology and Performance Woodward also studied the success of the firms along dimensions such as profitability, market share, stock price and reputation. Firms were ranked on a scale of commercial success according to whether they displayed above average, average or below average performance on strong objectives. Contemporary Applications Flexibile Manufacturing The most recent development in manufacturing technology is Computer-Integrated Manufacturing , also called advanced manufacturing technology, agile manufacturing, smart factories or flexible manufacturing systems. Flexible manufacturing is the result of three subcomponents. Computer-aided design
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2011 for the course BUSINESS 398 taught by Professor Allanmarshal during the Spring '11 term at Wilfred Laurier University .

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