ECE _ DSST Organizational Behavior

Wide spans of control are consistent with recent

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Unformatted text preview: Wide spans of control are consistent with recent efforts by companies to reduce costs, cut overhead, speed up decision making, increase flexibility, get closer to customers, and empower employees. Centralization refers to the degree to which decision making is concentrated at a single point in the organization. This concept includes only formal authority, that is, the rights inherent in one’s position. Typically, it’s said that if top management makes the organization’s key decisions with little or no input from lower level personnel, then the organization is centralized. In other words, how spread out is authority in the organization? The more centralized it is, the less spread out authority is. The more that lower-level personnel provide input or are actually given the discretion to make decisions, the more decentralization there is. In a decentralized organization, action can be taken more quickly to solve problems, more people provide input into decisions, and employees are less likely alienated from those who make decisions that affect their work lives. Consistent with recent management efforts to make organizations more flexible and responsive, there has been a marked trend toward decentralizing decision making. Formalization is the degree to which jobs within the organization are standardized . If a job is highly formalized, then the job incumbent has a minimum amount of discretion over what is to be done, when it is to be done, and how he or she should do it. There are explicit job descriptions, lots of organizational rules, and clearly defined procedures covering work processes in organizations where there is high formalization. Simple structure is a structure characterized by a low degree of departmentalization, wide spans of control, authority centralized in a single person, and little formalization. The simple structure is said to be characterized most by what it is not rather than what it is. The simple structure is not elaborated. The simple structure is a “flat” organization. It usually has only two or three vertical levels, a loose body of employees, and one individual in whom the decision-making authority is centralized. The simple structure is most widely practiced in small businesses in which the manager and the owner are one and the same. An organization's shape depends on the number of levels of management. If one has many levels of supervision and narrow spans of control, it is a tall organizational structure. A flat structure would have few levels of management and broad spans of control. In a vertical organization, companies define jobs and activities by using Departmentalization – the arrangement of activities into logical groups that are then clustered into larger departments and units that form the total organization....
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