ECE _ DSST Organizational Behavior

The term"work specialization" or division of

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Unformatted text preview: The term "work specialization", or division of labor, is used to describe the degree to which tasks in the organization are subdivided into separate jobs. The essence of work specialization is that, rather than an entire job being done by one individual, it is broken down into a number of steps, with each step being done by a separate individual. In essence, individuals specialize in doing part of an activity rather than an entire activity. Because Henry Ford utilized this idea on his assembly line, he was able to produce cars at the rate of one every ten seconds while using employees who had relatively limited skills. The more specialized a job, the more narrowly focused the skills required for that job. Once jobs have been divided up through work specialization, these jobs need to be grouped together so that common tasks can be coordinated. departmentalization is the basis by which jobs are grouped together. One of the most popular ways to group activities is by the functions performed. Tasks can also be departmentalized by the type of product the organization produces. Another way to departmentalize is on the basis of geography or territory. A final way to departmentalize is by the particular type of customer the organization seeks to reach. For instance, the sales activities in an office supply firm can be broken down into three departments to service retail, wholesale, and government customers. Another example of departmentalization is dividing a company into the marketing, customer support, and sales departments. The chain of command is an unbroken line of authority that extends from the top of the organization to the lowest echelon and clarifies who reports to whom. Twenty years ago, the chain-of-command concept was a basic cornerstone in the design of organizations, but it has far less importance today. The concepts of chain of command, authority, and unity of command have substantially less relevance today because of advancements in computer technology and the trend toward empowering employees. The Unity of command principle helps preserve the concept of an unbroken line of authority . This principle states that a person should have one and only one superior to whom he or she is directly responsible. If the unity of command is broken, a subordinate might have to cope with conflicting demands or priorities from several superiors. The Span of control determines the number of subordinates a manager can efficiently and effectively direct. The wider or larger the span, the more efficient the organization. Wider spans are more efficient in terms of cost. However, at some point wider spans reduce effectiveness. That is, when the span becomes too large, employee performance suffers because supervisors no longer have the time to provide the necessary leadership and support. While keeping the span of control to five or six employees, a manager can maintain close control. But small spans have drawbacks such as it encourages overly tight supervision and discourages employee autonomy. Wide spans of control are consistent with encourages overly tight supervision and discourages employee autonomy....
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The term"work specialization" or division of labor...

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