Defining Organisations

From Uni Study Guides
Jump to: navigation, search

This article is a topic within the subject Managing Organisations and People.

Contents

Required Reading

Robbins et all, Managing Organisations and People MGMT1001, compiled from Management (6th ed) and Organisational Behaviour (6th ed), (3rd ed, Sydney, Pearson Australia, 2012), pp. 4-7.

Introduction

An organisation is a broad term that can be defined in many ways. According to Greenwald, organisations can be defined as "...a body of individuals working under a defined system of rules, assignments, procedures and relationships designed to achieve identifiable objectives and goals".[1]

[2] Typically, an organisation consists of:

  1. A distinct purpose - a goal that the organisation tries to achieve
  2. People
  3. Structure - deliberately put into place so that the people achieve the goals in a somewhat effective and efficient manner

Other features of organisations are:

  1. Longevity - organisations survive even after the founding members leave
  2. Linked to the external environment - political, economical or social changes in society affect the internal workings of the organisation

Differentiating Organisations from Social Collectivities

[3] Organisations differ from social collectives by the fact that organisations achieve specific purposes, persevere in their pursuits and utilise a high degree of individual specialisation. Most importantly, organisations allow a collective of individuals with diverse backgrounds and without any previous interaction to come together to achieve an overall goal. These features allow organisations to involve hundreds of people to pursue goals over long periods of time.

According to Greenwald, the main differences between organisations and social collectives are:

  1. The relationships between members in an organization are formal and based on roles whereas in informal collectivies the relationships are informal and based on interests, common pasts etc.
  2. The over all goal/objective in an organization is specific and promotes focus and attention to achieve it whereas in informal collectivities the goals are usually there to gratify needs and wants of individual members
  3. The origins of an organisation is deliberate (usually to achieve a goal) whereas informal collectivities originate out of socioemotional needs (such as companionship)
  4. Formal organizations have a hierarchical structure and leadership is based on skills or education whereas informal collectivities rarely have a structure and leaders (if any) are chosen based on an individual’s trust and affection in the eyes of the members
  5. Organisations last longer than individuals or informal collectiveness and have much greater ‘staying power’

Today's Context- Why and How are Organisations Changing

[4] Organisations are changing the way they operate due to recent advances in technology, society, economics and politics. The main reasons and their affect are outlined below.

  • Technological changes have increased the speed at which organisations operate as well as the speed of market exchange. This has affected organisation structure and communications, allowing for work to be done anytime (24/7) and anywhere around the globe.
  • Demographic changes have made the workplace multicultural, has increased age gaps between employees and has blurred the lines between gender roles. This means organisations have to cope with multilingual employees (and other organisations) in their communications, span wider values and cultural sensitivities and habits.
  • The rise of multinational companies means organisations have learned to outsource operations, or sometimes operate in other countries themselves. Multinationals are also the cause of much homogeneity in products and services around the globe.
  • The changes outlined above also mean organisations look for different types of employees. Organisations look for skills rather than specific roles to be met, looking for more casual employees rather than permanent.

In many organisations (such as Google), these changes have also translated into the organisation structure where there are less levels of management, making the hierarchal structure flatter. Instead of management being involved in micromanaging each project, organisations are now splitting employees into hundreds of work groups working individually, completing multiple tasks at more rapid pace.

End

This is the end of this topic. Click here to go back to the main subject page for Managing Organisations and People.

References

"Textbook" refers to Robbins et all, Managing Organisations and People MGMT1001, compiled from Management (6th ed) and Organisational Behaviour (6th ed), (3rd ed, Sydney, Pearson Australia, 2012).

  1. Greenwald, H.P., 2008, "Chapter 1: Lets get Organised" in Organisations. Management without control. Sage Publications, Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 3-21
  2. Textbook, p. 6
  3. Greenwald, H.P., 2008, "Chapter 1: Lets get Organised" in Organisations. Management without control. Sage Publications, Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 3-21
  4. Textbook, p.7
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox