Magazine article Management Services

Organisational Analysis and Design: An Holistic Model

Magazine article Management Services

Organisational Analysis and Design: An Holistic Model

Article excerpt

If one undertakes a literature search for a practical methodology to analyse and design organisations one will find little written on this subject. There is plenty of material relative to organisational analysis and design at a macro level (Charles Handy, Charles Perrow etc), involving a strong theoretical paradigm but nothing for internal consultants, strategic managers or organisation and methods people to get to grips with.

MACRO AND MICRO ANALYSIS

The methodology outlined in this paper is one that has been evolved over the past four years and has been successfully utilised by practitioners to achieve business objectives within a section or department. It utilises micro analysis but, with being an holistic approach, can also be used at a macro level of analysis to consider the effects of the (business) environment on the organisation.

THE METHODOLOGY

This methodology has six principal stages (see figures 1 and 2). (Figures 1 and 2 omitted)

Stage 1 starts with the recognition of the change forces that are causing the organisation to consider reorganising to meet the new demands of the environment in which it operates. Typical change forces fall into the following generic groupings:

Technical

Economic

Social and

Political

Stage 2 has two distinct parts. Firstly, the data/information gathering and the analysis. The important start point in the data/information gathering stage is the organisation's 'mission statement', policies and strategy or (departmental/sectional goals/objectives if reviewing at a micro level). Information/data also needs collecting relevant to the current volume of business, future volume of business, market trends, short and long term investment and the 'age' of the organisation. Other important information/data is the current organisation chart, information handling/flow, job descriptions, staffing and staff loading of methods/processes and their interdependence and work/information flow, current technology (and planned introduction of any new technology) and manpower profile (existing skills and knowledge).

In terms of gathering this information it will be necessary to interview key players in the organisation; collecting statistical data; reviewing historical data on such items as performance indicators, business trends; examining business forecasts and any other data/information that is relevant.

The second part of stage two is equally important and this is the analysis of the data/information collected. Whatever emerges from this analysis has to consider cultural aspects which can impact on management styles and other issues such as power, control and delegation. Centralisation and decentralisation aspects need also to be borne in mind at this stage (this of course will link back into the business plan/strategy and policy elements from the first part of stage two).

Stage 3 is the design phase having finished a thorough analysis. Basically we are looking at designing/redesigning a structure most appropriate to the circumstances and context, bearing in mind the nature of the environment (stable or turbulent) and recognising the importance of the organisation's mission, strategy and objectives. …

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