Organizational Change Can Be Complex

By Bowes, Barbara | Winnipeg Free Press, January 27, 2018 | Go to article overview

Organizational Change Can Be Complex


Bowes, Barbara, Winnipeg Free Press


If you put your “ear to the ground” and listen to some of the conversations in the lunch room as well as around the boardroom table, I’m sure you’ll hear questions about who reports to whom, and why. You’ll also hear comments regarding the fact that teams these days can be global, are very fluid and often are directed by peers with specific expertise rather than a person with a title.

What these folks are talking about is the organization structure or the organization “hierarchy.” In other words, the various layers of authority that operate in your organization.

You probably don’t realize it, but most of our organizations still operate on the old industrial-age framework that, believe it or not, is more than 100 years old. This framework is essentially a vertically integrated pyramid structure, in which job activities are organized into departments according to specific functions. For instance, departments such as marketing, production, finance, human resources, customer service and/or research and development continue to be common. This structure of division of labour continues to offer several advantages — including co-ordination, communication, productivity, speed and efficiency.

Yet the question today is around whether this structure will continue being effective in terms of how work is now being conducted. Everyone agrees our work world has changed substantially. For instance, many of the work teams are global, working together but not in the same location or time zone, and communicating through a variety of internet mechanisms. Teams also are more fluid, with participants flowing in and out as they are needed, thus creating a whole network of internal and external connections. Many employees are simply being hired on a project-by-project basis.

We have now moved into what is called the digital age and along with it comes new terminology. For instance, the team description above is referred to as “wirearchy,” because the flow of power and authority between team members is dynamic and is based on expertise, credibility and trust rather than job title.

The move towards a digital “wirearchy” business landscape has been slow in many industry sectors. However, continued success in the future will require leaders to move faster to embrace the new ways of doing things and to transform their organizations. According to a Deloitte trend survey, that’s exactly why organization design has zoomed to the top of the list of leadership issues two years in a row.

Yet, organization change is complex and difficult. In fact, it is well-known that most organizational redesigns fail. In many cases, the redesign was undertaken as a means to cut costs rather than making the organization more efficient. In that case, there is often “creative disobedience” among the executive team, resistance by the general staff and overall frustration. So where does one start when the organization hierarchy appears to be the problem. The following tips will help to provide a starting point:

• Review your strategy — identify your current and future strategy for success, and determine your organizational structure’s needs going forward. Do you need to move toward a more dynamic and flexible organization because your market is rapidly changing? Think about the age of your organization, how entrenched your hierarchy is and what management issues would need to be dealt with should the organization hierarchy change. Also, think about the flexibility of your leaders. Are they open to change? Are they able to change and lead a change?

• Survey what is — put a team together and/or hire an outside consultant to examine your organization structure and reporting hierarchy in more depth. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Organizational Change Can Be Complex
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.