Nature and Structure of an Organisation.
This essay will evaluate the theory relating to the nature
and structure of an organisation which leads to the achievement of its
organisational goals. The essay will then critically review and analyse the key
factors which managers need to influence individuals in order to effectively
manage behaviour. An organisation is an
entity comprising multiple people, such as an institution or an association
that has a collective goal and is linked to an external environment (Slideshare
For this essay I have selected York College and will aim to
evaluate its nature and structure in its goal achievement. York College’s
origin was founded in 1827 as The York Mechanics Institute teaching Art and
Science. York College was established in its current form in 1999 by a merger
of York Sixth Form and York College of Further and Higher Education, formerly
known as York College of Arts and Technology. The £60 million redevelopment of
the site commenced in 2005 and opened in 2007 and currently teaches 73,797
students. In 2012 York College and York St John University formed a partnership
to maximise student opportunities. In December 2013 York College achieved an
outstanding Ofsted inspection report (York College Reporting Service 2018).
An informal organisation is intensely personal and is made
up of the sum total of social norms, interactions and relationships between the
members that affect how the organisation works. Decisions are also made democratically
and collectively as opposed to one leader. A formal organisation on the other
hand is an organisation that is established as achieving defined objectives
York College with its mission statement set out here; “York
College where everyone matters and successful future begins. York College’s
mission is to provide a life enhancing educational experience, through
inspirational teaching, working in partnership and helping individuals to be
the best they can” (York College 2018). Alongside York College values, makes
this a formal organisation.
York College is a formal corporation, a non profit trust,
government funded, educational institution with a board of governors. It has a
well defined structure of authority and responsibility whilst working with pre
defined policies, plans and procedures. Most of the decisions are based upon
government policies. This formal organisation is a structure with formal
authority, regulations, responsibilities and clear communication channels of
reporting and information flow. Thus ensuring that all levels of staff have the
necessary information to perform their jobs. Many organisations now have both a
formal written and a slightly informal culture structure (York College
Reporting Services 2018).
Understanding the structure of an organisation is an
important factor and determinant of how it can identify change and respond to
change. Organisational structure is a framework used, with its purpose to
effectively find the way to delegate roles and power to departments and staff.
It administers the information flow between departments and management levels
within the organisation. Having proper organisational structures allow
organisations to implement better operating procedures and staff that assist in
the decision making or organisation shaping. An organisation can be structured
in different ways upon its objectives. Two important structures are mechanistic
and organic (WordPress 2011).
A flexible organisation also known as an organic structure
is one that adapts and responds to change in its external environment quickly
to maintains its position and gain advantage. Environmental changes are
analysed through the Pestle framework, where the varying factors within the
pestle analysis may stabilise or destabilise the organisations environment.
Organic structures are adopted in organisations facing unstable environments
and posses the need to respond or change accordingly. They process, analyse and
distribute information fast, ensuring their competitive edge against other
businesses (BusinessMate 2018).
Businesses with organic structures communicate effectively
with information spreading across departments closely integrated together. They
operate with a decentralised decision making process allowing employee’s
involvement in important decisions creating empowerment, greater creativity and
better problem solving. Technological business such as Google Corporation is a
prime example (WordPress 2011).
Mechanistic structures are utilised by organisations in a
stable environment using a formalised, centralised authority and strong
management as an efficient and effective structure. Organisations with
mechanistic structures generally do not adapt their structure due to lack of
innovation, creativity and with no inherent need of quick decisions.
Mechanistic structures are simpler and easier to organise but have difficulty
coping with rapid change. They are normally associated with most business
organisations, manufacturing companies and educational institutions (Tutor2U
College operates a mechanistic structure. If structure is not implemented
correctly it can create conflict, confusion or problems across departments,
staff or management. To understand the nature and structure of York College
contributing to its recent successes, I shall view key elements of an
organisation structure. These elements are work specialisation,
departmentalisation, chain of command, span of control, centralisation / decentralisation
and formalisation (Morin, J 2018).
specialisation ensures the employees with specific duties based upon their
experience and education. It is also known as a division of labour, where it
describes the degree to which tasks or activities within the organisation are
divided or categorised into separate jobs (Emaytrix 2005). This organisational
element ensures that one individual does not perform the entire job; rather it
is subdivided, increasing productivity. Individual employees then specialise in
their part while preventing them performing tasks of which they have no
departmentalisation element is the process of grouping jobs together so
employees are connected together to coordinate common activities and create
departments. The manner in which the organisation departmentalises is the
specific way the organisation classifies its overall organisational structure.
The division of the department can affect the organisation’s development, so
the selection model is crucial. Departments are based upon five forms.
departmentalisation, used in most organisations grouping jobs by functions
performed. Product departmentalisation groups jobs by product line with each
manager responsible for an aspect. Geographical departmentalisation bands jobs
by location. Process departmentalisation groups jobs upon product. Customer
departmentalisation groups jobs on common customers (Emaytrix 2005).
of command is one of the simpler elements of the organisational structure. It
simply classed as a continuous line of authority extending from the top of the
organisation through to the lowest tier, with clear clarification of who reports
to whom within the organisation. Three concepts are normally associated with
this element. Authority, referring to the rights of the upper level in
instructing employees in their roles. Responsibility is the obligation to
perform the assigned tasks. Lastly unity of command, referring to the principle
of management where each individual reports only to one manager to avoid
disorder. (Emaytrix 2005).
span of control is an important element as it shapes the organisational
structure. This element controls the number of managers and levels within the
organisation and the ratio of managers to employees. It determines how a
manager can efficiently and effectively manage a number of employees. The
higher the ratio of employees results in the wider span of control.
and decentralisation establishes the decision making element of the
organisation. Within the centralised structure, the environment is stable thus
the decision making process is made at the single point, with minimal or no
input from department or middle management. The decisions are normally
significant and organisations are generally large or corporate. A
decentralisation structure promotes a wider reaching, more democratic decision
making process. Its environment is more complex or dynamic, enabling more
involvement from middle management in the decision. The corporate culture
allows managers to implement the organisation strategies with their involvement
is similar to specialisation; it separates the individual from the role.
Formalisation is the element outlining the employee’s roles and jobs are
structured within the organisation defined by management. It also extends to
the standardisation of their work and their activities or behaviour is governed
by rules and procedures. An informal organisation however places more value
upon the individual, allowing a more evolving role upon the individual skill
and less emphasis on the department they are part of (Hubspot 2017).
analysing the above elements, York College operates upon a mechanistic
structure as key elements of mechanistic structure are a stable environment,
functional department, centralisation, formalisation and a chain of command
(Businessmate 2014). Mechanistic structures are bureaucratic and rigid that
assist in their efficiency, these elements are all visible within the
bureaucratic structure of York College. To obtain a more insightful and deeper
understanding of York College, I arranged a meeting with Paul Lawrence the
Director of Marketing of York College.
College operates on a soft autocratic approach led by the principal where
senior management do not interfere. Although the structure is predominantly
mechanistic some divisions operate organically such as marketing, drama and
arts where the mechanistic structure would fail. The departments within York
College are run by the QAA system, the Quality Assurance Agency of Higher
Education. York Colleges futural structure will adapt to a more open and
collaborative approach with the use and influence of technology, a model used
by Facebook (Lawrence, P 2018).
elements in turn then comes together to create the effectiveness of the
organisation. The goals of the organisation are achieved by the coming together
of the employee’s attitude and behaviour. This creates the nature and culture
of the organisation. Every organisation has a unique personality. The unique
personality of the organisation is classed as its culture. The organisational
culture is the powerful invisible force that influences the members of the
organisational culture is the powerful invisible force that influences the
members of that organisation. Organisational culture is the written and
unwritten rules developed that are considered valid of the values, beliefs and
behaviours that govern the employee’s behaviour. These values strongly
influence the employee’s within the organisation and determines their act,
dress, job performance and business conduction that contributes to the organisations
psychological and social environment. Each organisation maintains a unique
culture that provides boundaries and guidelines of its member’s behaviour
understand more of the behavioural culture and the factors that the managers required
by the managers to influence behaviour that leads to York College’s success, I
interviewed two managers. The first manager I interviewed was Lynn Audin,
Customer Support Manager. There is a York College way which is guidelines for
the SMT, Senior Management Team. Although that information was not
understandably provided to me, I was informed that there are protocols that are
adhered to with respect being underlined in them. Staff are consulted and their
views are sought on all matters and taken to senior management and governors
every half term. A flexible working policy is available for staff to utilise in
student led services such as finances, security and administration (Audin, L
second interview was conducted with Salvatori the department head of Business,
Hospitality and Tourism. This followed immediately after the first interview
thereby giving more information to seek out and build upon. The mechanistic
approach is changing with more empowering and new culture being introduced
within the departments A two part self assessment form is provided for staff to
fill, one part for the department they work in and the other by York College.
The results were above 90% for the department satisfaction and almost 100% for
staff satisfaction across the college. The senior management lead by example in
the work ethos and do not interfere with staff. York College can provide job
security and can meet their social needs (Salvatori 2018).
links with the Masloff hierarchy of needs theory written in 1943 that York
College adopts. The theory sets out five needs of each individual and their
variations. They are psychological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem
needs and self actualisation needs. Encompassing all this into structure and
nature with York College has led to the ultimately to its success in achieving
a silver rating in its undergraduate teaching standard by the Teaching
Excellence Framework in June 2017 (York College 2018).
conclusion organisational structure refers to how individuals and teamwork and
coordinated and organised for a shared purpose. Structure is crucial in the
organisation as it links communication, action and management in achieving its
goals. York College has taken a traditional mechanistic structure and adapted
the theories and elements to its advantages alongside an innovative approach to
achieve its organisational goals and to excel itself as an educational