Factors for Change Management Monday, Dec 22 2008 

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHANGING AN ORGANIZATION

 

The following factors should be considered whenever change is being contemplated:

 

  1. The Change Agent
  2. Determining What should be Changed
  3. The kind of Change to Make
  4. Individuals affected by the Change
  5. Evaluation of the Change

 

THE CHANGE AGENT:

 

The change agent might be a self designated manager within the organization or an outside consultant hired because of a special expertise in a particular area.

 

This individual might be responsible for making very broad changes, like altering the culture of the whole organization; or more narrow ones, like designing and implementing a new safety program or a new quality program.

 

Special skills are necessary for success as a change agent. Among them are the ability to determine how a change should be made, the skill to solve change related problems, and facility in using behavioural science tools to influence people appropriately during the change process.

 

Perhaps the most overlooked skill of successful change agents, however, is the ability to determine how much change employees can withstand.

 

Managers should choose agents who have the most expertise in all these areas. A potentially beneficial change might not result in any advantages for the organization if a person without expertise in these areas is designated as a change agent.

 

 

DETERMINING WHAT SHOULD BE CHANGED:

 

Organizational effectiveness depends on 3 classes of factors:

  1. People
  2. Structure
  3. Technology

 

People Factors are attitudes, leadership skills, communication skills, and all other characteristics of the human resources within the organization; Structural Factors are organizational controls, such as policies and procedures; and Technological Factors are any type of equipment or processes that assist organization members in the performance of their jobs.

 

For an organization to maximize its effectiveness, appropriate people must be matched with appropriate technology and appropriate structure.

 

 

THE KIND OF CHANGE TO MAKE:

Most changes can be categorized into one of the 3 kinds:

 

  1. Technological
  2. Structural
  3. People

 

These 3 kinds of change correspond to the 3 main determinants of the organizational effectiveness – each change is named for the determinant it emphasizes.

 

STRUCTURAL CHANGE:

 

Structural change emphasizes increasing organizational effectiveness by changing controls that influence organization members during the performance of their jobs.

 

Structural change is aimed at increasing the organizational effectiveness through modifications to the existing organizational structure like:

 

  1. Clarifying and Defining Jobs
  2. Modifying Organizational Structure to fit the communication needs of the organization
  3. Decentralizing the organization to reduce the cost of coordination, increase the controllability of subunits, increase motivation, and gain greater flexibility.

 

Although structural change must take account of people and technology to be successful, its primary focus is obviously on changing organization structure.

 

Managers choose to make structural changes within an organization if information they have gathered indicates that the present structure is the main cause of organizational ineffectiveness.

 

The precise structural changes they choose to make will vary from situation to situation, of course. After changes to organizational structure have been made, management should conduct periodic reviews to make sure the changes are accomplishing their intended purposes.

 

                        Matrix Organization:

 

Matrix Organizations is a traditional organization that is modified primarily for the purpose of completing some kind of special project.

 

Essentially, a matrix organization is one in which individuals from various functional departments are assigned to a project manager responsible for accomplishing some specific task.

 

The project itself may be either long term or short term, and the employees needed to complete it are borrowed from various organizational segments.

 

 

PEOPLE CHANGE:

 

Although successfully changing people factors necessarily involves some consideration of structure and technology, the primary emphasis is on people.

 

Organization Development (OD): People Change emphasizes increasing organizational effectiveness by changing certain aspects of organization members.

The focus of this kind of change is on such factors as employee’s attitudes and leadership skills.

The process of people change can be referred to as organization development (OD). Although OD focuses mainly on changing certain aspects of people, these changes are based on an overview of structure, technology, and all other organizational ingredients.

 

GRID OD:

 

One traditional used OD techniques for changing people in organizations is called Grid Organizational Development, or Grid OD.

 

The managerial grid, a basic model describing various managerial styles, is used as the foundation for grid OD. The managerial grid is based on the premise that various managerial styles can be described by means of two primary attitudes of the manager: concern for people and concern for production.

 

 

 

INDIVIDUAL AFFECTED BY THE CHANGE:

 

To increase the chances of employee support, one should be aware of the following factors:

 

  1. The usual employee resistance to change
  2. How this resistance can be reduced

 

Resistance to Change:

 

Resistance to change within an organization is as common as the need for change.

After managers decide to make some organizational change, they typically meet with employee resistance aimed at preventing that change from occurring.

 

Behind this resistance by organization members lies the fear of some personal loss, such as a reduction in personal prestige, a disturbance of established social and working relationships, and personal failure because of inability to carry out new job responsibilities.

 

Reducing Resistance to Change:

 

1.      Avoid Surprises

2.      Promote Real Understanding

3.      Set the Stage for Change

4.      Make tentative Change

 

 

EVALUATION OF THE CHANGE:

 

One must evaluate the change one makes. The purpose of this evaluation is not only to gain insight into how the change itself might be modified to further increase its organizational effectiveness, but to determine whether the steps taken to make the change should be modified to increase organizational effectiveness, next time around.

 

Evaluation of change often involves watching for symptoms that indicate that further change is necessary. But the decision to change must not be made only based on the symptoms. Additional Change is justified if it will accomplish any of the following goals:

 

1.      Further improve the means for satisfying someone’s economic wants

2.      Increase Profitability

3.      Promote human work for human beings

4.      Contribute to individual satisfaction and social well being.

CHANGE MANGEMENT BASICS Monday, Dec 22 2008 

FUNDAMENTALS OF CHANGING AN ORGANIZATION

 

Changing an Organization is the process of modifying an existing organization to increase the overall organizational effectiveness.

 

These modifications can involve any organizational aspect, but typically it affects the lines of authority, the levels of responsibility held by various organization members, and the established lines of organizational communication.

 

IMPORTANCE OF CHANGE:

 

Most managers agree that if the organization is to thrive, it must change continually in response to significant developments in the environment, such as changing customer needs, technical breakthroughs, and new regulations.

 

Managers who can determine appropriate changes and then implement such changes successfully enable their organizations to be more flexible and innovative. Because change is such a fundamental part of the organizational existence, such managers are very valuable to organizations of all kinds.

 

Many managers consider change to be so critical to organizational success that they encourage employees to continually search for areas in which beneficial changes can be made.

 

CHANGE Vs. STABILITY:

 

Along with Change, some amount of stability is a prerequisite for long term organizational success.

 

The organization without enough stability to complement change is a definite challenge. When stability is low, the probability of organization survival and growth declines.

 

Change after Change without regard for the essential role of stability typically results in confusion and employee stress.

 

Performance Appraisals Monday, Dec 22 2008 

PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL

 

Performance Appraisal is the process of reviewing individual’s past productive activity to evaluate the contribution they have made towards attaining the organization’s objectives.

 

Performance Appraisal is a continuous review that focuses on both established human resources within the organization and new comers.

 

Its main purpose is to furnish feedback to organization members about how they can become more productive and useful to the organization in its ambitions and growth plans.

 

Advantages of Appraisal Systems:

 

  1. They provide systematic judgements to support salary increases, promotions, transfers, and sometimes even demotions & terminations.      

                                                                            

  1. They are a means of telling subordinates how they are doing and of suggesting needed changes in behaviour, attitudes, skills or job knowledge; they let subordinates know where they stand with the boss.

 

 

  1. They furnish a useful basis for the coaching and counselling of individuals by their seniors.

 

 Several Methods used for Performance Appraisals are:

 

  • Rating Scale
  • Employee Comparisons
  • Free form Essay
  • Critical form Essay

 

Guidelines for Handling Performance Appraisals:

 

  • Performance Appraisals should stress both Performance in the Position the individual holds and the success with which the individual is attaining organizational objectives.

 

  • Although conceptually separate, performance and objectives should be inseparable topics of discussion during performance appraisals.

 

 

  • Appraisals should emphasize how well the individual is doing the job, not the evaluator’s impression of the individual’s work habits. The goal is an objective analysis of performance rather than a subjective evaluation of habits.

 

  • Appraisals should be acceptable to both the appraiser and the appraisee, on the benefits for the individual as well as the organization.
  • Performance appraisals should provide a base for improving individual’s productivity within the organization by making them better equipped to produce.

 

 

Pitfalls in Performance Appraisals:

 

  1. Performance appraisals focus employees on short term rewards rather than on issues that are important to the long run success of the organization.
  2. Individuals involved in the performance appraisal view them as reward- punishment situation.
  3. The emphasis is wrongly placed on completing paper work, rather than really critiquing individual performance.
  4. Individuals view the process as unfair or biased.
  5. Subordinates react negatively when evaluators offer unfavourable comments.

Training – Need Analysis, Design, Deliver and Evaluat Monday, Dec 22 2008 

TRAINING

 

After recruitment and selection, the next step in providing appropriate human resources to the organization is Training.

 

Training is the process of developing qualities in human resources that will enable them to be more productive and thus to contribute more to organizational goal attainment.

 

The purpose of training is to increase the productivity of employees by influencing their behaviour.

 

The training of individuals in an organization is essentially a 4 step process:

 

  1. Determining the Training Needs
  2. Designing the Training Program
  3. Administering the Training Program
  4. Evaluating the Training Program

 

DETERMINING THE TRAINING NEEDS:

 

The 1st step of the training process is determining the organization’s training needs.

 

Training Needs are the information or skill areas of an individual or group that require further development to increase the productivity of that individual or group.

Only if the training focuses on these needs, it can be productive for the organization.

 

Training is a continuous activity. Even employees who have been with the organization for some time and who have undergone initial orientation and skills training need continued training to improve their skills.

 

            Determining the Needed Skills:

 

There are several methods of determining which skills to focus on with established human resources. One method calls for evaluating the production process within the organization. Factors like excessive rejections, missed deadlines, high labour costs are clues to deficiencies in the production related expertise. Similar activities for various departments can be carried out.

 

Another method for determining training needs includes getting direct feedback from employees on what they believe are the training needs of the organization. Organization members are often able to verbalize clearly and accurately exactly what types of training they require to do a better job.

 

A third way of determining training needs involves looking into the future. Future company plans and industry trends also provide inputs on likely training requirements.

 

 

DESIGNING OF THE TRAINING PROGRAM:

Designing a training program entails assembling various types of facts and activities designed to meet the identified training needs.

 

ADMINISTERING THE TRAINING PROGRAM:

 

Various techniques exist for both transmitting necessary information and developing needed skills in training programs like:

 

  1. Lectures – for knowledge transfer
  2. Programmed Learning – for knowledge transfer
  3. On the Job Training  – for skill development
    1. Coaching
    2. Position rotation
    3. Special Project Teams

 

 

EVALUATING THE TRAINING PROGRAMS:

 

Training programs have various costs including materials, trainer time and production loss while employees are being trained rather than doing their jobs – a ROI  is essential.

 

Management should evaluate the training program to determine if it meets with the needs for which it is developed.

E.g.: Has the sales increased, Has the customer complaints reduced, Has production gone up etc.

HR : Selection, Testing and Assessment Centers Monday, Dec 22 2008 

SELECTION

 

The 2nd major step in providing human resource for the organization is SELECTION.

Selection is choosing an individual to hire from all those who have been recruited (short listed).

 

Selection is obviously dependent on the 1st step which is recruitment.

Selection is a series of stages through which job applications must pass in order to be hired. Each stage reduces the total group of prospective employees until, finally, the required no. of individuals are hired.

 

Stages of the Selection Process:

 

  1. Preliminary Screening from Records, Data Sheets etc.,
  2. Preliminary Interview
  3. Intelligence Tests
  4. Aptitude Tests
  5. Personality Tests
  6. Performance References
  7. Diagnostic Interview
  8. Physical Examination
  9. Personal Judgement

 

Two tools often used in the selection process are Testing and Assessment Centres.

 

TESTING:

 

Testing is examining human resources for qualities relevant to performing available jobs. 4 categories of testing include:

 

  1. Aptitude Tests
  2. Achievement Tests
  3. Vocational Interest Tests
  4. Personality Tests

 

Testing Guidelines:

 

  • Care must be taken to ensure that the test being used in both valid and reliable.
  • A test is valid if it measures what it is designed to measure and reliable if it measures similarly at all times.
  • Test Results should not be used as the sole determinant of a hiring decision.
  • People change over time, and someone who doesn’t score well on a particular test might still develop into a productive employee. Such factors as potential and desire to obtain a position should be assessed subjectively and used along with test scores in the final selection decision.
  • Test should be non discriminatory.

 

ASSESSMENT CENTERS:

 

Assessment Centres are used both for the purpose of selection and also for continued training and development over time.

 

An assessment centre is a program (not a place) in which participants engage in a no. of individual and group exercises constructed to stimulate important activities at the organizational levels to which they aspire.

 

These exercises can include activities like Participating in groups, giving presentations, team work in problem solving. The participants are observed by mangers and/or trained observers who will evaluate both the ability and the potential.

 

Generally, participants are assessed according to the following criteria:

 

  1. Leadership
  2. Organizing and Planning Ability
  3. Decision Making
  4. Oral and Written Communication Skills
  5. Initiative
  6. Energy
  7. Analytical Ability
  8. Resistance to Stress
  9. Use of Delegation
  10. Behaviour Flexibility
  11. Human Relations Competence
  12. Originality
  13. Controlling
  14. Self Direction
  15. Overall Potential

HR: Recruitment Basics Sunday, Dec 21 2008 

Appropriate Human Resource refers to individuals within the organization who make a valuable contribution to management system goal attainment. This contribution results from their productivity in the positions they hold.

 

Inappropriate Human Resource refers to organization members who do not make valuable contribution to the attainment of management system objectives.

For one reason or the other, they are ineffective in their jobs.

 

Productivity in all organizations is determined by how human resources interact and combine to use all other management system resources. Such factors as background, age, job related experience, and the level of formal education all play a role in determining how appropriate the individual is for the organization.

 

STEPS IN PROVIDING HUMAN RESOURCES:

 

To provide appropriate human resources to fill both managerial and non managerial openings, managers follow 4 sequential steps:

 

  1. Recruitment
  2. Selection
  3. Training
  4. Performance Appraisal

 

RECRUITMENT:

 

Recruitment is the initial attraction and screening of the supply of prospective human resources available to fill a position.

 

Its purpose is to narrow a large field of prospective employees to a relatively small group of individuals from which someone eventually will be hired.

 

To be effective, recruiters must know the following:

 

  1. The Job they are trying to fill
  2. Where Potential human resources can be located
  3. How the law influences recruiting efforts.

 

KNOWING THE JOB:

 

Recruitment activities must begin with a thorough understanding of the position to be filled so the broad range of potential employees can be narrowed intelligently.

 

The technique commonly used to gain the understanding of the job is Job Analysis.

Job Analysis is aimed at determining a Job Description ( the activities a job entails) and a Job Specification (the characteristics of the individual who should be hired for the job).

 

KNOWING SOURCES OF HUMAN RESOURCES:

 

Besides a thorough knowledge of the position the organization is trying to fill, recruiters must be able to pinpoint sources of human resources.

 

Since the supply of individuals from which to recruit is continually changing, there will be times when finding appropriate human resources will be tougher than some other times.

 

Human resource specialists in organizations continually monitor the labour market so they will know where to recruit suitable people and what kind of strategies and tactics to use to attract job applicants in a competitive marketplace.

 

Sources inside the Organization:

 

The pool of employees within the organization is one source of human resources. Some individuals who already work for the organization may be well qualified for an open position.

Some lateral movements do happen, but most of the times, internal movements are promotions.

 

Advantages of Promotion:

 

          Building Employee Moral

          Encouraging employee to work order

          Inspiring Employees to stay longer

 

Human Resource Inventory:

 

Human Resource Inventory consists of information about the characteristics of organization members. This focuses on the past performance and future potential and the objective is to keep management up to date about the possibilities for filling a position from within.

 

This inventory should indicate which individuals in the organization would be appropriate for filling a position if it becomes available.

 

Walter S. Wikstrom proposed that organizations keep 3 types of records that can be combined to maintain a useful human resources inventory.

 

Management Inventory Card

It includes both an organizational history of the employee and cues on how she might be used in the future. It can include details like :

  1.  
    1.  
      • Age,
      • Year of Employment,
      • Present Position,
      • Duration of current Posting,
      • Performance Ratings,
      • Strengths and Weaknesses,
      • Positions to which the employee can be moved,
      • By when would she be able to take the new role,
      • What new training and development required for the same.

Position Replacement Form

 

This record focuses on position centred information rather than people centred information. The position information form is helpful in determining what would happen to a present position, if the current incumbent is moved to some other post or leaves the organization.

 

Management Manpower Replacement Chart

 

This Chart presents a composite view of the individual’s management considers significant for human resource planning.

 

The current incumbent’s performance rating and promotion potential  can be easily compared with those of the other employees when a company is trying to determine which individual would most appropriately fill a particular position

 

All these 3 forms together help the management answer the questions:

 

  1. What is the organizational history of an individual and what potential does the person possess?
  2. If a position becomes vacant, who might be eligible to fill it?
  3. What are the merits of one individual being considered for a position compared to those of another individual under consideration?

 

SUCCESSION PLANNING:

 

Succession planning is the process of outlining who will follow whom in various organizational positions.

 

 

Sources outside the Organization

 

      Various Sources include:

  1. Competitors
  2. Employment Agencies
  3. Readers of Certain Publications
  4. Educational Institutions

 

Competitors:

            There are several advantages to luring human resources away from competitors including:

·         The individual knows the business

·         The competitor will have paid for the individual’s training up to the time of hire.

·         The competing organization will probably be weakened somewhat by the loss of the individual.

Once hired, the individual will be a valuable source of information about how to best compete with the other organization.

Centralization and Decentralization Friday, Dec 19 2008 

The terms Centralization and Decentralization describe the general degree to which delegation exists in the company.

Decentralizing an Organization:

 

The appropriate degree of decentralization for an organization depends on the unique situation of that organization.

 

Relevant Questions will be:

 

  1. What is the present size of the organization?
  2. Where are the Organization’s customers located?
  3. How homogeneous is the organization’s product line?
  4. Where are the Organizational Suppliers?
  5. Is there a need for quick decisions in the Organization?
  6. Is creativity a desirable feature of the Organization?

 

SIZE:

 

The larger the organization, the more the chance that decentralization will be advantageous. Delegation is an effective means for helping managers manage their increasing workload in big organizations.

 

But in some cases, the Organization may be too large and decentralized.

 

If the proportionate manpower costs are very high, then that organization may actually benefited by centralization of some of the aspects of the organization.

 

 

CUSTOMER LOCATIONS:

 

The more physically separated the organization’s customers are, the more viable a significant amount of decentralization is. This is less valid in the ecommerce business but most other cases, it makes complete sense.

 

 

HOMOGENEOUS PRODUCT LINE:

 

Generally, as the product line becomes more heterogeneous, or diversified, the appropriateness of decentralization increases.

 

 

SUPPLIER LOCATION:

 

Decentralization of some functions becomes a requirement, in case of high geographic diversity in the suppliers.

 

 

 

 

QUICK DECISION MAKING:

 

If speedy decision making is essential, then decentralization of the relevant functions can be critical.

 

 

CREATIVITY:

 

Decentralization generally fosters creativity.

Obstacles in the Delegation Process Friday, Dec 19 2008 

Obstacles that can make delegation within an organization difficult or even impossible can be classified into 3 general categories:

 

  1. Obstacles related to the Supervisor
  2. Obstacles related to Subordinates
  3. Obstacles related to Organizations

 

Obstacles related to the Supervisor:

 

A supervisor who resists delegating his authority to subordinates because he cannot bear to part with any authority.

 

Two other supervisor related obstacles are the fear that the subordinates will not do a job well and the suspicion that surrendering some authority may be seen as a sign of weakness.

 

If supervisors are insecure in their jobs or believe certain activities are extremely important to their personal success, they may find it hard to put the performance of these activities into the hands of the others.

 

Obstacles related to Subordinates:

 

Subordinates may be reluctant to accept delegated authority because they are afraid of failing, lack self confidence, or feel the supervisor doesn’t have the confidence in them.

These obstacles will be especially apparent in subordinates who have never before used delegated authority.

 

Other subordinate related obstacles are the fear that the supervisor will be unavailable for guidance when needed and the reluctance to exercise authority that may complicate comfortable working relationships.

 

Obstacles related to the Delegation Process:

 

In organizations, where few job activities and little authority have been delegated in the past, an attempt to initiate the delegation process may make employees reluctant and apprehensive, for the supervisor would be introducing a significant change in procedure and change is often strongly resisted.

 

 

 

ELIMINATING OBSTACLES IN THE DELEGATION PROCESS:

 

 

Advantages of Delegation are:

 

  1. Enhanced Employee Confidence
  2. Improved Subordinate Involvement and Interest
  3. More free time for the supervisor to accomplish tasks
  4. Assistance from subordinates in completing tasks the manager simply wouldn’t have time for otherwise.

 

What can managers do to eliminate obstacles to the delegation process?

 

Firstly uncover the obstacles to delegation.

 

Then taking actions to eliminate these obstacles with the understanding that they may be deeply ingrained and therefore required much time and effort to overcome.

 

Among the most effective management actions that can be taken to eliminates obstacles to delegation are building subordinate confidence in the use of delegated authority on established working relationships, and helping delegates cope  with problems whenever necessary.

 

MANAGERIAL CHARCTERISITICS REQUIRED:

 

  • Willingness to consider the ideas of others seriously
  • The insight to allow subordinates the free rein necessary to carry out their responsibilities,
  • Trust on abilities of subordinates
  • The wisdom to allow people to learn from their mistakes without suffering unreasonable price for making them.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY & DELEGATION Friday, Dec 19 2008 

Accountability refers to the management philosophy whereby individuals are held liable, or accountable, for how well they use their authority and live up to their responsibility of performing predetermined activities.

The concept of accountability implies that if an individual does not perform predetermined activities, some type of penalty, or punishment is justifiable.

The punishment theme of accountability has been summed by one company executive ” Individuals who do not perform well simply will not be around too long.

The accountability concept also implies that some kind of reward will follow if predetermined activities are performed well.

 

DELEGATION:

Delegation is the actual process of assigning job activities and corresponding authority to specific individuals within the organization.

Important Dimensions of Delegation include:

  1. Steps in the Delegating Process
  2. Obstacles to the delegation Process
  3. Elimination of obstacles to the delegation process.
  4. Centralization and Decentralization

STEPS IN THE DELEGATION PROCESS:

According to Neman and Warren, the delegation process consists of 3 steps:

  1. Assign Specific duties to the individual. Manager must be sure that the subordinate assigned to specific duties has a clear understanding of what these duties entail. Whenever possible, the activities should be stated in operational terms so the subordinate knows exactly what action must be taken to perform the assigned duties.                                             
  2.  The delegation process involves granting appropriate authority to the subordinate -i.e. the subordinate must be given the right and power within the organization to accomplish the duties assigned.                                
  3. The subordinate must be aware of the responsibility to complete the duties assigned and must accept the responsibility.

GUIDELINES FOR MAKING DELEGATION EFFECTIVE:

  1. Give employees task to pursue tasks in their own way.                                       
  2. Establish Mutually agreed upon results and performance standards for delegated tasks.                                                                                                                 
  3. Encourage employees to take an active role in defining, implementing and communicating progress on tasks.                                                                       
  4. Entrust employee with completion of whole projects or tasks whenever possible.                                                                                                                   
  5. Explain the relevance  of delegated tasks to larger projects or to department or organizational goals.                                                                         
  6. Give employees the authority necessary to accomplish tasks.                        
  7. Allow employees access to all information, people and departments necessary to perform delegated tasks.                                                                           
  8. Provide training and guidance necessary for employees to complete delegated tasks satisfactorily.                                                                                     
  9. When possible, delegate tasks on the basis of employee interests.

TYPES OF AUTHORITY : LINE & STAFF ROLES Thursday, Dec 18 2008 

Authority is the right to perform or command. It allows its holder to act in certain designated ways and to directly influence the actions of others through orders.

It also allows its holder to allocate the organization’s resources to achieve organizational objectives.

AUTHORITY ON THE JOB :

Barnard  defines authority as the character of communication by which an order is accepted by an individual as governing the actions that individual takes within the system.

Barnard maintains that authority will be accepted only under the following conditions:

  1. The individual can understand the order being communicated.
  2. The individual believes the order is consistent with the purpose of the organization.
  3. The individual sees the order as compatible with his or her personal interests.
  4. The individual is mentally and physically able to comply with the order.

The fewer of these 4 conditions that are present, the lower the probability that authority will be accepted and obedience be exacted.

Barnad offers some guidance on what managers can do to raise the odds that their commands will be accepted and obeyed. He maintains that more and more of a manager’s commands will be accepted over the long term if:

  1. The manager uses formal channels of communication and these are familiar to all organization members.                                                                            
  2. Each organization member has an assigned formal communication channel through which orders are received.                                                              
  3. The line of communication between manager and subordinate is as direct as possible.                                                                                                                 
  4. The complete chain of command is used to issue orders.                                     
  5. The manager possesses adequate communication skills.                                     
  6. The manager uses formal communication lines only for organizational business.                                                                                                                                
  7. A command is authenticated as coming from a manager.

TYPES OF AUTHORITY:

3 main types of authority can exist within an organization:

  1. Line Authority
  2. Staff Authority
  3. Functional Authority

Each type exists only to enable individuals to carry out the different types of responsibilities with which they have been charged.

LINE AUTHORITY:

The most fundamental authority within an organization, reflects existing superior-subordinate relationships. It consists of the right to make decisions and to give order concerning the production,sales or finance related behaviour of subordinates.

In general, line authority pertains to matters directly involving management system production, sales, finance etc., and as a result with the attainment of objectives.

People directly responsible for these areas within the organization are delegated line authority to assist them in performing their obligatory activities.

 

STAFF AUTHORITY:

Staff authority consists of the right to advise or assist those who possess line authority as well as other staff personnel.

Staff authority enables those responsible for improving the effectiveness of line personnel to perform their required tasks.

 

Line and Staff personnel must work together closely to maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. To ensure that line and staff personnel do work together productively, management must make sure both groups understand the organizational mission, have specific objectives, and realize that they are partners in helping the organization reach its objectives.

Size is perhaps the most significant factor in determining whether or not an organization will have staff personnel. The larger the organization, the greater the need and  ability to employ staff personnel.

As an organization expands, it usually needs employees with expertise in diversified areas. Although small organizations may also require this kind of diverse expertise, they often find it more practical to hire part time consultants to provide it is as needed rather than to hire full time staff personnel, who may not always be kept busy.

 

LINE – STAFF RELATIONSHIPS :

e.g. A plant manager has line authority over each immediate subordinate, human resource manager, the production manager and the sales manager.

However, the human resource manager has staff authority in relation to the plant manger, meaning the human resource manager has staff authority in relation to the plant manager, meaning the human resource manager possesses the right to advise the plant manager on human resource matters.

Still final decisions concerning human resource matters are in the hands of the plant manager, the person holding the line authority.

ROLE OF STAFF PERSONNEL:

Harold Stieglitz has pinpointed 3 roles that staff personnel typically perform to assist line personnel:

  1.  The Advisory or Counseling Role :   In this role, staff personnel use their professional expertise to solve organizational problems. The staff personnel are, in effect, internal consultants whose relationship with line personnel is similar to that of a professional and a client.                  
  2. The Service Role : Staff personnel in this role provide services that can more efficiently and effectively be provided by a single centralized staff group than by many individuals scattered throughout the organization. This role can probably best be understood if staff personnel are viewed as suppliers and line personnel as customers.                
  3. The Control Role : Staff personnel help establish a mechanism for evaluating  the effectiveness of organizational plans.

The role of staff in any organization  should be specifically designed to best meet the needs of that organization.

CONFLICT IN LINE – STAFF RELATIONSHIP:

From the view point of line personnel, conflict is created  because staff personnel tend to 

  • Assume Line Authority
  • Do not give Sound Advice
  • Steal Credit for Success
  • Fail to Keep  line personnel  informed of their activities
  • Do not see the whole picture.

From the view point of Staff Personnel, conflict is created because line personnel do not make proper use of staff personnel, resist new ideas and refuse to give staff personnel enough authority to do their jobs.

Staff Personnel can often avert line-staff conflicts if they strive to emphasize the objectives of the organization as a whole, encourage and educate line personnel in the appropriate use of staff personnel, obtain any necessary skills they do not already possess, and deal intelligently with the resistance to change rather than view it as an immovable barrier.

Line personnel can do their part to minimize line staff conflict by sing staff personnel wherever possible, making proper use of the staff abilities, and keeping staff personnel appropriately informed.

 

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FUNCTIONAL AUTHORITY:

Functional authority consists of the right to give orders within a segment of the organization in which this right is normally non existent.

This authority is usually assigned to individuals to complement the line or staff authority they already possess.

Functional Authority generally covers only specific task areas and is operational only for designated amounts of time. It is given to individuals who, in order to meet responsibilities in their own areas, must be able to exercise some control over organization members in other areas.

 

 

 

 


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