Discuss about the Organizational Behaviour and Management for Learning Institutions.
An organization can be defined as a collection of various individuals which may include institutions or association with a particular goal and which has a connection with external surrounding (Douma et. al. (2013). They can be governmental, non-profit, learning institutions, a hybrid which combines both public and private sector among others. For organizations be managed effectively, a studied structure should be adopted and followed to act as a guideline whenever any activity is being carried out.
Organization structure explains how business processes are done, for instance, how tasks are allocated for the achievement of its goals. It acts as a mirror with which people view the organization hence the stronger the structure, and the more faith people have towards the organization (Jacoides, 2007). Organization structure determines its success in the sense that a wrong structure can, for instance, restrain orders exhaustion using the available resources leading to failure of the process. Not all structures apply to all organization, meaning each one should decide the one which best suits its goals.
The first form of organization management is through a functional structure. This is concerned with the grouping of the employees and the person they report to. Each worker is supposed to be assigned a supervisor who monitors his works (Handy, 2005). With this effect, the firm can be grouped into various departments like the production, human resource, marketing among others. Those in the same department are then assigned a superior who act as the supervisor with whom all are to report to. This structure is most suitable for production or manufacturing organizations which have various departments. Employees having shared potentials are grouped together and can work autonomously with the overall management using cross-communication. The disadvantage of this is that individual workers may have differences among them leading to broken communication and this may hinder innovations and can reduce flexibility (Boundless, 2016).
Another method of managing organizations is through team management. Robbins & Judge (2007) argues that in small organizations, team building may define the whole organization. Thereja (2007) suggest that the team can both vertical and horizontal, and the success of the organization depend on the skills and totality of all the team members. With this regard, every employee is important in his unique way, and no one can do without the help of another. Respect is, therefore, paramount in this setting, and every worker has the responsibility of performing to his best and incorporating other’s views in his line of work. Teamwork is advantageous in the sense that in case one is absent, for example, others can easily fit in as they share their experiences daily.
The network is another way of managing organizations and is proved to be the most cost effective method as it enables organization’s functions to be done better and cheaply. With this method, management together with the employees coordinate with each other from wherever place they are using electronic media (Amaral & Uzzi, 2007). Communication channels like telephone, emails are of great use when using this form of management structure. You do not have to be physically present to perform your tasks, but through video conferencing, for example, you can explain the processes to be followed to the juniors who then can use them in production. Reports can also be submitted via emails to the supervisors for assessments. This method can be applied to virtual organizations like the Amazon.com which exist through network connection mainly through the internet (Anderson, 2007). The advantage of this is that though the organization may be small, it can still serve a large market worldwide selling its product via the internet. With the unlimited space in the cloud, the organization is not worried about the size as it can accommodate as many people over the world as possible.
The Mental Health Foundation of Australia (Victoria) abbreviated as (MHFA (V)) was founded in 1930 and is one of the oldest mental organization in the whole world. It is a national as well as international health movement covering people ranging from persons with mental disorder, professionals, relatives of the persons with mental disorder, other organizations with same concerns and the general public (MHFA (V), 2016). This organization has been chosen since all the required information can be obtained even though I am not a stakeholder.
The organization does not offer personal advice or counseling over the phone. When a customer has a problem and channels them to the persons responsible, the client is referred to other organizations offering diagnosis and treatment. The client can as well check on the MHFA (V) website for the available referral organization. As an organization operating worldwide, this is ineffective since a client may be at stake or may not be in a position to reach the referral centers. This can limit some clients from getting the required help at the right time. Using the network culture or structure, the use of communication channels is to help reduce the amount of time to complete a process by increasing the response rate. MHFA (V) is therefore not in line with the researched cultures.
MHFA (V) acts as both physical and virtual organization. According to Wang, Pauleen & Chan (2013), a virtual organization is one with separate and scattered units which from employees to the whole business and usually need the application of information and communication technologies to operate effectively. They usually operate across the world. MHFA (V) has a fixed office in Victoria, Australia and it as well operates virtually through its website. This means they attend to anyone regardless of where you are coming from. For this, they have a call center line which operates in 24-hour basis and an email address directed only to the admin. This is to ensure the security and confidentiality of the client’s information. This culture is in line with the agreed culture which requires that the facility be reached at any time from wherever place for a virtual business.
MHFA (V) works in partnership with other organizations including non-governmental organization. Some of these include hospitals, charity homes, and social support services among others. To perform efficiently with these many other entities and still meet its goals, a team culture has to be implemented. For the case of MHFA (V), however, there are no such as a client has to contact the main office first before being transferred to other places to get help. The email address available is also only channeled to the administrator. As much as this help in maintaining confidentiality, it also hinders quick response perchance the admin is not in a position to react to client’s concerns immediately. A team is important as it ensures that more than one person has access to one function and so if one them is not able to react, the other can respond. Quick as well as appropriate feedback is important as it ensures customer satisfaction and gives them morale to use the facility again.
The organization structure of MHFA (V) is designed in such a manner that all the heads report directly to the president. In the structure, the secretary, treasure and project officers report directly to the president and only the other staff including the communities report to the project officers. As a big organization, this can be tiresome especially with the president who will be forced to attend to so many unrelated tasks. A functional structure is necessary for this type of organization because it deals with various functions. For instance, a department for virtual or online help should be formed so that people in that department is assigned ahead who will then direct their work to the president. This segmentation reduces workload and also gives ample time to perform tasks as there is more focus on just one area. The person responsible for answering local calls should not be the one answering international calls. The functional organizational structure is required for MHFA (V).
From the assessment of an ideal management culture and that of the MHFA (V), numerous differences have been identified. It is however not necessarily appropriate that each organization conforms to the researched cultures. However, the differences may help come up with recommendations that may in the end help improve the overall performance of the organization. These differences have been identified and discussed below.
For a typical organization engaging in various activities, a functional structure is always adopted to ensure the division of labor among the staff. This structure requires that the business is divided into different departments and each assigned ahead with whom all the workers within the department are to report to. In MHFA (V), however, this is not the case even though it performs more than one task. This difference suggests that there are people who are overworked compared to others and which may result in unsatisfied customer needs and inadequate utilization of resources, in this case, human resource.
Another difference realized is the relation to the team culture. An ideal management culture requires that employees within an organization work as a team to the extent that one can perform another person’s tasks if he is absent. It also advocates for shared competencies where workers can share their ideas on how to carry out specific tasks and in turn lead to innovations. In the case of MHFA (V), teamwork is not very much expressed. In it, one institution only receives questions and transfer clients to other entities for treatment. This is a hindrance to those who may require immediate response and innovations are also almost impossible as different professionals are in different locations.
On the network culture, MHFA (V) has shown a difference with the ideal form. It is required that communication channels be used to the maximum to ensure there is a network in the operations especially if the organization is a virtual organization like in the case of MHFA (V). This is not, however, the case. From the analysis done, the Mental Health Foundation of Australia does not even provide personal feedback over the phone but rather do referrals. There is, therefore, no evidence of network culture which is different from the expected culture. The disadvantage to this is that customers may be lost as they may prefer looking for other foundations which offer immediate feedback and this is disadvantageous to the business regarding profit. The fewer the customers, the lesser the profit made.
MHFA (V) has however shown one similarity regarding its management about the idea management expectations. As a worldwide organization, it has adopted a 24-hour call center and had an email address where people from across the world can communicate to them. It also has a website which contains all the information relating to its operation. Anybody across the world can, therefore, access the information they require at all times and communicate whenever they want.
From the assessment done, it is evident that MHFA (V) has some areas where improvements should be made to improve its functionality. The following are the recommendation according to this study which when incorporated, will ensure increased productivity.
First, the organization should consider changing its organization structure to a functional one. This has numerous advantages as stated by Jacobides (2007). Some of the benefits are; it acts like a foundation within which the standards and procedures are set and defines the persons responsible for decision making within the organization. It also establishes the responsibilities of each within the organization and therefore ensures the division of labor (Silvermintz, 2010). One is therefore specialized only on his line of work and therefore work with maximum knowledge with which he is trained. The productivity is therefore improved.
Secondly, as a virtual company, MHFA (V) should consider employing his staff who are competent and can offer personal counseling over the phone. It can also consider having video chats to its clients as a form of advice where they also include pictures on how a patient may be helped. Reese, Conoley & Brossart (2006) in their study realized that most clients prefer telephone counseling as they are not physically seen by the counselor. The clients are therefore more confident to air their concerns as opposed to when they are physically present.
Also, MHFA (V) should adopt team culture in their management as a way of promoting innovations and unity among its employees. According to Salas et.al (2008), teamwork has a much greater role in solving interpersonal problems among employees. Shuffler, Diazgranados & Salas (2011) further suggest that the overall effectiveness of an organization is dependent on the teamwork of its employees. Gaining the trust of them is, for instance, easy as they are familiar with sharing with one another.
Mental Health Foundation of Australia should, however, continue providing the 24-hour phone connections and maintain their website. There should be a continual update of the website from time to time, so the clients are kept up to date with any new development and ensure the security of the website as well as providing a platform for change response (Ducket, 2015). If these recommendations are applied, MHFA (V) will experience positive impacts which will increase their profit.
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