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An organizational structure is a clear outline plan indicating the interrelation between the various departments existing in a company, the structure of governance, the rules that guide daily organizational operations and the work distribution among individuals in charge. The process of deciding and designing the organizational structure is influenced by the ultimate strategy the organization intends to adopt, the size of the organization bearing in mind future expansion possibilities to accommodate market demand, the type of technology that the company intends to use and finally the environmental factors that in most cases are unpredictable.
The organizational structures are of different types and vary depending on the type of business that an organization is dealing with and also the size of the company. A complete organizational structure should be able to help individual employees to understand; their job titles, specific roles and tasks required of them, immediate supervisors and the chain of hierarchy or command, their respective departments of operations and finally their required skills and experience to perform the expected tasks( Pathfinder, 2009) .
It is also noted that the organizational structure outlines the flow of information, the management of organizational functions and also the flexibility of an organization ( Pathfinder, 2009). Other scholars have also noted that the organization's structure selected should aim at purging the long protocols involved in management, should make things easy and provide a more enabling environment to work in, should be a structure that seeks to promote good employee-employer relationships that encourage free sharing of ideas and practices (McGee, & Molloy). These organizational structures could either be divisional, functional or adoptive.
The Target company has a functional structure in place. Organizational functions such as marketing, communication, human resources, research and capacity building have influence and determined the selection and designing of the organizational structure . This means that the organization has been structured in line with its key objectives and activities. Target, founded in 2008 is a company limited by guarantee that specializes in conducting market research, capacity building and development, coaching and mentoring, training and advocacy.
A baseline survey was conducted earlier on to recommend the best possible structure the organization could adopt. The final findings recommended the use of a functional structure of management. Such organizational functions facilitates division of work into units for efficient performance. The company has had excellent output as a result of people's specialization by these components hence improved quality and efficiency. At the apex of the organogram is the company's Executive Director, who is in charge of overseeing the overall operations of the organization and works closely with the line managers to develop, implement and monitor the organizational objectives.
Figure 1: Target Company-Organizational structure
Unlike the adoptive and divisional structures of an organization, functional structures encourage skill specialization of employees in the organization. Every unit is headed by technical experts in the area of concentration e.g. research manager, communication and advocacy manager, head of human resources among others, who are directly in charge of the sub units created in their departments, depending on emerging demand of services in the market. These managers are in direct contact with the executive director for feedback and planning. This type of structure maximizes skills and hence resulting into efficient operations and increased outputs in the company.
This is different from the divisional structure, which is aimed at larger organizations dealing with the production of different products and services for a larger market. Units operate independently in this type of structure though every department has its set target to meet that contributes to the overall mission and vision of the company. Its strong component is that of authority decentralization that allows managers to make independent decisions. The adoptive structure is used to address a specific market demand. These could be in form of projects. Its competitive advantage is that it is a flexible structure that can easily be fixed to fit the dynamic market demands.
Various organizational design components such as geographic, functional, customer-based, product, service, hybrid, matrix, marketing channels, and departmentalization help in determining the most efficient structures that will help organizations to achieve their missions. These design components define the daily activities and also serve as a pointer on the number of employees should have, the leadership structure, size of the company and the information flow hence they become the ultimate determinants of the structure to be adopted.
The geographical structure for example makes an organization to adopt the geographical model. A company may therefore specialize in developing its programs based on geographical regions like Africa, America or Europe. The geographic helps an organization know the types of resources required in a particular region, provides room for customization of goods and services to suit regional needs, helps in tracking results regionally and hence may promote healthy competition.
Products vary depending on organizational target customers and market economy. This therefore helps a company in designing its structure depending on the required resources, skills and talents needed to promote the product in the market. Departmentalization includes the development of an organizational structure depending on the functions that are conducted daily. The advantage of departmentalization is that organizational efficiency is enhanced from combining specialized skills and talents from people. It also promotes a more in depth specialization thus increased quality output.
In conclusion, it is advisable that irrespective of the structure adopted by an organization, its ultimate goal should be to successfully embrace the culture of a learning organization. Peter Senge (2007) defines a learning organization a that where people constantly increase their ability to produce the results they truly need, where new thinking patterns are nurtured and employees have joint ambitions. The rule of the thumb in developing a suitable structure is to bear in mind that the organization structure ought to augment the development of the processes (John van, 2004).