Every organization exists for a purpose, and while it is the top managers who will decide how the organization can achieve its mission and vision, the operative goals are the key to its success. Therefore, there should be strategies that focus on giving employees a sense of direction and motivation, and there should be standards of performance. Strategies include a number of techniques and the organization design should specifically suit the organization’s competitive approach in order for it to contribute significantly to effectiveness.
Majority of today’s organizations are designed bureaucratically, which means that there is hierarchy between authority and responsibility. As such, rules, policies, and procedures are designed in such a way that they are applied to be able to control each employee within the subsystems (departments) where their group is assigned specialized functions (ie. sales, accounting, and training). This has become the norm and standards in today’s organizations and although such hierarchical systems do make sense, it can also pose a disadvantage to the organization because of the differences within the members of the group, in terms of culture, desires, and goals. This only means that for each subsystem to function as they are intended to, they need to be given specific structures, and not just one, in order for the organization as a whole to be effective.
Purpose, Process, and Making Design Choices
A design should be built with a purpose that is perfectly aligned to the mission and vision of the organization. This purpose will serve as the foundation for everything that the employees and their respective subsystems do. It is therefore necessary that a design should best suit its purpose because only in that scenario can the organization optimize effectiveness.
The design process requires a set of guidelines that is based on its purpose. This strategy is what will unify the intent of the organization and the means by which the employees and their subsystems will be able to accomplish the desired outcomes. Each element in the design process need to support each other, and as a collective group, they should support the overall purpose of the organization.
Because organizations are the vessels by which individuals are able to achieve their aggregate purpose, there should be an understanding that the collective work is more significant than individual achievements. The design should be made to help the organization and its people understand this, and see the bigger picture.
The patterns of activity that organizations have should be designed in a way that they are well-balanced and interdependent to achieve better outcomes. Making the right choices that will enable the organization design to match the people, technology, information, systems, structures, and processes to the mission and vision of the organization will result in an integrated system that will reinforce and buildup the organization’s ability to accomplish its purpose.
Assessing Organizational Effectiveness
The need to determine how effective an organization is can help managers identify the current issues plaguing the organization as a whole, as well as those being faced by its individual members. When an organization can accurately assess effectiveness, it is easier to remedy and even treat the problems that they have so as not to hinder them from achieving their purpose. On the other hand, when there is no means to make accurate and comprehensive effectiveness assessments, it is quite impossible to know if indeed the design created has served its purpose to the degree that top management has deemed it to be desirable and satisfactory.
The first step to help determine whether or not an organization is effective is by understanding what its goals and strategies are, and if the design fits various contingencies. Whilst it can be difficult to measure effectiveness in such a large scale considering the diversity of the various subsystems within the organization, managers can make this possible by setting indicators that will measure or gauge the effectiveness of their people. What this means is that there needs to be quantitative measurement by which managers can weigh performance, otherwise accuracy cannot be made possible. Top executives today have used several ways to measure effectiveness that focuses on the soft skills of their people, such as by using customer loyalty and employee commitment as key indicators.