About Organizing as a Management Function

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POSDCORB | Functions of Management | Functions of Managers > Forum > About Organizing as a Management Function

About Organizing as a Management Function
Prasanna, Student (University), Sri Lanka, Member
Organizing is the framework of dividing, grouping and/or coordinating job tasks.
The primary aim of organizing is to
  1. Divide jobs into departments
  2. Coordinate them
  3. Cluster the jobs into the units
  4. Establish relationships
  5. Establish formal lines of authority
  6. Allocate and deploy resources
Most organizations are based on such a design.
Major organizational changes have to address the above 6 things as well. For example, it is possible to address following changes via the organizational design:
- Departmentalization (practiced by most of the org)
- Work specialization (practiced after the industrial revolution up to now)
- Chain of command (practiced by most of autocratic organizations)
- Span of control (this will not be in use anymore in future due to virtual org)
- Centralised or decentralised (mostly in government versus private sector)
- Formalization.

Typical Steps in Organizing (in Management)
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
These are the main steps in dividing work into sections and departments (organizing):
  1. Identification and classification of required activities.
  2. Grouping of activities necessary for attainment of objectives.
  3. Assigning each group to a manager with the authority (delegation) necessary to supervise it.
  4. The provision for coordination horizontally (on the same organizational level) and vertically (in various division and departments).
In other words, organizing involves the establishment of an intentional structure of roles through determination and enumeration of the activities required to achieve the goals of an enterprise and each part of it, the grouping of these activities, the assignments of such groups of activities to managers, the delegation of authority to carry them out, and provision for coordination of authority and informal relationships, horizontally and vertically, in the organisation structure.

Goals of Organizing (in Management)
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
The goals or purposes of organizing are the following:
  1. ACHIEVE THE ORGANIZATIONAL PURPOSE AND GOALS. Consider that an organization is employed to achieve the overall objectives of a business firm. Through organization, managers can focus the attention of individuals' objectives towards these overall objectives.
  2. MAKING OPTIMUM USE OF RESOURCES. In order to make optimum use of resources like men, materials, money, machines and methods, it is necessary to design an organization properly. Work should be divided and the right people should be given the right jobs to reduce the wastage of resources in the organization.
  3. PERFORM THE MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS. In particular Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing and Controlling cannot be implemented without proper organization. It stimulates creativity of managers.
  4. ENABLE GROWTH AND DIVERSIFICATION. A good organization structure is essential for expanding the business activities because it determines the input resources needed. This also applies to product diversification like establishing a new product line.
  5. HUMANE TREATMENT OF EMPLOYEES. An organization should not overly deploy monotonous work processes on order to achieve a higher degree of specialization. Following the early days of "scientific management", organizations have now adapted more modern concepts of organizing, like systems and human relations approaches, diminishing traditional organizing approaches which were solely focused on productivity and specialization.

Assigning Authorities in Organizing (in Management)
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
We can broadly distinguish 3 types of authorities in organizing:
  • LINE AUTHORITY is the authority through which certain managers get the formal power to direct and control immediate subordinates. A superior (manager) can issue orders and is responsible for the result. The subordinate (employee) obeys and is responsible only for executing the order according to instructions.
  • FUNCTIONAL AUTHORITY is the authority through which certain managers get formal decision power over a specific subset of activities.
    For instance, some line manager may have the line authority to decide whether and when a new machine is needed, but, based on his/her functional authority, a financial manager ("Controller") can demand that a capital expenditure request is submitted first, showing that the investment will have a yield of at least x%.
    Likewise a legal department may have the functional authority to interfere in any matter or activity that might have legal repercussions. Note that a functional authority is called a staff authority if such interference is an "advice" rather than an "order".
  • STAFF AUTHORITY is the authority granted to staff specialists in their area(s) of expertise. It is not a full authority in the sense that a staff manager does not order or instruct but only advises, recommends, or counsels in the staff specialists' area of expertise and is responsible only for the quality of the advice. Its influence derives indirectly from a line authority at a higher level. So it can be regarded as a communication relationship with management.

Organizing or Organising?
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Organise and organize are simply different spellings of the same word.
"Organize" is the preferred spelling in the USA and Canada, and "organise" is more common outside North America.
This also applies to all derivatives of the word, like organized/organised, organizing/organising, and organization/organisation.

Etymology of Organizing and Organization
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
The term organization ("act of organizing") is derived from Middle French organiser and organisation, from Medieval Latin organizō and organizationem (nominative organizatio), from Latin organum "instrument, organ".

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