With a strong organisational culture, an employee is influenced to think, act and communicate in accordance with their shared perceptions, patterns of beliefs and rites that have evolved over time. These serve as the glue that holds and maintains the organisation together (Sheng et al. 2004). These shared beliefs and perceptions are developed over time by continuous communication and socializing among employees within the organisation. Being upheld by the employees themselves, the organisational culture serve as a corporate framework that provides guidance on issues relevant to the the organisation’s optimised operations.
Issues such as how tasks should be carried out, the use and implications of technology and standards of communication, are commonly addressed by organisational culture. This in turn, affects the individual’s performance and his contribution to the organisation’s overall success (Sheng et al. 2004). Organisational culture has been proven to have a positive impact on the organisation's overall performance (Yeung, Brockbank, and Ulrich, 1991). At the individual’s level, employees who are supportive and accepting of the company's culture are also more involved at work and thus more productive.
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2A. Management Approaches and Leadership Styles for Matrix and Functional Structures Under the matrix structure, coordination and conflicting interests are the main issues that need to be resolved. Having different bosses simultaneously causes confusion and ambguity in decisions. Furthermore, different boss may have different ideas and goals even if they are working on a single project. Conflicting ideas more frequently result in delays, incur more expenses; cause ineffeciency in the use of both energy and effort.
As a palliative, senior officers in a matrix structured organisation try to communicate as frequently as they can with their employees and managers, assessing the condition of every project in the process to avert problems (Bigliardi, Petroni & Dormio 2005. ). For conflicting ideas, management may formalize a general strategic plan on an annual basis to avoid conflicts between managers due to differences in perspective. In general, the management approach under the matrix system is intended to ensure that departments are effectively coordinating with each other and is coherent with the the organisation’s overarching goals.
The sharing of resources and even manpower could be carried out with relative ease (Understanding and Managing Organisational Behaviour 2006) The priority of managers is to remove the political and culture in order to freely implement the matrix structure (Bigliardi, Petroni & Dormio 2005. ). By removing political barriers, free and transparent flow of information and resources from top to bottom is more likely. Having it this way, communication among employees is enhanced. Having cleared up the barriers that could slow down employee performance, matrix managers may set and clarify the strategic objectives of the organization.
In an environment where information and resources freely move from one point to another, an employee could fully use his skills and do his job more effectually than in an atmosphere where these are not adocated (Bigliardi et al 2005). More often, the issue of rigidity is the core issue brought forth by a functionally structured organisation. Since the authority rests too much on the chief executive, departments are compelled to have their work and decisions revolve within a single individual or group of officers. Such a set-up undermines the success of syrnergy and of team effort (Gray & Larson 2008).
In order to avoid such an issue, the management of functionally structured organisations ought to carefully outline the responsibility that each department has. In effect, employees will have to act in accordance to what has been drafted and agreed upon. In doing so, even in the absence of the chief executive, employees and managers may still work and function normally. The management approach under a functionally structured organisation aims to ensure business continuity and the efficiency despite the absence of key decision makers (Kabacoff 2002).
Furthermore, by planning explicitly, employees would not have to rely unnecessarily on officers and managers for instructions. Instead, they may act autonomously, guided by the plan. Such a set-up would accord them an increased sense of empowerment (Kabacoff 2002). By having a single, core group of officers control the organization, the leadership style of functional structure tends to be centralized and perhaps close to authoritarian leadership.
In the previous diagram, it could be seen that authority rests on the chief executive, who controls most decisions if not all. The managers under him are the ones who relay orders down in such “chain of command” (McCarthy & Matthern 1999). All employees are forced to comply with such orders in the interest of their employer. In some cases, chief executives tend to shy away from decision making and leave this job to a group of officers who hold a significant amount of stock.
In influencing employee performance, leadership in a functional structure is best characterized by its clear and definite chain of command (Bigliardi et al 2005). Unlike the matrix system, employees will find it less confusing and there are no delays due to such confusion in organizational direction. Thus, employees are more focused on their task, minimizing failure at all levels. The leadership style within a functional structure tends to revolve around the officer or officers that hold most of authority.
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