In this organisation, the job description is more important than the person who fills it, and performance over the role is not required. "Role or job description is often more important than the individual and position power is the main source of power. " (Mullins 1999 p. 804). While British Airways is such a large company, the roots of the bureaucratic approach have to be used in many ways to keep the company running smoothly.
There are obviously disadvantages to this, as mentioned earlier in this report, employees will feel left out and not valued by their company, as they are being given instructions and orders to follow, and are never included in decision making that some other cultures may have. The organisational structure at British Airways can help the company obtain its targets, as the hierarchical and divisional structure divides the organisation up into functions, which will each be working towards completing the objectives set by the firm.
This structure also helps British Airways in being able to have a significant presence in all geographical markets, as British Airways has separated up its divisions by area as well as the other business functions. From this, each area division can assess how well they are operating in their geographical market and therefore identify any areas for improvement (Mullins 1999). The structure used at British Airways is also beneficial to the employees, as each individual knows whom they are directly responsible to and for, and also they have a clear role in the company and understand exactly what is expected from them.
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It is also beneficial for managers, as they can observe the working environment easier and address any problems quicker, as they are only managing a division each as apposed to a much larger group of subordinates (Watson 2001). In a constantly changing business environment, British Airways must adjust to these changes in order to stay at the top of its market; it did this by decentralising its company into divisions, allowing a geographical spread of different parts of the organisation (Mullins 1999).
"More specifically, contingency theory asserts that as technology becomes more sophisticated and less routinized, environments more complex and uncertain, activities more heterogeneous and employees more skilled and sophisticated, organizations must become more flexible and adaptable and they must do so by moving from bureaucratic to more decentralized forms of administration. " (Hales 2001 p. 135) This decentralisation has many positive outcomes for British Airways, as it enables decision making to be done closer to the operational level of work.
There is also improved responsiveness to local circumstances, as well as an increased amount of customer service. It can also have a positive effect on employee morale and motivation (Mullins 1999). The structure and also the culture contribute strongly to the management of British Airways. The hierarchical structure and role culture at the company, allow for the company to work well, as there is no confusion between workers, which minimises transaction costs within the firm.
Everyone knows their role within the company and have certain jobs to complete. Each individual is also aware of whom they are responsible for and to. The divisional structure adopted by British Airways, has allowed the company to remain efficient by decentralising and geographically separating different parts of the organisation. "Decentralisation may give rise to greater opportunities for increased delegation and empowerment. " (Mullins 1999 p. 542)
British Airways official website. (30-04-2004) www. britishairways. com.Dessler, G (1986) Organization Theory: Integrating Structure and Behaviour (2nd ed). Prentice Hall. Fineman, S & Gabriel, Y & Sims, D (1993) Organizing & Organizations. Sage. Hales, C (2001) Managing Through Organization (2nd ed). Thomson. Hofstede, G (1998) 'Identifying organizational subcultures'. Journal of Management Studies. Vol. 35. no. 1. p. 1-12. Mullins, L. J (1999) Management and organisational behaviour (5th ed). Prentice Hall Rollinsson, D (1998) Organisational behaviour and analysis; An integrated approach. Addison Wesley
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