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Unit 2 Human resource Management

Subunit 2.2: Organization Structure


Case Study 1 : KBR: Roles and responsibilities within an organizational
structure
Answer the following questions:
Q1. What do you understand by the term hierarchy? In what ways can
you identify this structure within KBR?
Answer: In my view, hierarchy is the different layers of management
present in an organizational structure with the highest authority on top
and low skilled workers at the end. On each level there are people with
different roles and posts showing superiority over another if above the
others level of hierarchy. Well for all companies and businesses there is a
CEO and a board of directors who usually are found at the top of the
hierarchy. Then judging from the data given in the case study, there are
several different kinds of employees present in the organization. There
are the usual subordinates present for the work at the bottom of the
hierarchy for tasks such as construction work. Also, looking at the job
description given for the post of a manager it can be seen that they are
given authority over these subordinates thus higher than them in the
hierarchy. Similarly there are many other jobs such as engineers,
accountants and electricians each of whom may have their own group of
people working under them and they themselves under someone else. This
way we can see that there are several levels of hierarchy forming up an
organizational structure.
Q2: Why do you think ADSL gives people responsibility and autonomy?
How does this relate to the structure of the organisation?
Answer: Often people are given responsibilities which can be for a specific
task or responsibility over others, similarly they may be given the
autonomy for their actions. Staff or employees who are at a higher level of
hierarchy are often more skilled or experienced as compared to those
below them, thus they are often entrusted with important tasks as well. If
one is dealing with a task alone then he or she solely is liable for the
outcome, they must complete the task and the organization expects good
results. One way of ensuring good results is motivating the staff
performing the task, this can be done by giving employees responsibility.
This would lead them to believe they are valued by the business and
would have greater loyalty for the firm as well. Similarly, if he or she is
given responsibility over a certain team then it might lead to greater job
satisfaction. According to Herzberg one of the needs is social needs of a
person, and this is covered when one has to work in a team with other
people and interact. As the needs are being met, the motivation of the
employee increases as well which might give him or her greater job
satisfaction. Another factor is that when the senior employees work with

their juniors, a sense of belonging is created among them. Also a culture


of coordination and collaboration may be formed which might benefit the
firm in the long run. Furthermore, autonomy is usually gained with
responsibility through which one might be able to develop themselves and
those around them. When someone is given responsibility it is likely that
the work would be completed and it is usually through people from
different levels of the hierarchy working together.
Q3: In what ways do the various roles in ADSL outlined in the case study
illustrate the principles of organisational structure? Refer particularly to
span of control, authority and responsibility.
Answer: As in the case of every other firm, there is a CEO at the top of the
organizational structure. Those directly under him are in his span of
control, those staff members are often the ones with their own span of
control as well. People with some high post are found next, judging from
the case study it is likely to be someone like the development director, he
has responsibility over important things and has a wide span of control,
he would try to meet the firms objectives. The mentioned managers are
likely to come under them as they may be linked to clients directly as they
plan to exceed expectations. In their span of control, skilled labor is likely
to be a part of it. This would include people in the end of the
organizational structure as the chances of them having any subordinates
are low. They dont seem to have authority over anyone and are usually
responsible for small tasks like plumbing. This shows a typical
organizational structure where the chain of command can be seen and the
link between different levels of hierarchy.
Q4: In your view is it ever possible to create a truly flat organisation?
How might a matrix structure assist a business such as ADSL and what
would be the impact upon job roles?
Answer: A truly flat organization means that there are no managers
between the executives and the usual staff, meaning they are most
probably delayered and the span of control is really wide in this case. In
this case many of the tasks are often delegated to the workforce. When
this is done, at many occasions the employees might tackle something
new. Though because of this employees may feel more trusted and valued
by the business thus increasing motivation and productivity. They may
also pick up some important new skills as well. Though in this case
delayering is likely to be performed which would result in many managers
and middle staff being moved aside. Due to this many people might lose
their jobs, also the workload of the higher ups would increase as there are
less people to do that work now. Also the staff wasnt trained to do
management work. This might lead to a drop in efficiency and work roles
would need to be revised. If we consider the matrix structure, in it a team
of specialized staff is called together as a team for the completion of a
task. This means there is team work, people from different departments
would join up to do the work. When working together, other people may
pick up on new skills, thus if any one of the members is absent another

member can take on his or her part of the work temporarily. This will lead
to operations continuing smoothly without a problem with one member
perhaps performing more than one job role. Though a problem can arise
that, the team members may not get along at all. If they do not
collaborate work will be left over with halt on all operations and people
may end up with no job role being performed. I believe the matrix method
with still hold to be more suitable as teams can always be changed and
the burden is distributed with greater chances of success, whereas in a
flat organizational structure stress is a major factor with large workload
and lesser chances for success.