Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Organization Theory - 9

In the last blog we took a simple example to understand the various variables that are used to understand the organization. Now we take a look back the dimensions of organization and understand the first dimension of "Complexity" in the context of an organization.

Let’s take for example sake a large organization - say IBM. 

We can check the website of the company at this link. It would be good to know a bit about the company and its history - instead of repeating a story; it would be good to check the story out here. One could learn specifically about the Indian Page at this Wikipedia link.

We could easily see that the company has its offices spread across various continents and countries - this link gives an idea about the extent to which the company has a presence globally.
We could also see that the company has different capabilities and caters to various different types of customers. It wouldn’t be easy to understand these unless we look at the following links and play with some of the combinations there- Services, Solutions, and Products.
Given that IBM is spread across various continents and offers a variety of services/products/solutions etc and managing the current number of employees it would need to have a large hierarchy to the CEO from a new joinee into the company.

In the above discussion we can classify the dimensions into 3 classes

  1. Spatial differentiation: The geographical areas that a company expands over is represented by the spatial differentiation
  2. Horizontal differentiation: The degree to which the horizontal separation is between the units - the product/service/solution focus etc is an indication this in the above discussion
  3. Vertical differentiation: This refers to the depth of the organizational hierarchy measured in levels! - The new joinee at the bottom of the hierarchy to the CEO at the top of the global company!

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