Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mediating Technology - task interdependence and coordination

In the last blog, we looked at the relation between Technical complexity, Uncertainty and Routineness. In today's blog, we begin the discussion on relation between task interdependence and mechanism of Coordination.

Thompson recognized that the objects being processed or the work processes of a technology may be interrelated so that changes or problems in one part of the technical system affect other parts. This is defined situation as task interdependence.

In this blog, we look at specifically at mediating technology. To understand this, let’s take the example of a bank.

Bank employees mediate between borrowers and savers or investors. The mediation cab is accomplished simultaneously by several bank branches that operate independently of one another.  Little direct contact is needed between the various units. In such cases, the output of the organization is simply the sum of the efforts of each unit. - This is called "pooled task interdependence". 

We could visualize this as shown in the diagram below.

Another interesting point to note is that, if the organization wishes to achieve a coherent organizational identity or ensure services are consistent across units, this can be achieved by setting up and following rules and standard procedures.

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