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Organizational Structure

Different organizational structures work for different people or different employees. As Anand and Daft tell us, three organizational changes took place in three different eras. These organizational changes were self-contained, horizontal organization and the opening up of organizational boundaries in the third era (Anand & Daft, 2007). Each organizational change brought influenced the corporate world in its own way. The third era, which is what most businesses in the corporate world are experiencing today, brought about more changes and pathways to different ways of achieving the desired results. Each organization design should be adapted to a specific organization but it cannot succeed by its general view.

It is clear how each era came with its own design, mostly an advance of the previous. However, it is important that each organization adopt itself to the design that it finds best for its business. This is because different organizations have different needs, objects/goals and employees. During the third era, the organizational boundaries opened up because of the incoming technology that was rapidly its place in the business world. This was mostly in the 1990s. Opening up the boundaries meant that the organizations’ managements were ready to open up their internal boundaries into the outside world.

The hollow organization design involves outsourcing. This means that some works can be done by other people/outside the organization, with the organization remaining a beneficiary. For example, many companies/organization in the U.S outsource their labor from the Asian countries. The major positive effects on the organization‘s members are that a lot of work is done at cheaper costs. Employment opportunities are also created in the countries where the outsourcing is being taken from. The negative effect mostly seen is the killing of the local labor. In some cases, it affects the employees of the particular organization if their services are no longer needed. This is especially dangerous for the remaining employees as they might develop low self-motivation if they are afraid of loosing their jobs anytime. A good example of an organization that does outsourcing is the Reebok and Nike Ltd. It does most of its outsourcing from the rest of the world.

The virtual organization design comes in handy when the organization has more than it can handle or when it tries to attract new customers. This design affects its members positively by making sure that there is increase of sales and customers too. More employment opportunities occur due to the added business. The negative effect of this design is an organization can incur losses or be liquidated if the plans fail to work out. For example, Marks & Spencer joined up with George Davis’ companies to form Per Una, another company that concentrated on young women’s clothes. This lasted for a while but increased the sales and profits of both companies.

The modular organization is similar to the hollow one but differs in that this one concentrates with outsourcing product pieces rather than organizational processes. As in the previous case, it affects its members by reducing costs. For example, motor companies are known to get their materials from outside the country but do the assembling themselves.

In overall, generalizing and saying that a certain structure is better than another structure is not quite good. This is because it all depends on the different organizations, the services they need, the people/employees, their different needs, amongst others. In some cases, they all work hand in hand. In a research carried out by Ambrose and Schmike (2009), overall justice influences individuals’ justice. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a Business Administration professor and an author says that the most effective organizations are “focused, flexible, fast, friendly and fun” (Morris, 2011). Being flexible means that they are able to adjust and incorporate strategies and structures in accordance of how the situation is as at that particular period.

The overall justice for example, should be incorporated into a business in order to motivate the employees in giving more output. If one person in the management sector makes a negative comment about the general performance, then it is most likely the individuals will make negative judgments of themselves. They will end up treating each other rudely and affect the general performance of the organization. Each structure should be handled with care and with the sensitivity that it requires.

If the employees feel that the organization treats them fairly, then they will give a more than average performance. If the same employees feel that the organization is treating them poorly, then they will give a poor performance and there will be a high turnover of employees. There is no structure than can be said to be superior and the other. Structures can be treated as building blocks. On one hand, it is normally a disaster if one block misses. The whole structure may fall or is just weak. On the other hand, people can choose different building blocks depending on the structure.

When looking at the organizational designs, a collapsing business would be better off if it adopted the virtual design as compared to another business that just wants to reduce its costs. To some organizations, adopting the module design would be better than adopting the hollow design. Each organizational structure should be adapted to the needs of that particular organization. The relationship between overall justice and individual justice is quite strong. Each depends on the other and finally makes up the general success or failure of a business. The different designs should be used in relation with other strategies depending on the business, as the designs on their own cannot positively affect the members of the organization.


Ambrose M. L. & Schminke, M, (2009). The Role of Overall Justice Judgments in Organizational Justice Research: A Test of Mediation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(2): 491-500.

Anand, N & Daft, R. L., (2007). What is the Right Organization? Organizational Dynamics, 36(4): 329-344.

Morris, B., (2011). Rosabeth Moss Kanter: An interview. Retrieved from

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