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Relationship between organizational structure and work norms

Organization structure generally refers to the more or less fixed and formal relationship
of roles and tasks to be performed in achieving organizational goals, the grouping of
these activities, delegation of authority and informational flows vertically and
horizontally in the organization.1

Organizational structure is the basic frame work of formal relationship among tasks,
activities and people.
Essentially, structure in an organization can be compared to the skeleton of the human
body. It shows how parts are interconnected. The typical means of showing the
organizational structure is an organization chart.2

Organizational structure is how job tasks are formally divided, grouped and coordinated.3

A complete heirachy of objective that is generally recognized and accepted provides an

organization with a logical and consistent standard.
For example, a typical business organization can be divided in descending order into
division, departments, sections and work groups.4

Organizational Structure involves the ways in which the tasks of the organization are
divided (differentiation) and coordinated (integration). In the formal sense structure is set
forth by the organizational charts, by positions and jobs descriptions, and by rules and
work flows. The organizational structure provides for formalization of relationship
between technical and the psycho social sub system. However, it should be emphasized
that this linkage is by no means complete and that many interactions and relationship
occur between technical and psycho social sub system that by pass the formal structure.5

The first major analysis of interrelationship among environment, strategy and structure
was that of Chandler (1962). In the masterful analysis of 50 companies he concluded that
strategy was directly related to the application of an enterprise’s resources to the market
demand and that in turn brought changes in organizational structure.

Norms are more encompassing roles while roles involve behavioral expectations for
specific position. Norms help organizational members to determine right from wrong and
good from bad.
According to the respected team management consultants “a norm is an attitude, opinion,
feelings or actions shared by two or more peoples that guide their behavior. Norms are
typical unwritten and seldom discussed openly but they have powerful impact on the
organizational structure. 6

Norms are acceptable standards of behavior within group that are shared by group
members. All groups in an organization have established norms which tell the members
what they ought to do and what not to do under certain circumstances.7
Norms are the standard of behavior which exists including guidelines on how much work
to do which in many organization come down to “ Do not do too much, do not do too
little.” 8

The aspects of culture in the norms of behavior that are formed and reinforced. Norms are
created by dominant forces in the culture and are perpetual through formal and informal
reward system.9

Norms are standard of behavior resulting from the interaction that occurs among

Work norms that determine performing activities in a particular methods in order to

deliver gainful results in the most efficient and cost effective style. These work
assumptions and work norms are strong and therefore, difficult to temper with by an
individual or sub groups. 11

Norms are derived from values, but have a more direct influence on information
behaviors. Norms are rules or socially accepted standards that define what is normal or to
be expected in organization. Norms are rules may be formal or informal.12

A team norms is a standard of conduct that is shared by team members and guides their
behavior. Norms are informal. They are not written down, as are rules and procedures.
Norms are valuable because they define boundaries of acceptable behavior. They make
life easier for team members by providing a frame of reference for what is right and
wrong. Norms identify key values, clarify role expectations and facilitate team survivals.
Norms begin to develop in the first interactions among team members of a new team. 13

The way your organization is structured determines the communication requirements,

responsibilities and reporting structure you have with management. The organizational
structure, culture and internal policies also determine the amount of authority the project
manager will have in the project. Because all organizations and projects are different
from one another.
Pg 100, IT project management: on track from start to finish BY Joseph Phillips

Organizational structure specifies the firm’s formal reporting relationships, procedures,

controls, and authority and decision making procedures. Developing an organizational
structure that effectively supports the firm’s strategy is difficult, especially because of the
uncertainty about cause-effect relationships in the global economy’s rapidly changing and
dynamic competitive environments.
Pg 309, strategic management: competitiveness and globalization: concepts & cases