Archive for June 2011

When considering the efficient use and allocation of resources, companies are careful when deciding about corporate structure. Most companies I have worked with have a traditional organizational structure. The website, Group A-Plus (2005), indicates that “[t]raditional designs include simple structure, functional structure, and division structure”. The site author defines each traditional structure and provides examples of the structures. The summary is as follows:

Simple Structure:

“A design with low departmentalization, wide spans of control, centralized authority, and little formalization” (Group A-Plus, 2005)

Most small businesses consist of this structure having an owner and a few employees.

Functional Structure:

“A design that group similar or related occupational specialties together” (Group A-Plus, 2005)

Ex) Revlon: The company has departments in operations, finance, human resources, and product research and development that are responsible for different tasks.

Divisional Structure:

A group of “separate, semi-autonomous units or divisions” (Group A-Plus, 2005)

Ex) Wal-Mart: The company has different divisions such as Wal-Mart Reality, Wal-Mart International, Wal-Mart Specialty Store, Sam’s Club and Supercenters.

Each division has own goals and responsibilities to accomplish.

I have worked in a small company with a simple structure. Because there are only few people working, each employee learns multiple job functions and performs various tasks. I was responsible not only for the bookkeeping, but also consulting customers. Even though some jobs are distinguished, it is not clear. So I sometimes feel like everyone is doing everyone’s job. Then is it the same as an organization without boundaries?

Danna Griffin (n.d.) illustrates boundaryless organizations “transcend the rigid lines of bureaucracy and divisional boundaries within a corporation and ignore the borders where the corporation itself is separated from its markets, customers and ‘shareholders'”. Without boundaries, employees, managers, customers, and suppliers can achieve greater integration and coordination.

Talya Bauer and Berrin Erdogan (n.d.) divide Boundary less organizations into two forms; modular organization and strategic alliances. In the article (Beauer & Berrin, n.d.), they define the modular organization is “where all the nonessential functions are outsourced”. The example of the company form is Toyota. Suppliers work as the small divisions of the company. This structure helps to make an efficient and effective operation. Another form is a strategic alliance. The structure is described as “similar to a joint venture, two or more companies find an area of collaboration and combine their efforts to create a partnership that is beneficial for both parties” (Beauer & Berrin, n.d.). An example of its structure is a partnership with Starbucks and PepsiCo Inc. These two companies cooperate with each other for marketing and distribution.

I worked in a simple organizational structure, so I am curious about boundary less organization. Jodi Barnes Nelson (1997) illustrates that employees have “flexible hours and more control over where they work, how they work, and which projects they would most prefer” in a boundary less structure. I believe that in order to work in the structure, employees should have self-motivation and self-discipline. There is a lot of freedom, but there are still duties and responsibilities. Having no boundaries does not mean that jobs are neglected. Which kind of operational structure do you want to work in? Do you want to work in a company with boundaries or one with no boundaries? I am a self-motivated person, so I want to experience the boundary less structure and compare it with the traditional organizational structure.



Bauer, T.,& Erdogan, B. (n.d.) Organizational Structure. Organizational Behavior V1.1. Flatworld Knowledge. Retrieved June 25, 2011, from http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/pub/organizational-behavior-v1.1/141449#web-141449

Griffin, D. (n.d.) The Structure of a Boundaryless Organization. The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 25, 2011, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/structure-boundaryless-organization-2764.html

Group A-Plus (2005), Types of Organization Designs. May Lilly. Retrieved June 25, 2011, from http://www.emaytrix.com/mgmt307/section3.php

Nelson, J. (1997). The Boundaryless Organization: Implications for Job Analysis, Recruitment, and Selection. Human Resource Planning, 20(4), 39-49. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

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There is no doubt that decision making is not an easy process, especially if the decision is to be a rational one. We often make group decisions rather than individual decisions in the areas of work, family, and school. When we are part of a family or a student in school, individuals become team members. Why do we prefer to be in group situations when making organizational decisions? Exforsys Inc. (2011) defines the importance of individual decision making and indicates what the advantages and disadvantages are for these decisions.

Individual decision making: a traditional decision making process without a group that is most likely used by managers.


1. Immediate action and fast solutions

2. Sole responsibility, no one to blame

3. Full accountability

4. No arguments

5. Efficient in time and effort


1. One perception

2. No one available for discussion

3. Time consuming for an indecisive character

4. Lower level of motivation

5. Limited creative solutions

When one person makes a decision, it can be easy and convenient. We do not have to ask to convince anyone about making a choice. The only thing one has to do is ask themselves about what is the best choice. However, for myself, I can be very indecisive. I often have to ask for another opinion. It could be rational or irrational, effective or ineffective or even a group decision. Let’s look at the group decision making process. The website, Reference for Business, (n.d.) lists the methods and procedures for group decision making and also illustrates the advantages and disadvantages.

Group decision making: a decision making process involving with more than one individual or group to analyze and solve same problem or situation.


1. Benefits of the diverse strengths and knowledge of each member

2. A greater number of alternative solutions and opinions

3. High quality decisions

4. High decision acceptance and commitment


1. Longer processes and slower decision making

2. Conflict between members or opinions

3. Occurrence of group thinking

4. Domination of a powerful member

5. Group polarization

Like individual decision making, the group making process involves the positive and the negative. Groups are able to generate more ideas and evaluate them effectively and efficiently during the team discussion. Many organizations accept the risk of the disadvantages and form the group or team to lead projects or to solve problems. The group creates high quality and quantity of alternatives from which to choose. It also provides various perspectives that help to understand and analyze situations.

What needs to be understood to build an effective team or to motivate this team? Robert A. Sevier (2005) has suggestions for both areas. He believes that talent, vision and goals are important when analyzing group creation or motivation. He also asserts that these qualities are not enough. Sevier emphasizes that the team members should think about how they work together. Sevier also stresses that “as you progress in team building, there will be less ‘me’ and more ‘we'”. Now that I understand this, I think about how many times I say “I” and “you” in group meetings instead using “we”. I use the word “I” to support and carry my opinion to others rather than sharing it.

In a team situation, a star is not important. Let’s look at the Canuck game on June 10, 2011. It was the 5th Stanley Cup game against the Bruins. Some may think that the star of the game was Maxim Lapierre who scored the only goal or maybe Roberto Luongo who did not allow any Bruin goals. I think that everyone on the team was a star. Hockey is a team or group sport. With each member’s effort, I strongly believe that we had a great win that leads us to one more game for the Stanley Cup. We should remember that there is no place for ‘me’ in a group. It is only ‘we’ that exists. We should thank all members of the Canucks, both on and off of the ice. Go Canucks go!


Barnett, Tim (n.d.) Group Decision Making. Reference for Business. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Gr-Int/Group-Decision-Making.html

Exforsys Inc. (2011, February 27). Individual Decision Making. Exforsys Inc. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://www.exforsys.com/career-center/decision-making/individual-decision-making.html

Sevier, R. A. (2005). Making the Right Choices. University Business, 8(11), 31-32. Retrieved from EBSCOhost

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  • Jory Grunlund: Hey Jin. Similar to what I told Chris, people are usually resistant to change at first. Like you mentioned, when your accountant changed the accountin
  • irenechou1: I guess everyone are scared of being changes because there are so many factors that you could not predict after the changes are applied in an organiza
  • chrisjerickchua: Hey Jin, I completely agree with you that as the world changes, organizations need to change as well. Organizations cannot stay stagnant or else th