Organizational differentiation means un-bundling and re-arranging of activities. Re-grouping and re-linking them is organizational integration Lawrence and Lorsch, When different units are assigned different tasks and functions, they set independent goals for performing the assigned tasks and function accordingly. In such situations, integration of the activities of different sub-systems is necessary to facilitate smooth working and to bridge communication gaps.
In research organizations, integration of research units and administrative units is very important for the smooth functioning of research activities. Need for integration also increases with increase in structural dimensions. For the purpose of achieving these strategic objectives, a research manager has to coordinate different units.
When different units are assigned different goals and tasks, conflicts are inevitable. A manager needs to integrate and coordinate the work of different sub-units to effectively resolve conflicts. This may cause conflict. Methods of integration Within any large organization it is important to have proper communication systems to enable different sub-systems to coordinate various activities and avoid obstacles in the work environment.
Lack of proper coordination often causes conflicts in an organization. To ensure proper coordination in research organizations, the research manager has to take care of behavioural dimensions such as motivation and conflicts while ensuring an efficient overall structure. Achieving integration The structure of a research institution needs to be suitably designed to facilitate proper coordination and integration of different specialized units.
Coordinating vertically through hierarchy Work is assigned to specialized units and coordinated by a manager. A hierarchy vertical of authority evolves from lower to higher levels. Every worker should report to only one manager. Decision making authority and a chain of command should be from the top to lower levels. A manager is accountable for the performance of his or her subordinates. In turn, subordinates are responsible to their manager for their performance. Determining the decision making level A manager has to decide about the levels at which decisions are to be taken, and this would depend upon the type, impact and values of decisions.
Deciding the span of control Span of control refers to the number of specialized activities or personnel supervised by one manager. There is no optimal number for a span of control and number of levels in the hierarchy. In fact, span of control and hierarchy levels are inter-related and depend on situational factors Barkdull, Methods to improve integration There are several ways to improve integration, the most common being through a hierarchy of authority.
For this, specialized units whose activities are inter-related could be put under one manager. Using committees to improve coordination is more difficult than other methods, as it requires considerable skills in group dynamics and technical knowledge on the part of the chairperson of the committee. The person who takes this role must not be involved directly in the work, but tries to assist managers in improving integration.
Process in the organization Power in the organization Communication in the organization. Norms for proper functioning of the organization are evolved through organizational processes. These relate to power, decision making, communication, motivation and leadership.
Socialization also plays a significant role. Politics is a process to achieve power. Power is inter-related with authority and influence. Bernard defined authority in terms of 'legitimate power.
Power provides one of the strongest motivations Galbraith, It also affects the setting of objectives and the distribution of resources in an organization. The source of power can be positional, economic, knowledge, performance, personality, physical or ideological Hicks, Organization-based power refers to the power beyond the range of legitimate authority because of the position which a person has in the organization Milgram, This power can be controlled and transferred by the organization. This is given by persons at a higher level or by decision-makers.
HOMOLOGICAL DIMENSION THEORY
This too is given by persons at a higher level or by decision-makers. It cannot be transferred by the organization since it is person-specific. This facilitates association with others. In research organizations, as in other organizations, power plays a significant role. It influences the organization's strategies, recruitment of competent scientists, behavioural control system and changes in the organizational structure. Communication in the organization Communication is a basic element in organizational structure and functioning.
It is the key mechanism for achieving integration and coordination of the activities of specialized units at different levels in the organization. The communication process consists of seven steps Shannon and Weaver, : message, encoding, transmitting, receiving, decoding, understanding and feedback.
Medieval bishop's theory resembles modern concept of multiple universes
The importance of horizontal communication increases with task specialization and diversity in organizational structure. The need for lateral or horizontal communication was first stressed by Fayol , when he suggested a 'gang plank' between similar hierarchical positions. Being superior-subordinate communication, it follows the chain of command through the line of authority. Downward communication can be of four types Katz and Kahn, : - communication designed to provide job rationale to produce understanding of the task and its relation to other organizational tasks; - communication about organizational procedures and practices; - feedback to the subordinate about his or her performance; and - communication to foster inculcation of organizational goals.
In an agricultural research organization, a suitable blending of lateral, downward and upward communication is required to effectively coordinate and integrate activities of individual subsystems. The effectiveness of research results greatly depends upon proper communication links among scientists, between scientists and agricultural extension workers, and between extension workers and farmers. In an agricultural research organization, there are several specialized sub-systems which need to be integrated through horizontal communication.
Downward communication facilitates transmission of research results to actual users. It starts with goal setting in the organization, and entails searching for alternatives, analysing alternatives and choosing criteria. The process of decision making involves nine steps Hicks and Gullet, ; Anderson : i Setting organizational goals. Models of decision making There are five major models for decision making in an organization Gortner, Mahler and Nicholson, It is based on rational choice among well reasoned and logical alternatives.
This model is suitable as a consultant-assisted method for policy making. It does not consider rationality and incrementation. This method is based on an empirical perception of how successful organizations are being run. Decisions have to be made under varying conditions of certainty or uncertainty, with different degrees of risk Luthans, Certainty decisions are largely made by managers at lower levels under known conditions with known outcomes.
Why there might be many more universes besides our own
For such decisions, nearly complete information is available. Quantitative techniques are not usually required to make certainty decisions.
However, calculus and a few mathematical programming techniques can be useful. Risk decisions are more difficult to make than certainty decisions because of limited information and the possibility of several outcomes for each alternative.
MODERN DIMENSION THEORY
Most risk decisions are taken at higher levels. For risk decisions, probability techniques objective and subjective probability are widely used. Decisions under uncertainty are the most intricate. For such decisions, probability techniques are of limited help. However, minimax analysis and Bayes's procedure can be used in refining the decision making process under conditions of uncertainty. Minimax analysis attempts to calculate the worst outcome that can occur for each alternative, whereas Bayes's procedure is based on the concept of expected value and assumes that each possible outcome has an equal chance of occurring.
References Albrecht, K. New systems view of the organization. Anderson, C.
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