Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Characteristics of Hierarchical versus Networked Organizations

From Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Chessboard & The Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World.

Fordism: workers perform specialized tasks over and over as part of defined sequence
Flexible specialization: small-scale production teams simultaneously work on complementary projects
Employee traits: deference to authority, obedience, conformity
Employee traits: autonomy, adaptability, problem solving, collaboration
Ties are strong but few
Ties are loose but many
Tasks, managers, and departments are organized by function
Tasks, managers, and departments are organized by project
Communication is vertical command through defined channels
Communication is lateral as well as vertical consultation
Management derives authority from title, rank, and seniority
Management derives authority from expertise and contribution
Job description and areas of control are narrowly defined
Job descriptions are broad and boundaries are permeable
Transaction and payment are the glue of relationships
Trust and reputation sustain relationships
Slow to adapt, difficult to change
Quick to adapt, easier to change
Key decisions are centralized so coordination costs are low
Decentralized decision making so higher employee satisfaction and loyalty
Performs well in stable, predictable environment
Performs well in ambiguous environment that require efficiency and flexibility

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