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The concepts of empowerment Essay

Question 1

Explain the concepts of empowerment, self-managed teams, and cross-functional teams, and develop an essay that argues for their inclusion in either a tall or flat organizational structure.

Empowerment is the process of giving employees the authority to make important decisions and to be responsible for their outcomes. Empowerment should exist in tall organizational structure because if the size of the tall organizational structure is bigger is operating process or more tasks appear or tasks become more and more complex, managers at the top of hierarchy will gradually lose the control regarding their work. Self-managed teams reflect self-lead work groups consisting of people who are jointly responsible for ensuring that the team accomplishes its goals.

Self-managed teams should exist in flat organizational structure because self-managed teams need to be control well with a few levels to avoid hindering communications. Cross-functional teams are groups of employee from across an organization’s different functions who are empowered to direct and coordinate the value-creation activities.

Question 2

Bureaucracy is a phenomenon that presents itself in varying degrees in organizations. When does bureaucracy become a problem in an organization? How can the principles of bureaucracy help managers to design the organizational hierarchy? What can managers do to prevent bureaucratic problems from arising?

Bureaucracy becomes a problem when it hampers the work of the organization. When there are too many steps involved and too many people involved to solve issues and make quick decisions, then bureaucracy is a problem. When the hierarchy is inflexible and difficult to wade through, it is a problem. Decisions should not be made without adequate information and time, but when the decisions are bogged down in bureaucratic “red tape”, the rules and layers of approval, then companies can lose business and opportunities to act in tune with the market. The principles can help identify the form and the job functions. It helps design the jobs and the technical skills needed to do the jobs so that the best people can be hired to do the job. The principles establish the rules and the focus of the company so there are firm expectations and goals. When all of these are put in place the managers then have the path to follow to create a successful company.

Managers must remember that each person is hired because of their skills if the principles are followed. The need for decisions must not be hampered by a top heavy group of decision makers and the rules are in place to guide the decision making process. The hierarchical structure is a form, not a law and when rules and the hierarchical are the only considerations in decision making the systems becomes bogged down and inflexible, or worse, time consuming. In addition, the job and the functions of the company should be impersonal and so should the treatment of employees. Equality is important in an organization. Listening to everyone, accepting diversity in culture, experience, and knowledge can help a company avoid many problems in a bureaucracy.


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