Organising Function


It  is  a  process  of  dividing  work  into  convenient  tasks  or  duties  or  groups  of  duties,  delegating authority to each post and appointing qualified staff to be responsible so that work may be done as planned.

As a process, organisation can be defined as:

  1. Identifying the work to be done
  2. Divide the work into small tasks
  3. Identify individuals to be in charge of the tasks.
  4. Assign authority.
  5. Task is carried out.


  1. Promotes specialization
  2. Defines the jobs – this facilitates the process of fitting the right persons the right job
  • Clarifies authority and power of different departments – this minimizes conflict and confusion
  1. Avoids duplication of work and overlapping in responsibilities among various organisational members and work by assigning specific jobs to individuals and work units.
  2. Facilitates coordination in the sense that it clearly shows who can exercise authority over whom to bring harmony of work and unity of efforts of people.
  3. Acts as a source of support, security, and satisfaction – organising shows the status and position of employees and their relative positions in relation to others.
  • Facilitates adaptation of the activities in response to the changes taking place in the external environment with respect to technology, market, product, process e.t.c.
  • A flexible organisation structure facilitates growth of the organisation by increasing its capacity to handle increased levels of activity

Principles of Organising

These are the guidelines for planning and efficient organisational structure:

  1. Division of Labour – The entire work of the organisation should be divided into specific jobs and a specific job should be given to an individual. Such specialisation brings about internal economies in the business such as increase in productivity and quality.


  1. Functional Definition – The functions which are required to be performed by an individual, should be well defined that there is no overlapping of functions. More specifically, this principle enables individuals to know what is expected from them as members of the group.


  1. Scalar Chain of Command (scalar principle) – There must be an unbroken chain of authority running from the top to the bottom.


  1. Span of Control (span of supervision) – It refers to the number of subordinates which a manager can effectively supervise within the limits of available time and his ability.


  1. Unity of Command – Every employee should be answerable to only one supervisor from whom he receives orders and is . An employee is likely to be frustrated and confused when he or she receives instructions from different supervisors


  1. Unity of Direction – There should be only one head and one plan for a group of activities having the same objectives. This principle emphasizes the importance of common goals being pursued by all and promotes smooth co-ordination of activities efforts and resources


  1. Departmentalisation – This is the manner in which activities should be divided and formed in to specialized groups. It simplifies the tasks of managers and maintains control within the organisation.


  1. Best use should be made of specialisation

Factors Influencing Organizational Structure

The contingency theory of organization structure suggests that a number of variables influence organization structure. These include:

  • Age – the older the organization the more formalized its behavior i.e. work is repeated, so is more easily formalized and standardized. Organization structure therefore reflects the age of the industry.


  • Size and Growth – the larger the organization the more elaborate its structure will be, the larger the average size of the units within it and the more formalized its behavior for consistency


  • The Nature of Tasks – The complexity of the task affects the structure of the organization.


  • Coordination –          mutual adjustment,      direct   supervision      and      standardization            all    have consequences for the organizational structure.


  • Skills of managers and workers (Type of personnel employed)

Can people be left alone to do the job or do they require close supervision?

  • Job design – Are jobs broken down into discrete activities?


  • Geographic dispersion – An organization with several sites will have a different organization structure from one located in one place.


  • Control – The more an organization is subject to external control e.g. by government or holding company, the more centralized and formalized its structure.


  • Technology – The stronger the technical system the more formalized the work and the more bureaucratic the structure of the organization. Also, the more sophisticated the technology the more elaborate and professional the support staff will be.


  • Environment: does it require a flexible, supporting or inflexible structure.

Elements involved in organizing

The organizing function is made up of 4 main elements:

  • Job Design (Division of work into Jobs)
  • Departmentalisation (Grouping Jobs in to Departments)
  • Vertical Co-ordination
  • Horizontal Co-ordination

Job Design

Job design is the assignment of tasks and responsibilities that define the jobs of individuals and units.

Each organization has distinct areas of work specialization i.e the degree to which the work necessary to achieve organizational goals is broken down into various jobs e.g buyer, sales, persons, accountant comprises the job design.

What is included in a given job depends on the job design. Job design means the specification of task activities associated with a particular job.

Work specialization

Refers to the manner in which work in an organization is divided. It may be:

  1. High degree specialization – this is where individuals focus on one / few tasks e.g. in the production and assembly of automobiles workers specialize in specific tasks
  2. Low degree specialization – This is where individuals perform many different tasks in an organization e.g. a manager who hires and fires keeps financial records, contacts suppliers and sells organization products.



Merits of specialization

  1. Speed is enhanced
  2. Better quality output
  3. Greater accountability
  4. Expertise is enhanced
  5. Management is easier when supervising specialized tasks


  1. Boredom and monotony
  2. Lack of creativity/ Loss of craftsmanship
  3. Unemployment
  4. Exposes to workers to occupational hazards
  5. Too much interdependence which may lead to conflict.

Approaches to job design

  • Job Simplification

Is the process of configuring jobs so that jobholders have only a small number of narrow activities to perform. It is also called job specialization as advanced by economist Adam Smith and fostered by Fredrick Taylor. Taylor emphasized reducing jobs to narrow tasks and training workers in the best way to do them. Job simplification increases output and quality of production. It has negative side effects like boredom, in-creativity, low job satisfaction, etc.

  • Job rotation –

Is the practice of periodically shifting workers through a set of jobs in a planned sequence. Job rotation  has  the  advantage  of  cross-training  workers,  increasing  their  capabilities,  expanding  job assignment and enhancing their conceptual skills.

  • Job enlargement

Is the allocation of a wider variety of similar tasks to a job in order to make it more challenging. Job enlargement broadens job scope (the number of different tasks an employee performs in a particular job).


  • Job enrichment

Is the process of upgrading the job task mix in order to increase significantly the potential for growth, achievement, responsibility and recognition.   Through training, job enrichment increases job depth (the degree to which individuals can plan and control the work involved in their job).




  • Departmentalisation

Departmentalisation is the clustering of individual position into units and of units into departments and larger units to form an organisation’s hierarchy.Three of the commonly used patterns of departmentalization are:

  • Functional structure – Groups positions into units on the basis of similarity of expertise, skills and work activities e.g mixing, accounting, production, human resources, etc.
  • Divisional structure – Groups positions into units according to the similarity of products or markets (e.g. leather factory, plastic factory, canvas factory, etc.)
  • Hybrid structure – Combines aspects of both functional and division forms with some jobs being grouped into departments by function and others grouped by products or markets.
  • Vertical Co-ordination

Vertical co-ordination refers to the various mechanisms required to facilitate the top to bottom linkage. It includes:

  • Formalisation –   The   degree   to   which   written   policies,   rules,   procedures,   job descriptions, and other documents specify what actions are (or are not) to be taken under a given set of circumstances. Formalization helps bring about vertical co- ordination by specifying expected behaviours in advance
  • Span of management (span of control) – refers to the number of subordinates who report directly to a specific manager

An organization may have a narrow or wide span of control

  1. Narrow span – under this system few subordinates report to a single manager (tall structure)
  2. Wide span – here many subordinates report to a single manager (flat structure


  • Centralisation versus decentralization – Centralisation is the extent to which power and authority are retained at the top organizational levels.

Decentralisation is the extent to which power and authority are relayed to lower levels of organizational structure.



1.Geographical structures.

2..Hybrid design

Has both divisional units and functional departments located at the corporate HQS. A company may have HR department located at the HQs. The HR department will serve all other divisions / branches by  carrying  out  recruitment,  training  and  maintenance  of  employee’s  files.  In  doing  so  the organization is able to eliminate the need for the entire HR staff in each division/branch. This type of design works best where each division of the organization has departments similar to those of other branches. Banks are examples of organizations which use the hybrid design




4.Matrix Structures/2 Boss structure

This is a combination of functional department and product or customers or process departmentation. This structure is known as a 2 boss structure. Most organizations implement functional,  divisional  or  hybrid  structural  designs.  However  not  all  managers  believe  that  these designs can satisfy the needs of their organizations effectively and efficiently.

The matrix design may be the solution to managers who believe that other designs are inadequate. Matrix design is a unique structural arrangement because it implements both functional and divisional functions simultaneously. The result is a system characterized by employees in each department being supervised by 2 bosses. One is a functional manager at the corporate HQ and the other is a divisional manager i.e. a system of dual authority.authority system.

5..Functional Structures.



Delegation is the process of assignment of work from the top levels of management to the lower levels within the organization. The authority is normally delegated and it should correspond to the responsibility, and trusted upon a subordinate.

Authority is the right to give orders and the power to exert obedience while power is the product of personality to specific situation. It is the ability of an individual to influence the actions of others. It cannot be delegated.

A responsibility on the other hand is an obligation to use authority to see duties performed. A person given authority and responsibility must recognize that the executive above him/her judge the quality of his or her performance. This means that the top executive has to ensure that the delegated authority has been used for the intended purposes.



It is the legitimate or lawful power to exert influence. It is the right to give orders and the power to exert obedience. It is the power to command to act not to act in the manner desired by possessor of



Features of authority

  1. Authority is a right to the person who posses it.
  2. It is positional
  3. It has only one source
  4. It must be accepted by the subjects
  5. It is associated with formal organizations
  6. It is granted in order to achieve organization goals
  7. It involves decision making
  8. It flows from the top going down the hierarchy
  9. Authority can be delegated.



  1. Formal authority: This authority is drawn from organization hierarchy i.e. it is drawn from the position occupied by the superior in the hierarchy.
  2. Competence/ technical authority: This the authority that flows from the knowledge or technical expertise of a person a person may not have formal authority by their expert advise is sought for and carried out as orders.
  3. Acceptance theory: this is where the authority is drawn from the subject acceptance of that authority.


Power is the ability to exert influence or the ability to change altitude or behavior of individuals or groups. It is the ability to influence beliefs actions or behaviors

Features of power

  1. It is personal
  2. It can be both formal or informal
  3. Power has several sources
  4. It is not mandatory except for the formal authority
  5. Some power can not be delegated
  6. Power is subjective possessor of the power uses it the way he deems fit.
  7. Power can never be balanced


Distinguish between power and authority Power

  1. Power is personal
  2. Not all power can be delegated
  3. Power have several sources
  4. It is not mandatory
  5. It is not hierarchical


  1. Posses the power uses it the way he deems fit.


  • Authority is positional
  • Authority can be delegated
  • Authority has only one source
  • It must be accepted by subjects
  • Authority flows from going downwards the hierarchy
  • Authority is granted in order to achieve organizational goals





Source of power

  1. Legitimate power:- This power is drawn from the organizational structure. In this case the influence acknowledges that the influence has a right.
  2. Reward power:- The possessor of this power has the ability to reward the influence if the he comes out the orders.
  3. Coercive power:- The power is based on influence ability to punish the influence for not obeying the orders.
  4. Referent power:- This power is based on the desire of the influence to be like or to be identified with the influence, Micheal Jackson.
  5. Expert power:- This power is based on the belief that the influence has specific knowledge or expert knowledge that influence don’t have.
  6. Charismatic power: This power is derived from once special quantity such as thinking ability interpersonal style etc. These quality attract other people and they want to be identified with such a leader.
  7. Association power:- This power is derived from associating with someone who has power e.g. president And First Lady


Delegation is a process by which a senior gives part of his own authority to a subordinate to make decision or act. It means to entrust authority to a subordinate in certain defined areas and to make him responsible for the results.

Features of delegation

  1. Delegation occurs when a manager grant some rights to a subordinate.
  2. A manager cannot delegate the authority he doesn’t posses
  3. A manager can’t delegate all his authority
  4. Delegation doesn’t imply reduction in the status of the managers
  5. Delegation doesn’t mean abdication of responsibility.

Importance /need /advantages of delegation

  1. Delegation enhances creativity an innovation
  2. It reduces the managers work load
  3. It facilitates growth and expansion of the organization.
  4. Delegation is a means of training and developing the subordinates.
  5. The increasing size and complexity of modern organization call for specialization hence managers have to delegate.
  6. Mental and professional limitations imply that a manager can’t be an expert in all the fields therefore he should delegate to specialists to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
  7. It enhances morale of the workers
  8. It leads to prompt action.


Mechanistic and organistic structures.

Mechanistic designs are those designs that are rigid or inflexible. They are also to as referred bureaucratic structures. Organic designs are the flexible designs.


Basic Mechanistic design


Organic Design (Flexible)
1. Job Tasks are highly Specialization is not over




Job description Coordination



Job description is precise


Job description is less precise

    Managers are responsible People adjust themselves
4. Commitment for coordinating all the


      The individuals interest
    Individuals are only transcend their Job
5. Decisions concerned with their tasks  



Communication and content of communication

and not the organization as a whole.


Senior managers make all


There’s participative management.

    the decisions Communication is all-ways
7. Orientation or focus Communication is vertical

with managers giving

involving consultation.
    instructions and orders  
    workers giving feedbacks  
    and report . They have an external focus
      identify changes in external
    They have an internal environment in order to
    focus to ensure that adopt these changes
    people are following the  
    rules and procedures laid  
    down they are concerned  
    with maintenance of  
    status quo.  













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