1. Module 8 Portfolio Project #2
Colorado State University – Global
ORG502 Effective Organizations:
Theory and Practice
Dr. Francisca Nkadi
July 21 2016
2. The competitive environment of todays businesses has
required organizations to review and adopt changes
needed to facilitate success. The following outlines a
specific approach to XYZ’s organizational structure,
communication, decision making/problem solving,
management and leadership approaches.
XYZ Engineering’s strategic plan for
3. Organizational Structure
• Consists of four components: Effective
Communication, Effective Coordination,
Speed/Responsiveness to the both internal and
external customers and empowerment of employees
throughout the organization (Goswami & Goswami,
• The relationship between the components of an
organization (Goswami & Goswami, 2010).
• Defines how “power and responsibility are allocated”
(Huang, Rode & Schroeder, 2010) and how tasks are
distributed throughout the organization.
4. Achieving organizational
effectiveness through structure:
A flat organizational structure
Huang, Rode & Schroeder, (2010)
• A flat structure creates a more efficient flow of information and
communication between the levels of the organization.
• Typically a single leader will have several employees reporting to them.
• Reduces the number of hierarchical levels.
• Increases employee multi-functionality between tasks.
• Promotes flexibility and innovation through participatory work
• Shifts decision making downward through decentralization
The work of Cosh, Fu and Hughes (2012) provides evidence that organizations
choosing decentralized but formal structure are more likely to innovate while small
firms that centralize formal structures result in negative effects.
A decentralized structure allows responsibilities to be distributed throughout the
organization allowing for a quicker response to changing environmental conditions
Furthermore decentralization can be designed to share decision making authority
which can help facilitate ethical behaviors. By distributing decision making personal
self interest become diminished through shared accountability (Stanford, 2004).
6. Communication Plan
Developing an effective communication plan needs to incorporate both internal
external elements. It is very complex and when used effectively it is a very
powerful tool for any organization
• The communication and interactions between members of an organization as a
“way of defining and describing the corporation” (Reka & Borza, 2012, p. 615)
• Used primarily to “issue and clarify procedures and policies” (p. 616)
• To convince employees and management to “make improvements and changes;
to coordinate the activities; to evaluate and reward the personnel (p. 616)
• Should be used to enhance trust between management and employees which
can lead to greater engagement within an organization (Mishra, Boynton, &
7. Internal Communication cont.
The work of Mishra et al., (2014) provides guidance to XYZ Engineering in
building trust with employees through face to face communication and
direct engagement. The work of Edelman, as cited in Mishra et al., (2014),
shows that “trusting behaviors include communicating frequently and
honestly and as a transparent and open business” (p. 197) and when a
company fosters a sense of belonging a bond of trust can be formed
leading to employee engagement which can lead to positive employee
interactions outside of XYZ.
• Provide a clear and
concise mission and
• Regularly hold
• Face to Face
• Clear performance
criteria with annual
• Leverage a
to pull information up
from lower level
8. Communication Plan cont.
Internal and External Communication
XYZ needs to break down internal communication silos where self interest
and closed networks have stifled innovation and promote an external
customer oriented brand.
Through ethical communication internal trust can be gained to break down
these silos and increase employee satisfaction and engagement. Externally
it can be used to uphold the mission and values of the organization.
Both internal and external communication (the outward face of our
organization that provides information, solicits new customers and
engages with existing customers) will benefit from ethical communication.
9. Ethical Communication
• Sincerity: all parties involved communicate in an honest way without withholding
• Relevance: all statements need to pertain to the goals, objectives, and purpose of the
• Continuity: all communication between parties needs to be consistent in the contents.
• Clarity: all communication between parties needs to be precise and explicit as possible.
• Prudence: all information should be handled carefully .
• Tolerance: all parties need to be able to share ideas without repercussion.
• Openness: suggestions and critiques between parties will be accepted and given proper
• Prompt Resolution: all conflicts and misunderstandings will be handled quickly
• Balanced Speech Time: communication will engage all parties to allow diversity in
• Optimal Timing: construct a framework for how and when parties meet to address
goals and issues.
10. Effective decision making
Decision making is not easy. As it is a process in which a problem is defined
and to solve it feasible alternatives are explored, evaluated and eventually
implemented (Mele, 2010).
Adair (2013) provides a five step approach to decision making that takes the
process through easy to navigate path:
1. Define the objective: what are we trying to achieve?
2. Collect relevant information: gather useful but not overly abundant information.
3. Generate feasible options: care should be taken to review not just alternatives
but multiple “feasible” options that can realistically be carried out.
4. Make the decision: risks and consequences need to be assessed for best possible
5. Implement and Evaluate: once the decision is implemented active review should
be used to determine the effectiveness on a reoccurring basis.
11. Effective problem solving
A problem is a “situation or predicament with no obvious solution or a question
that your are not able to answer at the moment” (Sam, 1999, p. 35).
Employee turnover at XYS Engineering due to fear of company collapse could be
perceived as a problem.
Turnover and perception of a company collapse are symptoms and the
underlying problem must be diagnosed.
In problem solving it is key to not identify the symptoms as the problem (Sam,
Diagnosing “what” the problem is critical to the process. Baer, Dirks and
Nickerson (2004) discuss that problem formulation “profoundly determines what
problem is solved and the quality of the solution” and may be the “most
important aspect of strategic decision making” (p. 198).
12. Effective problem solving cont.
By clearly defining the problem it will allow feasible options to be assessed,
and in blending decision making, choosing the best option or course of action
(Adair, 2013) however, simply defining a problem is not a measure of success
(Baer et al., 2004).
It is important to work on problem formulation to determine the root cause.
Problem formulation involves looking for reularities that connect all the
symptoms related to the initial issue that started the process and identifying
the causes that are identified to the symptoms(Baer et al., 2012, p. 34).
A problem solving plan of attack:
1. Determine and define if there really is
2. Identify the root causes.
3. Develop a course of action
4. Evaluate the course of action to be
5. Choose a course of action
6. Implement plan.
7. Evaluate results (Sam, 1999)
13. Managerial approach
Effective management needs to provide a framework for success.
Following the 5p’s Model outlined by Pryor, Humphreys, Taneja, and Toombs (2011)
the management team for XYZ can provide the very framework needed for
• Purpose: provide a clear mission (why do we exist?) and vision (where are we
going?) with both broad and specific goals and objectives with strategies
designed to achieve them.
• Principles: what are our core values? What values do we share and commit
ourselves to and how do we integrate these principles to our peoples
• People: create an environment where those we task with carrying out our
shared core values are “willing and able to do so” (p. 971)
• Processes: develop methods to carry out the mission, vision, goals and
objectives through transparent and simple processes.
• Performance: measure the results. What are our most important metrics and
measure the effectiveness (p. 971)
14. An approach to Leadership
Management focuses on the organization as a whole: how the organization
is structured, how to deal with communication, make decision, problems
solve and create a framework for success. It is the task of Leadership to deal
on a personal level to motivate employees and influence in a shared
To effectively lead at XYS a Transformational approach is recommended.
15. Transformational Leadership
An approach to leadership that looks to stimulate and inspire employees to
“reach beyond that they though possible and elicit extraordinary results”
(Tuuk, 2012, p. 2) and consists of four characteristics:
• Idealized influence: the vision and mission are communicated to motivate
through respect and pride.
• Inspirational motivation: leadership has a positive outlook on the future.
• Intellectual stimulation: new ways of problem solving
• Individualized consideration: individual focus and mentoring of employees
to attend to specific needs.
The key is to anticipate the employees
emotional attachments and motivations and as
Tebeian (2012) outlines, transformational
leadership has shown to be most
representative of employee satisfaction and
“the more satisfied a team member is the
more likely is that he will exceed the previously
set performance standards and the better he
performs, the more professionally satisfied he
will be” (Tebeina, 2012, p. 317)
Adair, J. (2013). Decision making and problem solving strategies. Retrieved from
Baer, M., Dirks, K. T., & Nickerson, J. A. (2013). Microfoundations of strategic problem formulation. Strategic
Management Journal, 34(), 197-214.
Cosh, A., Fu, X., & Hughes, A. (2012). Organisation structure and innovation performance in different
environments. Small Business Economics, 39(2), 301-317. doi:10.1007/s11187-010-9304-5
Dresp-Langley, B. (2008). The communication contract and its ten ground clauses. Journal of Business Ethics,
Goswami, C., & Goswami, S. (2010). Role of organisation structure in facilitating marketing. Global Business and
Management Research, 2(2), 162-183. Retrieved from
Huang, X., Rode, J. C., & Schroeder, R. G. (2011). Organizational structure and continuous improvement and
learning: Moderating effects of cultural endorsement of participative leadership. Journal of
International Business Studies, 42(9), 1103-1120.
Jane, H. S. (2004). Curing the ethical malaise in corporate america: Organizational structure as the antidote.
S.A.M.Advanced Management Journal, 69(3), 14-21.
Mishra, K., Boynton, L. ., & Mishra, A. (2014). Driving employee engagement: The expanded role of internal
communications. Journal of Business Communication, 51(2), 183-202.
17. References cont.
Pryor, M. G., Humphreys, J. H., Taneja, S., & Tooms, L. A. (2011). Where Are the New Organizational Theories?
Evolution, Development and Theoretical Debate. International Journal of Management, 28(3 ), 959-
Réka, K., & Borza, A. (2012). INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION WITHIN CULTURAL
ORGANIZATIONS. Management & Marketing, 7(4), 613-630. Retrieved from
Sam, T. (1999). Creative problem-solving: An approach to generating ideas . Hoptital Materiel Management
Quarterly, 20(4), 33-45.
Tebeian, A. E. (2012). The impact of motivation through leadership an group performance. Review of
International Comparative Management, 13(2), 313-324.
Tuuk, E. (2012). TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP IN THE COMING DECADE: A RESPONSE TO THREE MAJOR
WORKPLACE TRENDS. Cornell HR Review, 1-6.