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Business Organisation and Management
Process theories have appeared in organization theory, strategic management, operations management, group dynamics, and studies of managerial behavior. The few scholarly efforts to tackle processes as a collective phenomenon either have been tightly focused theoretical or methodological statements or have focused primarily on a single type of process theory.
Most studies have been straightforward descriptions of time allocation, roles, and activity streams, with few attempts to integrate activities into a coherent whole. A process approach, by contrast, emphasizes the links among activities, showing that seemingly unrelated tasks — a telephone call, a brief hallway conversation, or an unscheduled meeting — are often part of a single, unfolding sequence. From this vantage point, managerial work becomes far more rational and orderly.
My aim here is to give a framework for thinking about processes, their impacts, and the implications for managers. I begin at the organizational level, reviewing a wide range of process theories and grouping them into categories. The discussion leads naturally to a typology of processes and a simple model of organizations as interconnected sets of processes. In the next section, I examine managerial processes; I consider them separately because they focus on individual managers and their relationships, rather than on organizations.
I examine several types of managerial processes and contrast them with, and link them to, organizational processes, and identify their common elements.
I conclude with a unifying framework that ties together the diverse processes and consider the implications for managers. Organizational Processes Scholars have developed three major approaches to organizational processes. They are best considered separate but related schools of thought because each focuses on a particular process and explores its distinctive characteristics and challenges. Any activity or group of activities that takes an input, adds value to it, and provides an output to an internal or external customer.
Galbraith and R. Paul, Minnesota: West, , p. It is shaped as much by the pattern of interaction of managers as it is by the contemplation and cognitive processes of the individual.
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Strauss and J. Van de Ven and G. Work Processes The work process approach, which has roots in industrial engineering and work measurement, focuses on accomplishing tasks. It starts with a simple but powerful idea: organizations accomplish their work through linked chains of activities cutting across departments and functional groups.
These chains are called processes and can be conveniently grouped into two categories: 1 processes that create, produce, and deliver products and services that customers want, and 2 processes that do not produce outputs that customers want, but that are still necessary for running the business. Operational and administrative processes share several characteristics. Both involve sequences of linked, interdependent activities that together transform inputs into outputs.
Both have beginnings and ends, with boundaries that can be defined with reasonable precision and minimal overlap. And both have customers, who may be internal or external to the organization. The primary differences between the two lie in the nature of their outputs.
Typically, operational processes produce goods and services that external customers consume, while administrative processes generate information and plans that internal groups use. For this reason, the two are frequently considered independent, unrelated activities, even though they must usually be aligned and mutually supportive if the organization is to function effectively. The work processes approach is probably most familiar to managers.
It draws heavily on the principles of the quality movement and reengineering. Despite these shared goals, the two movements are strikingly similar on some points, but diverge on others.
The similarities begin with the belief that most existing work processes have grown unchecked, with little rationale or planning, and are therefore terribly inefficient.
The Processes of Organization and Management
Many of our procedures were not designed at all; they just happened. In fact, both implicitly equate process improvement with process management.
They also suggest the use of similar tools, such as process mapping and data modeling, as well as common rules of thumb for identifying improvement opportunities. Their role is to ensure integration and overcome traditional functional loyalties; for this reason, relatively senior managers are usually assigned the task.
The quality movement, for the most part, argues for incremental improvement. Improvements are continuous and relatively small scale. Reengineering, by contrast, calls for radical change. Quality experts, drawing on their experience with statistical process control in manufacturing, argue that well-managed work processes must be fully documented, with clearly defined control points.
Reengineering experts, on the other hand, are virtually silent about measurement and control. They draw on a different tradition, information technology, that emphasizes redesign rather than control.
Insights for Managers. The work processes perspective has led to a number of important insights for managers. It provides an especially useful framework for addressing a common organizational problem: fragmentation, or the lack of cross-functional integration. Many aspects of modern organizations make integration difficult, including complexity, highly differentiated subunits and roles, poor informal relationships, size, and physical distance.
In addition, the work processes perspective provides new targets for improvement. Rather than focusing on structures and roles, managers address the underlying processes. An obvious advantage is that they closely examine the real work of the organization. The results, however, have been mixed, and experts estimate that a high proportion of these programs have failed to deliver the expected gains. My analysis suggests several reasons for failure.
Most improvement programs have focused exclusively on process redesign; the ongoing operation and management of the reconfigured processes have usually been neglected. Yet even the best processes will not perform effectively without suitable oversight, coordination, and control, as well as occasional intervention.
In addition, operational processes have usually been targeted for improvement, while their supporting administrative processes have been overlooked.
Incompatibilities and inconsistencies have arisen when the information and plans needed for effective operation were not forthcoming. A few companies have used the work processes approach to redefine their strategy and organization.
They also have enormous staying power. They are generalizations, distilled from observations of everyday work and have no independent existence apart from the work processes in which they appear.
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This makes them difficult to identify but explains their importance. Behavioral processes profoundly affect the form, substance, and character of work processes by shaping how they are carried out.
They are different, however, from organizational culture because they reflect more than values and beliefs. Behavioral processes are the sequences of steps used for accomplishing the cognitive and interpersonal aspects of work.
New product development processes, for example, may have roughly similar work flows yet still involve radically different patterns of decision making and communication. All involve the collection, movement, and interpretation of information, as well as forms of interpersonal interaction.
In most cases, the associated behaviors are learned informally, through socialization and on-the-job experience, rather than through formal education and training programs.
Decision-Making Processes. People who work for managers must realize that it is their job to make their managers value them. Key Terms entrepreneurship: The art or science of innovation and risk-taking for profit in business. The Purpose of Management The purpose of management is to serve customers. Yet, if one looks through most management books for a definition of management, This is astonishing because serving customers in order to obtain a profit is the crux of every business organization.
Equally remiss is the fact that most definitions of management neatly filter out service in their descriptions of management. Good managers constantly streamline their organizations toward making a sale. In this regard, a good manager is responsible for reducing waste and ambiguity, keeping costs down, and motivating others to do the same.
In the same vein, good managers regularly take educated risks and exercise good judgement the basis of entrepreneurship. The Need for Management Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively.
Business Organisation And Management
Since organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action including design to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system.No trivia or quizzes yet.
The fourth and last step, taking corrective action, involves making whatever actions are necessary to get things back on track.
Books by C. Why do you need both a business model and a strategy? Details if other: Since organizations can be viewed as systems, management can also be defined as human action including design to facilitate the production of useful outcomes from a system.
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