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Acme And Omega

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Autor:   •  January 11, 2011  •  3,573 Words (15 Pages)  •  785 Views

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Acme’s organizational design takes the form of a mechanistic structure. The internal organization is characterized by rules, procedures, and a clear hierarchy of authority.” The decision-making is very centralized, communication is vertical and tasks are rigidly defined. This is shown in Tyler’s management style. He makes his managers run the organization with strict control, or as he phase it, a “tight ship.” The president (Tyler) does what he wants because all the decision-making power is in his hand (centralized). Acme has a very detailed organization charts and job descriptions. This is because Tyler believes that everyone should have clear responsibilities and narrowly defined jobs. Finally, there is vertical communication in the company. Departments don’t interact or talk with each other. All the information flows from top management down to lower management and employees. If Tyler wants to communicate to the company about changes or demands, he writes memos that he passes down to his upper management, which passes it down to lower management and maybe eventually down to the employees.

On the other hand, Omega takes a different approach when it comes to organizational design. The company is organic and the internal organization is characterized by “looser, free-flowing, and adaptive.” Rules and regulations are not written down and hierarchy of authority is not clear. The decision-making authority is decentralized. This can be seen at Omega through the departments contributing to the common tasks (when they were making the chips). Since Rawls does not believe in organization charts, tasks can be adjusted and redefined through the employee teamwork. For example: when a new member of join the industrial engineering department, he found that his role was not clearly defined. One day he is working on a project with a team of mechanical engineers and the next day he could be helping the shipping department design packaging cartons. Finally, there is a lot of horizontal communication. Rawls did not permit memos as a form of communication. He believes that if you have something to say to a person, you should just walk right over to the person and say it.

At the end of Part III, the performance difference between Acme and Omega can be attributed to how each organization was internally structure. Acme, for example is structured based on functional groups. Each department specializes in a certain function (drafting, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, purchasing, production, etc.), but the functions was not integrated with each other, which decreases the coordination among departments. Departments that should be working with each other didn’t. The departments were just worried about getting their task done that they putting the prototype together with the missing parts. For example, purchasing didn’t get all the parts from Industrial engineering and decided to assemble the product without the part. This lack of integration among departments produce a lot of errors during the product assemble, which created many delays because departments like production and method couldn’t agree on how to install the component.

At Omega, they are a functional structure with horizontal linkages. Even though they do have functional departments like Acme, Omega differs in that they do have cross-functional teams creating horizontal linkages. This allows for greater integration and cooperation among departments. The structure is not formal that it permits them to have informal meetings and assign task roles depending on the project they are working in. They held meetings assign tasks. Departments proposed ideas to help one another and they had daily meetings to discuss their progress. This setup helped Omega solved all their major problems by July 16, while Acme is still scrambling to solve theirs. Also the teamwork and the knowledge sharing allow people at Omega to discover the design error in the blueprint that was sent out by the photocopier company.

Another factor to explain the difference is the method of communication between the two companies. Acme’s main form of communication is memo form (due to being very formalize), which can create a lot of lag time. There were no formal meetings. Employees were sent memos telling them what to do and expect them to do it. It doesn’t communicate the importance of the project. That’s why Mechanical engineering didn’t take the deadline seriously, which caused the company to fall behind schedule. If there was meeting, then everyone would be on the same page. Also, there are no horizontal communication links between the departments so each department just does their own thing and does not care what the other departments are doing. This is where Acme runs into communication problems during part III. This lack of communication also plays a role in decreasing the coordination among the departments. Finally, the lack of communication and coordination causes them to overlook the error in blueprint design and causes the process to be delayed several times.

At Omega, memos were not even permitted. Even before the project started, Rawls held a meeting to inform everyone about the project and how important it was for the company to try to get the 100 chips made and shipped on time. Here, Rawls made sure everyone knew what was going on and at the same time, created commitment for the project because now everyone at the meeting will leave with a common vision and goal for the upcoming project. Omega’s management team also had a lot of informal meetings to keep each other updated on the progress. This means people didn’t fall behind or felt left out. Omega also has horizontal communication. As stated above, the horizontal communication contributed to integration of departments and coordination among departments.

Finally, source of decision-making and leadership style are another two factors that can be use to explain the differences between Acme and Omega in Part III. At Acme, the decision-making is centralized. Tyler doesn’t ask for his managers’ opinions. He takes an authoritative role and orders his managers rather than ask. Since all decision-making rest in Tyler, this makes his manager feel resentful and makes their job inflexible, which makes it difficult for them to adapt to changes. This was why it was so difficult for departments to adapt to the changes in the design blueprint when an error was found. If they had more flexibility to make decisions, they could make quicker decisions on how to fix the error, rather the debate over it (production and method engineer couldn’t agree on how to fix it). Instead they have to wait for Tyler to make the decisions for them.

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