Management And Organizational Structures
$11. Given the business situation for Spectrum Brand p. 251, explain how the firm might organize using a Matrix structure for the organization
The matrix structure of an organisation involves the development of teams of workers from different departments and sections of the whole organisation caring out various tasks. The matrix structure is especially used in firms which are involved in the production of a wide variety of products thus making Spectrum Brand a good candidate for the application of the matrix structure. Sometimes the teams which are led by project managers usually last for as long as the product is in the market and after that it is disbanded as a way of developing and marketing a new product. However, in a firm such as Spectrum Brand whose products are permanently produced the teams that are formed should be permanent as the products are part of the long term goals of the organisation (Bushman, 2007).
A matrix structure in Spectrum Brands could involve the development of marketing teams which will be involved in promotion and sales of the pet products, personal grooming products as well as gardening equipment. A separate team should be enacted to market each product as well as separate entities to produce and account for the returns and distribution of the different products (Foss, 1997). The best part of matrix structures is that responsibilities are delegated to team leaders who will be accountable for the activities of each team. Consequently, this creates a better opportunity for employers to take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. Despite all these conflicts may arise due to contradicting ideology portrayed by different groups involve din the line of production of a certain product. Employees will shift blames on different teams thus failure of accountability in the company especially where resource use is concerned or where a product has failed in terms of sales (Bushman, 2007).
2. Explain how the firm could operate using a Multidivisional structure
Whereas in matrix structure each team leader is answerable to the manager in charge of that department, in the multidivisional structure involves the development of self-contained units which act as smaller companies within the larger organization. These multi-divisions can be created in such a way that each individual product has its own smaller unit which is concerned with the production, marketing and distribution. Pet products could be assigned to one unit as they are distantly related to the other products while lawn and garden care products could be handled by one team. However, this may not be a very good option as cases of duplicating responsibilities are quite common in such organizations. This occurs especially where the head of to department or unit has been given extra powers such that they are able to carry out similar tasks as the overall managers (Bushman, 2007).
Healthy competition among various departments should be encouraged to avoid conflicts especially when some entities perform better than others. This could be due to change in customer presences or prioritization of the Spectrum Brand products. This may be a difficult task as each unit will be working towards outshining the other areas thus making multidivisional structure a complex method of decentralization. The diversification strategy in addition to application of multidivisional structure is essentially vital in the promotion of the overall performance of Spectrum Brands. This will be achieved when healthy inter-departmental competition is encouraged so that the synergies of each department are full exploited (Foss, 1997).
$13. Discuss which structure would be more effective? Explain.
The multidivisional structure is the most effective for Spectrum Brand especially when the company is aiming at penetrating the global market. This is especially because the products that are produced at Spectrum are widely ranged thus, they have a global market. Alternatively, it is possible to develop distinct entities for each product or range of product so that employees are able to work in their preferred areas thus increasing their efficiency and productivity.
There will be a separate team to deal with pet products, batteries, grooming products as well as a separate entity to deal with lawn and garden care items. This will enable the Spectrum Brand to achieve one of it’s which is to improve the general performance and productivity of the company (Bushman, 2007).Matrix structures involves the development of teams based on function and role of the department such as a marketing team to carry out marketing of grooming products while a similar team is formed to carry out marketing of pet products. Thus, duplication of activities is evident which leads to unnecessary expenses in terms of misappropriation of resources (Foss, 1997).
4. For each of your two organizational structures, give three examples of potential communication problems the structure mightRecommend corrective actions the company can take to address these issues.
Multidivisional structure communication problems
As each unit operates independently, roles of various sectors may not be effectively communicated to the major players thus, resulting into duplication of duties. Similarly, resources and human capital are wasted due to underutilization especially where delegated duties are overlapping. Conflicts in assigned roles of the divisional head and those of the company managers may arise as sometimes the specific responsibilities assigned to either are not clearly spelt out. The company can avoid such problems by ensuring that all separate entities are able to converge frequently and discuss the progress of their areas in an open forum. Such collective company meetings are quite substantial in identifying loopholes in the various divisions in advance before they threaten the performance of the team (Bushman, 2007).
Communication problems in Matrix structure
Lack of proper communication means may lead to failure of a business which has employed the matrix structure in the sense that each employee is only concerned with their area of specialization hence they are less concerned with the activities of the other areas. This creates a blame game such that failure of a product to sell well may be blamed on poor production, poor marketing or on any other department other than establishing the source of the problem and working towards improving on the situation (Foss, 1997).
5. For each of your two organizational structures, recommend the degree of centralization that would be most effective. Explain
The degree of centralization is quite wide in matrix structures as all decisions are made from a common point by a few individuals hence minimizing hence of duplication of activities. All teams are developed by a central body which overseas the activities of the team while in multidivisional each team makes its own decisions hence is not effective maximizing centralization of delegating duties (Bushman, 2007).
Bushman, M. (2007), Functional, divisional and matrix organizational structures. Journal of Business Finance
Foss N. J. (1997), Resources, firms, and strategies: a reader in the resource-based perspective. Oxford University Press.