October 21, 2012

MU0011 [Management and Organizational Development] Set1 Q3

Q.3) Write a note on techno structural interventions.

Ans:

These interventions focus on an organizations technology (for example, task methods and job design) and structure (for example, division of labor and hierarchy). These change methods are receiving increasing attention in OD, especially in light of current concerns about productivity and organizational effectiveness. The following three techno-structural interventions are concerned with restructuring organizations:

Structural Design
This change process concerns the organizations division of labor how to specialize task performances. Interventions aimed at structural design include moving from more traditional ways of dividing the organizations overall work (such as functional, self-contained-unit, and matrix structures) to more integrative and flexible forms (such as process-based and network based structures). 

Downsizing
This intervention reduces costs and bureaucracy by decreasing the size of the organization through personnel layouts, organization redesign and outsourcing. Each of these downsizing methods must be planned with a clear understanding of the organizations strategy.

Reengineering
This recent intervention radically redesigns the organizations core work processes to create tighter linkage and coordination among the different tasks. This work-flow integration results in faster, more responsive task performance. Reengineering is often accomplished with new information technology that permits employees to control and coordinate work processes more effectively. Reengineering often fails if it ignores basic principles and processes of OD. 

Structural Interventions May be called as techno structural interventions.

This class of interventions include changes in how the overall work of an organisation is divided into units, who reports to whom, methods of control, the arrangement of equipment and people, work flow arrangements and changes in communications and authority.

1.Sociotechnical System: is largely associated with experiments attempted to create better fit among the technology, structure and social interactions of a particular production unit.

Premises of Sociotechnical System
(1) Effective work system must jointly optimize the relationship between their social and technical parts.
(2) Such system must effectively manage the boundary separating and relating them to the environment.

This system tend to feature the formation of autonomous work group, the grouping of core tasks so that a team has major unit of total work to be accomplished, the training of group members in multiple skills, delegation to the work group of many aspects of how the work gets done, and the availability of great deal of information and feedback to work groups for self-regulation of productivity and quality.

2.Self managed teams
What is a self-managed team?

A self-managed team has total responsibility for its defined remit.

That remit might be a specific project. A self-managed team thrives on interacting skill sets, on shared motivation and shared leadership.
The team is autonomous and its members are responsible to no one but each other. The team’s accountability is based on team’s result and not on the performance of its members. Individual performance is an internal team issue.

A self-managed team is not just a group of people working together but also a genuine collaboration. It is measured by its results, not the performance of its individual member.
Self-managed teams:
• Are more independent than other types of team.
• Help to flatten organizational structure.
• Eliminate intermediate levels of responsibility and removes the requirement for middle management.
• Favour natural leaders.

Self –managed teams:
• Should set their targets.
• Should be fully empowered.
• Must monitor performance and maintain quality.
• Should be able to request assistance from outside the team but never have it imposed.
• Must maintain contact with the organization.

3.Work redesign
OD approach to work redesign based on a theoretical model of what job characteristics lead to the psychological states that produce what they call "higher internal work motivation."

According Hackman and Oldham organisation analyses jobs using the five core job characteristics - i.e. skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback from the job.

Skill variety Related to experienced Task identity meaningfulness of the work Task significance

Job autonomy - Related to experienced responsibility for the outcome of the work

Feedback - related to psychological state of knowledge of the result of the work activities.

The outcome of these job characteristics is: 
High work motivation
High satisfaction
High work effectiveness.

4.Quality of work life (QWL)
An attempt to restructure multiple dimensions of the organisation and to institute a mechanism, which introduces and sustains changes over time.

QWL Features
- Voluntary involvement on the part of employees
- Union agreement with process and participation.
- Assurance of no loss of job
- Training for team problem solving
- Use of quality circles
- Participation in forecasting, work planning
- Regular plant and team meetings.
- Encouragement for skill development.
- Job rotations.

These features include union involvement - a focus on work teams, problem solving session by the work teams in which the agenda may include productivity, quality and safety problems, autonomy in planning work the availability of skill training and increased responsiveness to employees by supervision.

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