Companies and businesses adopt different organizational structures when they pursue different strategy. In Kaye West University case, it has developed a strong student administration and services infrastructure while it aims to provide high quality and supportive education experience to all its students and to foster an environment that leads to outstanding research.
However, the Global Financial Crisis has caused Kaye West University to suffer a decline in the number of students’ intake. In addition, the increase in the university’s operating cost and decrease in state government funding have caused the University’s new Vice Chancellor to look into reducing the university operating cost. He had hired a firm of business consultants, Efficiency for You Consulting, to look into saving cost. In the following report, we will be discussing about different organizational structure that a firm can take.
Firstly, we will be discussing about the current organizational structure that Kaye West University uses for its student support services by defining what different types of organizational structure mean and providing justification to our explanation. We will also evaluate on the advantages and the disadvantages that current organizational structure has. Next, we will look into the organizational structure that Efficiency for You Consulting has recommended and provide a detailed outline of the organizational structure recommended. The advantages and disadvantages of the particular organizational structure will be assessed.
Finally, we will evaluate on the strategy that Kaye West University is pursing and whether the recommendation provided by Efficiency for You Consulting is suitable. Section B: Kaye West University Decentralized Organizational Structure Decentralization refers to the delegation of decision making of routine works to lower levels of managements (Iqbal 2005). Work units are created and each unit will be headed by a manager. Managers of each work unit have the power to act independently and make decisions (Management Study Guide 2008).
In Kaye West University case, decentralized and market-based work unit organizational structure best describe the student support services. The student support services are provided at faculty level, so that services provided are more relevant, timely and specific to student’s needs. Each support service is incorporated as a centre, with each having a manager in charge of the centre’s performance. The manager in-charge has the power to make decisions. This is similar to decentralization structure, where decision making power is delegated to lower management level and managers get to act independently.
Business (Market-Based) Work Unit Organizational Structure In market-based structure, employees will concentrate on understanding the needs of the particular group, unlike in functional work unit. It is a work unit based on particular market group (CliffsNotes 2000). Each centre is work units. The staffs will focus on meeting the needs of students of a particular faculty, providing customized assistance. The centres provide information or services that are tailored made to the students’ needs.
For instance, the counselling centres, where students will be counselled according to their academic circumstances, have counsellors with specialized knowledge of the particular degree they are pursuing. This is similar to market-based structure, where the staffs in the centre focus on the needs of students from a particular faculty. Advantages and Disadvantages of using Business (Market-Based) and Decentralized Organizational Structure The advantages of having a decentralized and market-based organizational structure are that students’ needs can be addressed timely, and more specific assistance can be given to them.
The managers, who understand certain procedures, are able to make rapid decisions to control the situations. Co-ordination of the different activities in the same faculty is also easier. Decentralization empowers the managers, and motivates them to strive harder (Jordan 2002). The staffs are more committed to serving one particular faculty students, providing services that are more customized to their needs and hence providing a high quality and supportive education experience to students. The disadvantages are that there may be lack of goal congruence and difficulty in communication of objectives between different faculties.
As different centres serving different faculty will have diverse objectives, it will be difficult to set the same goal for all, let alone communicating of similar objectives between the faculties. Also, there may be unhealthy competition between the different faculties. There will also be duplication of non-production staff in different faculties. Functional economics of scale will be limited as a result. Also, this means that the manager becomes less skilled as he or she does not have chance in dealing with students of other faculties. Section C: Efficiency for You Consulting Centralized Organizational Structure
The consultant of Kaye West University wants to remove the 6 student service centres from different faculties to a central administration, and this shows that the consultant wants to change the student service centres to a centralized organizational structure. CentralizationcentralizationThe degree to which decision-making authority is concentrated at higher levels in an organization. is the degree to which decision-making authority is concentrated at higher levels in an organization. There is little or no delegation of decision-making authority given to the lower management level (Web Books).
Since the service centres will be changed to one university-wide centre, decisions will be made by the authorities in that central administration. Functional Work Unit Organizational Structure Functional work units limit attention to one function and that is what the consultant has recommended the school to do (Cohen & Bailey 1997). It plans to remove the student services from the 6 faculties and incorporate them into one central administration. Hence, by doing this, the consultant wants the University’s central administration to be the only functional work unit that serves the students.
Advantage and Disadvantages of using Functional and Centralized Organizational Structure With all employees specializing in one function, they get to specialize in a common skill and there will not be a need to multi-task several different activities at the same time. In the new organizational structure that the consultant has proposed, fewer employees will be required to staff the student services and the staffs will be able to focus in one area only. At the same time, lesser employees will be needed to staff the services and this will significantly cut cost.
In addition, they will know their respective job scope and they will use similar processes in centralized student service centre, so it is an efficient and effective way of operating (Fontaine 2006). With the single university-wide centre, all the support services will be standardized. All the students will get the same service throughout the school. Hence, the students in different faculties will not feel that they are receiving unfair treatment. However, there are some disadvantages of using functional organizational structure.
The focus of functional organizational structure is often on efficiencies of operation, at the expense of creativity and customer value (Fontaine 2006). With one centralized unit for each support service, it may not be able to give the same level of high quality and customized service to its students as is traditionally provided. Furthermore, under the new organizational structure, the students may not get timely and relevant support services. Since there is only one centralized unit for each support service, it may not be able to cater to all the students’ needs at the same time. Section D: Our evaluation
Kaye West University’s strategy An organization’s structure and process is determined by the management’s strategic choices (Miles & Snow 2003). Thus to determine the most suitable organizational structure for Kaye West University, we would need to examine the goals of Kaye West University. The two strategic aims of Kaye West University are to provide a high quality and supportive education and to foster an environment that leads to outstanding research. To achieve this, the University has developed strong student administration and services infrastructure at faculty level. Efficiency For You Consulting Recommendation
According to Efficiency For You Consulting, it is not as cost-effective to carry on providing students services at faculty level when compared to incorporating the services into University’s central administration. When providing services at faculty level, staffs in each faculty also had to multi-task and are responsible for multiple roles. Decentralized Organizational Structure As each of the school has unique and diverse academic program, it would be good for Kaye West University to continue adopting decentralized organizational structure in order to maintain its efficiency in making decision for each school.
Students’ needs will be attended to faster, with specific assistance given to them. The managers, with more specialized knowledge, are able to make decisions more efficiently to control the situations. Business (Market-Based) Work Unit Organizational Structure The advantages of providing students services at faculty level include being able to be more responsive and customized to students needs, in a more timely manner. The staffs are more committed on serving one particular faculty students, providing services that are more customized to their needs and hence meeting its aims of achieving high quality and supportive education experience.
When we examine the different student services that each faculty provides, including enrolment and administrative matters, assessment method, special consideration, counseling, disabilities, academic program, workshops, employment upon graduation, we understand that detailed knowledge and understanding in each course is essential before staffs can be able to give quality advice and assistance to the students. Our recommendation and Conclusion
If Kaye West University were to adopt the advice provided by Efficiency For You Consulting advice, the quality of advice and assistance that the staffs can provide for the students will decrease substantially as it is unlikely for the staffs to be able to know in depth knowledge for all the courses in the entire faculty. As mentioned, the focus of functional organizational structure is often on efficiencies of operation, at the expense of creativity and customer value (Fontaine 2006).
With the adoption of Efficiency For You Consulting recommendation, it may not be able to give the same level of high quality and customized service to its students as is traditionally provided. Furthermore, under the new organizational structure, the students may not get timely and relevant support services, it may not be able to cater to all the students’ needs at the same time.
If the university were to adopt the functional and centralized organizational structure as advised by Efficiency For You Consulting, the university would be able to save on costs, but the quality of the services provided for the student would decrease and may cause a drop in reputation. In the long-term, it will affect the potential students’ impression of the school leading to a possible drop in student intake. Therefore, we would recommend that Kaye West University to continue using business (market-based) work unit and decentralized organizational structure.