Essay Example on Organizational Structure of a Large University in Los Angeles

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1660 Words
Date:  2023-05-17


The school is a public university located in Los Angeles, California. The institution is one of the largest undergraduate universities and even in the student body due to the high annual enrolments. For example, in 2019 Fall, the school enrolled more than 38,000 students into its different campuses (California State University Northridge, 2020). Similar to other organizations, the school has a structure that defines the flow of command and job roles. The review comprises organizational structure based on contexts of the classical school of organization theory, human resources founded on human resource management schools of thought, and the operations based on the perspective of the natural systems and open systems theories.

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Review of the Organizational Structure

The classical organization theory comprises of various approaches in establishing command in an institution that includes the administrative theory, Weber's bureaucratic theory, and the scientific management approach. The administrative theory is based on the principles developed by Henry Fayol to management. The bureaucratic approach views an organization as part of the society, and therefore, institutions need to be democratic. The scientific management approach relates to the concept of effective planning to achieve specialization, standardization, and simplicity in the achievement of the set targets. A consideration of the organization chart reveals that the university assumes a hierarchical structure. The president is the overall head, while the vice presidents are the heads of the different departments, including academic affairs, student affairs, finance, ICT, corporation, and advancements.

The organizational structure of the school explains the flow of information and command in a top-down approach. The president gives orders to the overall vice presidents, who, in turn, implement the orders in their departments. The employees work under one supervisor, and their grouping into various job roles is based on organizational functionality, products and services, and even geographical locations. Follet (1926) explains the concept of giving orders in an organization based on psychological perspectives. Business administrations address the diverse issues facing the entire organization by focusing on them at the small unit levels (departments). The employees working in the various departments have the objective of streamlining the various critical aspects of the university, such as finance, advancement, academic affairs, and students' affairs, amongst others.

Gullick (1937) further expands the concept of classical theories in organizational structure by supporting the division of work. The division of work in and business unit is essential because men differ in skills, abilities, and dexterity gained through specialization. The author suggests that the specialized skills of workers occur naturally as long as they are assigned particular jobs matching their knowledge and abilities. The university demonstrates specialization of skills by aligning employees based on their educational background, capacities, skills, and interests in working in the organization. Consequently, apart from the general departments developed, there are specific roles within it. For example, the finance department is further subdivided into purchasing and contract administration, human resources and facilities planning, design, and construction.

Weber's bureaucracy model highlights the specific functions that leaders should possess in a modern organization (2015). The author suggests that there is a need to have a set of principles, rules, or administrative holdings governing the organization. Institutions need to draw hierarchical principles for offices of authority with an ordered system of command. Weber suggests that well-written documents should define modern offices. Organizations also need to have specialized offices of management, employees to work in the offices, and the management of offices must follow the set rules. Weber's model of management has been significantly exhibited in the California State University Northridge. The management has set rules as the principles for governing the administration of the school. The management of the institution follows a chain of command, and there are specific premises, set aside as the offices of the chosen leaders. The authority of the heads is defined by the job-positional descriptions constituting of duties and responsibilities.

Review of Human Relations and Human Resources Management

The management schools of thought comprise of the theoretical models used to study management, which contains various assumptions about human resources and workplaces. The thinkers of management have sought different strategies of organizing and classifying the vast information on management. The models can be broadly categorized as classical, behavioral, scientific management, contingency, and systems school theories (Wren & Bedeian, 1994). Scientific models necessitate that employees need to be selected scientifically based on the qualifications and educational backgrounds to optimize their productivity. Workers have to cooperate with the management in the pursuit of mutual self-respect. As explained earlier, the administrative model focuses on the principles of management and the management processes. The theory provides a general framework of management. The bureaucratic model, developed by Weber, necessitates an ideal organization characterized by formalized rules, hierarchy, ability-based selection and promotion of employees, division of labor, and impersonality for efficient management.

The human resource management schools of thoughts provide different accounts on the meaning and best practices of managing personnel. Human resource management (HRM) significantly focuses on performing the best management practices to make the employees productive. The managers need to improve the welfare of the employees, such as working conditions, compensation packages, and freedom of joining trade unions, amongst other necessities that would make the employees comfortable to deliver. The human relations and HRM of California State University Northridge adequately manage the personnel. Apart from the basic human resource functions such as recruitment, assessment, and development of the employees, the personnel is offered a comfortable working environment to remain productive. The employees have the freedom to join unions and demanding appropriate work conditions.

The management schools of thought presume that HRM is a strategic model used by managers to achieve the set goals. Managers employ techniques of strategic management in the utilization of resources for optimal production. The model focuses on the concerns of executive management to contain costs as well as meet the objectives. HRM seeks to create a seamless link between an existing organizational policy with strategic management functions such as performance assessment, recruitment, development, compensation, and dismissal. It is viewed as a mechanism for controlling and exercising power to encourage positive behaviors and attitudes aligning with the business goals. These concepts have been demonstrated in the school where the strategic management of employees is an executive function. The human resource officer links the organizational quality assurance policy with various HRM functions, including performance assessment, recruitment, development, compensation, and dismissal.

California State University Northridge's human relations and management significantly assumes the classical schools of thought in management. The school blends various theories of management, including the scientific management, administrative management, and bureaucratic management. It is worth noting that the institution also employs some of the concepts of behavioral school. For example, the human relations aspect is demonstrated by the need of the managers to have the skills for diagnosing behaviors at work to initiative motivation, interpersonal communication, and quality leadership. As such, the HRM of the university uses diverse schools of thought for management to optimize productivity and performance of the workforce.

Analysis of Operations Based on Natural Systems and Open Systems Theories

The natural systems and open systems theory holds the concept that their environments significantly impact organizations (Willyard, 2015). The environment referred is the existence of other organizations that exert forces pf social, political, and economic nature. The surrounding of an organizations offers critical resources needed to sustain firms, initiate change and survival. The concept of open systems theory is evident in the majority of modern organizations, as explained by different theories. Institutional theorists view organizations as places where the social beliefs and values are integrated within the organizational structure, which explains the occurrence of resistance to change (Willyard, 2015). Contingency theorists suggest that organizations are usually organized in ways bet fitting their environments or areas they are embedded in (Willyard, 2015). Resource dependency theory suggests that organizations have to adapt to environments due to their dedication to the resource provided. The natural systems and open-source theories offer different but similar perspectives of the existence of organizations in a particular environment. However, it is worth noting which emphasis that firms can only do well by establishing strong relationships with their environments.

The existence of California State University Northridge illustrates the concepts of the natural and open systems theory. Regardless of the formal rules established by the school, the institution serves as a center of collectivities, where people pursue their multiple interests, both common and disparate. As such, everyone within the school considers its value to the purpose the institution serves to the diverse parties. There is an informal structure of relations developing amongst the stakeholders, which influences the guidance of behaviors expected within the environment. Natural systems are evident in the university due to goal complexity and informal structures that make the school an important resource for everyone. Consequently, all the stakeholders within the environment have to cooperate and relate well to protect the existence of the institution.

The organization is made of various parts that share resources from the internal and external environment. The structure of the institution impacts flow of information and interactions within and outside the environment. The ability of the school to have open systems allows it to have many ways of doing things as there is no single structural system that ought to be always followed. The contingencies enable the university to be flexible and adjust to the environmental changes. The open systems theory is demonstrated by the ability of the school to have dynamic systems that assist it in interacting with the environment. Consequently, the institution is dynamic because it evolves and changes in response to the stakeholders' feedback. The open systems theories offer a framework for thinking about diverse business processes, including change, which is an essential function in running businesses.

Hence, the institution assumes a holistic approach in solving various problems through an understanding of interactions between the internal and external environments. The model suggests that schools need to be social because they are made up of people and groups that regularly interact, a common concept in the university. As su...

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