Organizational Structure and Culture

Organizational structure can be defined as the establishment of authority and responsibilities between different positions in the company. It can be either horizontal or vertical. Organization structure also facilitates transparency in the organization (Luthans, 1998). My organization is Saint Joseph’s Hospital, which is a leading magnet facility here in Atlanta Georgia. Saint Joseph’s was the first hospital in the Southeast to perform open heart surgery, the first to develop a cardiac cath lab and the first to perform balloon angioplasty.

The hospital was also the first to open a pace maker clinic and the first in Georgia to implant an artificial heart. Saint Joseph’s is also regarded as one of Georgia’s early pioneers in vascular surgery. Saint Joseph’s is a true innovator and attracts some of the nation’s finest physicians, nurses and medical support personnel http://www. stjosephsatlanta. org. Patient ratings of Saint Joseph’s nurses are among the highest reported year after year. Therefore, organizational structure and culture is of utmost importance to our leadership.

Executives, directors, managers and supervisors have the responsibility to promote a culture that supports compassion, honesty, respect, responsibility, integrity, teamwork and stewardship among employees and physicians. This requires the promotion of open communication; zero tolerance of fraud, abuse and waste; encouragement of educational and training sessions; and cooperation with requests for information on a timely basis. Each member of the management team is accountable for setting an example that supports the hospital’s culture and structure.

Our facility is structured using a team-based type of structure to create an environment of ownership among the stakeholders. This structure supports our organization’s plan because it relies strongly upon collaboration, shared goals, common assessments, and other aspects of cooperation to achieve its various plans and missions. It is also a structured system of tasks, workflows, reporting relationships, and communication channels that link the diverse parts of an organization. Team-based approaches benefit from the collective and shared decision-making, planning, goal setting, and overall collaborative nature.

On the other hand, some negatives are that this approach is often arduous, time consuming, and even cumbersome since it takes a long time to reach consensuses. Any structure should both allocate tasks and provide for the coordination of performance results. Unfortunately, it is easier to talk about good structures than it is to actually create them. This is why you often read about restructuring, the process of changing an organization’s structure in an attempt to improve performance.

Activities of an organization are the combination of some functions like planning, organizing, directing, controlling, etc. All these functions have an impact on the structure of the organization. Planning is a very important function for an organization. It is a determination of the future course of actions for the company. Planning includes determination of specific objectives, programs, policies and strategies. Structure is designed according to the plans of the organization. Any change in the plan causes a change in the structure of the organization.

Organizing is the process of dividing the tasks and duties to different groups, and departments. Organizing function increases the efficiency of the organization. All authorities and responsibilities are divided in such a manner that goals of the organization can be achieved. Organizational structure is designed and changed according to the task divided among the employees. Directing is a process of communicating to the subordinates by the superiors. Each employee of the organization is directed by his superiors.

Superiors give continuous guidance to the subordinates. Changes in the duties and responsibilities of the superiors and subordinates also affect the structure of the organization because directing process also includes communicating, leading and motivating process. Controlling is the process in which a manager compares the actual results from the predetermined objectives. If any variation is found, some corrective actions are taken by the manager. Corrective actions include changes in the policy, plans or any strategy of the organization.

All these changes also affect the structure of the organization. Structure is changed according to new plans and policies of the organization (Prasad, 2008). During this project I discovered that the organizational chart at my facility has undergone significant change. We no longer have the traditional organizational chart which is best illustrated by the shape of a pyramid with board of trustees on top, CEO, CFO, COO then upper management, followed by middle management, then front line people and at the bottom with the argest area, the customers. It shows that top management has the power over those situated below it. Now we have a modern customer-oriented organizational chart, that is an inverted pyramid where the customers are on top occupying the largest area followed by the front line people, middle management and at the bottom, the top management with the smallest area. There are arrows pointing upwards showing that customers are now the primary focus of the organization hence, it is customer-oriented.

I have learned that an organizational chart for our unit shows us the division of work via positions and titles which show how work responsibilities are assigned. Supervisory relations with levels of management, let staff members know who reports to whom. Communication channels direct the formal reporting process through the chain of command. Whenever someone speaks of “the way we do things here,” for example, they are talking about the organizational culture. Although culture is not the sole determinant of what happens in organizations, it is an importance influence on what the members accomplish and how.

Therefore, internal and generational differences have the potential to shape attitudes, reinforce common beliefs, direct behavior, establish performance expectations, and create the motivation to fulfill them. In my facility the younger nurses have varied beliefs whereas the older generation pride themselves on their core beliefs about the right way to do things. They have different ways of looking at things based on their traditions and values. They dress differently and express themselves in different ways.

I enjoy the cultural differences of my workplace environment but I’ve come to discover that I’m managing the diverse needs of our employees, not their cultural differences. Diverse, yet very common needs, such as child care, flextime, working at home, leave to take care of elderly parents, paternity leave as well as maternity leave. Those needs are in the workplace, and it has nothing to do with a person’s cultural difference. Collectively these differences and similarities all influence the organizational culture of the workplace. In conclusion, the potential advantages of team structures begin with better ommunication across all disciplines. Teams are the building blocks of the new and more horizontal organizations. Our organizational structure formally designates and uses permanent and temporary teams extensively to accomplish tasks. References http://www. stjosephsatlanta. org/ Luthans, F. (1998). Organizational Behavior, (8th Ed. ). New York: Irwin McGraw-Hill. Prasad, L. M (2008), Organizational Behavior (3rd Ed. ), New Delhi: Sultan Chand and Sons. Sullivan, E. J.. & Decker, P. J. (2009). Effective Leadership and Management in Nursing (7th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.