The Ministry of Organization
Definition of Organization
An Organization is a specific structure or framework
which makes provision for the pursuit of certain common goals by
people who find themselves in a relative position to one
The term Organization can also refer to the act of
organizing a business or an activity related to a business.
Definition of Organizing
Organizing is the ordering of related tasks so that more may be
achieved by fewer people. Organizing is a management function which
deals with arranging activities and resources by allotting duties,
responsibilities and authority to people, and the determination of
relationships between them to promote collaboration and to achieve
the objectives of the undertaking as effectively as possible. To do
this, there must be collaboration between the people concerned.
The overriding value of an organization is its ability to make
more effective use of human resources.
Principles of organization
The principles can be set out briefly as follows:
Organization Principle Nr 1:
It is hereby understood that the organizational structure of the
organization, and specifically each department and section, must be
constituted (put together) in such a manner that the goals will
still be attained in the most economical manner. This means that
the framework of departments and sections must not include more
positions than is absolutely necessary, but also no less.
The leader must be very critically focused towards what he has
to attain, and obtain answers to the following questions:
Does he know exactly what is expected of him and his team of
Does his subordinates know exactly what is expected of
Are the subordinates promised to him, adequate to reach the
Are they not perhaps too many, if a more suitable work grouping
Organization Principle Nr 2:
Work which you give to your subordinates must, as far as
possible, be relevant to their abilities, training and interest.
Therefore, give work to the man who, at a given moment, is the best
qualified for it.
It is obvious that the quality of work will be much better if it
falls within the abilities of the subordinate, if he has had the
necessary training to do it, and if he is interested in what he has
Through specialization you can ensure that:
a high level of proficiency will be maintained;
maximum effectiveness will be attained and,
sources will be applied economically.
If a leader must delegate a certain project, he can entrust it
to different trained subordinates or he can give the different
kinds of specialized work to one subordinate. The leader knows his
people, their preparedness for a task and their area of
specialization and will therefore, as far as possible, give to each
subordinate work in his own line of skill.
It does not mean that you must always use each of your
subordinates for only one kind of work. You must endeavor to
broaden their knowledge by training as many of them as possible in
such a manner as to develop and to motivate them to become
specialists in more than one field.
A broad base of specialties among subordinates will especially
have the following advantages:
Absences will be overcome more easily by allowing competent
subordinates to temporarily
act in vacant posts.
Shortage of labor is bridged by subordinates who are qualified
for more than one post.
It facilitates promotions, as the man who is promoted has a
good knowledge of all the posts.
Organization Principle Nr 3: Span of
A leader should supervise only as many people as he can control.
The maximum number of subordinates over whom a leader can
supervise, depends on certain factors, namely:
The nature of the work that must be done, in other words, the
variety as well as the intricateness thereof.
The area over which the subordinates are spread, in other
words, how far they are placed from one another.
The leader himself, in other words, does he have the ability to
lead, to inform and to control people?
The type of subordinates that the leader must control, are they
qualified, discipline, etc.? Fully qualified subordinates, for
instance, require less supervision and, to a great extent, this
relieves the workload of the leader.
Organization Principle Nr 4: Management
Leaders, and any other category of workers, tend to give
preference to the kind of work, product or area in their sections
with which they are best familiar.
This is mainly because they
are more accomplished in a certain kind of work, as this is
what they have done previously
prefer the work-area which is known to them, and
will prefer the work that they know well.
Activities of the organization
When two or more individuals work together for the achievement
of a common purpose, they are called a formal work group. The
moment a formal work group is formed, a social organization is
established, and the process of organizing begins.
Essentially, the organizing process moves from the knowledge of
a goal or plan (obtained from the planning process) into a
systematic division of work. It is concerned with a common effort
to achieve set goals.
Typically the process follows the following steps.
Listing of all the tasks that must be performed by the
organization to accomplish its objectives.
Dividing up these tasks into activities that each can be
performed by one person. Each person will then have a group of
activities to perform, called a job. (This in turn allows each
person to become more proficient in his special job.)
Grouping related jobs in a logical and efficient manner. This
creates specialized portions or sections of the organization.
Determining relationships between various people to promote
collaboration by means of coordination and job and duty
Delegating duties, authority and responsibility without
abdicating final responsibility.
Developing an organization
An organizational structure is a specific framework of
established posts in which people carry out certain actions, and
are so grouped that they can pursue a common goal.
The formal organization
The advantages of a formal organization
The development of an organizational structure may be regarded
as the means used by the leader, to group the work in such a way
that it is most effectively done.
Defining and streamlining your organization structure will help
you get the most work done with the fewest people at the least
cost, with the greatest satisfaction to the people doing the work.
More specifically, here is what you can expect to achieve:
It creates order
It facilitates control
It promotes coordination
It benefits the individual worker
It creates formal communication channels
It regulates personnel relations regulates personnel
It ensures that all the important work necessary to your
objectives will be done;
It divides the work logically so that teams can work
effectively without barriers;
It ensures people have balanced and challenging work loads that
give them opportunity to grow in scope and competence;
It identifies and define career paths for which people can
qualify by planned experience and training.
It encourages team-work by minimizing overlap and duplication
It promotes specialization so that people are utilized
according to their abilities in the execution of certain tasks
It gives an overall picture of the field in which the organization
The major characteristics of a formal
A formal organization has a well-defined structure.
Usually we can see a clearly defined relationship between the
members of the organization - there are the rulers and the ruled;
status, ranks and different levels of power and authority can be
A formal organization has a precisely identified
beginning. We can usually pinpoint precisely when a formal
organization came into being. There are normally written documents
to mark the event.
A formal organization has a longer life span. A formal
organization usually lasts for a long time. There are changes of
buildings and people after a lapse of years, but in the majority of
cases a definite continuity of purpose can be traced.
A formal organization incorporates membership by choice.
Members join by choice and it is usually formal - and a contract
exists between the member and the organization.
A formal organization has definite aims. By this is meant
that an organization tries to make particular things happen.
A formal organization employs division of work. Conscious
efforts are made by those belonging to a formal organization to
share out the work required to achieve the aims of the
organization. A general attempt to function as a unit, each doing
his own part, without getting in the way of the others.
Responsibilities of the leader concerning the formal
he must be well acquainted with his own department’s
he must know what the relationship is between his department
and other departments ;
he must make recommendations to improve the organization
he must know what the functions are of the other departments in
order to see what influence it may have on his objectives.
It is the leader’s responsibility to organize his part of the
formal organization structure in such a way that effective
performance and cooperation are obtained.
An organizational structure is something which is reasonably
permanent and is a normal and logical result of organizing actions.
Organizational structure is usually depicted in the form of an
organizational chart which is a schematic representation of the way
in which work is arranged.
Types of formal organization
Line organization (functional
It is the simplest structure and provides the basic framework
from which other types of structures are built. From this it can be
seen that line organization means that one person is the person in
authority and that his authority filters through from highest to
the lowest level. The person in control (manager) takes all the
final decisions. Each person at higher level has command authority
over those a lower levels.
The following are the characteristics of a line
Authority is vested in one person and staff only receive
instructions from the head and report back to him.
One person is in control of a particular task or
Lines of authority are clear and each person’s task is clearly
outlined as well as the responsibilities of each.
In a line and staff organization, the adviser (e.g. legal
person) has advisory powers only, and may not enforce its
authority. Those managers and leaders whose main job is to see that
products and services are produced, are usually considered members
of the line organization. Other management people who help them to
decide what to do and how to do or to act, or provide service or
special expertise, are usually called staff people (person in a
specialized capacity. The formal organization has created positions
with management authority, responsibilities and accountability. The
formal organization expects that the chain of command upwards and
downwards should be followed. Interaction should thus be through
the next higher level of authority or the next lower level of
The aim of the organization is used as basis. The functions are
then determined by establishing what should / can / must be done in
order to achieve that aim. These functions then serve as aims for
the next subordinate organizational level. From these subordinate
aims, the functions for that level are determined. This process is
then repeated down to the lowest functional level.
Divisional or product
All functions needed to make a particular product, for example,
are gathered under one highly placed manager. The function of the
organization becomes the aim of the division. (Note that under each
division head, the organization is essentially a functional one.
Labels such as divisional and functional can be misleading.)
For specific projects, it is common practice that all people
working on that project be grouped together to facilitate
coordination, communication and control. After the completion of
the project, they will then go back to their original sections.
A firm may divide some of its activities, such as sales, or all
of its activities, according to the geographic region where these
A company may also choose to organize some or all of its
activities according to the customers it serves, such as farmers,
contractors and homeowners. This kind of organization is closely
related to the product organization.
The informal organization
Informal organization refers to the creation of informal
relationships within the formal organization. informal group
formation is the spontaneous reaction following on the interaction
and communication among the members of the organization.
The requirements for membership of informal groups are often not
very clearly delineated. There are a variety of reasons for their
membership, such as the need to belong, the need for friendship,
own values, habits, status and emotional security.
The particular meaning of informal groups in an organization is
Informal groups have a powerful effect on the members. The
attitudes, outlook and behavior of group members are to a large
extent prescribed by group norms and standards of behavior and
determined by group pressure
Informal groups are structured and each has a leader who is the
embodiment of the interests of the particular group. Because these
informal groups are formed in a natural way and by personal choice,
these informal leaders often exert great influence on the members
of a specific group.
The influence of an informal organization on the formal
organization cannot be negated.
Advantages of an informal
Leader can use this informal leader to relieve his burden by
delegating certain work to him.
The leader can use this informal leader to help him to get a
cohesiveness amongst the members of the group.
Effective control can be exercised.
Provide social satisfaction to its members.
Assist in integrating new staff
Provides informal channels of communication, or leader can use
the informal leader as communication source.
It is important that the manager of an organization should take
note of both the formal and informal organization. The latter
should be investigated constantly and the advantages used for the
benefit of the organization. If there is conflict between leader
and informal leader, the following problems can occur:
Creation of relationships within an
This organizing activity can be compared with a large symphony
orchestra. The conductor succeeds in stringing together the
different musicians as a team so that each one produces the right
note at the right moment. There is harmony and progress. Each
musician is trained in his specific direction. He knows his part of
the music and knows how it influences the ensemble.
No member over-plays his part of the music or interferes with or
attempts to play the part of another member. Each one disciplines
himself and is also disciplined by the conductor. Each one knows
what his responsibility and authority is.
If it is made applicable to the work situation, you will agree
that at times problems arise which you cannot solve because it does
not fall within your field of specialization. In order to do away
with certain problems, you will obtain advice from other
specialists in your own or another department/section. This
relationship between you and the other staff specialists falls
under the subject of ‘line-staff’ relationships.
Line-staff and staff-line relationships
within an organization
Each leader has, by the nature of his position, certain
authority at his disposal, and he therefore has a certain
relationship towards colleagues, subordinates, etc. which can be
either a line/staff or staff/line relationship. Where the
relationship is of such a nature that the leader is given advice by
other, or where he stands in a leadery capacity towards others, the
leader’s relationship towards them is called a line-relationship.
He therefore has command-authority which empowers him to make final
decisions with regard to the goals which must be attained.
The leader’s subordinates are, however, in a staff-relationship
towards him, as they can provide him with ideas and advice.
Decisions are made at line-level and communicated downwards. Staff
again makes recommendations and gives advice which is communicated
At some time or other, therefore, everyone of us acts in a
staff- or a line-capacity. Seniority, therefore, does not always
play a role in the relationship.
In the relationship with one another, a few rules exist, which
can be born in mind to eliminate possible friction which may occur.
Therefore, in order to keep work and relationships on a healthy
footing, we must attempt to comply with the under mentioned
Persons in a line position make the final
decisions within an organization
We have already seen that persons in the line position finally
decide on matters. hey must inform staff of the decision.
Persons in a staff position give advice
or deliver services within an organization
It often happens that we negotiate with staff specialists, viz.
people in other sections who give us specialized advice in order to
help us reach our goals. Staff specialists can offer help
voluntarily, but they can also be asked for it. As already
mentioned, line is not forced to accept the advice, but is
desirable that the advice should at least be considered.
Persons in line positions within an
organization must consider advice from persons in staff
After a suggestion has been made by staff specialists, line must
determine whether or not it is accepted. The advice or suggestion
given by the staff specialist, must never be taken up too lightly.
You must remember that lie has a problem and because they cannot
solve it, they consulted staff. The suggestion made by staff will
therefore be derived from staff’s knowledge or experience - staff,
therefore, speaks from a position of authority.
Both parties have the right to appeal
If a staff specialist has made a suggestion and feels that his
case has merits and it is rejected by line, the parties can appeal
to a higher authority within the organization for a decisive