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Chapter 6
On Organizational Structures

Excerpt

Make sure that everyone has been assigned definite positions and responsibilities within the organization.

It is extremely detrimental to morale and efficiency when employees do not know just what their jobs are or what they are responsible for. If assignments are not made clear there is apt to be interminable bickering, confusion, and bad feeling. Do not keep tentative organization changes hanging over people; effect them as soon as they become reasonably clear. Changing them again later is better than leaving people in poorly or improperly defined positions.

All employees, engineers included, can be organizationally linked to one another based on their project (e.g., new product development team, program implementation team), their functional discipline (e.g., stress analysis, analog circuit design, R&D), or both. The last, also called a matrix organization, gives to each person (at least) two managers: one for a project and one for a discipline. The functional discipline supervisor usually has administrative authority — performance appraisals, promotions, compensation — over the employee. This type of organization affords the great advantage to everyone of having two supervisors from which to obtain help; but it suggests the possible disadvantage of competition for allegiance. Well-managed organizations will not suffer; conflicts will be easily resolved by considering the grander goals, preferably, or by the next level of management.

  • Make sure that everyone has been assigned definite positions and responsibilities within the organization.
  • Make sure that everyone has the authority they need to execute their jobs and meet their responsibilities.
  • Make sure that all activities and all individuals are supervised by someone competent in the subject matter involved.

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