Organizational Structures in Health and Social Care Organizations
Healthcare environment Report
This report is aimed at analyzing different organizational structures in health and social care organizations. The researcher has identified the impact of organizational structure on the culture of the organization in relation to the given case scenario. ‘Road’, a supported living scheme run by Frank, has adopted the functional organizational structure. The team members of the organizations do not have to autonomy to share their feedback in the decision-making process. The organization follows power culture, where each team member including team leader has to follow the instructions of the management. It has been advised that the leader should develop the elements of emotional intelligence to understand human feelings in a better way. Employees are also required to be involved in the decision-making process so that they can be motivated towards delivering high level of performance.
Organizational structure refers to the system outlining the activities for achieving organizational goals and objectives. Some of the organizational activities that are directed by the organizational structure include regulations, roles, and responsibilities (Withey and Gellatly 2015). This assessment is purposed to develop a discussion of the organizational structure and its impacts on the organizational culture in relation to the given case scenario. The researcher has discussed the four different organizational cultures identified by Charles Handy, such as task, power, and role and people culture. In this assessment, the researcher has also analyzed the Schein’s organizational culture model to conduct a detailed discussion of the research topic.
Organizational structure can be classified into four parts, including functional, divisional, matrix and flatter. The functional structure is also known as bureaucratic organizational structure, which divides the organization based on its speciality (Shafritz, Ott and Jang 2015). It is used in traditional businesses, where sales, marketing and customer service department work differently. The key advantage of this structure is that individual in the organization is dedicated to a single function. In the divisional structure, the leadership is structured as per the projects or the products. The matrix structure is a confusing organizational structure, where employees have multiple reporting lines and bosses (Bustinza et al. 2015). The advantage of the matrix structure is that it enables organizations to carry out balanced decision-making. Small businesses largely follow flatarchy organizational structure that opens up the communication method among employees and management. One of the key benefits of this structure is that it diminishes unnecessary levels in the organization.
Organizations implement a structure in line with the organizational goals and objectives. The British Army and National Health Services have implemented a hierarchical structure, whereas Waterstones and Google have adopted horizontal structure. One of the key reasons why British Army and National Health Services have adopted hierarchical structure is that employees at different levels are given some specific responsibilities (Alvesson and Sveningsson 2015). Conversely, the horizontal structure provides greater autonomy to the employees of Google that result in higher productivity.
According to the given scenario, ‘Road’, a supported living scheme run by Frank, has adopted the functional organizational structure since the roles and responsibilities of each member of the Scheme is well-defined. Frank delegates tasks among all members of ‘Road’. Being the founder of the project, Frank takes all the decisions regarding the roles and responsibilities to require to be played by the team that made of a team leader, a nurse, 3 support workers, 1 employment worker, 2 assistant support workers and 1 cleaner. One of the major benefits of using functional structure is that the clearly defined roles and responsibilities of team members eliminate confusion.
According to Deal and Kennedy’s cultural model, corporate culture is significant for the success or failure of an organization (Alvesson 2015). A well-aligned and good corporate culture lead the organization to success, whereas a wrong culture affects the organization in many ways, such as reduced productivity, increased employee turnover etc.
Charles Handy classified organizational culture into four different parts, including power culture, role culture, task culture and person culture. In power culture, very few individuals in the organization hold power and spread it throughout the organization. Power culture is a strong culture that enables leaders to control radiates from the centre (Cooper 2000). The benefit of the power culture is that it can respond to events quickly. Role culture is based on rules, the position of a person in the organizational structure determine his/her power. Organizations with role culture struggle to adopt change. Organizations adapt task culture when it needs to address some explicit issues. In the task culture, there is no single source of power. The team can develop its own objective. In person culture, people consider them superior in the organization.
Figure: Handy’s four classes of culture
(Source: Hogan and Coote 2014)
According to the case scenario, ‘Road’ follows power culture, as each team member including team leader has to follow the orders of Frank, who is the founder of the organization. Frank also delegates tasks among team members so that individual member possesses clear idea about his/her role and responsibilities in the particular supported living scheme. Power culture facilitates this care service provider to respond quickly to any event.
Schein identified three different levels in organizational culture, such as artefacts and behaviours, espoused values, and assumptions (Hogan and Coote 2014). Artifacts are tangible and identifiable elements in any organization, such as furniture, dress code and architecture. Espoused values can be identified as the organizational values and rules of behaviour. For example, employee professionalism is an espoused value. The third level of the model is the assumed values of employees that no one can measure. However, the assumed valued of employees certainly make differences to the organizational culture.
(Source: Benzer et al. 2017)
The impact of structure on culture:
Different organizational structure creates some specific impact on the organizational culture. According to the given scenario, the supported living scheme uses functional structure, which affects the flow of communication. In case of taking organizational decisions related to legal, social or political situations, the higher authority needs adequate time, as the information is communicated across different functional departments slowly (Joseph et al. 2015). However, in the given scenario, the functional structure has helped Frank to make his team members understand their roles and responsibilities. Consequently, it enhances organizational productivity largely. Power culture is reflected in the functional structure of the organization. In the provided scenario, the power is control from the centre of the organization.
If ‘Road’ used divisional organizational structure, then the team members would get greater flexibility in the work. Moreover, the communication level among the employees would improve significantly. However, the application of divisional structure was not possible in the organization discussed in the given case study, as it is a small sized healthcare provider. If the matrix structure were introduced in the organization, there would be no specific leaders within each team to control the functions of team members and give them adequate support to achieve individual as well as shared objectives. Consequently, it would affect the productivity of the organization largely.
In the provided scenario, if Frank used flatter structure in the organization, then he would spread power across multiple positions, such as team leaders. In addition, Frank would require eliminating the unnecessary levels in the organization if he introduced flatter structure. The flatter structure would reflect the person culture in the organization, where individuals possess the same power. Although the application of flatter structure would improve the decision-making process in the organization, it would also create confusion among team members due to their different opinions. Hence, it can be assessed that each organizational structure has some pros and cons, which influence the organizational culture largely.
Changes organizations could make to improve this provision:
According to the given scenario, the team members have to follow the decisions made by Frank. Team members and leaders do not share their ideas with Frank to develop strategies towards enhancing support facilities for service users of the particular healthcare organization. The team members in the healthcare organization have little autonomy, which affects their performance largely. The organization can apply Kotter’s 8step model of change to improve the outcomes for the client. Lewin’s three-stage model of change is not suggested since it is goal and plan-oriented that makes fewer considerations for human feelings.
Develop emotional intelligence: According to Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence theory, leaders should develop five key elements of emotional intelligence to achieve success. These are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills (Goleman et al. 2015). Leaders should be self-aware to have a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses. Being self-aware will help Frank to behave with humanity. It will also enable Frank to understand human feelings in a better way. Consequently, it will reflect the good relationship of the founder of the healthcare organization with the team members and leaders. Self-motivated and self-regulated leaders work consistently towards achieving goals. The founder of the healthcare organization should also develop empathy to manage the team successfully. With the developed social skills, leaders will become a good communicator.
Involving employees in the decision-making process: According to the given scenario, the team members and leaders are not given opportunities to share their views and feedback during the decision-making process, which largely create adverse impacts on employees’ motivation level towards achieving shared goals and objectives. Therefore, it is important to give autonomy to the team members to take active participation in the decision-making process. It is a significant method of motivating the team members towards delivering a high level of performance resulting in a higher rate of patient satisfaction.
Organizational structure can be divided into four parts, such as functional, divisional, matrix and flatter. The organization mentioned in the given case study uses functional structure, where power culture is reflected, as leaders control all team members of the healthcare organization from the centre. Schein identified three different levels in organizational culture, such as artefacts and behaviours, espoused values, and assumptions. Power culture certainly facilitates the particular healthcare organization to define the role and responsibilities of members in a detailed way. The founder of the organization needs to develop emotional intelligence to achieve success.