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Sandra Holt, manager of Electronics Assembly, asked Hector
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LaTrobe University

Faculty of Law and Management

School of Management

MGT1FOM: Foundations of Management

Tutorial Review Questions: Answer Guide

Topic 8: Organisational Structure


Sandra Holt, manager of Electronics Assembly, asked

Hector Cruz, her senior

technician, to handle things in the department whil

e Sam worked on the

budget. Sam needed peace and quiet for at least a w

eek to complete his figures.

After 10 days, Sandra discovered that Hector had hi

red a senior secretary, not

realising that Sandra had promised interviews to tw

o other people.

An evaluation of Sandra’s approach to delegation ca

n be made by using the


shoptalk – How to delegate

(see page 331). The guidelines to effective delegat


provided there include:

Delegate the whole task.

It appears that Sandra has only delegated some of t


activities involved in looking after the department

by not telling Hector about the

interviews she had promised.

Select the right person.

We can only assume that Hector is the right person

as he is

Sandra’s senior technician. Hector is certainly not

afraid of taking on more

responsibility and making decisions.

Ensure that authority equals responsibility.

Hector appears to have been given

both authority and responsibility as he had no prob

lem in completing the hiring


Give thorough instructions.

Unfortunately, Sandra appears to have only told

Hector part of the story. If Sandra wanted the othe

r two people interviewed before

the decision was made, she should have told Hector.




Maintain feedback.

Open lines of communication do not appear to have b


maintained as Sandra did not find out about the hir

ing until 10 days later. There is

no information of how well Sam evaluated and reward

ed Hector’s performance.


Many experts note that organisations have been maki

ng greater use of teams in

recent years. What factors might account for this t


In general, the trend toward teams and task forces

is probably associated with greater

environmental change, more sophisticated technologi

es, and a corporate value for

decentralisation. The contingency factors described

in the chapter are environment,

technology, size and life cycle. The organisational

world seems to be more crowded and

changing more rapidly. This means that the organisa

tion will have to make internal

changes in response to environmental demands. Inter

nal changes require coordination

across departments, which in turn require teams, ta

sk forces, or other lateral devices.

The same is true for more sophisticated technologie

s. The implementation of these

technologies and their interdependence between depa

rtments lead to greater need for

coordination. Small, flexible organisations created

in new industries, such as the

computer industry, make greater use of lateral rela

tionships. Large, mature

organisations tend to be brittle and stagnant, and

are using lateral relations to break

down barriers across departments. With the publicat

ion of books such as Theory S and

In Search of Excellence, a value of delegating resp

onsibilities to the human resources

within the organisation has emerged, further encour

aging decentralisation and lateral

relationships. There is growing recognition of the

importance of synergy to enhanced

organisational performance – where, for example, 6

people working together as a team

accomplish far more than those same 6 people workin

g individually. There is also

growing recognition of how teamwork can improve the

quality of organisational

decision making.


Contrast centralisation with span of management. Wo

uld you expect these

characteristics to affect one another in organisati

ons? Why?

Span of management is the number of employees repor

ting to a supervisor. An

organisation can tend to be characterised as having

either a large or small span of

management. Centralisation means that decision auth

ority is located near the top of the

organisation. The two concepts can be related in or

ganisations. For example, one way to



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