Organizing Demystified: The Organizing Function in New and Existing Businesses

Organizing is a function of management and it involves utilizing the resources of the organization and coordinating its activities to help the organization achieve its goals. An organization’s resources include its human, intellectual, technological, financial, material and other assets. Its activities might include such things as staffing, producing and selling.

Organizational charts are visual representations of the various levels of positions that reflect a span of authority in firms and this arrangement – with their descriptions (e.g. CEO, President, Vice-President, and Director of Marketing etc.) – indicate the chain of command, or who reports to whom in the firm.

The amount of levels depicted on an organizational chart is usually indicative of the complexity of the enterprise.  The structure of an organization depends on the nature of the tasks to be accomplished, and supports the strategy of the business.

In any organization there are many different activities that create divisions and specialization of labor, i.e. larger activities or tasks are broken down and assigned to different people, departments or teams.   In a new single-owner start-up venture the entrepreneur wears many hats and performs these activities with no thought of such concepts as “division of labor, “specialization” or even “organizational charts”. 

At this point the entrepreneur is the President and CEO, making executive decisions and crafting strategy; she is the Project Manager, the Office Manager, and head of every “department”, integrating the “duties” of the different “departments” ; making decisions on every activity; utilizing various skills and employing different approaches and techniques to each task.  And all the while she is coordinating these different activities much like a choreographer or a musician coordinates a dance or musical arrangement.

During this start-up period, even if the new venture is basically an organization made up of one (the owner) it is a good idea for new business owners to consciously relate these activities to the structure of their organizations and create their own visual representation of these positions; the departments they represent, and the various activities performed. This visual representation would emerge as an organizational chart.

Doing so will help them to better envision the structure of their organizations; how the coordination of the efforts of the various parts, departments or divisions are linked, and how they affect the whole.

Another benefit of this type of effort is that it will clarify in the mind of the business owner the type of communication and cross collaboration methods that these different departments must have in place, and engage in. Integrating these activities is necessary for the organization to achieve its goals. As the business grows and more staff is added the understanding, and habit, of cross-departmental collaboration will be firmly embedded in the cultural DNA of the organization. This is important because in the organizing function, effective communication and collaboration are both crucial to the achievement of organizational goals.

 © 2009 Ruth M Tappin

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