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Introduction to Human Resource Management


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Chapter 2 : Organizational Structure and HRM

Organizational Structure and Human Resource Management, Formal and Informal Organizations, Formal Organization, Informal Organization, Tall and Flat Organizational Structures, Responsibility, Authority and Accountability, Responsibility, Authority, Accountability, Line and Staff Functions, Line and Staff Relationship, Line-Staff Conflict, Human Resource Management as a Line Responsibility, Human Resource Management as a Staff Function, The Role of Human Resource Department in an Organization, Human Resource Management in Harmony, Products and Human Resources, Production and Human Resources, Marketing and Human Resources, Management Techniques and Human Resources, Organizational Structure and Human Resources

Chapter Summary

People who work together in organizations need a defined system or structure through which they relate to each other and through which there can be a coordination of their efforts. The defined relationships among the elements of an organization, namely people, tasks, structure, and information and control processes that characterize all organizations is referred to as organizational structure.

Mechanistic structures are appropriate for static environments and organic structures for dynamic environments. Formal organization refers to the intentional structure of roles in a formally organized enterprise. Informal organization refers to any joint personal activity without conscious joint purpose, even though it contributes to joint results. There are two types of structures tall and flat. A tall structure is characterized by a narrow span of control and a flat structure by a high span of control.

The HR department consists of various jobs as a specialist, as a facilitator, as a change agent and as a controller. The key to growing beyond a manager's time, skill and knowledge limitations is delegation the assignment of authority and responsibility to subordinates. Responsibility is the obligation to perform the functions assigned in accordance with the directions received.

Authority refers to the right to give orders and the power to exact obedience. Another aspect of delegation is accountability, which is the process wherein the subordinate is held liable for performing those tasks which have been delegated to him, with specific authority and responsibility. Formal relations are classified into line and staff relations. Conflicts can arise between the line and staff functions.

A good understanding of line and staff relationships helps in developing harmonious line-staff relationships. HRM is a staff function but a line responsibility. The HR department plays the role of specialist; a facilitator; a change agent; and a controller. The equations between the line and staff functions have been changing in recent times, keeping with the changing business and work environment.

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