Glazers Lawn Solutions: Organizational Behaviour

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Introduction

Organizational behavior is a common theme in the modern business world. It is one of the ways through which the affairs of corporations or organizations are understood. By definition, the general setting of an organization is what is described as organizational behavior (Anderson 2007, pp.22-23). The leadership structure, the human interactions among the various members of the organization, and the relationship between the organization with other organizations within and without the industry constitute organizational behavior.

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In the case of Glazers Lawn Solutions, the relationship between Mark Lynch, Ellen Harris, Bill Murray as well as the other employees within the company gives us a glimpse into the behavior of this company as a business organization.

In this report, I will deal with important aspects of the perception and behavior of individuals and how this affects individual behavior and overall output in the organization. I will also deal with the subject of organizational structure through definition, comparing and contrasting several organizational structures, explaining what the company stands to gain by putting in place an organizational structure that is effective, and examining how the current structure of Glazers Lawn Solutions relates to the overall effectiveness of the company.

Besides the above, I will also handle the crucial aspect of culture by giving my evaluation of the same. I will also deal with various organizational cultures that may be found within an organization and handle the problems that a company such as Glazers Lawn Solutions will have to deal with in the process of trying to change its corporate culture. This report will also cover a discussion on how the changes in the structure and culture of Glazers Lawn Solutions may have influenced its business performance and organization. Finally, different theoretical management approaches to an organization will be examined in light of Glazers Lawn Solutions and recommendations made appropriately.

Methodology for the Report

This report will make use of the theoretical information obtained from scholarly sources. This information will be carefully used to explain the happenings in Glazers Lawn Solutions, discuss the concepts concerned and make recommendations on the best way forward.

Perception and Behavior of Individuals and How This Can Affect Company Performance

Perceptions and behavior are very important factors not only in business but in life. Perceptions people have about other people and places affect how they behave when to those people and the places concerned. Thus is it potentially destructive when the perceptions we hold about others are wrong. Our behavior is important in that it dictates how others behave towards us. Their behavior us in turn dictates our response actions and the cycle continues.

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In a company setting, when some employees have a perception that other employees are betraying them or do not respect them, they will tend to behave defensively (Kogut, Urso, and Walker2007, pp.1181-1187). This defensive behavior can take several forms ranging from fighting the wrongly perceived employee to trying to avoid him or her. On the other hand, once the other employee realizes that he or she is being avoided by his or her colleagues, she or he will become apprehensive and anxious. This will affect the performance of the company since neither of these groups of employees will be able to peacefully sit down in their offices and do the best for the company.

It is not only a negative perception that can exist. Positive perception can also exist whereby employees will view each other in a positive light. This will create synergy and the unity of purpose will bring enormous success to the company. Good behavior is also inspiring and has the potential of creating friends among the employees of a company who will then work together to strengthen the bargaining power of the company. The reverse is true for negative or bad behavior such as sexual harassment, gossip, and intimidation whereby the victimized employees will fear and work with anxiety. This will not make them do the best and therefore the company will not register the best performance. This is why the top management in organizations that are well managed always takes time to cultivate a positive image that sets a good example for the junior employees to copy in that they get inspired to not only behave well but send the right signals to avoid being perceived wrongly.

Organizational Structure

Organizational structure is the setting that is adopted in the operations of an organization whereby subordination and task accomplishment are carried out by well-designed wings of the organization. Structures normally have stages or divisions and each division has its characteristics. Organizational structures are many and all of them have different levels of efficiency. Some of the structures that are adopted by some organizations are well suited for high performance and therefore once the organization begins operating within the setup, results turn out to be very satisfying. Other structures are rigid and once adopted and implemented into an organization, they slow the growth and development of the organization. This, therefore, means that anyone who wants to adopt a structure for an organization must do thorough research on the most efficient structure that can lead to success.

Types of Structures Employed By Organizations

There is sis well know organizational structures that are found in organizations around the globe today. These are the pre -bureaucratic organizational structure, the bureaucratic organizational structure, the post-bureaucratic organizational structure, and the divisional organizational structure. Others are the matrix organizational structure and the functional organizational structure. Do these organizational structures have anything in common? If they do, what is it? What are the differences between these organizational structures? Which is the most ideal organizational structure?

Pre Bureaucratic Organizational Structure and the Bureaucratic Organizational Structures Compared and Contrasted

The pre bureaucratic organizational structure is an arrangement in which the leadership of the organization is not shared. The tasks performed are not repeated all the time and anyone can make the decisions so long as he or she is given the power. This organizational structure just like all the other organizational structures can be applied in a business. The bureaucratic structure on the other hand is based on an established chain of command and each member in the chain does what is specifically spelled out for him or her. It is a violation of the rules of operation if anyone in the chain does what he or she is not supposed to do.

The similarities between the pre- bureaucratic and the bureaucratic organizational structures are that both are applicable in a business setting and both have room for delegation. The differences include the fact that there are no divisions in the pre bureaucratic organizational structure while the bureaucratic organizational structure is full of divisions. Also, the pre bureaucratic organizational structure is good for small establishments while the bureaucratic organizational structure is suitable for big organizations. Other differences include the fact that there are not well-defined actions or tasks that are supposed to be performed by the people in an organization that makes use of the pre bureaucratic organizational structure while in the bureaucratic organizational structure the tasks are spelled out for every member of the bureaucracy.

There are also operational differences that have a bearing on profitability and effectiveness whereby decision making in the pre bureaucratic structure is quick and easy while in the bureaucratic structure decision making is very difficult since wide consultations have to be carried out among people who have a high degree of rigidity due to the nature of the structure.

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The Divisional Organizational Structure and the Functional Organizational Structure

The divisional organizational structure is based on the concept of divisions within the organization. Each division is given the power to have its tasks accomplished in the best way possible without major interruptions from other parts of the organization. The functional organizational structure is based on the fact that some sections of an organization perform tasks that are not performed by any other department. Therefore, these sections are given autonomy to carry out their tasks without any interruptions from the other parts of the organization on the condition that the duties that these functional groups are supposed to do are done without failure.

The differences between these two organizational structures include the fact that divisional organizational structure is nearly independent while the functional organizational structure only has specialized individuals who work from their pool but ensure that their portion of the work is directed to the bigger production process(Harris 1994, pp.309-315). Another difference is that the divisional or product organization can have all the elements of an organization while the functional structure only has the tools that are needed for the performance of the single job that is part of the bigger company.

These two organizational structures have similarities two. The first similarity is that both divisional and functional organizational structures can exist independently. In the case of divisional organization structure, independent existence means that it is producing its products or rendering its services. But for the functional organizational structure, independence means that the services being offered by the functional pools are contracted by other people who may b in need of these services in the production of goods and services. For example, a pool of editors can come together and start marketing their editing services to whoever may want to make use of them.

The Post Bureaucratic Organizational Structure and the Matrix Organizational Structure

The post-bureaucratic organizational structure refers to an arrangement in a corporation that does not make use of bureaucratic points in decision making. All major and minor decisions are made through discussions that are held among the members of the organization and the formalities that are the defining factor in bureaucracies are never part of a post-bureaucratic structured organization. It is considered the most recent structural innovation in the business world that is responsible for rapid investment decisions that end up benefiting the corporations that utilize this structure in a big way. Matrix on the other hand refers to a blend of the divisional organizational structure and the functional organizational structure.

The similarities between the matrix and the post-bureaucratic organizational structures are many. The first one is that both do not require the formal setting that is present in the bureaucratic organizational structure. Decisions can be made in informal settings and implemented speedily thus giving the organization a chance of utilizing any available opportunities which would have otherwise disappeared due to bureaucratic delays. Besides that, the matrix and the post-bureaucratic organizational structures can be used in both small and big businesses. Thus the size of the business does not matter when it comes to these two organizational structures. The third similarity is that these two organizational structures are considered the most advanced business management structures that can allow for maximum growth and development of the business entity. This is mainly because of the lack of constraints that are present in the other structure such as the bureaucratic structure.

Apart from similarities, these two organizational structures also have differences. First, the post-bureaucratic structure does not conform to any specific character while the matrix has characteristics of the divisional and the functional elements. This is because these are the two organizational structures that are brought together to form the matrix. Also, the matrix is easy to understand and apply since all that one needs is an understating of the divisional and the functional models or structures and then he or she applies these two in equal proportions to the organization. The post-bureaucratic is however different since it may end up having a touch of all the known organizational structures without a clear understating of what structure is more pronounced than the other.

The Possible Benefits Of An Effective Organizational Structure

There is nothing as beneficial to the business as an effective organizational structure (Hughes 2004, pp.67). The advantages of an effective organizational structure are quite many. To begin with, an effective organizational structure allows for faster decision-making. This simply means that if a business is supposed to invest, the decision to spend a certain sum of money in securing or buying the investment is not going to waste so much time till the investment is taken by another buyer. Also, an effective business structure or organization structure allows for healthy interactions and therefore eliminates conflicts from organizations. This is necessary if an organization is to achieve the maximum possible success.

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Glazers Lawn Solutions Structure

In the case of Glazers Lawn Solutions, the current structure seems to be bureaucratic. Ellen’s position has placed her in a position where the junior employees are not free enough to interact with her and Billy Murray who may be trying to undermine her by feeling that she got his job is not making things any easy for her. This has made the company ineffective.

Organizational Culture

Culture is how things are done. This applies to ordinary life as well as in business. The way a company conducts its business for example in hiring, firing, celebrations, purchases, and sales is its culture (Deal &Kennedy 1982, pp.99). Other aspects that tell more about the culture of an organization are the way power is shared, the way people interact, and the way people do their work. The most common cultures that may be witnessed in an organization include the power culture, the role culture, the task culture, the person culture, the process culture, and then the hard work culture (Black 2003, pp.78). The power culture refers to scenarios where power is concentrated in the hands of few people within the organization (Johnson 1988, pp.76-80). These are the people who make all the decisions and expect others to follow instructions without failure (Parker2000.p.19). The role culture puts more emphasis on the roles played by every member of the organization. There is clear delegation when it is necessary and the communication process is clear to allow for quick action in moments of emergency delegations of duty. In the task culture, organizations are formed to carry out certain special tasks. These organizations are known for their appetite for the formation of smaller tasks forces within the bigger organization. They usually die after the task is accomplished (Handy 1985, pp.112).

Apart from the above, there is the process culture that makes companies adopt long processes in the carrying out of tasks. This culture is slow and always bogs down any attempt to hasten production. Companies or organizations within this type of culture always end up making losses (Gummesson2002, pp.266). Then there is the personal culture that pays too much attention to individual members of the organization, a culture that makes the organization achieve less, and the work culture which makes the leaders avoid risks and instead engage in activities that they are sure will generate profits for the company or organization (Hofstede 1980, pp.76-77).

The Problem with Glazers Lawn Solutions

Glazers Lawn Solutions has a personal culture whereby Mark, the company owner seems to be putting more emphasis on Ellen as a person instead of trying to bring all the employees together for the wellbeing of the company. The other employees have noticed this and in the process, they are now pulling back. Other problems in the company include a lack of openness and the absence of a clear strategy for enhancing employee unity. All that Ellen can think of is having a drink.

How Structure Change may have affected Glazers Lawn Solutions’ culture

At the time of being purchased, Glazers Lawn Solutions was a failing family business. It became a sole proprietorship after Mark Lynch purchased it thus giving it the structure of the post-bureaucratic organization. This is what has made Ellen get the cold shoulder from her colleagues since they feel that she can do whatever she wants to do on her own since she seems to be wilding more power.

Management Approaches

Management approaches that are found in most organizations include humanistic approaches such as democratic which is characterized by freedom and dictatorship which is the opposite of democratic in that there is no freedom (Montana & Charnov 2008, pp.45-47). There is also scientific management as pioneered by Fredrick Taylor whereby scientific principles of merit and training are upheld (Kanigel 1999, pp.13-14) and (Hugh & Aitken 1985, pp.23-24). The systems approach on the other hand calls for the examination of the whole organization as a system to understand it (Hill & Jones 2001, pp.91). For example, understanding the Glazers Lawn Solutions can only happen if it is looked at as a system.

Recommendations on Reviving Glazers Lawn Solutions

Coming up with the appropriate corporate culture that encourages unity is the only way to make the company work. Ellen has the responsibility of coordinating this effort.

Conclusion

Organizational behavior includes organizational structure and organizational culture. A good structure speeds up decision-making and brings benefits. A good culture created good relationships in organizations and synergy. Management approaches theories are vital as they enable us to understand how organizations operate.

References

  1. Anderson, C. ,2007. The Long Tail. Random House Business Books.
  2. Black, Richard J. ,2003. Organizational Culture: Creating the Influence Needed for Strategic Success.London:Dissertation.com.
  3. Deal, T. E. & Kennedy, A. A., 1982. Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
  4. Gummesson, E.,2002. Total Marketing Control. New York: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  5. Handy, C.B.,1985. Understanding Organizations. (3rd ed.). Harmondsworth:Penguin Books.
  6. Harris, Stanley G. ,1994. “Organizational Culture and Individual Sense making: A Schema-Based Perspective.” Organization Science.5,(3): pp. 309-321.
  7. Hill, C & Jones, G., 2001. Strategic Management. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
  8. Hofstede, G., 1980. Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work Related Values. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.
  9. Hughes, Thomas P., 2004 American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm 1870-1970. (2nd ed.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  10. Hugh G. & Aitken, J., 1985. Scientific Management in Action: Taylorism at Watertown Arsenal, 1908-1915.New York: Princeton University Press.
  11. Johnson, G., 1988.”Rethinking Incrementalism”, Strategic Management Journal. (9) pp.75-91.
  12. Kanigel, R., 1999. The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency. New York: Penguin,
  13. Kogut, B., Urso,P., and Walker,G.,2007. Emergent Properties of a New Financial Market: American Venture Capital Syndication, 1960–2005. Management Science, (53) 7, pp.1181-1198.
  14. Montana, P., & Charnov, B. ,2008. Management (4th ed.). New York: Barrons Educational Series.
  15. Parker, M., 2000. Organizational Culture and Identity. London: Sage

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