Glossary BA: Organisation

 

Key Term

Definition

organisation

The structure of resources and activities to accomplish objectives in an efficient and effective manner.

organisational structure

A framework that prescribes how a business organises, arranges, and groups the work that needs to be done.

process organisation

A framework that prescribes how a business organises, arranges, and groups the processes that need to be done.

task

The most basic unit of work.

job

A combination of one or several task to be performed by one worker.

division

Another word for department.

specialisation

The division of labour into small, specific tasks and the assignment of single tasks to employees.

departmentalisation

The grouping of jobs into working units that are usually called departments, units, groups, or divisions.

functional departmentalisation

The grouping of jobs according to business function.

product departmentalisation

The grouping of jobs around the firm's products.

geographical departmentalisation

The grouping of jobs by geographic location.

customer departmentalisation

The grouping of jobs around the needs of various types of customers.

group

Two or more individuals who communicate with one another, share a common identity, and have a common goal.

team

mall group whose members have complementary skills, a common purpose, goals, and approach, and hold themselves mutually accountable.

committee

Permanent formal group that performs a specific task.

task force

Temporary group of employees responsible for bringing about a particular change.

project teams

Groups similar to task forces which normally run their operation and have total control over a specific work project.

product-development team

Special type of project team formed to devise, design, and implement a new product.

quality-assurance team

Small groups of workers brought together from throughout the organisation to solve specific quality, productivity, or service problems.

quality circle

Small groups of workers brought together from throughout the organisation to solve specific quality, productivity, or service problems.

self-directed work team

A group of employees who supervise their own work and are given broad discretion over the direction of their work.

delegation of authority

Giving employees not only tasks but also the power to make commitments, use resources, and take whatever actions are necessary to carry out those tasks.

responsibility

The employee's obligation through delegation to carry out assigned tasks satisfactorily and be held accountable for the proper execution of work.

accountability

The principle that employees who accept an assignment and the authority to carry it out are answerable to a superior for the outcome.

centralisation

Getting to a structure in which authority is concentrated at the top and very little decision-making authority is delegated to lower levels.

decentralisation

Getting to an organisation structure in which decision-making authority is delegated to lower-level managers more familiar with local conditions than headquarters' management could be.

span of control

The number of employees who report to a given manager.

flat organisation

An organisational structure with only a few layers.

tall organisation

An organisational structure with many layers.

delayering

The flattening of an organisation structure by removing layers of management and administration.

organisational chart

A visual display of the organisational structure, lines of authority (chain of command), staff relationships, permanent committee arrangements, and lines of communication.

line structure

The simplest organisational structure in which direct lines of authority extend from the top manager to the lowest level of the organisation.

multiline structure

A structure that has several experts in different fields above all the subordinates. Each expert is allowed to give orders regarding his field.

line-and-staff structure

A structure that has a traditional line relationship between superiors and subordinates, and specialised managers — called staff managers — are available to assist line managers.

line units

The areas of a business that are directly involved in making or adding value to a product.

staff units

The areas of a business that support what the line areas are doing.

multidivisional structure

A structure that organises departments into larger groups called divisions.

matrix structure

A structure that sets up teams from different departments, creating two or more intersecting lines of authority.

team structure

An organisational structure in which groups of employees from different departments work together on a semipermanent basis.

communication

The transfer of information from the sender to the receiver of the message.

formal communication

Formal channels of communication are intentionally defined and designed by the organisation.

informal communication

Informal channels of communication are not intentionally defined and designed by the organisation, but consist of talks between friends or other social relationships.

grapevine

An informal channel of communication, separate from management's formal, official communication channels.

bureaucracy

An organisation with many layers of managers who set rules and regulations and oversee all decisions.