Interdependent Workplace Systems
Interdependence in the workplace denotes a core conception in organizational design, nonetheless one that has been constantly understudied. Prevailing concepts of interdependence are based on seminal works, shaped at a time when management’s near-perfect comprehension of the work task at hand drives the organization’s design process. A comprehension of interdependent systems in the workplace allows organizational management to grasp how different divisions and independent systems rely on the performance of each other (Amini et al., pg. 171).
Pooled Interdependent System (Organizational departmental Interdependency)
The pooled interdependent system is the most open kind of interdependency. Even though each organizational unit completes responsibilities that are distinct from each other, they contribute to the major overall organizational objective (Gittell et al., pg. 497). If one organizational unit fails, the overall objective is not realized. While functioning independently, units still share the unstructured or loose responsibilities of realizing the overall objective. For instance, if organization management institutes a strategy of unrestricted time-off so long as no unit of the organization takes advantage of the policy strategy, it will not impair the organization’s competency in realizing the overall objective. In case some units become less productive as a result of the change initiative, the policy is reinforced by firmer plans to ensure success and maintain unit autonomy.
Sequential Interdependence (Production line System)
Sequential interdependent systems denote a situation in which each department of an organization must realize an objective or goal before another department can realize its objective (Amini et al., pg. 171). Skipping a part of the system results in the derailing of the entire organizational functioning. In the case of the change initiative, management must note that an impact on one department will likely impact subsequent departments. Thus the impact attributes of the change have to be taken into consideration to mitigate the sequential interdependency of production line interdependence.
Reciprocal Interdependent Systems
In reciprocal interdependent systems, organizational functioning is a two-way concept where both units of an organization rely on each other, making each unit highly responsible for realizing the overall objective (Gittell et al., pg. 498). It denotes a cyclical workflow functioning. To mitigate the negative impacts of this reciprocal interdependency during change, a policy designed to guide change has to be comprehensive enough to encompass the specific units that have a reciprocal relationship of functioning.
Amini, M. H., Boroojeni, K. G., Iyengar, S. S., Pardalos, P. M., Blaabjerg, F., & Madni, A. M. Sustainable Interdependent Networks II (2019). (pp. 167-191).
Gittell, Jody Hoffer, Rob Seidner, and Julian Wimbush. “A relational model of how high-performance work systems work.” Organization science 21.2 (2017): 490-506.