Which organization model best describes your organization or an organization with which you are familiar?
A functional organizational model is used at my place of work. Since the company is quite small, a functional model suits the operations of the firm. In most cases, organizations that deal with one or a few lines of products prefer functional structures. It is also imperative to mention that a functional organizational model is never designed to encounter regular changes (Marshall, 2002). In other words, the model cannot work well in organizations that execute changes regularly.
It implies that a stable business environment can provide the best opportunity for exercising a functional model. A business portfolio that does not demand a frequent change of strategies can do well in the presence of a functional model. In the case of my organization, we only handle a single line of products. Therefore, strategy change is hardly witnessed. Although functional models used to be correlated with specialization some decades ago, this type of model has significantly transformed the efficiency of the delivery of goods and services to consumers. This model also values the aspect of high control framework bearing in mind that the dormant strategies may lead to poor performance due to lack of proper control.
Another common feature of a functional model is the presence of specialized units that are accountable to a common center of authority (Marshall, 2002). In other words, the top management is charged with the role of coordinating all activities of the organization. The specialized departments are referred to as the functional units. The personnel working in these units are skilled individuals who have been grouped according to similarities in their competence levels.
How does your organization currently share knowledge or involve employees in formulating solutions to problems?
My organization shares knowledge through collaboration and a close working relationship among different specialized units or departments. The flow of information between the different units has been made quite easy because of a collaborative working principle adopted by the organization. For example, common meetings are held every month by all the specialized units. Moreover, each unit is expected to present its progress to the general meetings so that other departmental members of the organization can understand the performance of the entire company.
Retreats, seminars, and workshops for capacity building and training are held jointly among the personnel with similar knowledge, skills, and competencies. This strategy has made it possible for employees to share information and knowledge since all the business functions are harmonized daily.
Second, my organization makes use of incentives so that employees can be encouraged to share knowledge and expertise. Employees who receive incentives regularly find it easy to share knowledge, even at a personal level. Incentives advanced to employees act as a significant source of motivation.
Our organization has also adopted an agile business strategy so that can compete favorably in the targeted market. The current business strategy has enabled employees to understand the corporate culture and business needs of the organization. The knowledge management capability of our organization has improved the competitive advantage of the firm. However, the lack of flexibility in our business model has hindered the implementation of changes in the organization. The agile business strategy can only be effective to a certain degree. To share information and ideas effectively, flexibility in operations should be a crucial factor to consider.
The process of making and enacting significant decisions are done in the presence of all employees. In other words, the decision-making process involves all the employees. When a decision is made jointly, it significantly facilitates the process of knowledge sharing. All the relevant information regarding the operations of our organization is known by all the top and lower-level employees. It has been an effective platform for sharing knowledge in our organization. If sensitive decisions are made by the top-level management, detailed communication is passed to the employees promptly (Komashie, Mousavi & Gore, 2007).
Centralization has been applied in the management of sensitive information within the company. This technique of knowledge sharing is restricted at the top level of management. As a result, it is quite defective in sharing knowledge with the rest of the employees. However, some of the collaborative tools, such as knowledge repositories, extranets, and intranets have been extremely effective in assisting employees to share knowledge within the organization.
The above techniques can indeed be modified or directly applied in a healthcare environment. For example, a collaborative workforce is a general technique that can be applied in any healthcare environment (Lombardi, Schermerhorn & Kramer, 2007).
Although a joint decision-making process is a suitable idea in knowledge sharing, it cannot work well under organizational models that are not functional. Hence, a healthcare environment can restrict itself to departmental decision making. Besides, an agile business strategy can be modified to fit the specific needs of departments that operate within a healthcare environment (Lombardi et al., 2007). Finally, technology use, such as collaborative workgroup, extranets, and intranets can boost the pace at which knowledge is shared among employees (Komashie et al., 2007).
Komashie, A., Mousavi, A., & Gore, J. (2007). Quality management in healthcare and industry. Journal of Management History, 13(4), 359-370.
Lombardi, D.L., Schermerhorn, J.R. & Kramer, B. (2007). Health Care Management. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Marshall, D. (2002). An organization for the world environment: Three models and analysis. Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, 15(1), 79-103.