How Does Specialization Affect Organizational Structures?

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Over the past 50 years, organizational structures have changed greatly. Many organizations have adapted from being rigid and centralized, to leveraging flexible and decentralized structures. These new structures have significantly affected employee/manager relationships through management in the absence of direct authority, more freedom through telecommuting and virtual teams, a larger priority on collaboration, and less dependence on coercive power from management. These changes have forced management to modify their organizational strategies as well. Many organizational strategies have adapted to place more emphasis on cross-functional teams, use of technology to help facilitate collaboration between employees in different geographical areas, and leverage significantly larger diverse populations for recruiting. While many firms used to employ work specialization to make the most efficient use of its employees’ skills and as a source of increase productivity, it has recently become an outdated model. Research has found that work specialization creates human diseconomies in the form of boredom, fatigue, stress, resulting in increased absenteeism which more than offsets the economic advantages. To improve employee/manager relationships, managers often increase the scope of job activities employees have (which has resulted in higher productivity). While high work specialization may help McDonald’s make and sell hamburgers efficiently, it has to be implemented strategically

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