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Organizational structure, design and school administrators as group leaders


Organizational structure, design and school administrators as group leaders

comprehensive and detailed artcle on Organizational structure, design and school administrators as group leaders

Organizational structure and design

Organizing is seen as the process of structuring available human and non-human resources to accomplish organizational objectives. Organizing involves assigning tasks identified at the planning stage to individuals and groups within the organization for the accomplishment of predetermined objectives. Organizing which may also be called programing involves the operation – thus is components include;

Organizational structure, design and school administrators as group leaders - Image
Organizational structure, design and school administrators as group leaders – Image
  1. The job to be done
  2. The people to perform the job
  3. The tools to be used in doing the job

The organizing process results in the establishment of organizational structure which is the framework of jobs and departments that directs the behavior of individuals and groups towards achieving organizational objectives. Organizational structure provides an orderly arrangement of functions so that the organizations strategic planning.

The decision managers and administrators Mack firm the organizing function while organizational structure reflects these decisions outcomes. Here are identified 4 major forms of structural arrangements in organizations

They include;

  1.  Functional organizational arrangements; this is an arrangement in which employees are grouped together on the basis of the primary skills they use to do their jobs. This arrangement demands that employees involved in finance, administration, marketing, production etc. are grouped together.
  2. Institutions, especially at the tertiary levels, experts are grouped into the various departments and unit based on their specialties. It may however encourage narrow prospective in the functional groups and may also make coordination of independent activities difficult.
  3. Divisional organizational arrangements; this arrangement is common with manufacturing companies where each division is assigned the manufacturing of a particular brand of the product.

    The divisional arrangement could be seen in grouping educational services into zonal boards within a state in the case of geographical locations. The establishments of desperate divisions in the universities for undergraduates, post-graduate and continuing education students is a good example of divisional structural based on clientele needs.
  4. Lateral relations; this structure has been developed by organizations as a way of encouraging coordination among individuals and groups indifferent organizational units.
    • Dotted-line supervision which gives corporate staff officers some indirectly supervisory control over their colleagues in the division.
    • Liaison roles; a person performing this role coordinates the work of two unites that need to work together to successfully execute a task.
    • The temporary task force which is an ad hoc committee foamed to solve a short term problem involving different department of units.
    • Permanent teams formed to deal with recurring problems. Member share drawn from different departments or units to deliberate on such issues.
    • Matrix structured; this structure is resorted to when lateral relations are unable to achieve the high level of integration needed in some fast growing organizations.
  5. Line and staff structures: This is the most common structure adopted by big organizations. Line organizations emerge as a result of functional differentiation downward while functional differentiation downward and outward results in line and staff structure. The line executives are those who carry out the primary assignment of the organization that will lead directly to the realization of the goal of the organization.

    Such staff officers on the other hand consist of all other staff that assist the line executives by providing auxiliary service and expert advice staff officers in the educational institution include all the non-teaching or nonacademic staff.
Organizational structure, design and school administrators as group leaders - Photo
Organizational structure, design and school administrators as group leaders – Photo

Specialization of job; some organizations are structured for workers to do highly specialized jobs thus in such organizations like the school tend to group jobs according to homogenous or common functions.

School organizational structure

Schools as formal organizations have some type of organizational structure that help them implement short and long range plans for the accomplishment of educational objectives. Schools at all levels are organizations that are established with the specific aims of equipping  their clienteles with knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help them live quality lives and also contribute meaningfully to the development of their  immediate and global society.

To achieve the softy goals of education, the school organization must provide a system of selecting its leaders and role to be played by various people occupying various ranks within the organization. In the Nigerian education system for example, the federal ministry of education and is responsible for the formulation and execution of all null national policy matters.

Important factors in determining organizational structure

When designing an organizational structure, managers must consider the extent to which authority will distributed throughout the organization [delegation of authority]. Authority is the right to use discretion to make a decision by an employee of an organization. Formal authorities originates with the governing board of an organization, but identifying it rest with the society, with grants the organization the right to exist.

Successful delegation of authority requires identifying those duties that subordinates are to perform. These duties should be those that subordinates have the ability and interest to perform. Also delegating of authority involves more than the mere mechanics of subordinate.

An important aspect of the delegation process is establishing control to determine how well subrogates are coping with their authority responsibilities. Training and mentoring subordinates to assume authority and responsibility is also important in the delegation process.

The delegation of authority may be centralized or decentralize; centralization is the process of retaining authority in the hands of high-level managers, who make all the decisions. Decentralization on the other hand, who make all the decisions? Decentralization on the other hand, is the process in organization members he right to make me decision without obtaining approval from a higher authority. It also includes the authority to identify problems or issue and recommend solutions. This ultimately results in increased job satisfaction among employees.

Bureaucracy in school administration

Every organizational structure based on strict rational and logical laws of order is said to be exhibiting bureaucratic tendencies

Max weber, the foremost proponent of bureaucracy sees the pure bureaucratic organization as having a set of characteristics that contribute to a hypothetically rational, disciplined, precise stable, reliable and effective organization.

The school as a formal organization exhibits some bureaucratic tendencies. The bureaucratic model adopted to school administration is characterized by some key features of weber ideal bureau cry. Peretomode [1991] identify these characteristics as;

  1. Division of labor; tasks are divided among the various ranks as official duties to be carried out by the line and staff in the school system.
  2. Hierarchy of authority; in every school setting, positions of authority are hierarchically organized and clearly defended. Authority is delegated from the chief executive [school head] who is at the top of the pyramid in a typical school organizational chart to the subordinates.
  3. Rules and regulations; these are policy guidelines, rules and regulations formally established by the school authority as a way of controlling the behaviors of school staff and students and also guide administrators in taking and implementing decisions. In the school system.
  4. Impersonal orientation; school officials are expected to relate with their students and among themselves without any emotional attachment in carrying out their official and regulations.
  5. Career orientation; technical competence determined by degrees and certificates possessed by an employee determines employment or not into the school system
  6. Record keeping is one of the statutory functions of the school officials; school records are written statement about the activities and the resources in the school.

Job design in schools

Job design is a managerial duties concerned with determining exactly what must be performed to complete the work of the organization. Job design factors accords to Obi [2003] are aspects of an individual’s job which include;

  1. Job content which comprises of task variety, task autonomy, task significance, task difficulty and task identity.
  2. Job functions which are the requirements and methods required in each job. It includes job it includes job responsibility and authority, information flow
  3. The relationship involving the interpersonal components of the individual include; the extent of interaction with other individuals; friendship opportunities and team work requirements.
  4. Performance outcomes which involves a level of job performance which has to do with the criteria of job deign which are task accomplishment and feedback.

It should be noted that the information needed for job design is derived from job analysis, job descriptions and job specification.

Job Analysis;

This is the process of gathering, analyzing and synthesizing information about jobs for the purpose of developing job descriptions and jobs specification. It specifies the task that must be accomplished to complete a job and also determines the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the tasks [Ernest & young 1991].

Presently job analysis applies to all types of jobs including teaching. In school set up; an overview of the school organization and job; provides a working picture of the arrangement of departments and units. Data recollected on the characteristics of the job, the behaviors activities required by the job and the___14 employee skills needed to perform it.

Job descriptions and job;

Job description is written summary of job. It gives details of job activities. Equipment required to perform them and the jobs working conditions.

Job specification the other hand, provides a written explanation; skills, knowledge abilities and other characteristics needed to perform a job effectively.

School administrators as group leaders

The difference in working conditions, salary scales and allowances paid to academic and nonacademic staff of tertiary institutions is based on the differing job descriptions and specifications.

Groups are a common and necessary form of collective action. Much of the work of organizations is performed by groups because there is a power in groups because there is a power in group behavior that is unmatched by individual action.

A group is defined as two or more people who act together to accomplish a goal, it is a small social system consisting of persons who influence and are influenced by others. The members are psychologically aware of each other and see each other as part of the group. The group can shape the individuals beliefs about him or himself and his or her work attitude.

Categories of groups

There are two major categories of groups from an organizational perspective.

  1. Informal group; this type of group arises when two or more people engage in voluntary collective activity for a common purpose. It does not form part of the organizational structure thus making it unrecognized by the organizations. Examples of informal groups are;
    • friendship group; which is a collection of people with like-beliefs and values who get together for a common purpose which may just be fun.
    • Interest groups; an interest group is a collection of people addressing a specific subject.
    • Informal groups though not related to work organizations are found in all organizations. Informal group activities can serve to relieve the monotony of certain jobs by facilitating social interaction and encouraging cooperation. One type of informal group activity commonly observed is schmoozing.
  2. Formal groups; a group is formal if it is a formal set up in an organization. It is made up of two or more people who engage in organization required actions for a common purpose. They are permanent part of the organization. The requirements for membership in and a formal grouch are explicitly defined. Formal groups can take the following forms;
    • work group; a work group is made up of two or more people in a work organization who share a common purpose, which is usually the completion of a task.
    • Work team; work team is a special type of organizational work group that is self-managing.
    • Quality circles; this refers to a group of employees who meet to brain storm about how to improve quality and cost control in the work place. Hey are supplemental to work teams which are the core of organizational structure. In a university for instance, there is the curriculum and instructions committee whose major function is to examine and recommend academic programmers by faculties for senate approval

Stages of group development

Group development is the progression from a collection of people literally brought together for a common purpose to a well-functioning whose effectiveness has stood the test of time. The four stage process of group development to include;

  • Stage 1 – forming; This is the actual beginning of group, when members get to know one another and understand each other’s abilities and weakness. At this stage, the collection of people emerge as functioning unit with members temporarily accepting formation rules and orders  in an effort to initiate the group.
  • Stage 2 – Storming: Storming refers to the stage of group development when the group focuses on the handling of inherit conflicts and developing of solution that will keep and sustain them towards achieving their group objectives at this stage, members learn to accept individual differences as the beginnings of a collective ‘’group personality’’ emerge.
  • Stage 3 – Norming: This is a stage when the group charts out its long term vision of group purpose and how it will function overtime. The shared values are the unwritten beliefs and attitudes that are uniformly agreed upon and understood by group members as guide to their daily behavior within and outside the group.
  • Stage 4 – Performing: at this stage, the group is at performing level when it functions as a highly effective unit. Group members agree on how best to balance needs of the group and the organization and a redefine group roles as needed members skills are developed more at his stage while new members are recruited to fill any existing gap so as to ensure more effectiveness in the performance of the group work.

Characteristics of groups

A group is said to be he effective to the extent it fully utilizes the abilities of its members in attaining the goals of the group. The relationship between a member and the group as a type of exchange, the group provides the member gives time, energy, knowledge and ability whole the group provides the member with need satisfaction.

Members of a group that has successfully attained a specific goal are encouraged to know that goal attainment would not have been possible without their efforts thus giving them sense of achievement. The need for affiliation is met through the attachment to other people in the group.

Role making in groups

Group members in every work group are assigned roles to perform. A role is set of shared expectations regarding a member’s attitude and task behavior within the group. A group at its basic level have two roles. The role of a leader and role of a member. The number of roles will depend on the complexity of task group. The greater the complexity of a group’s task, the more the role to be performed by members.

Group member agreement about the role to be performed is referred to as the sent role while the recipients understanding of what the role means

Problems in role making

Common problems associated with role making include;

  • Role conflict; this arises as a result of any perceived incompatibility between the roles requirements and the individuals own belief or expectations.
  • Role ambiguity; this arises when the role occupant is not sure of the requirements of a particular role and how to fusil its requirement.
  • Role overload refers to a condition where a tasks demands surpasses the ability of the role occupant to perform the task satisfactorily.

The use of groups in education administration

The use of the group in facilitating management is more pronounced in higher education colleges and universities than in other levels of education. The committee’ which refers to a group of people officially delegated to perform a specific function has become a veritable instrumenting the hands of higher education administrators. The responsibility for decision making in the university is invented constitutionally on the council, senate, the academic board, the faculty board of the departments and institutes.

The committees in a typical university into 3 major categories. They are;

  1. Committee of council made up of
    • finance and general purpose committee
    • University tender board.
    • Vice chancellors tenor board
    • Capital works committee
  2. Joint committee of council/senate
    • staff discipline
    • Appointment and promotions committee [academic]
    • Appointment and promotions committee [administrative and technical] senior staff committee
    • Junior staff committee
    • Committee of honorary degree
  3. Senate committee
    • Senate business committee
    • Committee of deans
    • Admission committee
    • Curriculum and instruction committee
    • Assessment and graduate requirement committee
    • Research and development committee
    • Calendar and time table committee etc.

The reasons for the use of a committee system in higher education to include;

  1. Group deliberation and judgment
  2. Fear of too much authority in a single person
  3. Representation of interest groups
  4. Coordinating of departments, plans and politics
  5. Transmission and sharing information
  6. Motivation through participation

Its major disadvantage however, is that it causes delay which can lead to decisions being outside the stricture thereby cast’ doubts on the value of the committee methods generally.

Technique for effective management   

To ensure the effective utilization of the ability of group members to attain groups objectives thereby contributing to the organizations overall effectiveness, the school administrator should set up mechanisms that will ensure that;

  1. Group roles and expectations are understood by all groups members
  2. Group members have developed a good working relations
  3. Group members are attracted to the group and are loyal to leader.
  4. Members have a high degree of trust and confidence in one another
  5. Group activities such as decision-making and problem solving occur in a supportive atmosphere where member’s opinions are so and utilized in taking decisions that will affect them.
  6. The process for selecting a group leader is based on qualifications and qualities that the individuals possesses hat encourage a supportive and open atmosphere in the group.
  7. Group effective communication among members and the leader maintained.


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