Fundamentals of Departmentation

Fundamentals of Departmentation

While establishing a departmentalized organization, the following guidelines should b kept in mind.

Specialization: the total effort required to be undertaken by the enterprise should be so divided into functions and sub functions that is lead to specialization among employees. To benefit from specialization in a manufacturing organization, for example, the production of a commodity may be divided into a number of separate processes, each of which may be performed by a different man. Similarly, grouping of the activities on a functional basis production, marketing, finance, personnel will enable the persons engaged in each unit to specialize in the respective jobs.

Control: Departmentation leads to distribution of the total work over a number of work centres. Since the basic purpose of such distribution is to enable the enterprises to accomplish its objectives effectively, they must be a suitable mechanism for coordination of activities undertaken in different departments. Then alone, maximum efficiency can be achieved at the minimum of costs. To this end, a common authority needs to be established so that reports of functioning at each level regularly sent to it to enable it to detect deviations from the predetermined targets, and order suitable corrective action in time.

Cost benefit analysis: whatever be the method of Departmentation followed by an enterprise, it should not result in excessive expenditure on capital items such as buildings, further, machines etc. also, it should not lead to an undue increase in the wage bill.

Groundwork: before describing on any scheme of the Departmentation, sufficient home work should be done to ascertain what is to be the structure of authority responsibility in it, and to what extent the top management is willing to decentralize the functioning of the enterprise. Also, it requires that the various administrative units be given intensive training for taking on the wider and more important responsibilities.

Span of the management: Span of the management refers to the number of subordinates who can be managed effectively by a agree superior. The number of subordinates who report to the superior has two important implications. First it is influential in determining the complexity of individual manager's jobs. Second, the Span of the management determines the shape or configuration of the organization, the fewer the number of people reporting to superior, the largest the number of managers are required.

Determination of Span of the management: no doubt, management thinkers agree that Span of the management principal holds true but they not agree about the number of subordinates that can be put under one superior. The classical approach to the Span of the management has dealt with generalization embodying specific number of subordinates for effective span. The classical writers have suggested between 3 to 8 subordinates as ideal depending on the levels of the management with lower the level of the management higher the number of subordinates. Graicunas, a French management consultant, has suggested the fixation of the number of subordinates based on mathematical calculation. He has analyzed that the superior subordinate relationship and developed mathematical formulae. Graicunas has identified three types of superior subordinate relationships: direct single relationships, direct group relationships and cross relationships.

Direct single relationships: Direct single relationships arise from the direct individual contacts of the superior with his subordinates. Thus if there are three subordinates A, B, C under one superior X mere will be three direct single relationships.

Direct group relationships: Direct group relationships arise between the superior and his subordinates in all possible combinations. Thus, the superior may consult his subordinates with one or more providing assistance. With three subordinates, there will be nine such relationships like A with B, A with C, and so on with the superior associated with the all groups.

Cross relationships: Cross relationships arise because of mutual interaction of subordinates working under the common superior such as A and B, and C, B and A, and so on. The relationship is quite different between A and B then B and A from management point of view because the type of interaction will be different in both the cases. There are six such relationships with three relationships. 

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