ORGANIZATIONAL CHART: MEANING, CONTENTS, ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

One essential function of management is organizing.

Organizing is the systematic process of identifying tasks to be done and assigning them to various people within the organisation in such a way that they contribute to the attainment of organisational goals.

It is the arranging of activities in the enterprise in such a way that they can systematically contribute to the attainment of organizational goals.

It is the systematic arrangement of operations in the firm so that they can contribute to the achievement of organizational goals.

It can also be defined as the systematic process of grouping organizational actions and resources.

Organisation refers to the people whose specialized tasks are coordinated to contribute to organisational goals.

Organization can also refer to the way and manner in which a business is organized and arranged.

The most common way of representing an organisation is with an organizational chart. 

An organisational chart shows the organisational structure, the title of each manager's position, who reports to whom and who is in charge of which departments.

A line organizational chart
An organizational chart

It is merely a graphic representation or blueprint of all the work units and jobs in an organization and how they are structurally related.

An organisational chart is sometimes referred to as an organigram or an organogram, hierarchy chart

According to J Batty, "An organizational chart is a diagrammatical representation of the framework or structure of an organization".

To quote Louis Allen "The organisation chart is a graphic means of showing organisation data. Organisation charts are snap-shots; they show only the formal organisation and depict it for only a given moment in time."

An organizational chart shows the relationship between various levels of management in the organization.

Contents of an organizational chart

A typical Organisational chart has the following contents:

1. The division of work, that is,  the sub-division of the organization's workload.

2. The management levels, i.e. the entire management hierarchy

3. The authority and responsibility relationship in the organisation.

4. How one department relates to another 

5. Mode of communication and flow of reports in the organization.

6. Relationship between line and staff officers

7. Numbers of persons and positions in the organization

An organizational chart also shows the chain of command, which is the path a directive should take in moving from top-level management to lower-level management.

A chain of command is sometimes called a scalar chain or line of authority.

One thing that the organisational chart does not show is the informal organization, or the informal interpersonal and social relationships that exist in the organization.

So, in effect, the organizational chart shows only formal organization, which is the formal arrangement of individuals and departments that are primarily designed to meet organizational objectives.

Advantages or benefits of an organizational chart

1. Information centre for visitors and new employees: Organizational chart allows visitors and new employees to visualize the relationship among various people in the organisation.

It acts as a reliable source of information for new entrants to the organisation.

2. Solve problems: It aids in problem-solving because the organisational chart provides a starting point for planning organisational changes and evaluating the organization's strengths and weaknesses.

3. Improves communication: It enhances communication by depicting the means through which information will be passed from one level to another and from one department to another within the organization.

It tells each organizational member who they should contact whenever they have a problem.

4. Personnel Classification: An organizational chart can be used to classify employees.

It provides a framework for categorizing employees based on hierarchy, functions, or product.

5. Ensures unity of command: One of the fourteen principles of management is the unity of command, which means that subordinates should only receive orders from one superior.

Since the organizational chart shows the authority and responsibility relationship in the organization, it can help rectify dual command in the organization.

6. Reduce organizational conflicts: The presence of an organizational chart greatly reduced issues such as who should I report to, who should I contact if I have a problem, and who should report to me.

7. Reduces duplication of function: Organizational charts help reduce overlapping and duplication of functions in the organization by clearly depicting the flow of authority and responsibility

Limitations or drawbacks of organizational charts

1. Can confuse: Organizational charts can create misleading effects and chaos in the organization, especially if they are poorly prepared.

Furthermore, It could create misleading effects if relevant changes in the organisation are not instantly incorporated into the organization chart.

2. Creates a negative environment: It may cause resentment among people who are overly sensitive to their status and position.

It may create a sense of superiority and inferiority within the organization, which can adversely affect cooperation and team spirit.

3. Informal organization is ignored: Organisational chart fails to account or indicate the informal relationships in the organisation.

It does not consider the human and social interactions that might exist in the organization. This is why it is often said that organisational charts are impersonal.

4. Cost: The cost of preparations may outweigh the benefits 

5. May become outdated: Organizational charts can quickly become outdated, especially if the organization's staff changes frequently or if there is a high level of employee turnover.

6. Do not reflect management style: There are three management styles: Autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire.

Organizational charts provide little or no information regarding the management style used to run a company.

Simply said, they do not specify whether an organization's management style is democratic, laissez-faire or autocratic.

7. It is static: Organizational chart only shows the static state of affairs in the organization.

It does not show any flexibilities that may exist in the organization.

Indeed, it has been claimed that organizational charts cause rigidity in the organization

8. Not a guarantee for organizational success: Creating an organizational chart is neither a guarantee of organizational success nor is it a guarantee of an effective management style

9. No distinction between line and staff officers: Although the organisational chart shows the authority relationship in the organisation, it does not exactly distinguish between line officers and staff officers in the organization.

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