Exam #2: Organizational Structure Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Exam #2: Organizational Structure Deck (34):

Formal Organizational Structure

-The emphasis is on organizational positions and formal power.
-Provides a framework for defining managerial authority, responsibility, and accountability


Informal Organizational Structure

-The focus is on the employees, their relationships, and the informal power that is inherent within those relationships.
-Has its own leaders and communication channel (grapevine)


True or False: Assigning tasks is part of the informal structure.

B. False

Rationale: The formal structure involves planning activities such as assigning tasks, whereas the informal structure is covert and less structured.


Bureaucracy as an Organizational Design

-There must be a clear division of labor.
-A well-defined hierarchy of authority must exist.
-There must be impersonal rules.
-There must be a system for dealing with work situations.
-There must be a system of rules for covering the rights and duties of each position.
-Selection for employment must be based on technical competence.


Unity of Command

-This concept is best described as one person/one boss in which employees have one manager to whom they report and to whom they are responsible.
-It is difficult to maintain in some large health-care organizations because the nature of health care requires a multidisciplinary approach.


Why can unity of command be difficult to maintain?

C. The multidisciplinary nature of
health care makes it difficult to maintain.

Rationale: Unity of command is a simple system,
but sometimes, overly simplified in a complex
field such as health care.


Span of Control

-Refers to the number of people directly reporting to any one manager and determines the number of interactions expected of him or her
-Too many people reporting to a single manager delays decision making, whereas too few results in an inefficient, top-heavy organization



-Where a position falls on an organization chart
-Degree of communication of a particular management position
-The middle manager often has a broader view of the organization.
-Decisions are made by a few managers at the top of the hierarchy


Levels of Management: Top-level managers

-Board of directors
-Chief executive officer


Level of Management: Middle-level managers

-Nursing supervisors
-Department heads


Levels of Management: First-level managers

-Team leaders
-Charge nurses
-Primary care nurses
-Case managers


Advantages of the organization chart

1. Maps lines of decision-making authority
2. Helps people understand their assignments and those of their coworkers
3. Reveals to managers and new personnel how they fit into the organization
4. Contributes to sound organizational structure
5. Shows formal lines of communication


Disadvantages of the Organization Chart

1. Does not show the informal structure of the organization
2. Does not indicate the degree of authority held by each line position
3. May show things as they are supposed to be or used to be rather than as they are
4. Possibility exists of confusing authority with status


Flattened Organization Structure

-Remove hierarchical layers by flattening the scalar chain and decentralizing the organization
-Continue to have line authority, but because the organizational structure is flattened, more authority and decision making can occur where the work is being carried out
-Despite being very flat, often retain many characteristics of a bureaucracy


Ad Hoc Design

-Modification of the bureaucratic structure
-Sometimes used temporarily to facilitate project completion within a formal line organization
-Overcomes the inflexibility of line structure
-Serves as a way for professionals to handle increasingly large amounts of information
-Uses a project team or task approach and is usually disbanded after a project is completed
-May result in decreased employee loyalty to the parent organization


True or False: Ad hoc design is incompatible with a formal line structure.

B. False
Rationale: Ad hoc design can be used temporarily to facilitate project completion within a formal line organization.


Matrix Organizations

-Designed to focus on both the product and the function
-Have a formal vertical and horizontal chain of command
-Have fewer formal rules and fewer levels of the hierarchy
-Can cause slow decision making due to information sharing
-Can produce confusion and frustration for workers because of dual-authority hierarchical design


Service Line Organizations

-Used in some large institutions to address the shortcomings that are endemic to traditional large bureaucratic organizations
-Sometimes called care-centered organizations
-Smaller in scale than large bureaucratic systems


Scalar Chain

The decision-making hierarchy, or pyramid, is often referred to as a scalar chain.


Centralized Decision Making

A few managers at the top of the hierarchy make most of the decisions.


Decentralized Decision Making

-Decision making is diffused throughout the organization, and problems are solved by the lowest practical managerial level.
-Usually, this means that problems can be solved at the level at which they occur.


A company that always direct problems to managers at the top of the hierarchy is using.
A. Centralized decision making
B. Decentralized decision making

A. Centralized decision making

Rationale: In centralized decision making, a few managers at the top make most of the decisions, whereas in a decentralized process, problems are often addressed at the level at which they occur.



-Those entities in an organization’s environment that play a role in the organization’s health and performance, or that are affected by the organization
-May be both internal and external
-Every organization should be viewed as being part of a greater community of stakeholders.



The moral responsibility that accompanies a position


Organizational Culture

-The values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization
-A sum total of values, language, past history of “sacred cows,” formal and informal communication networks, and the rituals of an organization
-Differs from organizational climate (how individuals perceive the organization)


Organizational Climate

-How employees perceive an organization.
-The perception may be accurate or inaccurate, and people in the same organization may have different perceptions about the same organization.


How employees perceive an organization is the

A. Organizational climate
B. Organizational culture
C. Organizational chart
D. Organizational structure

A. Organizational climate

Rationale: The climate is subjective, based on the perceptions of individual employees.


Shared Governance

-Nurses at every level play a role in the decisions that affect nursing activity throughout the system.
-Nurse-managers move out of traditional industrial model roles into collegial models, becoming moderators of the service process.
-Usually defined by a structure of rules or bylaws


Participatory Management

-Lays the foundation for shared governance, they are not the same.
-Participatory management implies that others are allowed to participate in decision making over which someone has control.
-Thus, the act of “allowing” participation identifies for the participant the real and final authority


Characteristics of Magnet Hospitals

-Well-qualified nurse executives in a decentralized environment, with organizational structures that emphasize open, participatory management
-Autonomous, self-managing, self-governing climates that allow nurses to fully practice their clinical expertise, flexible staffing, adequate staffing ratios, and clinical career opportunities
-A professional practice culture in all aspects of nursing care
-Compliance with standards in the ANA’s Scope and Standards for Nurse Administrators


The 14 Forces of Magnetism for Magnet Hospital Status

1. Quality of nursing leadership
2. Organizational structure
3. Management style
4. Personnel policies and programs
5. Professional models of care
6. Quality of care
7. Quality improvement
8. Consultation and resources
9. Autonomy
10. Community and the hospital
11. Nurses as teachers
12. Image of nursing
13. Interdisciplinary relationships
14. Professional development


Too many committees in an organization

is a sign of a poorly designed organizational structure.


To be productive committees should have:

-An appropriate number of members
-Prepared agendas
-Clearly outlined tasks
-Effective leadership


Organizational Effectiveness

-Structure clearly defined
-Build few management levels
-Unit staff need to see where their tasks fit
-Organizational structure enhances communication and decision making.
-Staff is organized to create a sense of community and belonging.
-Nursing services organized to develop future leaders