Military Organizational StructureOrganization involves a intentional formalized structure of roles. People working together towards a common goal, but in specialized areas. The overall effectiveness of any particular association is directly proportional to the functioning of its members. As a firm increases in size the participants lose sight of the concept of teamwork. To maintain the competitive edge a corporation must remain flexible.
To this end, varying styles of organizational structure have been implemented. Much of this framework is determined by the business type, goals to be achieved, and even the sociological level of advancement. Our armed forces today reflect this philosophy. Traditionally the military has used a rigid organizational structure. A well defined chain of command is used to delegate responsibilities, even to this day. Divisionalization structure was a common style to maintain a self-contained support and service center.Order now
As pointed out by Dessler, this style requires more managers with general management abilities (401). Most subordinate’s job is to follow instructions from the higher level (Adams 102). This behavior has been reinforced by a high level of discipline, required for battlefield operations. As technology has redefined combat operations, so has the organizational and management style changed. The military organization today is based upon a geographic departmentalization structure. A specific section is tasked to go into a special area first should the need arise.
This metamorphosis is a requirement due to the reduced number of personnel and the need for quick worldwide responsiveness. These numbers alone are not sufficient for adequate results in reaction to many needed operations. To make up for the lack of qualified people, the reserve forces are part of the new reactionary force. In any contingency worldwide these assets may be called up with short notice for global engagement. National Guard personnel serve under the command authority of their respective state or territorial governors until mobilized for a federal mission.
This unique status does involve some creative managerial solutions. As a National Guard member I have noticed a uncommon organizational structure utilized. In some ways my unit is organized as a network system. The network is comprised of formal and informal structures. Work has been divided among varies specialized shops centering around maintaining expertise in that one area.
Other aspects of the unit show a matrix structure to be present. The fact I have more than one supervisor, as in a project and functional manager illustrate (Wheelen and Hunger 231). This is manifested by the emphasis that work is important not the formal structure surrounding it (Nohria and Eccles 193). A result of multitasking requirements and a limited amount of resources available to non-federal units.
But overall, at least upon the surface a functional organizational structure is present. A boundaryless organizational design is an interesting concept. However not practical in the military work environment. In my shop alone there are individuals who need to know who is in charge, or they would be nonproductive.
A formal, functional structure, or at least be able to work within one must be maintained. Being accustomed to this style makes the transition of working with our active duty counterparts much easier. Yet our informal network based, matrix style organization is focused upon completing the mission with all our resources, not solely upon described duty roles. The military organizational structure has evolved greatly in the last two decades for the better.
And they will do better to incorporate successful National Guard techniques. Any established group that is planning to endure and succeed today must remain flexible. Works CitedAdams, J. L.
Conceptual Blockbusting. San Francisco,: W. H. Freeman Co.
, 1974Dessler, G. Management: Leading people and organizations in the 21st century. Upper Saddle River, N J: Prentice Hall, 1998Nohria, Nitin and Robert G. Eccles. Networks and Organizations: Structure, Form, and Action.
Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1992. Wheelen, Thomas L. and David J. Hunger. Strategic Management: and Business Policy. 6th ed.
New York: Addison-Wesley, 1998BibliographyWorks CitedAdams, J. L. Conceptual Blockbusting. San Francisco,: W. H.
Freeman Co. , 1974Dessler, G. Management: Leading people and organizations in the 21st century. Upper Saddle River, N J: Prentice Hall, 1998Nohria, Nitin and Robert G. Eccles. Networks and Organizations: Structure, Form, and Action.
Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1992. Wheelen, Thomas L. and David J. Hunger. Strategic Management: and Business Policy.
6th ed. New York: Addison-Wesley, 1998