Assess an Organizations Structure

Assessan Organizations Structure


Assessmentof Organization Structure

An organizationchart is a framework that a company utilizes to distinguish themanner through which information flows through it, roles andresponsibilities and authority. The structure should be appropriatefor the company and allows it to react and adapt to various changesin both the external and internal environment (Argyres, &amp Zenger,2013).

In my assignment, Iassess the organizational structure of Starbucks Coffee Company.Starbucks Coffee was started in 1971 in Seattle Washington, and itnow has a global reach. It offers coffee drinks, dark roasted coffeebeans, and coffee making equipment.

Organic structure is better with a scale rate of 7. This structure isbetter for organizations that encounter dynamic environments and needto adapt to change fast (Dust, Resick, &amp Mawritz, 2014).Communication is lateral, and decision making is decentralized. Itenables companies to redefine tasks allowing employees to manageseveral tasks and help each other. The mechanistic structure hasnarrow information networks as it flows vertically. Decision makingis centralized with a long chain of command making decision-making totake long. Starbucks organizational structure is mechanistic ratherthan organic. A mechanistic structure is built on a formal andcentralized network. Starbucks company hierarchy depicts eight levelsof workers and their authorities. The lowest level of power is theBaristas who serve coffee. The hierarchy the rises to clerksupervisors, shift supervisors, store managers, regional managers,upper management, the board of directors and at the top is the CEOHoward Schultz. The hierarchy system is a characteristic of amechanistic structure.

Flexible task roles are much better by a scale rate of 8. Theemployees get to perform multiple tasks more than what is required ofthem and get a better knowledge of how the company operates. They canalso fill in on their colleagues when they are not available.Starbucks employees have their roles predefined, and each of themknows what is expected of them. Their roles are rigid as one cannotdo duties not assigned to them and they have to follow their givenjob patterns. For example, in a retail store, the baristas servecoffee to clients, and they can’t supervise shifts or balanceaccount records as those are positions of shift supervisors andaccounts respectively.

The multidirectional flow of information allows employees tocommunicate with ease and without fear of authority. It also lowersthe time taken in following the chain of command when it comes toproblem-solving. It’s better than a vertical chain, and I can scaleit at 9. Starbucks communication flow is vertical rather thanmultidirectional. Each employee is answerable to the person on top ofthem in the hierarchy. The system shows a vertical type ofinformation flow.

Centralized management is better when making strategic decisions withchances of high risks. It brings uniformity in what occurs in anorganization and how the happen. I rate it at 8. The management iscentralized i.e. the decision-making authority is in the hands of thecentral management, and the lower management isn’t involved indecision making. Starbucks being a franchise the top level managementdecides all decisions including advertising, procedures for coffeemaking and training. Finally, it’s open regarding sensitivity tothe environment. The company strives to satisfy its clients throughtrying to improve customers’ experience. It embraces technologicalchanges and it’s also going green to achieve environmentalsustainability.

My response was notsurprising because Starbucks is a global brand and as a franchise, itis expected to have a certain level of organizational structure thatis mechanistic. The decision-making authority in most bigorganizations is centralized with the vertical mode of communication,and this is expected in Starbucks. I think that an integration oforganic and mechanistic structures will provide a better businessenvironment for Starbucks. Organic structures help improve qualityand offer long-term sustainability (Brown, 2014). Decentralization,for example, will involve baristas regarding decision making as theyinteract with customers on daily basis and know what the customerswant. They can the help in customizing the needs of the clients.Mechanistic structures have a long chain of command, and this mightaffect the urgency of solving some problems such as the purchase ofequipment in the retail store. If the structure can be streamlined toenable addressing urgent matters at appropriate times, it will bemuch better.

Management of Conflicts in the Workplace

Workplace conflicts occur in every organization, and this shows thatthere is a healthy exchange of ideas to some extent. However, the waythe conflicts are managed can result in litigation based on claimswork related stress, reduced productivity, increased employeeturnover or better work relations if handled well (Ramsbotham, Mail,&amp Woodhouse, 2011).

According to thevideo, the conflict involved court clerk clients regarding working onthe weekends. One of the court clerks who lived by 35 miles away fromthe city experienced trouble working through the weekend. During theweek she hiked her neighbor’s car to the town since she had no carto drive herself to work. During the weekend she had to spend two anda quarter hours traveling through three cities to go and work forthree hours and then spent the same amount of time going back home.She decided to inform her supervisor about her concern, not in anaggressive way that she couldn’t do it. The information was passedon to another supervisor and up the chain of command. By the time itreached the boss, the word “couldn’t” had changed to“wouldn’t”.

The manager sawthis as a declaration of war and battle lines were drawn. The courtclerks stormed a televised council meeting and attacked the chiefjudge of the city. The clerks who had committed their time to workduring the weekends saw that if the lady doesn`t make it, then theyshould follow suit. The mere misinterpretation of couldn’t towouldn’t cause the problem look much bigger, and this escalated theconflict. The battle went on for five and a half months before it wasresolved.

In resolving theconflict, various strategies can be implemented. First of all, theconflict was an internal affair that involved a junior and the bossthrough word misinterpretation. To avoid the bosses feelingintimidated or the clerks fearing retribution, a conflict resolutionspecialist from an external institution should have been brought toresolve the dispute. Also, an email or a letter addressed to the bossshould have been made directly through the supervisors to avoidmisinterpretation of the subject. The boss should have summoned thecourt clerk and questioned her about her concerns rather than hearingit from the monitors. The manager reacted directly to the problemrather than trying to understand the clerk`s issue objectively.Finally, clear communication should be implemented to avoid furthermisunderstandings. If the supervisor could have communicated theproblem apparently, the boss maybe would understand, and the courtclerks wouldn’t form the “riot”.


Argyres, N., &amp Zenger, T. R. (2013). 12. Dynamics oforganizational structure. Handbook of Economic Organization: TheIntegrating Economic and Organization Theory, 210.

Brown, A. (2014). Organizational Paradigms and sustainability inexcellence: from mechanistic approaches to learning and innovation.International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 6(2/3),181-190.

Dust, S. B., Resick, C. J., &amp Mawritz, M. B. (2014).Transformational leadership, psychological empowerment, and the roleof mechanistic–organic contexts. Journal of OrganizationalBehavior, 35(3), 413-433.

Dr. Frank Hanna and Nancy Peterson. (2010, March 03). WorkplaceConflict… A True Story. Retrieved from

Ramsbotham, O., Miall, H., &amp Woodhouse, T. (2011). Contemporaryconflict resolution. Polity.