All organizations have a structure. Sometimes that structure is shown on an organization chart; other times the structure is unclear on the first inspection. Regardless of the presumed structure, there are two major points to keep in mind. First, there is no magic in any given structure. The second major point is that a structure is similar to a road map. It gives an observer an idea about relationships and distance, but it does not provide an in-depth understanding of power, personalities, or functions.
Values of Organizational Structure
Any healthcare organization has at least two structures: one is written on a piece of paper and is an artistic representation of what people believe happens, and the second is a nonwritten structure that actually represents the authority and responsibility centers of the organization.
Further, despite what any chart states, a significant component group of those responsible, not only for the well-being of the organization’s constituents but also for the well-being of the organization. In sum, organizational structure has special value to any organization.
However, the structure is not static; it is clearly one of many important tools a manager can utilize in the quest for desired outcomes. Managers are usually taught not to build their structure around people. People should be viewed as interchangeable, some argue. People are not interchangeable, however, particularly those valuable people who, for whatever reason, act as catalysts for the development and maintenance of an effective organization. Indeed, to satisfy these people, it is sometimes imperative that an organization be restructured to recognize their particular talents.
Staffing is perhaps the most critical function for which management is responsible. Through the type and quality of staff recruited, management can exert its greatest influence on the organization. Staffing includes several distinct phases:
The identification of an organization’s short-term and long-term manpower needs.
The definition of the jobs that are likely to be required.
The development of specifications for persons who will be suitable for those positions.
The recruitment of staff.
The development of staff.
The evaluation of staff.