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The Organizational Chart

The Organizational Chart

The organizational chart for an organization is a visual picture of each employee’s role and reporting line in the organization. It describes the administrative and functional structure of an organization (EDrawSoft, Inc., 2007). It also shows the reporting structure of the company, where line, staff, lateral, and functional reporting responsibilities exist as shown below.

   

Reporting   Structure of Company

Description

Line

a direct line reporting relationship between supervisor and subordinate

Lateral

a relationship between different departments or   divisions, and on the same hierarchical level of reporting

Staff

a reporting relationship between a manager’s assistant   or coordinator and other areas. The assistant will be able to offer advice to   a line manager from their manager. They interact with the line manager, but   they have no authority over the line manager’s actions

Functional

a reporting relationship between specialist, trainer,  or consulting positions. The specialist/trainer/consultant has some level of   control over a line manager but not much.

Adapted from “Understand Organizational Chart,” by EDrawSoft, Inc., Copyright 2007 by EDrawSoft, Inc. 

Human Resource management is usually responsible for helping employees understand where they fit into this chart within the organization as well as what their entire list of duties are. Most employees receive a list of duties and/or a job description when they first begin a new position,  but they often need to work with an HR executive to fully internalize and implement their variety of job responsibilities, as well as to understand the reporting structure.

Human Resources professionals must adjust employee functions and roles to fit the needs of their dynamically changing companies. Therefore,  it is often up to an HR manager to revise an organizational chart as a company changes.

There are three kinds of organizational charts: hierarchical, matrix, and flat. Please see the following examples of hierarchical organizational charts.

Please see the following matrix chart example.

     

Figure 1: Matrix organization   chart

 

1.
      IGO
      A

2.
      IGO
      B

3.
      INGO
      A

4.
      INGO
      B

5.
         
      Nat NGO A

6.       
      multinat.
      corp.

7.
      Govt   A

8.
      Govt   B

 

9.
      Founda
      tion   A

10
      Founda
      tion   B

Phase   1

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phase   2

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

Phase   3

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

X

X

Phase   4

 

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

X

 

Phase   5

X

 

 

X

 

X

X

 

 

X

From “Matrix Organization and Organizational Networks,” by Anthony Judge, 1971.  Creative Commons Attribution n.d. by Anthony Judge.

In this matrix organizational chart, an example project is divided into five phases and requires the participation of ten organizations. These organizations participate to a different degree at different phases.  At each phase,  coordination between the participating bodies must occur.  Phases may overlap one another or run parallel.  In a matrix organization, each phase has its own coordinating body which exists only for the duration of the phase. Several departments from each organization might be involved at different phases or locations or branches of the same company, causing the matrix to be much larger.

A matrix chart is particularly useful when there are branches of companies spread out over a multi-state area, when there are companies that are located in other countries,  or when companies are localized in one area for only one portion of the company production. A company that produces hair care products, for example, may house the shampoo division in Kentucky, the hair brush division in Ohio, the hair colors division in Tennessee, and the conditioner division in Virginia. The matrix diagram could be used to note production, or phases, in all plants, as it is easily visible at one glance.

“When we learn something from each other, we’re formed by the experience… we are authors of each other.”
  - Doc Searls.

Orientation

Orientation is the process or occasion for welcoming a new employee into an organization. It involves the sharing of information about safety, the work environment, the job description,  benefits and eligibility, company culture, company history, and anything else relevant to working within the company. 

Good preparation is key to successful orientations. Many people in HR see the value of blending individual and group orientation styles. A certain amount of orientations should be individualized, but the bulk of the orientation that deals with paperwork, training, insurance, facility layout, and handbook rules can be presented in time-saving group sessions. 

It is important to mention that every human resource professional will have to work with employees in different stages of entry shock. Entry shock is the overwhelming feeling that the work responsibilities are much greater than anticipated. This feeling usually occurs with new hires who come into the workforce for the first time, perhaps out of high school or college.

Internet Resources

The New Roles of the Human Resources Professional
  http://humanresources.about.com/od/hrbasicsfaq/a/hr_role.htm

HR Most Influential 2012
  http://www.hrmostinfluential.co.uk

 

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