Definition, Advantages, Limitations and Criteria/Rules for Drawing of Organization Chart


Definition, Advantages, Limitations and Criteria/Rules for Drawing of Organization Chart

Definition of Organization Chart

When the structure of an organization is shown in a diagrammatic form, it is known as an organization chart. Remember that what we have said concerning the structure of an organization. It consists of levels and position which indicate the main activities that are being performed in order to attain the objectives of an organization.

The organizational charts indicate the formal organizational relationships among executives. The chart also clarifies who supervises as well as the main lines of communications. The flow of authority and responsibilities are shown in the chart. You can see the importance of good organization chart. You can then see the need why an organization should have a good organization chart. But a chart cannot possibly supply all the detailed information required to have a clear understanding of an organization. This is why another document called organization manual is prepared alongside the organization char, where the chart stops in the prevision of information concerning an organization.

The manual takes over. Such information include: organization history, the culture of an organization, careful description of jobs among other relevant information.


 Advantages of a chart

It helps executives to appreciate them by providing clear pictures with regard to job position and duties and how they fit into the organization as a whole.

It helps to avoid overlapping authority by providing clear visual and detailed picture of lines of authority and responsibilities. Together with manuals, they help to foster unity of command.

It affords managers to think of ways of improving the organizations when marking new editions of charts. This is because they must analyze the activities necessary to accomplish objectives. Only the essential ones are included in the chart, and resources deployed accordingly.

A chart provides source of authoritative information. It facilitates management developing and training.

Limitations for Organization Chart

Organization Charts and manuals do not guarantee good management. Managers still need to apply their skills in the process of management.

In practice there are frequent changes which are unavoidable. It is difficult to revise the chart each time these changes occur, thereby making the chart out of death.

It is difficult to include in the chart everything that is going on in the organization. The chart only shows a static picture. Also a chart only provides formal relationships. The informal ones are excluded.

Human beings are generally sensitive to their relative positions and status in the chart. Hard feelings and resentments may be caused by showing their positions and status to the outsiders.

Each individual often attempts to stick to areas charted for him, defends his own jurisdiction and avoid.

There is high cost of preparing, and circulating charts which may be higher than the benefits.

Criteria for Drawing a Chart

There are standard criteria which are necessary for proper drawing of a chart so as to carry to the reader the actual information that is intended. These criteria are sometimes called rules for drawing a chart and they include the following:

1. Title

There should be a title for every position in the chart. This is necessary so that one position will be distinguished from the others. Care should be taken so that titles are not repeated. That is why before a position is created, careful consideration as to what the title should be would have been thrashed out.

2. Position

There should be positions which must be clearly indicated. Positions of the same status that is, of the same line must occupy the same horizontal line. For example, the functional managers which we have earlier identified to be production manager, personnel manager, finance manager and the marketing manager must occupy the same horizontal line. Any one of the positions dropping below means that the position is inferior to the others. Note that authority resides in the position. That is why we always stress that each position with responsibility must attract commensurate authority. This is necessary. We will further discuss in detail and the exercise of authority in our next course in management, which is the principles and practice of management.

3. Heads

At the introduction stage in our discussion of the management function of organizing, we noted that the assignments must be given to individuals and groups having identified and tied together the basic activities necessary to achieve organizational objectives. That is why there are groups of personnel such as personnel department, production department, marketing department and finance department all performing specific duties relating to their departments. Each of these departments must have a head commonly referred to as head of department. All the other personnel in the department are answerable to the head of department, who carries out the management functions.

4. Lines of Communication

These lines are provided indication to the flow of communication in the organization. You have to note that the flow of communication vertical, that is four the superior officer drawn to the subordinates, from the subordinates to the superior officer. It can be horizontal, that is, managers for example communicating with one another. Communication can still be diagonal. This is seen when an employee communicates with another employee through his head of department to another employee in the organization.

5. Lines of Authority

Line of authority is another criteria or rule to be observed in the process of drawing up a chart. Authority, you may recall flows from the top to the bottom and never from bottom to top. You must also remember that each position is a position of authority. That is why such authority is called position authority or legitimate authority. It is the authority that the person occupying the position uses to influence the behaviors of those working under him.

6. Relationships

Important relationships should be clearly indicated in the organization. A part from the line relationship or line authority which we have just discussed, staff relationship, that is, those who offer advisory services should be clearly indicated in the chart.

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