W.L. Gore & Associates
Organizational structure: W.L. Gore & Associates
Organic Organization Structure: W.L. Gore & Associates
The aim of an organization design is to align organization’s structure with its mission. The six elements of organization design are:
Departmentalization – some jobs at W.L. Gore & Associates are grouped into units depending on the nature units and expected operational requirements (W.L. Gore & Associates, 2016). For example, finance department oversees the financial matters while human resource guides the operations of the employees. In addition, departmentalization is evident in international operations, where some leaders are tasked with leading their identified areas (Cummings and Worley, 2014).
Specialization – it refers to the manner in which work is divided into discrete jobs. At WL Gore & Associates, specialization is an important component because of the nature of the productions and activities involved (Crossan and Apaydin, 2010). For example, in the manufacturing sector, specialists based on the technological requirements exist while in the operational areas such as human resource and finance departments, these individuals guide the managing and organizing requirements of the company (Hubka and Eder, 2012).
Chain of command – the chain of command defines the authorization process within an organization. At W.L. Gore & Associates, there no managers but leaders who guide the operations of the organization (W.L. Gore & Associates, 2016). The individuals at W.L. Gore & Associates refer to each other as Associates but looking from a wider perspective; there are leaders of different units, and the lower employees have to communicate upwards and sometimes make independent decisions.
Centralization/decentralization – decentralization is employed at W.L. Gore & Associates because the associates are allowed to make decisions and contribute to the development of an organization. The employees receive only goals and objectives that have to be maintained or met, and allowed to utilize their skills to achieve the identified goals (Cummings and Worley, 2014).
The span of control – the span of control defines the number of employees reporting to an individual manager. At W.L. Gore & Associates, the reporting structure is broad because many employees report to a single leader (W.L. Gore & Associates, 2016). Delegation is an important component at W.L. Gore & Associates since thousands of employees are employed but there are view leaders to control the employees (Jones, 2010).
Formalization – is the extent in which rules or established procedures guides employee behavior. At W.L. Gore & Associates, very few formalization exists because the employees are allowed to make their different decisions provide the culture of the organization and goals are achieved (Crossan and Apaydin, 2010). However, the processes should adhere with legislative and frameworks that guide business operations.
W.L. Gore & Associates employs an organic organization structure because of decentralization, low levels of specialization and flatness in interactions and communication processes. W.L. Gore & Associates employs a flexible and adaptable approach to accomplishing organization strategic goals and objectives.
W.L. Gore & Associates does not have a specific organizational design because of the organic nature of the operations. However, certain operational duties and business needs illustrate a fuzzy organizational structure (Crossan and Apaydin, 2010). Apart from the operations in United States of America, the company has branches in Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Taiwan, China, Brazil, and Italy among other countries (W.L. Gore & Associates, 2016). It means leaders have to be positioned at these locations to guide the local processes, and required to report to the head office in the USA. The following is a proposed organizational chart for W.L. Gore & Associates:
Board of Directors
International Branches (Brazil, Italy, China, Taiwan and other international branches)
Human Resource Department
Appropriateness of the Organic Organizational Structure
The organic structure is appropriate for W.L. Gore & Associates because of the mission and vision of the company (W.L. Gore & Associates, 2016). W.L. Gore & Associates operates in a dynamic industry that requires continuous development in which innovation and creativity are important (Galbraith, 2011). Through the organic structure, it is possible for the different employees to contribute to product development and decision making processes (Rummler and Brache, 2012). Hence, the organic structure is appropriate for W.L. Gore & Associates in accomplishing its strategic requirements and objectives.
The following are some of the recommendations:
Creates products and processes that reflects the sustainability requirements, and the employees should integrate the benefits of sustainable measures (Crossan and Apaydin, 2010)
Analyze and explore appropriateness of developing countries such as in Africa and create an organizational structure that integrates the diverse requirements of this market
Seek and utilize resources appropriately: the resources can be human resource or technological resources to advance the mission and vision of the organization
Crossan, M.M. and Apaydin, M., 2010. A multi‐dimensional framework of organizational innovation: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Management Studies, 47(6), pp.1154-1191.
Cummings, T.G. and Worley, C.G., 2014. Organization development and change. Cengage learning.
Galbraith, J.R., 2011. Designing the customer-centric organization: A guide to strategy, structure, and process. John Wiley & Sons.
Hubka, V. and Eder, W.E., 2012. Design science: introduction to the needs, scope and organization of engineering design knowledge. Springer Science & Business Media.
Jones, G.R., 2010. Organizational theory, design, and change. Upper Saddle River: Pearson.
Rummler, G.A. and Brache, A.P., 2012. Improving performance: How to manage the white space on the organization chart. John Wiley & Sons.
W.L. Gore & Associates. (2016). Homepage. Retrieved from https://www.gore.com/