Managers' Roles, Corporate Culture, and Organizational Structures

Hello! Welcome to my Café where pages 213-224 of chapter 7 will be covered. Below, the topics of manager’s roles, corporate culture, and organizational structures will be discussed and explored. You will find information in the form of bullet points and graphics. Definitions will be listed and bolded, and important information for each sub-section will be outlined.


Managers as Decision Makers

Managers must make important, informed decisions on a daily basis. With that, comes two types of decision-making strategies.

- First, what is decision making?

Decision Making: the process of recognizing a problem or opportunity, evaluating alternative solutions, selecting and implementing an alternative, and assessing the results.

- From there, managers are then able to make a decision that is either programmed or nonprogrammed.

Programmed and Nonprogrammed Decisions

  1. A programmed decision involves simple, common, and frequently occurring problems for which solutions have already been determined.
  2. A nonprogrammed decision involves a complex and unique problem opportunity with important consequences for the organization.

-Characteristics of programmed decisions vs. characteristics of nonprogrammed decisions.

~Table Explained:

  • Programmed decisions are ones that have previously been implemented, making it so managers and companies don’t have to create new decisions each and every time a situations occurs.
  • Nonprogrammed decisions involve research, developing, marketing, and eventual launching of a product, thus making it a time consuming and expensive process.

How Managers Make Decisions

- The decision-making process for managers:

  1. Recognize a problem or opportunity
  2. Develop possible courses of action
  3. Evaluate the alternatives
  4. Select and implement one of them
  5. Assess the outcome

Managers as Leaders

Leadership Styles

- Managers must be able to be leaders in the workplace and have traits that balance out one another.

Leadership is the ability to direct and inspire people to attain certain goals.

-Said traits include (to name a few):

  1. Empathy
  2. Self-awareness
  3. Subjectivity
  4. Commitment
  5. Innovation
  6. Flexibility

- With leadership comes power; this power is shown through different sources of the leader’s...

  • Position in the company
  • Expertise and experience
  • Personality

- Three Types:

  1. Autocratic leadership: centered around the boss; these leaders make decisions on their own without consulting employees.
  2. Democratic leadership: centers on employee’s contributions; includes subordinates in the decision-making process.                                                                    --Empowerment: gives employees shared authority, responsibility, and decision making with their managers.
  3. Free-rein leadership: minimal supervision; subordinates make their own decisions; communicate with employees frequently.

- One leadership type is not necessarily better than the other, it depends on where the company currently is—is growth needed? If yes, then maybe the strategy should change to encourage growth.

Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is an organization’s system of principles, beliefs, and values.

  • These cultures are very strong and enduring
  • May need to change to meet the demands of the business environment

- Managers use symbols, rituals, and stories to reinforce corporate culture.

- Strong corporate cultures incorporate all the business’ ideals defined above—principles, beliefs, and values.

Organizational Structures

  1. Determine specific activities needed to implement plans and achieve goals
  2. Group work activities needed to implement plans and achieve goals
  3. Assign work to specific employees and give them the resources needed
  4. Coordinate work of different groups and employees within the firm
  5. Evaluate the results of the organizing process

- Effective structures are clear and easy to understand.

- A company’s structure will increase in complexity as the direct result of a company growing.


Departmentalization is the process of dividing work activities into units within the organization.

-Types of departmentalization:

  • Product departmentalization organizes work units based on the goods and services a company offers.
  • Geographical departmentalization organizes units by geographical regions within a country or, for multinational firm, by region throughout the world.
  • Customer departmentalization is used when a firm offers a variety of goods and services targeted at different types of customers.
  • Functional departmentalization organizes work units according to business functions (i.e. finance, marketing, human resources, and production).
  • Process departmentalization organizes goods and services that require multiple work processes to complete their production into appropriate departments.

- When deciding what form of departmentalization to use, a company will take into account...

  1. The type of product they produce
  2. The size of their company
  3. Their customer base
  4. The location of their customers.

Delegating Work Assignments

Delegation is the managerial process of assigning work to employees.

- Examples of this include: employees answering calls, making deliveries, opening or closing the store, etc.

Types of Organization Structures

Span of Management

- Span of Management, or span of control, is the number of employees a manager supervises.

  • Employees are often referred to as “direct reports.”
  • Varies depending on factors such as the type of work performed and employees’ training.

Centralization and Decentralization

-Centralized companies retain decision making at the top of the management hierarchy.

-Decentralized companies locate decision making at lower levels.

1. Line Organizations

Line organizations are the oldest and simplest organization structures.

- Characteristics:

  • They establish a direct flow of authority from the chief executive to employees.
  • Exhibits a chain of commands—a hierarchy of managers and workers—enabling decisions to be made quickly.
  • Most efficient in small organizations like in a dentist office or hair salon.

- Drawback:

  • Each manager has total responsibility for a variety of activities; act as expert in all areas.

2. Line-and-Staff Organizations

Line-and-staff organizations combine direct flow of authority of a line organization with staff departments that support the line departments.

- Characteristics:

  • Line departments are directly involved in decisions that affect the core operations of the organization.
  • Staff departments lend specialized technical support.
  • Common in midsize and large organizations.
  • Effective because it combines the line organization’s quick decision making skills and direct communication with the expert knowledge of staff specialists.

- Line manager vs. staff manager:

3. Committee Organizations

Committee organizations are structures that place authority and responsibility jointly in the hands of a group of individuals rather than a single line-and-staff structure.

- Characteristics:

  • Act slowly and conservatively.
  • May make decisions by compromising conflicting interests rather than by choosing the best alternative.
  • Incorporate diverse perspectives allowing for improvements in planning and employee morale

4. Matrix Organizations

Matrix structures link employees from different parts of the organization to work together on specific projects

- Characteristics:

  • Popular at high-technology and multinational corporations, as well as hospitals and consulting firms.
  • Most effective when company leaders empower project managers to use whatever resources are available to achieve the project’s objectives.
  • The employee keeps their ties to the line-and-staff structure while also being members of project teams.
  • Each employee reports to a line manager and a project manager.
  • Firm makes sure staffing is adequate, the workload is reasonable, and other company resources are available to project managers.

- Benefits:

  • It’s flexible—able to adapt quickly to rapid changes in the environment
  • Able to refocus resources on major problems or products
  • Provides an outlet for employee’s creativity and initiative

This concludes the Café. All-in-all, strong managers that are able to delegate and organization within the workplace are both factors that will help a company succeed and thrive in the years to come.

Questions for You

  1. Can you give an example of when you had to use the exact, or similar, decision-making process managers use? This can be either from a workplace or personal experience. Explain each of the 5 steps you took.
  2. One of the learning objectives (#6) is to "evaluate managers as leaders," that being said, which form of leadership—Autocratic, Democratic, or Free-reign—do you favor? Why?

Thank you all for reading! I hope my Café was informative and that you are able to walk away with a better understanding of the material.

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