Discussion: Dynamic and Uncertain Environments.

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Discussion: Dynamic and Uncertain Environments.

Discussion: Dynamic and Uncertain Environments.

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Teamwork is important in flat organizations. To increase flexibility and innovation, decision rights may not be clearly defined. Hence, the decision making is often decentralized because it is spread across the organization to where the decisions are made. It is also time consuming. As the work grows, new indi- viduals are added to the organization, and eventually a hierarchy is formed where divisions are responsible for segments of the work processes. Many companies strive to keep the “entrepreneurial spirit,” but in reality, work is done in much the same way as with the hierarchy described previously. Flat organizations often use IS to off‐load certain routine work in order to avoid hiring additional employees. As a hierarchy develops, the IS become the glue tying together parts of the organization that otherwise would not communicate. IS also enable flat organizations to respond quickly to their environment.

Matrix Organizational Structure The third popular form, which Cognizant ultimately adopted, is the matrix organizational structure. It typically assigns employees to two or more supervisors in an effort to make sure multiple dimensions of the business are integrated. Each supervisor directs a different aspect of the employee’s work. For example, a member of a matrix team from marketing would have a supervisor for marketing decisions and a different supervisor for a specific product line. The team member would report to both, and both would be responsible in some measure for that mem- ber’s performance and development. That is, the marketing manager would oversee the employee’s development of marketing skills and the product manager would make sure that the employee develops skills related to the product. Thus, decision rights are shared between the managers. The matrix structure allows organizations to concentrate on both functions and purpose. The matrix structure allows the flexible sharing of human resources and achieves the coordination necessary to meet dual sets of organizational demands. It is suited for complex decision making and dynamic and uncertain environments.

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