Charles Redding states that all complex organizations show four critical features. Those features are interdependence, differentiation of tasks and functions, goal orientation, and control. Each element is important in its congruence to one another as well as authentically unique. To explain how these four elements work in a complex organization, I will use a fast food restaurant as the reference point.
The element of independence is highly vital in a complex organization as one person’s actions can affect a multitude of people. If the person grilling up the hamburgers is running late on getting some patties ready, it is a total domino effect on the service. The people waiting on food have to wait as well as the person who is serving up fries as they now have to time when to put the fries into the carton so that they do not get cold. If there are cars in the drive-thru, they all must wait until car “A” gets their burgers. Hopefully the burgers are not rushed so that they are dressed accordingly to the order. If the burgers come up wrong, the wait gets longer or the customers have to move to the side so the next family in line can be served. If so, the cashier has to keep up with the order that is on hold as well as the newest order being placed.
Differentiation of Tasks and Functions
The restaurant is able to keep functioning due to differentiation of tasks and functions as long as enough staff are on hand. When the cashier does not have to be concerned with grilling burgers, they can take orders. When the fry station attendant does not have to move over to flip the burgers, the fries can come out golden, crisp, and hot on time. The person making drinks can make sure they are correctly poured and sized as (s)he does not have to lay hamburger patties across a grill. Then, the manager can make sure everybody is doing their job as they do not have to stop and make burgers.
The goal is to not only get the burgers up and ready to go but to serve customers food to earn a profit. Therefore, all of the restaurant’s team members need to be on board with the goal of good customer service and timely delivery of orders. People who show up late to work, default on orders, leave the kitchen or their assignment without permission, or take any action that negatively affects the goal must be addressed immediately.
In order to address these disruptive behaviors described above their must be control measures in place. These control measures can be in the form of disciplinary policies that are governed by company policies. In order for these company policies to be enforced there must be clear instructions on how each person is to perform their job. Then, to cover themselves, organizations should have employees sign a document of sort after they have been trained on their job enabling them to hold the employees accountable to perform their tasks correctly. The signed document may also be known as a contract, which once again is a control measure.