Z94.15 - Organization Planning and Theory

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SATISFICING. Human behavior and decision-making based upon discovery and selection of satisfactory alternatives rather than optimal alternatives; i.e., optimizing.

SCALAR CHAIN. The chain of direct authority relationships from superior to subordinate and the grading of duties according to degrees of authority and responsibility. Equivalent to chain of command.

SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT.  A body of literature developed in the early 1900s concerned with incentives, selection, training, and the design of jobs to eliminate time and motion waste.

SEMANTICS. The science dealing with the relationship between signs and symbols (including words), their meaning, and human behavior.

SENSITIVITY TRAINING. The collection of methods for improving the individual's sensitivity to him or herself and others. Although a large number of variations exist, the common ingredients seem to be: (1) the guidance of a trained person or persons; (2) intense interpersonal experience by the trainee; (3) a relatively protected environment, free from ordinary pressures and distractions. The T-group is the classical, but not the only, means of achieving these three conditions.

SKILL TRAINING. Training that is concerned more with improving effectiveness than learning concepts. It is often used in a mildly negative way to explain that some particular type of training program is "not merely" skill training.

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. A behavioral - science hybrid that integrates the disciplines of psychology and sociology to study how and why individuals behave as they do in groups.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. The obligation an organization has as a member of society, especially in the areas of ecology, consumerism, and equal employment opportunity.

SOCIAL SYSTEM. The network of task relationships within an organization - of people working with other people to exchange information, make decision and promote purposeful behavior.

SOCIOMETRY. The technique of analysis and decision-making for action in small groups whereby the individuals are identified, paired, or clustered according to their expressed preferences for others on such criteria as liking, disliking, leadership, efficiency, and frequency of communication.

SOCIO-TECHNICAL SYSTEM. This concept refers to the same concrete phenomena as social system but by the inclusion of the term "technical" emphasizes the physical realities of the system and the technologies it employs to do work.

SPAN OF CONTROL. The number of subordinates that a given person supervises.

SPECIALIZATION. Also referred to as division of work. This concerns dividing or grouping all the work to be done into small homogeneous packages which may be performed by individuals, groups, or departments.

STAFF. (1) An organizational unit that serves in an auxiliary and facilitative role in relation to line and operating units or executives. Typical functions of staff are data gathering, preparing plans, giving advice and recommendations, and rendering specialized service. Types of staff are personal or assistant to, general, specialized, and service. (2) Those persons who occupy a staff role in organizations.

STAFF, SPECIALIZED. A type of staff that provides specialized or technical information, counsel, and service to operating units of the organization. Generally serves the entire organization and often deals in specialized staff work usually possess specialized or technical training and skills.

STAFF, SERVICE. A type of staff that provides essential services to the organization and its members. These services are primarily of a physical, maintenance, protection, or welfare nature.

STAKEHOLDERS. Those individuals and groups who have a direct interest in the performance of an organization, such as customers, suppliers, shareholders, and employees.

STATUS. Relative ranking of a person or group in terms of duties, rights, privileges, or prestige. Relative social rank.

STATUS CONGRUENCY. The condition whereby individual group members are ranked high or low in status on all relevant factors.

STRATEGIC QUALITY PLANNING. Development of strategic and operational plans that incorporate quality as product or service differentiation and the load bearing structure of the planning process.

SUPERVISION. The function of leading, coordinating, and directing the work of others to accomplish designated objectives. Those people who perform this function; usually applied to those occupying positions of leadership in the lower strata of an organization such as foremen, general foremen, and office supervisors.

SUPERVISOR, ACTING (OR MANAGER). A temporary managerial position that may or may not become permanent.

SUPERVISOR, WORKING. A non-supervisory employee who devotes a portion of his time to assigning work to other employees, job instruction, clearing troubles in the work, and checking progress of the work. Syn: group leader.

SYNERGY. Originally a term for the combined and cooperative operations of the bodily organs. Now it is a jargon for any process in which more is accomplished by cooperation than could be done by separate efforts.

SYSTEM. A system is characterized by: a) a set of components of subsystems linked by information channels, b) engagement in coordinated, goal-directed activity, c) information flow as the basis for control, d) a set of subgoals associated with the individual subsystems or components, e) an external environment which influences the system. A system is said to be an open system if it reacts to its environment and is a closed system if it does not. It is an adaptive system if it reacts to environmental changes in a way that is favorable toward achieving the system goals.

SYSTEMS 1, 2, 3, 4. These are four patterns or models of management and organizational climate developed by Rensis Likert. System 1 is designated as exploitive -authoritative, system 2 is benevolent-authoritative (paternalistic), system 3 is consultative, and system 4 is participative. The climate of a given organization is measured by a questionnaire covering such elements as leadership, communication, interaction-influence, and control processes.

SYSTEMS ANALYSIS. A method of problem-solving that encompasses the identification, study, and evaluation of interdependent parts and their attributes, functioning as an ongoing process, and constituting an organic whole. For organization theory this involves the analysis of the functioning and integration of systems of people and physical entities.

SYSTEMS THEORY. A framework for viewing an organization as a system of interrelated parts that when combined are greater than the parts individually.

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