Organizational Dynamics Assignment
University of Denver
Part 1: Introduction
I once interned in Meidu Design&Construction Company, which mainly makes profit from building residential apartment in Shanghai, for a couple of months. I worked there as a documenter. In 2008, the company was involved in a severe accident . The following is the course of the incident: at 5:40 pm of the 27th of April, one 7 stores residential building constructed by the company started leaning to the south and then collapsed in an instant. Fortunately, this incredible accident took place before somebody moved in the building that collapsed and also on a rest day when no workers was working in it, otherwise it would have caused a huge fatal accident that could led to severe loss in human lives.
The reason behind this scary accident was very obvious — quality issues. Nine people were arrested and under investigation for misconduct and guilt of negligence. Nearly all the customers with the construction company required a full refound for the apartments they have already bought previously. As a result, the company found it hard to sustain its business because of serious damage in its reputation. No customer would be willing to trust its brand anymore.
Authoritative investigation indicated the collapse was due to both unreasonable building structure design and cheating in building materials and quality. Therefore, the construction could be considered “jelly-built construction”. Generally, there are many problems in a company when it decides to sell those dangerous buildings to customers. Following, I will provide the analysis for Meidu Company applying the four frames - structural, human resource, political, and symbolic. I would first look into the causes which led to the quality problem and then come up with suggestions/recommendations within each frame.
Part 2: The Report: Structural and Human Resource Frames
Let me look into the structure of Meidu Company. I found out that Meidu has a fully functional structure, a structure that consists of activities such as coordination, supervision, and task allocation. Within the company, the fully functional structure leads to operational efficiencies where employees become specialists within their own realm of expertise. Moreover, the functional structure has a pay-by-performance compensation policy that stimulates its employees to focus on their own performance and outcomes.
Moreover, the company concentrates on the outcomes it achieves because the more apartments it builds, the more profitable it is. So the management/supervision would force the employees to do more jobs and work long schedules in order to be more profitable. Also, the pay-by-performance policy drives the employees to complete more tasks with in the same amount of time.
This functional structure is highly mechanic for some reasons. First, the employees are always under the assumption that the management/supervision is better capable of making decisions. Second, they would only focus on jobs the supervisors assign them to do and would always follow the instructions. Third, the employees would only value vertical communication because they think that the company is highly hierarchical.
Meidu Company has its own thoughts and considerations on the highly functional structure it has. For instance it enables the company’s designers to be more productive and achieve more outcomes, thus both the company and individuals are able to make more money. However, I think that it does not fit the circumstances of the company that well for a couple reasons.
First, the highly functional structure compromises in the lateral communication, information exchange, and teamwork between colleagues. For example, in the course of designing a building, even the best designer is not capable of designing an entire building on his own. What