Andrew J. DuBrin

Video Labs: Chapter #14-Organization Structure and Design

General Electric Unveils Massive Restructuring


The video about GE’s massive restructuring fits many points raised in Chapter 14 of the textbook. The video describes how GE is the in the process of divesting itself of the $500 billion GE Capital Business, although the financial wing of GE was a major contributor to corporate profits for many years. Leadership at GE decided to unload GE Capital for two primary reasons. First, under the direction of CEO Jeff Immelt, the company wanted to move toward concentrating on its hundreds of manufacturing and service units, including building turbines and aircraft engines. Second, GE Capital had become such a big financial institution that it was heavily scrutinized by federal government regulations.Run Time: 4:59

What is Project Management?


Project management is mentioned in pages 309-310 of the textbook, as part of the discussion of matrix management. The video introduces many useful points about project management, centering on the theme that careful planning is essential to the success of a project. Make good use of project management tools, such as a Gantt chart or collaboration tools to help the project run smoothly. Agree on what outcomes the project is expected to deliver.  Select the right people with the right skills for the project, and add and subtract people as needed.  Anticipate what risks might be lurking, and plan to deal with the challenges they present. After the project is completed, review, reflect, and report on the experiences of the project. Keep in mind that the purpose of a project is to achieve quality outcomes with a reasonable expenditure of time and money. Keep in mind that “proper planning prevents poor project performance.”

Run Time: 2:41

Why Outsource?


Outsourcing as an organizational arrangement is described in pages 312-314 of the textbook. This video focuses on the many advantages of outsourcing to the organization, almost in the form of an infomercial. Outsourcing is described as a useful business tool that enables the company to focus on its core activities, and can lead to organizational efficiency and effectiveness. The organization can also capitalize on talent it does not have internally. Outsourcing is often a way for an organization to reduce costs, and offers workforce flexibility to the outsourcer. When work is outsourced to the right organization, product quality and service can increase. One reason is that outsourcing can provide the organization with access to the technology it needs to get work accomplished. Outsourcing work to the Philippines can be quite effective, partly because Filipinos speak and read English well.

Run Time: 3:49

Span of Control.png
Span of Control and Unity of Command


Span of control is discussed on pages 318-310 of the text. Unity of command would fit under the discussion of the bureaucratic form of organization on page 319. The video opens by describing the situation of Terrence who is supervising a product team involved in making electronic components. Because the work done in the department is complex and variable, he can only effectively supervise a limited number of workers. Yet when Terrence’s span of control—his number of direct reports—is too limited, it is expensive for the company. Narrow spans of control require more managers.  When Terrence shifts to supervising a packing operation, the work is less complex and varied.  Terrence can now operate with a wider span of control, meaning that he can supervisor more workers. Run Time: 3:46