At the fourth biennial Mercy Corps leadership conference in November 2006 executive leadership described the well-known, internal complications at Mercy Corps as a large organization ($194 million budget in 2006) that “has to focus on two core areas: international relief and development” (Grossman & King, 2008). The status of the organization was examined in detail by the Harvard Business School case study and a number of problems were revealed. This analysis is based on the information provided by the case study and addresses four issues. The first section discusses three forms of differentiation and how they are relevant to Mercy Corps. The second section addresses the five different forms of integration in an organization. The third section evaluates the use of differentiation and integration in the organization and the success of differentiation and integration. In the last section I examine whether Mercy Corps is a mechanistic organization or organic organization. Changes in Differentiation
As discussed in class and in assigned reading for PUB M 511 there are three forms of differentiation. This is essentially how an organization divides its labor into distinct tasks and then coordinates them (Hodge & Anthony, handout). Hodge & Anthony have defined the three forms of differentiation as: 1.
Horizontal differentiation – differentiation of work into tasks at the same level of organization. 2.
Vertical differentiation – division of work by level of authority, hierarchy, or chain of command. 3.
Spatial differentiation – refers to geographical dispersion. All three forms of differentiation are relevant to key issues in the Mercy Corps case. Horizontal differentiation is clearly evident when the four program directors formerly supervising 40 country directors were replaced by six regional program directors. Effectively, a new department was added and the reporting structure was changed so that country directors were now...
References: Grossman, Allen S., and Caroline King. "Mercy Corps: Positioning the Organization to Reach New Heights." The Harvard Business School (2008): 1-24. Print.
Hodge, Anthony and Gales. Organizational Goals and Effectiveness, Organization Theory: A Strategic Approach. 6th Ed., 2002. Print.
Hodge, Anthony and Gales. The Nature of Structure and Design, Organization Theory: A Strategic Approach. 6th Ed., 2002. Print.
Morgan, Gareth. Images of Organization. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2006. Print.
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