New Organizational Structures and Changing Career Patterns

04/07/2021 1 By indiafreenotes

New Organizational Structures

Holacratic structures are composed of teams which can be brought together and dissolved quickly to meet organizational goals. As a form of self-management, a holacracy’s decision power resides in these fluid teams, or “circles,” which helps to disperse power throughout the organization. Rather than a formal hierarchy, these teams have a set of simple, explicit, and public rules that dictate how work gets done. If anyone has an issue with a current process, they can raise and resolve them at regular group meetings. The aim of a holacracy is to distribute decision making while enabling everyone to work on what they do best. Holacracies still possess some structure and hierarchy, but it’s based more on circles and what people think of as departments rather than on people. Zappos and Medium have been two of the most visible adopters of the holacratic method.

While the hierarchal model enabled industrial-age companies to thrive, the rise of the information economy has rendered this model harder to optimize. In factories, knowledge and intellect is concentrated at the top. Actual production, in contrast, requires little thought and massive coordination and repetition. Knowledge-based organizations, by contrast, require each employee to be

Changing structure is not easy for any organization. There is a lag between technical reality and culture. To catch culture up, we must reframe the challenges of adapting to the 21st century as an opportunity.

Some experts go so far as to advocate for eliminating all titles within an organization, though critics wonder how employees could advance their young careers without an external step ladder of success. But Carter says eliminating titles will also help break down employees’ glass ceilings. Without parameters defining their jurisdictions and authority, they can assume more responsibility and boost their level of involvement in projects.

The key to profitable performance is the extent to which four business elements are aligned:

  • The individuals responsible for developing and deploying the strategy and monitoring results.
  • The structure, processes and operations by which the strategy is deployed.
  • The necessary roles and responsibilities.
  • The experience, skills and competencies needed to execute the strategy.

New Organizational Structures and Design

Learning Organizations

In an environment where environments are continually changing, it’s critical that organizations detect and quickly correct its own errors. This requires continuous feedback to, and within, the organization. Continual feedback allows the organization to `unlearn’ old beliefs and remain open to new feedback, uncolored by long-held beliefs.

In a learning organization, managers don’t direct as much as they facilitate the workers’ applying new information and learning from that experience. Managers ensure time to exchange feedback, to inquire and reflect about the feedback, and then to gain consensus on direction. Peter Senge, noted systems theorist, points out in his book, The Fifth Discipline that the learning organization is “continually expanding its capacity to create its future for a learning organization, `adaptive learning’ must be joined by `generative learning,’ learning that enhances our capacity to create.”

Virtual Organization

This emerging form is based on organization members interacting with each other completely, or almost completely, via telecommunications. Members may never actually meet each other.

Network Structure

This modern structure includes the linking of numerous, separate organizations to optimize their interaction in order to accomplish a common, overall goal. An example is a joint venture to build a complex, technical systems such as the space shuttle. Another example is a network of construction companies to build a large structure.

Self-Organizing Systems

Self-organizing systems have the ability to continually change their structure and internal processes to conform to feedback with the environment. Some writers use the analogy of biological systems as self-organizing systems. Their ultimate purpose is to stay alive and duplicate. They exist in increasing complexity and adapt their structures and forms to accommodate this complexity. Ultimately, they change structure dramatically to adjust to the outer environment. (Some assert that self-managed groups are self-organizing systems, although others assert that self-managed groups are not because an ultimate purpose is assigned to team members).


  • Organic in nature: Less rules and regulations, sometimes no clear boundaries and always-changing forms.
  • Strong employee involvement: Input to the system starts from those closest to the outcome preferred by the system, from those most in-the-know about whether the organization is achieving its preferred outcomes with its stakeholders or not. This way, the organization stays highly attuned and adaptive to the needs of stakeholders.
  • Authority based on capability: Ensures the organization remains a means to an end and not an end in itself
  • Teams: Share’s activities to take advantage of economies of scale at the lowest levels of activities and ensures full involvement of employees at the lowest levels.
  • Alliances: Takes advantage of economies of scale, e.g., collaborations, networks, strategic alliances/mergers, etc.
  • Flatter, decentralized organizations: Less middle management, resulting in top management exchanging more feedback with those providing products and services; also results in fewer overhead costs.
  • Mindfulness of environments, changes, patterns and themes: Priority on reflection and inquiry to learn from experience; develop “learning organizations”.

Changing Career Patterns

Significant differences were observed in job mobility and organizational mobility of the various generations, with younger generations being more mobile. However, despite significant environmental shifts, the diversity of career patterns has not undergone a significant shift from generation to generation.

Job mobility no longer carries the stigma once associated with job change, although it can be emotionally stressful. Corporate upheavals of the early 1990s and low unemployment rates during the last part of the decade have caused changes in job search and hiring practices. Companies, especially those in technology fields that are in dire need of qualified, skilled, and experienced employees, are driven to recruit workers away from their current employers. Workers, who see job mobility as a way to find work that is appealing, challenging, and offers growth potential, are viewing career change as a way to progress through the uncertainties of the workplace. Job mobility is most prevalent among individuals who are first entering the labor market.

Although changing careers may seem overwhelming to many, the examples presented in this Digest show that changes are possible and probable. Employment will be increasingly characterized by sequences of decisions and work/role transitions. Similar sequences of behaviors, experiences, and judgments will influence ever-changing career patterns. For workers who seek continued and rewarding employment, career management skills will become increasingly important. Workers will need to be able to identify their strengths, goals, and skills; conduct ongoing assessments of their values and goals; monitor themselves and their job situation; and develop the interpersonal and negotiating skills needed to manage organizational career systems. Life changes and career changes often go hand in hand, offering the skilled and flexible worker opportunities to use these changes to personal advantage.